Lee “Flash” Young-ho, a Korean StarCraft pro who has played for KT Rolster for eight years, announced his retirement today at the age of 23.
Lee, who was initially signed to the largest Korean eSports organisation in 2007 at the age of 14, has since gone on to win an almost unprecedented number of titles and is widely regarded as the greatest player of all time.
The Terran main, who is known in his home country by the simple nickname of “God”, qualified for the most tournaments of any player in his eight-year career, as well as holding the #1 ranked spot in the Korean eSports Association leaderboards for the longest consecutive period - for almost all of 2010 and again between July 2011 and July 2012.
Speaking to the Korean eSports site PGR21 today about his retirement, Flash said: “As a pro gamer, I`ve got so much more than I deserve. It`s been a long 8 years, and I won`t forget the love that my fans gave me. From now on, I`d like to travel or rest a while, thinking about the future. However I would say I won`t put down my keyboard and mouse.”
In another interview, with sports site Naver, Flash indicated that he would carry out his national service - a mandatory military conscription for all males between 18 and 35 - before looking to get back involved in eSports.
“Three years later, I`m going to join the army,” Flash said. “In the end, I want to do my best to give back what I`ve received from the eSports scene. My ulitmate goal is to become a head coach of KT Rolsters, making it the mightiest team of the world.”
His organisation, KT Rolster, have said to be putting together a retirement ceremony to honour his storied service in the team.