Royal Never Give Up bot laner Jian 'Uzi' Zi-Hao retires, citing chronic injuries

Royal Never Give Up bot laner Jian "Uzi" Zi-Hao on Wednesday announced his retirement from League of Legends on Weibo, citing chronic injuries and medical advice.

He retires with Royal Never Give Up, the same organization with which he began his professional career in 2012.

In a Twitter post, Royal Never Give Up praised Uzi as "not only the heart and soul of RNG, but also an icon in the esports world as a whole. From a teenager onwards he never gave up and worked as hard as he could to be the best he could in his role, he inspired many."

Uzi, 23, is League of Legends' most recognizable and beloved player in the sport aside from T1's Lee "Faker" Sang-hyeok. He is considered the greatest bot laner of all time, not only in China's LoL Pro League but in all of League of Legends.

The star bot laner suffered from chronic hand and shoulder injuries throughout his career. Last year in an interview with Nike, Uzi said that doctors told him he had the arms of someone at least twice his age.

Uzi burst into international fame at 16 years old because of his sensational onstage performances with Royal Club at the 2013 League of Legends World Championship. The team's heavy focus around Uzi and ensuring that he could carry earned Uzi and Royal Club a spot in the finals, where they lost to SK Telecom T1.

Uzi made it to the finals again the next year, this time with the renamed Star Horn Royal Club.

Royal's Uzi-centric playstyle alongside Uzi's emotional and mechanically stunning play earned him the nickname of "puppy" early on in his career, with Royal's playstyle defined as "raise-the-puppy."

Uzi left the Royal organization in 2015 to join OMG and later Qiao Gu Reapers in 2016 before returning to his original League of Legends home, Royal Club (now Royal Never Give Up) in 2017. He remained with the organization until his retirement Wednesday.

In 2018, Uzi won his first LPL championship after five years of trying. This began a string of titles for Uzi that included two LPL championships, the Mid-Season Invitational championship, and the 2018 Asian Games gold medal. The only available title he did not win was the world championship.