Another paragon of the LoL Esports scene is hanging up his mouse and keyboard. JD Gaming announced that AD Carry Gu "imp" Seung-bin is retiring from professional League of Legends now that the 2019 season has concluded.
Imp made his debut in 2012 as the primary carry of MVP Ozone, and after being acquired and rebranded by Samsung Galaxy, Samsung Galaxy Ozone was one of the most hyped teams heading into the 2013 League of Legends World Championship.
However, Ozone massively undeperformed, and Mid Laner Bae "dade" Eo-jin individually disappointed enough for "The dade Award", an unofficial community award coined by Christopher "MonteCristo" Mykles and Duncan "Thooorin" Shields for the most hyped player to underperformed massively at Worlds.
Fortunately for imp, another rebrand to Samsung Galaxy White would see the team reach its peak, and despite never winning an domestic South Korean title in the LCK — then OGN Champions Korea — coasted all the way to a 2014 League of Legends World Championship on cruise control, dropping a total of two games the entire tournament.
In 2015, imp would move to LGD Gaming in China's LPL, and while the team won the 2015 LPL Summer Split and came in as a favorite for Worlds 2015, massively undeperformed and failed to even survive the Group Stage. Imp would struggle with LGD the next few years before a resurgence to competitive relevance as the Bot Laner of Team WE in the summer of 2018.
Most recently, imp and the rest of JD Gaming were one game away from Worlds qualification, but lost 3-2 to Invictus Gaming in the last gauntlet round of the 2019 LPL Regional Final. In commenting on his own retirement, imp had this to say via his official Weibo account:
"Hello. First, I'd like to thank everyone for the last 8 years, and the decision to retire was actually last year's plan pushed to this year. It's not a decision I've made out of the blue. Whether it was my in-game prowess, I had a lot of problems, but because of my teammates and Sungyoung (Homme), things have gotten a lot better and earned positive results in competitive. I was really bad in the beginning of the season, so I feel really sorry towards my teammates. I'd like to thank my teammates, my coach, and the management. Also, as a player, I do have a lot of regrets. Although a lot of people wanted me to play for the last time, because of my physical and mental condition, it doesn't look like it'lll work out. Thank you."
Imp deserves recognition for showcasing an elite level of play as recently as only a few months prior to his retirement, and goes down in history as one of the greatest AD Carries to ever play League of Legends at the top competitive level.