One of Super Smash Bros. Melee’s top players is hanging up his controller and ending a career that’s lasted six years.
Jason “Bizzarro Flame” Yoon has retired and will no longer focus on Melee. Yoon says he plans to stick around esports and attend West Coast tournaments, but will pursue the career as an attorney that he started before Smash.
“My legal career as a full-time attorney has been demanding on my time and energy for the past four months,” Yoon tells the Daily Dot. “It is difficult to get time off from work, especially for three day out-of-state tournaments … I definitely plan to stick around esports, attending tournaments in the West Coast here and there. My Smash plan from now on is to focus more on styling during tournament matches. Nothing will keep me from enjoying the game that I love.”
Yoon became famous for playing Ganondorf, arguably one of Melee’s worst characters. But that didn’t stop him from breaking the top 100 in Melee It On Me’s SSBMRank—the most authoratative ranking in Smash—for three years in a row. Furthermore, Yoon placed top 50 at two of the year’s majors last year, Apex and CEO 2015.
With such a strange character choice, Yoon says that Ganondorf kind of just happened by accident:
“It all started when I was playing SSBM in high school,” he says. “I was actually the worst player, skill-wise, in my high school scene around 2006. However, I randomly chose Ganondorf and then I started eviscerating all of my friends in SSBM.”
For many Smashers, however, it’s hard to make a career out of it. In fact, those who do often stream often on Twitch to be able to have sustainable income. Tournament money isn’t always enough, especially if the player isn’t placing in the top eight consistently.
Yoon isn’t the first top level Smasher to step away due to other commitments, nor will he be the last. Ice Climbers legend Robert “Wobbles” Wright also stepped away from the game for similar reasons several years ago, prior to his current return. Meanwhile Smash god Jason “Mew2King” Zimmerman has also taken extended breaks due to repetitive stress injuries.
Yoon became Team YP’s first fighting game player in last June, leading the charge for the team’s expansion into the genre. But Yoon says that his departure is a “bittersweet farewell” and that he’ll still stay in contact with the organization.
“The team was extremely happy for my career opportunities and, at the same time, sad about my departure from the team,” he says. “They also understand my decision because I am getting married soon and I want to focus on providing for my family soon.”
Yoon said he was “taking the advice of what a popular videogame character once said,” quoting Guile’s famous line when defeating opponents in Street Fighter 2: “go home and be a family man.”