Mata: “I was planning to return (to Korea) even if I wasn’t a player.”

KT Rolster’s new support player Cho “Mata” Se-hyeong said in an interview with Fomos’ Park Sang-jin that after the end of his contract, he intended to return to his home country regardless of his status as a player.

“I was planning to return even if I wasn’t a player,” he said. “Whatever I ended up doing, my goal was to return. It would be great if I found a team, otherwise I could just stream, or just have fun. I was planning to just take a break if I couldn’t find a team to go with Deft.”

After winning the 2014 League of Legends world championships as a member of Samsung White, Mata was one of the key players that moved to China in what is known as the “Korean exodus.” He first played with Vici Gaming for the 2015 season and was mostly unable to show the same performance during the previous year’s world championship. Mata also didn’t recall much during his time, saying that he only remembers “practicing and eating” with VG.

Mata moved to Royal Never Give Up for the most recent season, where he worked with AD Carry Jian “Uzi” Zi-Hao. He won the 2016 League of Legends Pro League spring split and came in second for the summer split. Mata’s role in RNG was closely associated to overall game management using his vast game knowledge, as well as having one of the strongest bottom lanes in China. Although RNG qualified for the 2016 world championships, its journey was cut short in a quarterfinal loss to SK Telecom T1.

Mata announced his departure from RNG in November and has been one of a handful of Korean players to return to their home region after playing in China, a list that includes Kim “Deft” Hyuk-kyu, who came EDward Gaming to join Mata on KT Rolster.

Cover photo courtesy of Riot Games

Slingshot staff writer and Korean League of Legends expert who also owns a Pikachu-themed iPhone case. You can reach him at Andrew@slingshotesports.com

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