Team Liquid has announced that Song “HerO” Hyeon-deok will no longer be competing under their banner after almost five years of partnership. Today marks the end of an era. After 5 successful years together we part ways w/ @Liquid_HerO. Thanks for everything https://t.co/H9jhpzHyug — TeamLiquidPro (@TeamLiquidPro) February 14, 2016 The decision stems from the changes made to the World Championship Series back in December. In what is called “Region-locking,” participants must be a resident of a country that is in the WCS Circuit home region they wish to compete in. Players are required to provide proof of citizenship of eligible countries within their region to participate in tournaments. With strict region-locking in place, this meant that HerO would be unable to compete in international events such as Intel Extreme Master. “When HerO joined Liquid, he had already spent many years as a progamer and the road to that first major title at DreamHack Winter 2011 had been a long and difficult one. Seeing his dream come to fruition was more than I could have asked for.” “Unfortunately, our two ends just could not meet in negotiations, and HerO decided that it was time to move on. Even though we were unable to work things out with him, we know that he will not be short on options and we wish him all the best.” -Victor “Liquid`Nazgul” Goossens While HerO has not said anything about retirement, his is name has been nearly synonymous with Team Liquid for so long that he expressed worry over his career outside of the organization. “So many things happened to me during my time on Team Liquid, and I’ll always remember it as an unforgettable time in my life. There were many happy moments, and a lot of times that were difficult as well. My caring teammates were always with me, as well as Victor, Robin, and Team Liquid’s loving fans. It was your love and support that helped me get through the tough times, and made the happy moments that much more joyful. I want to tell everyone I’m truly thankful. Honestly, I’m a bit afraid. People loved, cheered for, and remembered “Team Liquid’s HerO.” I worry if I can be as loved and supported without the “Liquid.”” I wanted to make something of a joke out of the title but, let’s be real, we all know that this is heartbreaking news. HerO is arguably one of the best Protoss players in the world, and he’s been just as much of a part of the StarCraft II scene as Life and Soulkey. Not only this, but he has been a beloved team member of Team Liquid since joining in 2011. His absence from major events such as DreamHack will not go unnoticed, but we all wish him success in his StarCraft II career.