League of Legends studio founds program to help retired pro gamers with life after e-sports

Andy Chalk at

Professional athletes, because of the demands of pro-level sports, tend not to have very long careers. It's even worse for professional gamers, who are typically past their prime well before they hit 30. But what do you do with yourself when you're a formerly top-ranked League of Legends player who's retired at 27 years of age?

It's a question that Riot hopes to address with a program designed to help pro gamers "age out" gracefully once they no longer have the twitch reflexes and fine motor skills needed to compete at a high level. The idea is to hold ongoing "summits" that will teach skills like "interviewing techniques, brand building and general media training," according to Polygon, which will be useful both during and after a player's career.

"We're influenced a lot by real world sports here," Jason Yeh, Riot's head of EU e-sports, told the site. "The NFL has a 'Rookie Symposium,' for example. It's basically an orientation program, which is similar to what we're doing."

Yeh said that career longevity "depends on the player," but it's generally accepted that they're on the downhill slide by the time they reach their mid-20s. That may not necessarily be the case, however; as Gamasutra reported earlier this month, Dr. Amine Issa, a League of Legends player with a PhD in biomedical engineering, said that while physical abilities do unavoidably decline with age, he believes the age ceiling for pro gamers "is much higher than most people think."


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