In a twist of fate, former League of Legends pro Alexey 'Alex Ich' Ichetovkin has returned to the industry to become a software engineer for Riot.per for Riot.
They say home is where the heart is, and when it comes to Alexey "Alex Ich" Ichetovkin, that is firmly in the bosom of Riot Games. The former League of Legends mid was a pretty big deal back in the day, and we're not going to pretend we weren't gutted when he announced his retirement back in 2018.
With everything coming full-circle, Alex Ich has announced his return to the company that arguably made him who he is - albeit in a slightly different way.
The former Moscow Five and Gambit Gaming superstar is a veritable expert on how LoL works, so it makes sense that he wants to put those talents to the test and make the most of his skills behind the scenes.
Posting on Twitter, Alex Ich confirmed he'd been granted a five-month green card and was working as a software developer in Santa Monica. Now he's clarified where exactly he's working and dropped the big news that he's joined Riot Games as a Software Engineer.
Looking back on Alex Ich's LoL career, he did it all. Starting out in 2010, he joined the Spanish-formed Dimegio Club, which would later evolve into SK Gaming. Hopping around between Liquicity, myRevenge (later becoming Fnatic), and Matrix Esport Gaming, Alex Ich found his first success alongside Team Empire in the IEM qualifications.
It was in 2011 that Alexey joined Moscow Five and became part of what was dubbed one of the best LoL teams out there during Season 2. It was a lucrative affair that led to him signing on with Gambit Gaming in 2013. Leaving Gambit behind in 2014, Alex Ich continued to hop between everyone from the Ninjas In Pajamas to RoX before he left Russia behind and set his sights on the USA.
Alex Ich's twilight years saw stints on Team8, Renegades, Team Dragon Knights, and Team EnVyUs as both a starter and a substitute. While most players that have been around the scene that long have taken to coaching or casting, it looked like Alex Ich was going to completely turn his back on the game in 2018. His move into software development might've seemed like a logical one considering his history, but now, the lure of Summoner's Rift has called him back.
When Alex Ich announced the news on social, there was plenty of support for his latest venture. Messages of congratulations came from the likes of Cloud9, LoL veteran Joedat "Voyboy" Esfahani, and even Riot Co-Founder Marc Merrill. Merril wrote, "Welcome and congratulations! Moar Tryndamere mid IMO2".
Alexey joining Riot has been a labour of love. Early this year, he explained his heartbreaking journey and multiple applications where he's been subjected to eight-hour interviews, only to be told to try again in another six months. Hard work and perseverance pay off because he's finally landed his dream job. All that's left to say is, "welcome back to the family".
Images via Alex Ich | Riot Games