Update 3 Mar, 2016: Konstantinos “FORG1VEN” Tzortziou, H2K’s AD Carry, has been granted a temporary reprieve from mandatory military service.
In a post match interview last week, FORG1VEN revealed that his career would likely be over after one more professional game because his home country of Greece had called him up for mandatory military service. Fortunately for the pro player, the Greek authorities have granted him a deferral, as revealed by H2K’s official Twitter account.
Fans have been speculating on the length of the delayed conscription, with people assuming it will be six months based on the fact drafts are every three months. It isn’t clear how long the deferral will last, but H2K have stated that rumours of it being just six months are incorrect. However, the Greek authorities only ever grant deferrals once per person, so FORG1VEN will still be drafted into his country’s armed forces as some point in the future.
Original Story 25 Feb, 2016: H2K Gaming’s AD Carry Konstantinos “FORG1VEN” Tzortziou could see his League of Legends eSports career end because of mandatory military service.
FORG1VEN may be the only Greek League player to win a major title (IEM Cologne 2013), but he’s not recognised as an athlete in his home country and has been called up for a mandatory nine month conscription in the Greek army.
Since 2009, every male Greek citizen must complete nine months military service at some point between the age of 19-45. Under Greek law, even scientists involved in outstanding research can’t get out of conscription and only have the option of serving a reduced term, with months not served having to be paid for.
This hasn’t stopped eSports professionals and fans rallying to see the decision changed, however. Here’s just one of many tweets being shared en masse by the League community in the hope of having the decision reversed or delayed, sent by Dignitas team ownerMichael O’Dell.
— Michael O'Dell (@dignitasODEE) February 25, 2016
The news that FORG1VEN had been called up for military service came in an emotional post game interview today after H2K’s win over Fnatic in the European division of the League Championship Series, which you can see below:
The win moves H2K to 10-3, in prime position to make a deep run in the summer playoffs and possibly qualify for a Worlds birth at the end of the year. As FORG1VEN makes clear, having that taken away would be heart breaking, nevermind the damage it would do to the structure of the team if next week is his final game.