Deft confirms whether he will retire in 2024

Declan Mclaughlin
DRX lift Worlds trophyColin Young-Wolff/Riot Games

Kim ‘Deft’ Hyuk-kyu confirmed with a Korean news outlet whether he will be playing in his 11th professional season, or retiring from League of Legends altogether.

Deft has been competing in professional League of Legends since 2013 and recently won his first World Championship title with DRX in 2022. The win was a long time coming as the South Korean player has competed on some of the best rosters in the world at times, but could never get over the hump of a League World Championship title.

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2023 was supposed to be another banner year for Deft. Coming off of a World Championship win, he joined Dplus Kia which has two other World Champions on its roster in Kim ‘Canyon’ Geon-bu and Heo ‘ShowMaker’ Su.

However, this year did not go as planned for Deft as his team barely managed to qualify for Worlds 2023, and bowed out of the competition in the Swiss Stage. With his exit from the tournament, many thought this event would be Deft’s last after a decade of competition at the highest level of play.

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Deft confirms whether he will retire

In an exclusive with South Korean news outlet Kookmin Ilbo, Deft said that he still has one more year left in him.

The article said that Deft has pushed his mandatory military service back another year and he plans on being an active player in 2024.

deftRiot Games
Deft’s professional journey was visualized in the Worlds 2023 anthem.

Deft’s contract with Dplus Kia expires at the end of the 2023 season, so he will become a free agent once Worlds 2023 concludes.

The veteran should have multiple options in terms of teams to play for in the 2024 season in the LCK, or he could move abroad and try his hand in China again, or attempt a new challenge in Europe or North America.

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About The Author

Based in Indiana, Declan McLaughlin is an esports reporter for Dexerto Esports covering Valorant, LoL and anything else that pops up. Previously an editor and reporter at Upcomer, Declan is often found reading investigative stories or trying to do investigations himself. He has a bachelor's degree in journalism from Indiana University. You can contact him at