Flame retires from professional League of Legends

The top laner is stepping down after eight years in the spotlight.

Former DAMWON Gaming substitute top laner Lee “Flame” Ho-jong is stepping away from the professional League of Legends stage.

The 28-year-old confirmed his retirement today on his Twitch channel, marking the end to his eight-year career.

Flame began his career in season two under Azubu Blaze and would later play for a variety of teams such as the LPL’s LGD Gaming and the LCK’s Longzhu Gaming, which would later rebrand to Kingzone DragonX.

The top laner made the leap to the North American region to play for Immortals in the 2017 Spring Split. After a disappointing seventh-place finish in the spring, the team turned the year around in the following split, reaching the Summer Playoffs finals where they fell second to TSM. Flame joined FlyQuest the following year but failed to find similar standings under the green and yellow banners.

He returned to Korea in 2019 to play for DWG but was placed in a substitute role. Although his team would go on to win the 2020 World Championship, Flame did not appear in any of the matches. Instead, his teammate Jang “Nuguri” Ha-gwon filled the role for the entirety of the event.

Flame parted ways with DWG in November, citing a mutual agreement between the two parties.

His retirement follows a number of veterans stepping away from the professional stage. TSM’s franchise player Bjergsen announced his departure shortly after the season ended, and Doublelift followed suit nearly a month later. Former world champion Crown confirmed his retirement earlier in the month and former Sandbox Gaming support GorillA also hung up the mouse and keyboard on Dec. 8.

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