A titan returns to the LPL as Uzi hits the ground running and shows his strength once more.

Jian "Uzi" Zi-Hao, one of the most skilled ADC players in League of Legends history, made a surprising return to professional play in the LPL in Summer 2023 after retiring four years prior. While some fans may have anticipated his comeback, it still came as a shock to many.

Let's take a look at the road back for one of the most celebrated performers in our esport.

Uzi: Return of a League of Legends legend

The name Jian ‘Uzi’ Zihao may feel like more of a myth than a reality for newer fans of League of Legends esports. After all, he went through retirement in 2019 due to a wrist injury. But for old-time fans, this return is so much more than just one of the greatest ADCs returning.

This was a chance to see Uzi back playing full-time at tournaments rather than on streams and simply for fun. With seven pentakills to his name, Uzi’s return to the LPL promised some serious sparks in coming.

Uzi officially signs with EDG - image via EDG Twitter 2023
Uzi officially signs with EDG - image via EDG Twitter 2023

Having spent over three years with the team and reached podium positions at international tournaments, Uzi was perhaps most synonymous with RNG. He spent over three years with the team and reached podium positions at international tournaments. This includes first place at MSI 2018 and second place at Worlds 2014.

Uzi's transfer to EDG, the winners of the LPL's Worlds 2021, is not a mere coincidence. This move comes amidst a scandal involving the former ADC 'Leave', who has been accused of flaming his own EDG jungler 'JieJie' on anonymous accounts during solo queue matches.

The Uzi effect

Fans were thrilled and in disbelief upon learning that Uzi would be returning to play full-time after his retirement. This announcement was made on the LPL English Twitter and EDG, despite his previous inactive slot on the BLG squad for the 2022 season.

Uzi kickstarted his return to the LPL in his debut match vs IG, while fans had expected him to play in the earlier match against JDG this hadn’t happened and instead the sub-ADC of ‘thesnake’ had stepped in.

But with his debut match in front of him, Uzi refused to let anything get in his way as he took his Aphelios onto the rift. It was a successful series for EDG who took the win and head into their next game against LNG Esports on June 17.

Looking ahead

With the Uzi Effect firmly in place and his position on EDG’s roster for summer 2023 secured, what comes next? At the time of writing, EDG was tied in eleventh place with RNG with a score line of 2-3 while Uzi’s former team of BLG sat at the top of the leaderboard with 5-0 as their score line.

Before we can even think about seeing Uzi at Worlds 2023 in S.Korea, the rest of EDG needs to get to a higher slot on the leaderboard. This has stopped fans from sharing their excitement at the prospect of Uzi back on the international stage after four years of (semi) retirement.

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