xiao8 retires from competitive play

by theScore Staff Jan 3 2017
Thumbnail image courtesy of StarLadder

LGD.ForeverYoung's Zhang "xiao8" Ning has announced his retirement, LGD Gaming's Twitter account confirmed on Tuesday. "Director8" competed as Captain and support player for LGD.FY in The Boston Major 2016 after leading LGD's main roster for a year and a half.

xiao8 has enjoyed a string of success in his competitive career. Starting with a 5th-6th place finish in The International 2011 on Invictus Gaming, xiao8 moved to LGD, initially joining the organization in August 2011.

In February 2014, xiao8 transitioned to Newbee, with whom he won TI4. Notably, Newbee won their 2014 title with an extremely convincing 15-minute, 19-3 game. Following the victory, xiao8 announced he would be taking a break from competitive play.

In December 2014 he returned to the game, this time as Captain of Big God. After a series of sub-optimal results, the team disbanded and xiao8 returned to LGD to compete in TI5, eventually placing third at that tournament.

In an interview with theScore esports, xiao8 expressed that his previous TI victory weighed on his shoulders. "It gives me more pressure because if I don't do as well," he said, "I will feel ashamed or I feel bad about it."

Since rejoining LGD, he has also placed first in i-league Season 3 and 9th-12th in TI6. Most recently, on LGD.FY, he placed 5th-8th in The Boston Major 2016.

There is no word yet as to who will replace xiao8 on LGD.FY's roster.

Kristine "Vaalia" Hutter is a news editor for theScore esports. She has a dramatic yearning for you to follow her on Twitter.