Deft Has No Plans to Retire From Professional League Anytime Soon

For Deft, the path to success was by no means a straight one. But now that he has experienced what he had long sought after, he is ready for even more.

DRX’s veteran ADC player and current League of Legends world champion Deft recently contributed to The Players’ Tribune to provide insight into his career up to this point, with particular emphasis on how the World Championship—and eventually winning it—changed him. Notably, Deft made it clear that while a part of his hunger for competition has been satisfied, he is not looking at retirement anytime soon.

But this decision was not concrete prior to the success he found within the last few weeks. Prior to this year’s Worlds, Deft had only ventured past the quarterfinals of the tournament once in his career—nearly a decade ago. He noted that the continued struggle to get past this obstacle made the persona of “Deft,” one that thrived on the highs of competition, nearly his entire livelihood.

“I lost myself. I lost the kid who fell in love with League of Legends,” Deft wrote. “And I missed that kid. That kid was emotional. He wasn’t afraid to feel things. His mind wandered. That kid dreamed.”

Deft and the rest of DRX successfully pulled off a miracle run at this year’s World Championship but remained doubted by fans and players alike for what they were capable of. They are the only team in the history of the esport to have won the biggest tournament of the year from qualification directly into the play-in stage.

Though Deft’s run to that point had its ups and downs—such as an inhibitor respawning almost costing DRX an entire series—he attributed the victory to all of those who supported him over the years and, particularly, to his teammates and family for always believing that he would eventually get to this point. And while Deft may have experienced the highest honor in League, he concluded his piece by saying that he is intent on competing further.

“And with a grateful heart, I would like to stay and make more happy memories with my teammates and fans, to continue this journey,” Deft wrote. “I can say now that I will be able to walk away from League with no regrets one day. But it is not that day yet.”

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