One of the most veteran competitive League of Legends players has officially announced his retirement.
While Expession had decided to take a break from competitive play after apparently burning out previously this year, many expected him to return in 2018.
Seen as a legend in the Korean competitive League scene, having competed since its conception in 2012 – his departure will be a huge blow to Korean League of Legends.
— Leaguepedia (@TheLeaguepedia) September 17, 2017
A glance in the past – Expession
Expession’s earliest registered team was Team Hunters, a Korean based team which he captained during the first Korean League season.
The team competed in the Azubu the Champions Summers 2012, one of top-tier tournaments at the time. And while they placed near the bottom, both Expession and MulrOc were scouted by NaJin – resulting in the team later disbanding.
Two tournament wins with new outfit NaJin Black Sword
In 2013, Expession signed with NaJin Black Sword where he was then able to indulge in the first taste of victory. During his year-long deal with Najin Black Sword, they were able to not only take out the emTek NLB Spring 2013 and the GIGABYTE NLB Summer 2013, but the team also placed an amazing 3rd-4th in the Season 3 World Championship.
Unsuccessful stint with Incredible Miracle
After this, Expession spent half a year with Incredible Miracle. The team performed fairly poorly finishing 9th place overall in the 2015 LCK Summer split. While Incredible Miracle weren’t anything special, Expession continued to perform strongly which lead to Longzhu sign the top laner at the start of 2016.
Longzhu partnership brings great success
Expession’s time at Longzhu saw the team find success at the end of 2016 in IEM XI Oakland, where they finished 3rd-4th. He continued to play with Longzhu until the end of the 2017 LCK Spring Split before announcing he would be leaving the team (prior to the Spring Playoffs) following the payment scandal, where player’s wages were being withheld.
Payment scandal took its toll on Expession
As the payment scandal snowballed, Expession left the team. Many speculated Expession had left and failed to resign with another team as he was burnt out, but others believed he lost his trust in competitive League play.
While his time at Longzhu wasn’t the most successful, he was still one of Korea’s strongest players. The view of him being burnt out, but returning at a later date, was very plausible, as Doublelift too announced his decision to take a break and return after the end of a single split – leading many to believe Expession would too return in the 2018 Spring split.
Expession not to return after all
Unfortunately, Expession will not be returning next year following his announcement to retire. He will be permanently withdrawing from competitive play.
While he did say this, he has yet to confirm what he holds for the future. There are 2 likely options, either he utilises his six years of game knowledge and mentor younger players in the scene (as a coach or analyst), or take a bigger step back and enlist in the Korean army (compulsory for young individuals).