In Western League of Legends, there are a few names more recognizable than that of Yellowstar. Bora “Yellowstar” Kim was one of the most famous players in Europe, a highly regarded Support, who led the xPeke-era Fnatic team to domination of LCS Europe, rebuilt the roster with Martin “Rekkles” Larsson, Seong “Huni” Hoon Heo, and Kim “Reignover” Ui-jin, and continued from where he left off.
Then, Yellowstar went on a pilgrimage to North America, where he joined the superstar TSM lineup. He was expected to be the genius shotcaller he was in Europe, yet the team struggled, not being quick enough to find a way for three superstars of the team, Yellowstar, Soren “Bjergsen” Bjerg and Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng to work together.
Following the stressful 2016 Spring Split in NA, Yellowstar came back home, to Fnatic. With the two pillars in the Jungle and Top Lane from the former Fnatic lineup, Huni and Reignover, gone, Yellowstar had to make due with what he had, trying to keep up the history of domination in the region. Unfortunately, that wasn’t to be.
There could be a lot of reasons why Fnatic slumped, however, that is not what’s important right now. What IS important is that the EU LCS lost one of its most famous players to retirement. Hopefully, even while not playing anymore, Yellowstar will still be involved with League of Legends in some capacity. Streaming, coaching, whatever he wants to do. It would be a huge loss if a player of Yellowstar’s caliber was to just leave the scene.
This actually brings up the subject of pro player retirement. People like Christopher “MonteCristo” Mykkles and Duncan “Thorin” Shields sometimes talk about the limited time-span of a pro video gamer’s career. According to them, You only have several years to achieve everything you want as a player. After that, the constant practice takes its toll. The slowing reaction times, while barely noticeable for anyone else, can really screw with a pro player’s effectiveness in a competitive match.
What do pros face when they retire? It all depends. Some players practice so much to the detriment of their social skills, that they have a hard time living a normal life if that is what they choose to do. Of course, they can learn the skills needed, however, it takes time. Others, who actually worked to gain a fanbase while playing, manage to transition as full-time streamers. Usually, viewers are attracted to flamboyant personalities, like Michael “Imaqtpie” Santana, though more reserved players, like Marcus “Dyrus” Hill can also continue their career as full-time streamers. Yellowstar has A LOT of fans, however, he’s not known to be a goofball like Imaqtpie. If Bora started streaming, he should probably try to run an educational stream to take advantage of his reputation as one of the best shotcallers in the Western hemisphere.
Another option Yellowstar might have is casting for Riot Games, just like Mitch “Krepo” Voorspoels is doing right now. This post-pro career path requires a lot of eloquence. While Krepo actually joined the analyst desk to see whether he could do it while still playing, Yellowstar didn’t try out this option, so it’s probably not his intention to transition into casting. Whatever Yellowstar decides, we wish him the best.