CaliTrlolz says this is his last LCS split
A star player on one League Championship Series (LCS) team has revealed he won’t be back for another season.
Steven “CaliTrlolz” Kim has revealed the last two games of this season's LCS will be his last.
The announcement comes as no surprise. Before the season started, Kim was admitted to a top pharmacy school, but applied for and received a one year leave of absence to continue his run in the LCS. As the shot caller of Team 8 in 2014, he helped carry the squad into the LCS ahead of teams like Curse Academy (now Gravity Gaming), who required the expansion tournament to win their berth.
That year off is now quickly coming to a close.
It’s been an up-and-down one for Team 8. Prior to the Spring Split, many had them pegged for relegation as one of the weaker teams in the league. But they surprised by challenging for a playoff spot, putting up a 9-9 record that had them in contention for playoffs until the final day of the season, when they lost a tiebreaker to Team Liquid to keep them out.
This season hasn’t gone as well. Team 8 has struggled with one of their key players, mid laner Andrew “Slooshi” Pham, only playing 6 games before taking a leave of absence due to family issues. The team currently sits with a 6-10 record and are already eliminated from playoff contention with games against Team Liquid and Counter Logic Gaming left to play. The team is one game ahead of Cloud9, meaning there’s still potential they’ll fall to relegation. Kim says he’ll play with the team in a relegation series, should they fall into one.
As a player, Kim will certainly be missed, even if he didn’t have the impact many hoped when he entered the league at the start of the year. Kim was famous for his aggressive play style and unpredictable champion pool, never afraid to dive the enemy back line and initiate combat, something that often made Team 8 tough to play against. His Irelia was one of the most feared champions in the LCS, drawing bans in nearly every match the team played.
After leading the league in kills from the top lane in Spring with 65, a whopping 21 percent more than the next highest top laner, Kim’s aggressive style hasn’t produced the same numbers in the Summer. Kim’s still posted a solid 340 DPM, third among top lane players. He may not be the “FORG1VEN top NA,” as he jokingly labelled himself in an interview at the end of the Spring Split, referring to the hype surrounding Team 8’s star entering that season. But he’s put together a solid year in the LCS. He’ll certainly be missed.
“I honestly thought more people would just plain disrespect and shit-talk me out of the scene,” Kim said on a Reddit thread about his pending retirement. “But so many of you still support me despite rather disappointing season. And I'm sincerely thankful for all the heart-warming comments. I really do appreci8!!”
Kim hasn't confirmed he's returning to school at the season's end, but it seems the most likely reason for his pending departure. He says he'll discuss his decision more in-depth at a later date, however, likely after Team 8’s future in the LCS is more secure. But he does say he isn’t satisfied with his results, if he’s happy with his eight months as a professional gamer.
“I was rather lackluster and became rather blend top laner,” he laments, noting he’ll go into more detail later. For now, he’s focused on finishing his career with a bang.
Kim may have no regrets, but his fans will surely be sad to see him leaving the Summoner’s Rift for good.
Photo via Riot Games/Flickr