During a long game against Fnatic, there were some uncharacteristic missteps by superstar AD carry FORG1VEN, one would expect critical analysis in the post-game interview from the player with such high expectations of himself and his team. When Pulse began the interview asking how he felt about his performance, FORG1VEN revealed the reason why he wasn’t able to completely focus on the game. FORG1VEN received a letter from the Greek government earlier in the day notifying him that it was time for his mandatory military service.
This was surprising news for everybody. FORG1VEN received shouts of support from the crowd as he tried to explain the situation with a shaky voice, trying his best to hold back tears. Pulse was clearly caught off guard and wasn’t sure how to best proceed with the interview. When H2K coach pr0lly joined the analyst desk after a short break he explained that the team would be doing everything in their power to fight for the dominant AD carry.
Players leaving for military service isn’t something new to esports. It is most often professional Korean gamers who defer their mandatory 21 month long military service until they are ready to retire their esports career. In Greece, the required duration of service ranges from 9-12 months depending on the the position filled. H2K’s game against GIANTS! tomorrow could be FORG1VEN’s last game in the LCS, and certainly his last LCS game of 2016.
Dignitas manager ODEE was among the many League of Legends professionals who took to Twitter in an effort to support FORG1VEN:
Dear @PrimeministerGR please wave National Service for your countries top eSports star! @FORG1VENGRE he is a massive asset for your nation!
— Michael O'Dell (@dignitasODEE) February 25, 2016
My heart goes out to @FORG1VENGRE , you can see how much passion he has for the game and its awful that he can't play for a whole year…
— Darshan Upadhyaya (@DarshanU) February 25, 2016
ah, this is actually so sad… i have no words. Was playing with @FORG1VENGRE yesterday and day before.He was so happy and now this news…
— Edward (@EdwardCarryLoL) February 25, 2016
It is now up to FORG1VEN and H2K to try and find a way to defer his mandatory military service to a later date. They clearly won’t be alone in their search; there was a Reddit thread created after FORG1VEN’s emotional interview just 1 hour ago. It now has over 2,000 comments of not only fans giving their support, but also many devoting their own time to investigate potential outs that would allow FORG1VEN to extend his stay in Germany. Having so many people on your side will certainly be comforting for the emotional Greek player.
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H2K does not currently have any AD carry substitutes. If the team is unsuccessful in retaining FORG1VEN they will be forced to find a new AD carry to play out the last couple weeks of the spring split, the entirety of the spring playoffs, and the entire summer split.