Less than a week after a second place finish in the North American League of Legends Championship Series, team Cloud 9 has announced the retirement of Mid Laner Hai Lam. Citing health issues related to a wrist injury and team atmosphere as the primary reasons for his departure, the organization has yet to officially announce a replacement.
While the change does mark the end of his professional run as a player, it will not mean the end of his time on Cloud 9. The former team captain will be staying on to assist owner Jack Etienne with partner management and team expansion.
Hai has led Cloud 9 since its entry into the LCS in 2013, garnering fame with some of the greatest successes in competitive North American League of Legends history. These include a record 25-3 performance in the 2013 summer split, and qualifications into both the 2013 and 2014 World Championships.
Despite a shaky start to the 2015 NA LCS Spring Split and a poor placing at IEM Katowice, Cloud 9 managed to finish second in the final standings and in the playoffs. However, the last-minute recovery was not enough to prevent analysts from speculating that roster changes might occur before the start of the summer split, especially following a report from the Daily Dot that famed (and newly unbanned) European Mid Laner Incarnation had been acquired by Cloud 9.
Hai's retirement occurs days after the team set the record for the longest unchanged roster in the history of League of Legends esports (via Reddit).
In the coming days, GameSpot will be interviewing Hai to discuss his career, retirement, and what’s next.