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

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."

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.