Former Royal Never Give Up bot laner, Jian “Uzi” Zi-Hao, has officially retired from professional play, aged just 23, citing serious health issues, which he shared on his personal Weibo account.
Based on Uzi’s post, due to obesity, an irregular diet, stress and staying up late on most nights, he was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes last year. Even though he tried to make changes for the last six months, his health has not improved.
He has also battled arm and back injuries for the past few years, which have curbed his ability as a professional player. In a Nike LPL documentary last September, he shared that “the doctor said my arms are 40 to 50 years old”.
While Uzi was listed as a player for RNG in the 2020 LPL Spring Split, he did not compete at all.
Beginning his professional career with Royal Club back in 2012 at the age of 15, Uzi was touted to be even better than former WE AD carry Gao “WeiXiao” Xue-Cheng, who at that time was considered the best in his role.
With Royal, Uzi went on to finish second at the 2013 and 2014 World Championship, losing to LCK teams SK Telecom T1 and Samsung White.
He has since been striving to win Worlds every year. After leaving for a period and rejoining RNG, he qualified for Worlds 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019, but failed to reach the final every time.
RNG’s last best run was in 2017, where the team finished 3rd/4th place after losing 2-3 in an extremely close semifinals series to SK Telecom T1.
At the very least, Uzi did manage to win one international championship before the end of his career – at the Mid-Season Invitational 2018.
Finishing first in Groups with a 7-3 record, RNG were favorites to take home the trophy that year. After a 3-0 sweep over Fnatic in the semfinials, they knocked down LCK favorites Kingzone DragonX 3-1 in the final, and celebrated with overwhelming joy.
It was in Riot’s post-event MSI video that revealed what an incredible player Uzi was, for he kept track of the precise timing of his opponent’s cooldowns and took full advantage of it.
In the mic check clip, Uzi was shown communicating with his team, “They don’t have QSS yet, it’s up in ten seconds”. This promoted Li “Xiaohu” Yuan-Hao on Malzahar to Flash and ult Kim “PraY” Jong-in’s Xayah.
With QSS on cooldown, PraY could not move at all, and was chained CC to death. Taking down three KZ carries who were faced with long death timers, this last team fight won RNG the MSI title – Uzi’s first.
In the course of his 8 year career, Uzi had also won numerous domestic LPL titles. Often compared to Faker as the “second best League of Legends player in history”, his exceptional mechanics on AD carries, relentless ability to carry games, and consistent hard work over the years is unparalleled.
A name synonymous with Vayne, Uzi is renowned for his mechanics on this high skill-capped champion, along with Kai’sa, Ezreal and Kog’maw.
Growing up in the public eye, he was once notorious for his bad behavior and attitude during his teenage years.
After numerous triumphs and even more heartbreaking defeats, he has matured to become one of the best and most respectable League of Legends players of all time.