StarCraft II pro Ilyes "Stephano" Satouri announced on a livestream today that he intends to retire from professional gaming this August, returning to school with his over $200,000 in winnings. The French Zerg player is arguably the most successful non-Korean in the history of the game (indisputably, based on winnings alone). His most recent major victory was at the 2012 Blizzard WCS European finals, since which he has been showing less impressive performance.
Notable victories for Stephano include unseating well-known Koreans Bomber and Polt, respectively, in both Lone Star Clash 1 and 2, making him the only player to win an LSC. He was also the champion of IGN Proleague Season 3, the Electronic Sports World Cup 2011, and the NASL Season 3. Since August of last year, he has played for well-known team Evil Geniuses, which just let go Greg "IdrA" Fields , another of the most well-known Western players.
Not everyone in the community is wholly convinced by the announcement, however, as it's not the first time Stephano has announced such intentions only to resume regular tournament play. GameSpot's Rod "Slasher" Breslau tweeted:
Stephano specified a date of August 15 for his retirement, which would mean he won't be participating in the World Championship Series Grand Finals in November of this year. So, it might be a while before we know how serious he actually is—and he's got plenty of time to change his mind. Whatever the case, we'll keep an eye on Team EG, which we expect to have an eye out for ways to fill the void left by the loss of two of their best non-Korean players.
Photo Credit Kevin Chang, Team Liquid [Creative Commons BY-SA (Attribution—Share-Alike)]