Today, legendary mid laner and jungler Kang “Ambition” Chan-yong announced his retirement from competitive League of Legends via a Twitch livestream. After being released by Gen.G Esports, the result isn’t exactly a surprise, but a big change for many. Ambition has participated in competitive League of Legends since 2011 with MiG Blaze, which went on to become the more well-known Azubu and CJ Entus Blaze.
Ambition’s career was turbulent, tumultuous, and everything in between. His career began as a mid laner with MiG Blaze and he quickly rose to become the best mid laner in South Korea. After dominating his role for the entirety of 2012, he became the famous recipient of Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok’s debut Nidalee mid, getting solo killed in lane as Kha’Zix. From that point on, it seemed as if Ambition lost his step and quickly faded as a top level mid laner. Despite performing well in solo queue and still being highly regarded by his peers, he didn’t keep up in the post-2012 era.
Even then, Ambition role-swapped to jungle and joined Samsung Galaxy, a team that struggled in 2015 with a stable of young rookies. In 2016, Ambition struggled in his jungle transition, but eventually made the World Championship for the first time in his career that Summer. With that team, he made the World finals and pushed Faker’s SK Telecom T1 to five games before losing. The following year, Ambition and Samsung returned the favor to win the whole thing at the Bird’s Nest in Beijing, China.
As one of the most successful role-swaps of all time, Ambition stands as a legend in the competitive scene. Riot Games made the veteran the centerpiece of this year’s Worlds theme “RISE,” where his likeness and world championship victory were depicted to the tune of the track. Ambition failed to make it out of the Group Stage at this year’s world championship, but after falling from grace as a mid laner, he attended three straight Worlds events, making it to the finals in 2016 and 2017.
On his retirement, according to Korizon, Ambition said this, “Retirement. It’s retirement. I have settled on retirement. I am so sorry and grateful. I wanted to do a goodbye [to the fans]”. To a viewer asking whether Ambition will be doing military service, mandatory service in Korea, Ambition laughed and answered, “I’m not going to the army.” It is typical that many Korean players retire and serve their mandatory service, but Ambition appears to be set on building his Twitch stream and spending time with his family.