Bae “Bang” Jun-sik, one of the best AD carries of all time and a bonafide legend of the game, has decided to hang his mouse and keyboard and call it a career — and what a spectacular journey it was! One that is adorned with more titles and medals than most players could ever dream of.
One would need an astounding list of superlatives so as to accurately highlight his many accomplishments. As far as careers go, Bang has had a historic one.
His stint with T1, formerly known as SK Telecom T1, lasted for five years — an eternity in esports. During that half a decade, Bang had won more LCK titles with T1 than he knows what to do with, two Mid-Season Invitational trophies, and two World Championships (back-to-back, no less). Add to that a host of second and third-place finishes, and you get a player who can rightfully be deemed as one of the best — if not the best — AD carry of all time.
Now sure, he had some of the best teammates one can imagine by his side, but Bang always carried his fair share of the weight. After dropping to Samsung Galaxy in the 2017 World Championship finals, however, his career took a… strange turn.
One Step Forward, Two Steps Back
Five years with T1 were seemingly enough for Bang. After that historic run, he had decided to move to North America and compete in the LCS. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the smoothest of transitions and, frankly, Bang had nothing to show for his efforts a full year into his NA tenure. His stint with Evil Geniuses was a lot more successful but it ultimately didn’t result in anything overly impressive or noteworthy — history isn’t particularly kind to those who almost got the job done. After getting eliminated from the 2020 LCS Summer playoffs, Bang and EG parted ways.
The legendary marksman then signed with Afreeca Freecs. It was a pairing that didn’t bear much fruit, although it certainly wasn’t for a lack of trying. That team, while undeniably talented, failed to get off the ground. A Top 6 finish in the most recent Summer Split was respectable, but far from impressive.
The Door’s Still Open
Bang had to retire in order to fulfill his (mandatory) duties in the Korean military. Still, this might not be the definitive end of his playing career — he could still return further down the line, although it’s fair to say that the world of competitive League will look a whole lot different at that point.
“Being a professional gamer for about 10 years and this year being my last, I am officially announcing my retirement as a professional gamer and will be fulfilling my duty in the military service. Walking in the one direction of a professional gamer with my experience in League of Legends, I was able to form many valuable relationships, accumulate precious memories and make various achievements in my lifetime,” Bang said through Instagram.
“These experiences are something that I feel blessed and most grateful of. 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 in but will take my past experiences and achievements as a cornerstone in moving forward. Thank you again for everyone’s support in professional gamer “Bang” up until now, and I will be back soon again as a better person and better “Bang” in the future,” the former T1 alumnus concluded.
Retirements in esports often don’t last long, so no one should be overly surprised if Bang decides to mount a comeback immediately upon fulfilling his duties with the military — he certainly wouldn’t be the first one to do it.