Steven R. April 21, 2019
After three LCK trophies and three top-four finishes in World Championships, Kim “PraY” Jong-in is calling it a career.
The AD carry player announced his retirement from competitive League of Legends on a live stream on AfreecaTV. The move comes after six months as a free agent.
“I have no confidence that I can do well [in professional play]”, PraY said on the stream, per Korizon.net. “But, outright saying I’m not playing professionally anymore means that I will have no chance of going back to that stage.”
Pray has been a staple of the Korean League of Legends scene for several years. He first rose to prominence as a member of NaJin’s Sword team, coming in third place at the 2013 World Championship. In 2014 he joined Tigers and helped establish the team as one of the game’s elite with a grand finals berth at the 2015 World Championship and a first-place finish at LCK Summer 2016.
He enjoyed similar success after transferring to Longzhu Gaming and KING-ZONE DragonX, winning two more LCK trophies. The team began to decline in 2018 and parted ways with PraY as well as Han “Peanut” Wang-ho and Kang “GorillA” Beom-hyeon. Though Peanut and GorillA both found landing spots in Gen.G Esports and Misfits, PraY announced that he had turned down offers in order to take a break from competition, though he also stated that he planned to return for the summer. It is unclear what might have changed since then. PraY was visibly distraught during the announcement.
Retirements are often short lived in esports, but this one has the look of permanence. Though the news comes as something of a surprise, PraY leaves with a strong legacy as one of the top players during South Korea’s League of Legends heyday.