One of the Overwatch community’s biggest names has called time on his career, with Kim “birdring” Ji-hyeok having announced his retirement from professional competition this week. The South Korean favourite most recently played for the Los Angeles Gladiators, having been part of the scene for closing in on five years.
The former London Spitfire pro has one championship trophy to his name, with the DPS having made a name for himself as a result of his clutch plays. The veteran will go down as one of the best Overwatch players of all time, with the Gladiators having written the following message on Twitter:
“A true legend retires today. @Birdring, you have impacted this game forever. We and the entire Overwatch community wish you all the best in your next chapter.”
How birdring made a name for himself in Overwatch
Birdring’s professional career began in 2016, when he was part of the KongDoo Uncia roster, which would later become Team KongDoo Panthera. Having also competed under the banner of Cloud9 KongDoo, the team was one of the most competitive teams back in the day. Birdring was one of a number of players to have made there name there, as well as flex DPS Kim “Rascal” Dong-jun.
Birdring made the move to the London Spitfire in 2017, joining the organization ahead of the inaugural Overwatch League season. While struggling initially, with the help of birdring, they eventually started to make an impression on the league. The South Korean was undoubtedly the star of the show for the Spitfire, with many having regarded birdring as the leading hitscan player around.
Having won the first ever Overwatch League championship, birdring’s status went from strength to strength. He would regularly be named as the best DPS player in Overwatch. Despite this, he switched to the Los Angeles Gladiators at the end of 2019, where he would again become a key member of the roster.
just I love you everyone
this video make me cry
once a gladiator always a gladiator♥ https://t.co/YQtNAC6bjH
— BIRDRING (@Birdring) October 7, 2021
What does the future hold for birdring?
Despite a host of roster changes and meta adjustments, birdring regularly came up clutch, helping the team in winning the Countdown Cup event earlier this year. Speaking on his retirement, birdring stated that: “I’ve kept moving forward these past few years but I’ve decided to slow down and rest. I wanted to say my goodbyes to you all for the last time as the Overwatch [one] professional gamer, Birdring.” He will now focus upon streaming, as well as rest, although birdring did not completely rule out a return to competitive action in the future.