Four LoL esports player news you might have missed this week
It’s a big news week for LoL esports legends. Uzi officially left RNG, Faker got benched again and Pobelter is back on the big stage. Additionally, SO4 players might be looking for a new home soon and insane bangers are coming to the rift.
Here’s what you might have missed.
Uzi officially leaves RNG
Jian “Uzi” Zi-Hao has officially announced his departure from the RNG organization and his new projects moving forward. Starting on February 22nd, he has joined “Shenzhen Xiaoxiang Culture and Entertainment Co.” popularly known Little Elephant.
In June of 2020, Uzi retired from pro play citing physical health concerns due to the continuous strain of professional play. However, while he had officially retired and stepped down from active pro play, he continued to work with RNG as a streamer. Recently, Uzi’s health had been improving, resulting in hopes he would return to the LPL.
Unfortunately, these hopes have recently been dashed with his new announcement. In a Weibo post, Uzi stated he would be leaving RNG entirely, instead, directly joining with one of China’s large multi-channel networks. This will cement Uzi’s direction towards streaming instead of professional play for the foreseeable future.
Fans continue to speculate and hope for Uzi’s return to the pro scene in 2022, especially considering the release of the documentary showing his health steadily improving. However, considering Uzi had made the decision to leave RNG, it is unlikely he will return to the LPL with them regardless.
Faker benched once again
T1 is not performing well with their new 10 man roster this spring. They barely remain in the better half of the LCK competition. Faker’s performance has been standard, yet the team has decided to bench Faker once again, opting to replace him with Clozer, a midland talent T1 had been training since 2019. The announcement sparked outrage from T1 fans, partly due to Faker’s status, but mostly due to T1 punishing Faker despite his individual performance still being strong.
The decision to bench Faker is likely due to the team’s desire to train and develop Clozer, the clearly less popular T1 mid-laner. Other players on the team have also found T1’s approach lacking, with Ryu “Keria” Min-seok also commenting on the lack of cohesion and synergy a 10-man roster has.
Benching Faker will hurt T1 both in terms of him getting less scrim and stage time, but also in approval by their fans who follow the organization religiously.
FC Shalke 04 possibly ending LoL operations
Reports have emerged that the primary FC Schalkd 04 club (football) has recently been facing financial troubles. This had been due to existing financial troubles prior to Covid-19, of which were only amplified as Covid-19 destroyed the club’s revenue as fans were unable to watch games in the stadium. The clubs recent poor performance in the Bundesliga league may also force it into relegation, thus losing further revenue potential.
Given the club’s poor state and its primary focus lying in football, it is entirely possible the club will sell its LEC league position for 2022 for an estimated 20 million Euros. The team has confirmed while they would not like to and are not currently forced to sell the team at this point, this option is on the table for the future.
— Schalke 04 Esports (@S04Esports) February 24, 2021
The potential threat of a sell-off might set a timer on the five man roster to perform well this season. If they want to keep their spot on the roster that. If S04 retains their spot, all the better, but if they don’t its important for the roster to have a decent track record on the season, if they hope to return to the league with whoever picks up the vacant LEC slot.
Pobelter back on the big stage
The Notorious P.O.B. is back on the LCS big stage once again. After a short stint with Alexey “rjs” Zatorski in the mid-lane, the organization has decided to bring in the big guns for the remainder of the season. The change seems to be a last resort measure to salvage a season where CLG is dead last in the standings and in hopes of a 8 to 9 win streak to make the Mid-Season Showdown cut.
In his first weekend back on the stage he is set to meet all three 2nd place tied teams in 100T, TSM and Dignitas. If CLG muster an insane winning weekend we may be in for one of the coolest redemption arcs in the league.
Back on the starting roster for LCS. 36 games left in the season, time to get some wins
— Eugene Park (@Pobelter) February 26, 2021
This weekend in Lolesports features three bangers in G2 vs FNATIC, Liquid vs TSM and FPX vs RNG. Additionally, Ashley Kang joins the LEC to make fun of the all the participation trophies and the Unicorns of Love continue their run to 1 year without a defeat domestically in the LCL.