IG Rookie says he’ll “work really hard to overcome the aging curve” in League

Will we still see older players as esports pros or is this a stigma going forward?

Photo via Riot Games

The question of how old is too old to be an esports pro has been heavily debated in the gaming community for years.

Former League of Legends world champion Rookie recently shared his thoughts on the topic of age in esports in an interview with Korean online platform Naver.

“I think esports is a sport that is played with hands and brain rather than using the whole body,” the 23-year-old mid laner said. “Although the brain side can be developed, the hands seem to feel that they degenerate as they age. I’m feeling it too.”

In pro League, there are some players in their late 20s, such as Xmithie (29) in the LCS or Sandbox’s Joker (28) in the LCK. But most pros are in their early 20s, a period when their reaction times are much shorter compared to older players.

“Since the days of StarCraft until now, most of the pro gamers retire because their skills are not the same as they used to be,” Rookie said. “Of course, there are exceptions, but it makes sense that the aging curve comes in proportion to it. At least in esports. I, too, will work really hard to overcome the aging curve.”

One reason why there might not be a lot of older League pros is due to how much they play during a regular day in between solo queue games, scrim blocks, and the practice tool. If they don’t take good care of their bodies, then it’s understandable why so many pros retire during their mid-20s considering the damage they can do to their wrists and backs by playing so much. The long-term health of players should be one of the top priorities of esports organizations.

Earlier this year, legendary Chinese ADC Uzi retired due to health issues. The 23-year-old said in an interview with Nike last year that a doctor previously told him his arms “are similar to that of a 40 to 50-year-old.”

But for now, it doesn’t seem like Rookie is planning on retiring from pro League just yet.

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