Legendary LPL player Ming “Clearlove” Kai has come out of retirement after coaching Edward Gaming this year. To the delight of many EDG fans, the 27-year old returns as their main roster’s jungler for the 2021 season.
In EDG’s official video, he spoke only one line, “I’m back”.
He is seen in formal attire playing a game of League of Legends as Evelynn, one of his signature champions, before appearing in EDG’s jersey. EDG also dropped Easter eggs at the end of the clip, flashing the letters “M”, “S’, “V”, “H”, “F”, and “J” on a keyboard. Fans speculate that they’re hinting at the names of their new roster, which has yet to be announced.
Clearlove kicked off his career on Team WE from 2012 to 2014. He made his first Worlds appearance in Season 2 alongside now retired players top laner Wei “CaoMei” Han-Dong, mid laner Yu “Misaya” Jing-Xi, bot laner Gao “WeiXiao” Xue-Cheng, and support Feng “FZZF” Zhuo-Jun.
After moving to Edward Gaming in early 2014, that’s where he made an even bigger name for himself, qualifying for Worlds every year until 2018. During that period, EDG even made it to the quarterfinals for three straight years.
Since 2019 however, the team has been struggling. Even though they finished 5th in LPL Summer 2019, they fell to Bilibili Gaming in the quarterfinals, and could not make it to Worlds. Following his leadership as head coach, EDG finished sixth in the regular season in LPL Spring 2020 before losing 3-1 to FunPlus Phoenix in the quarterfinals playoffs. In Summer, they finished tenth, and could not even qualify for the playoffs.
Since Clearlove’s departure, academy jungler Zhao “Jiejie” Li-Jie was promoted to the main roster. They also brought on rookie Yu “JunJia” Chun-Chia this year, but have not found the same success, as they lack veteran experience in this role.
LPL fans are now wondering when Jian “Uzi” Zi-Hao will make his return.