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The First Days of Dyrus’ Retirement

The League of Legends All-Star weekend was likely the last time fans would see TSM Dyrus on the professional stage. After TSM’s elimination from the 2015 World championship, he decided that it was time to retire. Since then, Dyrus has been streaming, throwing gameplay videos up on YouTube, and generally taking a step back.

The change didn’t come easily for him, however. “It was a pretty slow process,” the former TSM top laner told us after the All-Star tournament. “it was about trying to wind down. The biggest problem I faced winding down was that when I retired, I still played eight to ten hours, twelve hours a day. That was just my lifestyle, how I became a pro in the first place.”

Old dogs, new tricks

Habits are hard to break, especially when you’ve formed them over the course of an illustrious and extensive playing career. Dyrus has been near the top levels of competitive play since the beta days of League of Legends, after all.

These days, however, Dyrus has been playing less, streaming more, and doing his best to enjoy the game that he’s loved so much over the years. “The way I winded down was to do ten hour streams, then eight hour streams,” he says. “And now, I’m at where I’m at. I still play eight hour streams, but I don’t play League for the full eight hours as much as I used to.”

Looking back

Interestingly, Dyrus actually sees some advantages to practicing less rigorously - or, at least, being able to take a bit of perspective on how to play the game at the highest level.

Since his retirement, Dyrus “started to step back and learn things over again,” he says. “When I was playing nonstop for 12 to 16 hours a day, I didn’t have any time to think to myself about how I should play the game. When I stepped back, I looked at all my problems and realized, ‘Wow! These are some things that I could have done to become a really, really good player.’ But when you’re in that grind, I realized that players don’t really see that.”

Though, there could also be something to the fact that he’s feeling less pressure now, Dyrus admits. “I challenge the current players that are trying to go pro, those that are trying to be the best at their position. When I play against them, it’s a lot more fun instead of being a prideful player. If I lose to them, it’s like, I’m retired, I don’t care. And if I beat them, it’s the greatest feeling in the world,” he laughs.

Despite not practicing as hard as he used to, Dyrus doesn't believe that his skills have deteriorated quite as much as many would think.“After playing a game for five to six years, it’s actually really hard for my skills to decline much,” he says. “The mechanics are still there, the understanding of the game is still there. It’s just not as crisp as you would want it to be.”

Back in the swing of things

Overall, Dyrus feels satisfied with his life post pro play. “I can enjoy other games when I feel like it too. I don’t have to feel bad about playing another game and getting worse at League. I can happily fall from grace and just try to have the most fun I can possibly have, and play whatever champions and games I want to play.”

With the benefit of some separation from the pro scene, Dyrus can look back on his career with greater perspective. Even a scant few days into retirement, Dyrus has gained some new insight into the scene he gave so much of himself to. And if he could impart a little bit of wisdom on a younger Dyrus, here's what he would say.

“I would tell myself to not worry too much about what the fans say, because you shouldn't try to look from their point of view; they don’t see everything you see. Just accept things the way they are. There’s nothing you can really change by yourself. You’re not invincible because you’re a pro.”

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