One of League of Legends’ most respected veterans is stepping down just one season after he revived his career and reached the game’s top league.
Brandon “SaintVicious” DiMarco has played his last competitive match ever, he said last night in a short post on Facebook. He doesn’t outline why the decision was made, but notes more details will be revealed later.
The news hit the day of the week one roster lock for the upcoming LCS season, meaning Gravity Gaming likely has DiMarco’s replacement in mind, though none has been officially announced. One potential candidate is former mid laner Marcin “Kori” Wolski, who started training jungle this offseason and was reportedly being recruited by Gravity and coach Nick “LS” De Cesare, who worked with the player in Europe last year.
But whoever Gravity Gaming finds to enter the lineup, they’ll have a massive hole to fill.
The 27-year-old DiMarco is one of the true legends of the game, an innovative jungler who at one time may have been the best player on the planet. He pioneered a jungle carry style based around farming into a monster and exerting pressure in team fights, helping lead early versions of Counter Logic Gaming to success in 2011, including championship wins at MLG Raleigh and IEM Cologne, some of the first major events in League of Legends.
Famous not only for his jungle style but also his impressive game knowledge and analytical approach to the game, DiMarco took a break from League for half a year at the end of 2013, fed up and “burnt out” with the game. He says it “refreshed” him, allowing one of the game’s oldest veterans to continue playing. He built a Curse Academy squad that charged into the LCS, placing in the top six during their rookie season. It was a result that put him back on the map.
As the team’s veteran leader and shot caller DiMarco deserves much of the credit for the squads success, though his own mechanics may trail behind those of many of the league’s top junglers. His infamous missed smites have become one of League’s most prevalent memes, culminating in a Reddit thread surrounding a missed-smite tribute video titled “Saint, you will be missed… just like your smite.”
In many ways it’s too bad that one of the game’s dynamic players might be most remembered for his missed plays, but that’s okay. SaintVicious has left an indelible mark on League of Legends, and in ten years, when an American player misses a smite before his team finally wins that World Championship, the commentators will inevitably say, “Remember that time when Saint…”
In a game where careers are fleeting and memories short, that’s really all you can ask.
Image via Riot Games/Flickr