Lee J. January 7, 2021
South Korean streamer and League of Legends player Jeong "Dopa" Sang-gil has announced the postponement of his mandatory military service.
In a YouTube video posted yesterday titled "I got military exemption...", the 27-year-old explains that, while the video title is somewhat exaggerated and he is not completely exempt, he will be temporarily delaying his conscription to continue his streaming career.
For Dopa and his fellow South Koreans, all males between the ages of 18 and 28 are required to carry out 20 months of compulsory military service, meaning that most streamers and professional players must take an extended break or retire completely to accommodate this. Eligible citizens must enlist before turning 28 years old, and with Dopa's 28th birthday coming January 8, many fans had expected an imminent announcement surrounding his situation.
Despite his having postponed the enlistment, it is unlikely that this could be much more than a matter of months and, as a result, it's still to be expected that he will begin his enrolment within the next year.
Dopa had initially flirted with the idea of becoming a professional League of Legends player early in his career, however he was infamously banned from competition for two years, along with a 1000 year ban on his account, after being found guilty of elo-boosting. Ever since that point he has been heralded as the game's best solo queue player, bouncing from one server to another and consistently earning and maintaining top ranks.
Asia Games 2022 to provide Korean military exemption?
Currently, all South Korean athletes that earn either Olympic or Asia Games gold medals are awarded exemption from their military service, famously giving their entire 2018 Asia Games soccer winning side the opportunity to continue their careers without interference. After esports was included as an exhibition sport at the 2018 competition, it has recently been announced that it will return in 2022 as a medal sport where a South Korean roster could win themselves exemptions.
Fans have already called for legendary mid laner Lee "Faker" Sang-hyeok to participate should League of Legends be included, giving the three-time World Champion a chance at elongating his career if he is able to lead his compatriots to a gold medal.