Lee Ji-Hoon, longtime League of Legends coach for KT Rolster, resigned Tuesday, citing KT’s underwhelming performance this season.
“It’s very disappointing that I’ll be leaving a team that I’ve spent youth with, but I came to this decision after feeling the heavy responsibility of this season’s poor performance,” he said in a news release. “I think I have become both mentally and physically fatigued due to working with the team nonstop for the past 15 years. I’m sorry for the fans as I will be leaving in this manner, but I will return as something new, so I hope they give me their continued support and interest.”
Lee approached the organization first and said he wanted to step down in September after the summer split of League Champions Korea came to a close, saying that he feels responsible for the team’s disappointing performances. The team decided it would respect the wishes of the coach and did not extend Lee’s contract under mutual agreement.
KT’s roster underwent a massive rebuild ahead of this season, bringing in storied veterans to its ranks with Cho “Mata” Se-hyeong, Kim “Deft” Hyuk-kyu and Heo “Pawn” Won-seok from China, along with Song “Smeb” Kyung-ho, the celebrated top laner from the ROX Tigers. The only player from KT’s 2016 team to remain on the roster was jungler Go “Score” Dong-bin. But as with everything in Korean League of Legends, KT Rolster would be measured against SK Telecom T1. And KT lost all six matches it played across two splits against SKT, including the LCK spring final.
Lee first joined KT Rolster as a professional FIFA player in 2000, winning more than 10 league titles during his player career. He started his coaching career with KT’s StarCraft 2 team, bringing two consecutive StarCraft 2 Pro League titles for the 2009-10 and 2010-2011 seasons. Lee was appointed as the head coach for KT’s League team in 2013.