Uzi: ‘I’m very glad to go back to the stage… I appreciate all the concern and support’

The Mad Dog is relishing playing pro League of Legends again.

Uzi playing League of Legends on-stage.
Photo via Riot Games

After nine long years with Royal Never Give Up (previously Royal Club), legendary League of Legends veteran Jian “Uzi” Zi-Hao hung up his mouse and keyboard over to health issues from his pro gaming career. That is, until earlier this year.

In 2021, the 24-year-old inked a deal with Bilibili Gaming. It was a shock signing League fans around the world celebrated—a response that touched Uzi after his time away.

“I really appreciate all the concern and support,” the legendary ADC said on Weibo after subbing into Bilibili’s starting lineup in game three of a close 1–2 loss against Victory Five.

“I hope everyone could enjoy esports and be positive,” Uzi continued. “I’m very glad to go back to the stage. As a professional League of Legends player, I only care about the results rather than the approval of outsiders.”

Bilibili’s campaign in the 2022 LPL Spring Split has been a mixed bag so far. The team is sitting in eighth with an average 7–6 record, just a single win ahead of FPX, themselves outside a coveted playoffs spot. Uzi has played just three times this year⁠—twice against Invictus Gaming in February, and now once against V5 in week eight.

Related: Rookie surpasses Uzi’s all-time LPL kill record with 2,646

The results have led many League fans to demand Uzi play more. Taiwanese bot laner Doggo, who joined from the PCS, has racked up 33 games so far in 2022 and has been solid in his gameplay and roleplaying. Uzi says he fully agrees with the team’s rotational choices too and is happy for Doggo to play as much as possible.

“The rotation is reasonable and our team is trying its best,” Uzi said of his time-share in response to LPL fan suggestions. “We are a team and we share weal and woe.”

Photo via Riot Games

Up until his original retirement in 2020, Uzi was a mainstay in both Chinese and international League. The “Mad Dog” hit a career-high in 2018, winning both LPL splits and lifting the MSI trophy in Paris. Worlds triumph eluded the star, however, with G2 Esports beating his team 3–2 in a now-iconic series.

Worlds was a prize that eluded Uzi across his tenured career, though not for want of trying. The LPL star played in back-to-back Worlds finals between 2013 and 2014, losing to Faker’s SK Telecom T1 and Samsung White, respectively.

Uzi was diagnosed with type II diabetes in 2020, which played a part in his League retirement. At the time, he said “I often feel like my legs have no strength.”

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