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Published: December 7, 2021

Written by: David Kent

  • LoL legend Bae “Bang” Jun-sik bids professional esports gaming farewell (for now)
  • Bang will be joining military service to fulfill compulsory conscription in South Korea
  • Bang won the Worlds back-to-back in 2015 and 2016 and later ventured to play in NA 

Afreeca Freecs Bae “Bang” Jun-sik steps down from professional League of Legends play as he goes to fulfill his military duties. 

Exit Bang, Enter Military Service 

League of Legends professionals tends to retire young. In fact, many are happy to run for a few years at the top and then dedicate themselves to fresh pursuits or just enjoy a comfortable lifestyle away from the keyboard, or at least the public eye. Bae “Bang” Jun-sik, a pioneer in League of Legends whose career spans ten years marked by successes, overcoming challenges, and (re)writing the meta, is someone who was at the top for a good many years. 

Bang is withdrawing from Afreeca Freecs, his current team, as he will have to conscript for the military, which is compulsory in South Korea for any male between the ages of 18 and 28. Commenting on his departure from the competitive gaming scene, Bang wrote that he was thankful for the various achievements and relationships he accumulated. 

Out With a Bang, Not a Whimper 

He quickly stood out from fellow players at the beginning of his career when he played carry in NaJin Shield back in 2012 but was quickly recruited by some of the best teams in the community, including SK Telecom T1 S. It was thanks to his efforts that he won’t he 2015 and 2016 League of Legends Worlds for SK Telecom.

Bang discovered teammate Lee “Wolf” Jae-wan, a bot lane player, and together they became a feared to assemble to play against as their many successes showed. Once he achieved recognition and titles at home, Bang decided to move to North America, where he played with 100 Thieves and Evil Geniuses, and even though his career path wasn’t as impressive at that point, he still managed to drive steady results.

He then returned home to join Afreeca Freecs, but age and perhaps distractions have made him a little more lethargic towards the end. “I know that in the future, there will be new things and experiences that are going to be totally different from the world I have been but will take my past experiences and achievements as a cornerstone in moving forward,” Bang said, confident that this is the best decision for him and that his retirement comes just on time. 

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