Culture

Famous gamer retires, wrist can't take it anymore

Technically Incorrect: Hai Lam, one of the famed participants in eSports, has to give it all up because of a repetitive strain injury.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


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Hai Lam, a legend retiring. SK Gaming/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

When a legend retires, there's a doffing of caps and a lament for an era gone by.

But when the legend is 22 and looks, well, less than 22, fate is simply being cruel.

It's sad, therefore, that Hai Lam, captain of Cloud9 -- considered one of the best US eSports team for the online multiplayer game League of Legends -- has thrown up his hands and said goodbye.

In a post on the Cloud9 blog, Lam explained: "My wrist injury is something that I simply cannot ignore. It limits my ability to play as much as I need to and my ability to improve. I cannot keep up with the amount of Solo Queue games my teammates play and it's not fair to them. At best, my wrist injury would have only allowed me to play for another split and that wasn't even certain."

He spoke of other issues involving the team. However, Lam founded the team. He named it Cloud9 because he believed this is how gaming should feel.

Only last month, the Daily Dot reported that his wrist injury was really giving him trouble. In 2014, he'd already endured a collapsed lung. This was someone who gave everything.

One wonders just how much strain young hands are enduring in order to achieve professional gaming goals.

Repetitive strain injuries already plague those who merely work and recreate online.

But given the even more aggressive nature -- digitally speaking -- of professional gaming, there will surely be more casualties retiring in their shooting prime.

Gamers talk of tendonitis and carpal tunnel as by-products of their craft. There are even brand names for some of the injuries -- for example, Nintendo thumb.

Not all gamers think of themselves as just that. Lam's Facebook fan page, for example, describes him simply as "athlete."

And, as some athletes do, he will now be stepping into the front office, taking on the role of chief gaming officer for Cloud9.

Parents, you'd better start strength exercises for your kids' wrists. That is, if you want them to keep you in the style to which you'd like to become accustomed.

(Via Kotaku)