Uzi could retire due to health concerns
Royal never Give Up's star ADC Jian "Uzi" Zi-Hao is reportedly suffering from a hand injury, which puts his and the future of RNG under a huge question mark, as Uzi might not be able to compete in 2020 LPL and could even be forced into early retirement from the professional League of Legends scene.
According to Liu "Mlxg" Shi-Yu, his teammate and star ADC of RNG is suffering from his ongoing hand injury, which could see Uzi miss out on the LPL 2020 Spring split and possibly even the rest of the season. Mlxg went on the record to say that Uzi's last medical examination of his hand did not result in the news that the team of Uzi himself had expected.
As it stands now, Uzi is focusing on resting and recovering in a bid to prepare himself for a tedious 2020 LPL Spring Split ahead, however, there are no guarantees the Chinese superstar will be making his way back to the Rift anytime soon.
The recent announcement about Uzi’s injury, however, did not unveil anything new, considering Uzi has been struggling with injuries, more specifically with hand injuries, for a couple of years now. Even Uzi himself has been fairly vocal about his struggles, claiming he is unable to play for more than a couple of hours at a time.
In Nike's promotional LPL video, which surfaced earlier in September Uzi explained he has issues with his shoulder and right arm, which have taken a massive toll on his health and have made him contemplate retirement from professional League of Legends numerous times before. What was even more concerning, however, was his statement, where he claimed he was told by a doctor during one of his visits, that his arm is so worn out, it resembles that of a 40 or 50-year-old.
That being said, Uzi's issues with his right arm are not his only problem. The Chinese star ADC also told the public he has been struggling with his lower body strength after having to sit for prolonged periods of time over his seven-year-long career in order to practice to become one of the best players in the world.
“I often feel like my legs have no strength. The lower part of the body feels like it’s not mine,” he said.
Uzi already took a month-long break in order to rest and prepare himself for the competitive season ahead. He was also previously forced to move away from the screen in summer of 2018, thus weakening RNG who were at the time competing to earn a ticket for League of Legends World Championship 2018.
His ongoing health issues raise a question whether Uzi will be forced to retire at only 22-years of age and while no League of Legends fan would like to see one of the greats exit the scene, Uzi just might not have another option.
Uzi's ongoing issues have forced RNG to sign former Flash Wolves ADC Lu "Betty" Yu-Hung who joined the team on Sunday, December 15, and has been playing instead of Uzi at the ongoing 2019 Demacia Cup.
At the said tournament, RNG have struggled with their performance throughout the group stage, where they lost to both JD Gaming and Oh My God, but managed to edge past LNG Esports and Young Miracles to secure a spot in the playoffs by the skin of their teeth.
RNG are now getting ready for their quarter-finals match against Rogue Warriors, set to take centre stage on Friday, December 27, where the former LPL Champions will look to take one step further towards the Demacia Cup, which they have already won in 2018 and 2017.
Despite all the rumours, Royal Never Give Up have not made any official statements about Uzi and his injury concerns as of yet, however, the fans are already speculating the organization might be looking for a permanent replacement for Uzi, if he decides to retire.
One of the rumours suggested RNG could sign the former Invictus Gaming member and 2018 World Champion Yu "JackeyLove" Wen-Bo, who is currently a free agent following IG’s decision to rebuild their bottom lane after their underwhelming performance at 2019 World Championship, where they finished third-fourth after losing to FunPlus Phoenix in the semi-finals.
While Uzi's future at this point is still shrouded in mist, the year-long health issues could see him retire as a professional League of Legends player comes 2020. If he decides for that move, however, he will still have plenty of options to keep himself involved with the LoL competitive scene. One of the most likely moves for him is to become a coach, thus following the footsteps of his former teammate Cho "Mata" Se-hyoung, who was announced as RNG’s new head coach last Wednesday.