A veteran of European League of Legends has hung up his mouse and keyboard after playing his final competitive matches at the League of Legends World Championships. Enrique “Xpeke” Cedeño Martínez has stepped down, with his vacant mid lane position likely to be filled by Tristan “PowerOfEvil” Schrage, who left fellow LCS outfit Unicorns of Love earlier this week.
The Daily Dot first reported on Martínez’s plans to retire once the 2015 season ended on July 4—a report that the player later denied. Sources close to the team, however, say he’s decided to take a step back to focus on running his LCS organization, Origen.
Martínez and his team caused quite the stir at the World Championships in October, finishing in the top four after falling to eventual champions SK Telecom T1 in the semifinal. Before the tournament, some highlighted Martínez as a potential weakness. But he silenced those critics with another sturdy showing on the international stage, playing particularly well during the opening week of the group stages.
Origen will compete at IEM San Jose in just under two weeks, where Schrage is set to make his debut for the team. They’ll join Fnatic, Team SoloMid, Counter Logic Gaming, Jin Air Green Wings, and LGD Gaming at the SAP Centre to battle it out for a slice of the $150,000 prize pool.
Schrage is no stranger to international competition, or San Jose. The same tournament served as Schrage’s breakout event on the international stage last year, when he and his Unicorns of Love side made it all the way to the finals before falling to Cloud9. The team had only just earned promotion to the European LCS two months prior.
Martínez is one of the most successful European players to ever play the game. The Spaniard participated in and won the first ever World Championship, and has since gone on to feature in almost every LCS split, only missing out after leaving Fnatic to form Origen. Within just one year, Martínez’s new team progressed from the Challenger Series to the semifinals of the World Championships.
Update 2:53pm CT Nov. 13: Origen has confirmed the PowerOfEvil move and announced that xPeke will remain on as a substitute as part of a mid lane rotation.
Photos via Riot Games/Flickr | Remix by Jacob Wolf