French Zerg master Ilyes 'Stephano' Satouri will end his career as a StarCraft 2 progamer on August 15 to resume the academic career he halted two years ago. He is the second member of Evil Geniuses to announce their retirement in the past week.
His departure was announced yesterday live on French streaming channel OGamingTV.
The move isn’t entirely unexpected. In an Evil Geniuses mini-documentary produced in March, the 20-year-old player said that he was “most likely” in his final six months as a pro.
“I enjoy playing the game, [but] at some point going into the professional level you don’t feel the fun of playing the game itself,” explained Stephano at the time. “The fun becomes winning tournaments and being in front of a crowd who is cheering for you.
“My plans are most certainly to go back to studying, because StarCraft is getting less and less fun. As I’ve said, in the beginning the fun was to play the game, now the fun is to win and get money. But now I’m not winning as much as I used to, and maybe it’s not my time anymore.
“It’s a good thing to know when to stop.”
Since 2011, Stephano has won big at a slew of major tournaments - WCS Europe, IPL and NASL. Team Liquid report that he has made $216,000 in the short course of his career - some $100,000 more than any other European player. His closest competitor is Mouz - Mousesports’ MaNa, who has made $94,000 to date.
Has Stephano made the right decision? Can it really be the case that StarCraft’s top players have a shelf life of two years or less?