Jian “Uzi” Zihao, the LPL’s “Mad Dog,” is apparently eyeing a return to pro play in 2022. These rumors come according to fellow professional player Kim “Doinb” Tae-sang’s statements on a recent stream as well as an interview with Uzi’s father from a local newspaper.
Uzi was an international sensation during his time in pro play, lauded as one of the greatest talents to ever play the marksman position and a genuine superstar in China by the time he retired. Uzi retired from pro play following physical injuries from years of constant playing.
In a recent stream, Doinb repeatedly said that he’s heard that Uzi will be returning to pro play. Doinb’s statement was less than subtle, repeatedly iterating that he was absolutely sure Uzi would be making his reentrance to the LPL for 2022’s spring split. Doinb hasn’t said where Uzi would be returning to, but he did clarify that She “Mind” Sen-ming was almost certainly returning to RNG.
To reinforce this, a recent interview with Uzi’s father for a local Chinese news network led to yet another confirmation that one of League of Legends’ greatest bot laners is likely back.
In the interview, Uzi’s father said that Uzi has gone to Shanghai in order to participate in the day-to-day practices for LPL, and that he is in negotiations with a specific team. Uzi’s father does not specify which team, but with his own family confirming it, Uzi’s return seems set in stone.
Rumors of an LNG Esports super team with Uzi have also been making waves in the scene, but there’s no official announcement just yet.
Uzi’s agent has advised fans to take rumors with a grain of salt, stating that they should let Uzi be the one to announce his return, should he opt to become a pro player again. No matter where he goes, Uzi’s homecoming would mean a titan of Chinese League of Legends returning to the big stage after the region took back the Worlds title.