The LCS is the biggest esport league in North America and the highest level competition for League of Legends, the most popular esport on the planet. Weekly games are routinely watched by hundreds of thousands of spectators on online platforms like Twitch, while the finals of the game’s World Championships drew 36 million viewers last year.
Creveling qualified for the LCS last year with her team, the Renegades, through what’s called the Challenger Series. The LCS operates similarly to European soccer leagues, with the worst performing teams suffering relegation to a lower tier, and top performing teams in turn getting promoted to the top. At the time, Creveling made it clear she wasn’t sure she’d be up for enduring the bright lights and greater exposure of the big stage. Throughout her career at the top of League of Legends, she has been the target of torrents of abuse online.
In announcing her departure, Creveling thanked her team but said that the pressures of playing at the highest level had adversely affected her mental health.
“The past few weeks have been really tough for me as I’ve continued to struggle with a lot of personal issues,” Creveling said in a statement, “most notably anxiety and self-esteem issues. These were amplified by playing on stage and the rigorous day-to-day of being a pro player, compounded with a lot of the stress.”
After a career which saw her play for teams like Curse Academy and Team Dragon Knights, Creveling will now explore interests outside of League of Legends. She’ll be replaced by Team Frostbite support Nick “Hakuho” Surgent.
Her team, meanwhile, is in tough shape. The beginning of life in the LCS has not been easy for Renegades, who are rooted to the bottom of the table with just one win in six games.
Update 3:30pm Feb. 16: This story has been updated with additional context about the LCS and Challenger Series.
Image via Riot Games/Flickr