One of the best players in the history of League of Legends might be making his return in the upcoming season.
It’s been more than a year since former RNG bot laner Jian “Uzi” Zi-Hao announced his retirement due to health issues. Since then, Uzi has been pursuing streaming and content creation. But the former star bot laner might be missing the competitive side of League of Legends.
In a recent clip from his stream, Uzi addressed how he will be out of contractual obligations after the ongoing summer season ends. This opens up space for Uzi to make an attempt at returning to the competitive stage.
In the short clip, Uzi talks about how his previous contract will expire after this competitive season. Uzi says that this means he can go back to try out for teams and hopefully get a starting spot for the 2022 competitive LoL season.
“Believe me, I can go back to try out for a team after the summer season ends,” Uzi said. “I’m gonna go to a team for training for sure.”
If Uzi is being serious in his quotes, it seems that the 24-year-old bot laner might want to compete again. During his career, Uzi spent the majority of his time with RNG where he won a total of two LPL titles and the 2021 Mid-Season Invitational trophy. Uzi has also participated in the world championship six times and placed second in both 2013 and 2014. This leaves Uzi as one of the most accomplished players in League of Legends and likely the best player to never win a Worlds trophy.
Is Uzi good enough to make a competitive LoL return?
If Uzi aims to make a return next year, the big question will be if he is still good enough to play among the best. There’s no doubt that Uzi would reenter the stage with an insane amount of hype surrounding him, simply because of his legacy and big brand. If he can return to his old form is a whole other question.
According to Uzi, he is currently in Diamond 1 and not necessarily confident that a team would want him. A return to the big stage would require a lot of practice and solo queue grind even for a player like Uzi. One or two years away from the competitive stage can have a big effect on a player’s individual level.
“I’m only Diamond, perhaps no team wants me, I need to keep up,” Uzi said. “There’s no pro player at Diamond 1.”
If Uzi were to return, it’s likely that he will be aiming for a spot in the LPL. Uzi has never played outside of China, so even though many would probably want to see him in the LEC, LCS, or even LCK, it seems unlikely for now.
Returning to the LPL, Uzi would need to retain a high individual level as the league is already very competitive. Getting a starting spot in a top team might seem hard at first, so maybe Uzi would have to settle with a middle-tier team and climb his way up through the ranks.
If Uzi’s return becomes reality will likely be known by the end of the year.