Former ROX Tigers mid laner Lee “KurO” Seo-haeng and support Kang “GorillA” Beom-hyun shared some of the stories behind their roster changes in a video interview with OGN Plus. KurO said that he was originally looking to move abroad, but a fan event with the ROX Tigers swayed his decision.
“There’s a story behind why I decided to stay in Korea when I was considering to go abroad,” he said. “(GorillA and I) had a small fan event as severs in a cafe, and as I got a chance to meet Korean fans, I started to look at Korean teams again. During that time, Afreeca got in contact with me through (Lee “Hojin” Ho-jin). I got in touch with the agency and decided to join Afreeca.”
The new head coach Choi “iloveoov” Yeon-seong also apparently showed a great interest in acquiring KurO, as KurO said that he was “kind of scared because (the head coach) seemed to want to augment” him in mysterious ways.
For GorillA, who will be going to Longzhu Gaming alongside his lane partner from ROX, Kim “PraY” Jong-in, it was Longzhu’s continued interest that won him over.
“The first Korean team to contact me was Longzhu, and they kept in contact with me with ideas on how they wanted to manage the team, while always adding me into the conversation,” he said. “I find myself in a position as part of a new challenge to do an image change for Longzhu as a winning team, and I think this outcome is better for me because it’s a chance to work harder.”
GorilA was also asked about his thoughts on KT Rolster’s bottom lane, which will be made up of a returning Kim “Deft” Hyuk-kyu and Cho “Mata” Se-hyeong, two high profile star players who were in China. GorillA had some great things to say about the two, but still remains confident.
“I think Deft is the top three in terms of practice among the players I know and worked with,” he said. “I think he’ll improve, no question. As for Mata, I think he’s a great player and we share a lot of thoughts with one another, but I don’t think they’re so good that (my team) can’t beat them.”
With his decision to stay, KurO will continue to play against his long time rival Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok, and KurO went into detail about his thoughts on the matchup.
“Faker was always able to survive with a bit of health left against me,” he recalled. “I think I became more conservative against him because I kept thinking about how he could keep surviving. I do want to beat him. Him specifically.”
GorillA also spoke in support of his old mid laner, saying that it might seem like KurO is weaker in comparison to the world’s best, but KurO is still one of the top players in Korea.
“In KurO’s case, he only had trouble against Faker,” he said. “Against other mid laners like (Lee “Crown” Min-ho), he has a great record. People say that (Heo “Pawn” Won-seok) can win against Faker, but I think he needs to go through KurO first, and I still think KurO is up there in terms of skill, so I hope he makes the plays he couldn’t make on ROX while he’s on Afreeca.”
Cover photo courtesy of Riot Games