Heart retires, wants to move to coaching role
One of the best League of Legends players in the game's history has officially put down his mouse.
Former Unlimited Potential and Samsung Galaxy Blue support Lee "Heart" Gwan-hyung announced his retirement via Facebook today. He says he will continue his career by coaching in China’s League Pro League (LPL) next season.
“The fans that would make me the Heart I am, and Team MVP that gave me the chance to become special. Players and associates of Samsung, VG, UP, I would like to very sincerely say ‘Thank you,’” Lee said in his Facebook post. “Lastly I am happy to announce that my journey hasn't ended yet. I will be working as a coach for an LPL team starting this year. I know that this will be disappointing news to a lot of my fans, however you will be able to see me in LPL and streams regardless and I will be with you guys.”
It’s uncertain which team Lee Gwan-hyung will be coaching, but given his talent and experience he will make a solid coach for most teams going into the 2016 season.
Lee Gwan-hyung is best-known for his time on Samsung Galaxy Blue. The team made it to the 2014 League World Championship Semifinals, only to lose to their sister team Samsung Galaxy White. At the time Lee was considered one of the better supports in his region, alongside World’s Most Valuable Player Cho "Mata" Se-hyeong.
But, after the World Championship, Lee Gwan-hyung—much like the rest of his Korean peers—made the move to China for a better paying contract (a move which became known as the “Korean Exodus”).
In China he joined Vici Stand Gaming (later known as Vici Potential Gaming), the League Secondary Pro League (LSPL) squad of the Vici Gaming banner. He managed to lead the team to qualification for the LPL on Apr. 9.
Vici Gaming then sold its LPL spot to Star Horn Royal Club (who formed the team Royal Never Give Up), and acquired Gamtee’s LPL spot instead—bringing Lee Gwan-hyung along with it. Unfortunately, the summer split did not go well, and the team was relegated from the LPL after a loss to Team WE on Aug. 13. This unsuccessful turn seems to have prompted Lee Gwan-hyung to leave competitive play.
Photo via Riot Games/Flickr