One of the most iconic names in esports plans to hang up his mouse and keyboard in just a couple of months, according to multiple sources close to the player. Enrique “Xpeke” Cedeño-Martinez, starting mid laner for European League Championship Series outfit Origen, will likely soon call time on an illustrious playing career spanning almost five years.
Cedeño-Martinez is the founding member of Origen, currently one of the strongest teams in Europe and in a prime position to fight for one of the elusive spots to the World Championships. If Origen are able to qualify, Cedeño hopes to put up a strong performance as his swansong. Sources close to the player say that he has been thinking about retirement for a while, but decided to make a push for one more international appearance before calling it quits.
Cedeño-Martinez seemingly plans to follow in in the footsteps of several other legacy League of Legends professionals who stepped out of the spotlight to focus on running their own organizations. Fellow Spaniard and long-time rival Carlos “Ocelote” Rodriguez ended his playing career to grow Gamers2, an organization that now owns a European Challenger League of Legends team and a European Counter-Strike lineup.
In North America, owners Andy “Reginald” Dinh and George “HotshotGG” Georgallidis removed themselves from their respective teams to take a position running the organization instead of individual teams—a move that has benefitted both in the long run.
Cedeño-Martinez was a member of the very first team to take home a World Championship title when his Fnatic lineup defeated French squad Against All Authority in 2011. That was just the start of a long and successful career with Fnatic. The team would go on to be one of the most successful in European history, only challenged by Moscow5 and Counter Logic Gaming EU.
As the LCS season is ongoing, the team has not yet held any tryouts or approached players as a potential replacement for Cedeño-Martinez. But sources say that the team has an eye on the Challenger Series to look for their possible replacement, with Dignitas.EU mid laner Chres “Sencux” Laursen and Gamers2 player Luka “Perkz” Perkovic the subjects of special attention. The two 16-year-old phenoms are considered to be among the best in the Challenger Series, and both will be turn age-eligible to join the LCS before the Spring Split in 2016.
Cedeño-Martinez declined to comment on this article.
Photo via Riot Games/Flickr