Royal Never Give Up bot laner Jian “Uzi” Zi-Hao was voted Weibo’s person of the year by the website’s community. The League of Legends player beat several famous TV personalities and some of his esports colleagues to win the sympathies of the largest Chinese message board.
Uzi edged out TV actors and singers Wang Yibo and Xiao Zhan, who gained popularity by starring in the fantasy TV series The Untamed, while also being part of boy bands UNIQ and X NINE, respectively. Wang finished second and Xiao came third in the final voting. There are two other esports players who also finished in the top 10: former EDward Gaming jungler and current coach Ming “Clearlove” Kai came sixth, and Invictus Gaming top laner Kang “TheShy” Seung-lok finished eighth.
Weibo’s person of the year ceremony is an annual event, aimed to please and engage the users on the platform. With the vast amount of esports and TV fans there are on it, it comes as no surprise to see such a final top 10.
Uzi himself didn’t have the best professional year in 2019, although that hasn’t diminished his popularity. His Royal Never Give Up struggled on the League of Legends stage, culminating their rocky year with a group stage exit from the 2019 World Championship.
Neither of Uzi, TheShy, or Clearlove were present at the ceremony, but gave no reasons as to why.