Mata retires from League of Legends SKT T1

Korean team SK Telecom T1’s previous support player, Cho “Mata“Se-hyeong, has announced his retirement from League of Legends. This news comes right after he became a free agent following the 2019 World Championship Semifinals. As a surprise to many fans, he shared this decision through a Facebook post. His post was translated by esports translator Kevin Kim of Korizon.

Here are some relevant excerpts from the post:

After (much) consideration, I have decided that with the end of 2019 I will conclude my journey as a professional player. From a time when I got caught by my parents playing games when I should be preparing for my second attempt at college entry exams, when I once entered a tournament and promised them that if it doesn’t work out I will focus on my studies, a promise I had no intention of keeping. That lie was the beginning. I have gone through many different teams, MVP, VG, RNG, KT, SKT, and thanks to many teammates and the staff members I was able to have a good experience with my given opportunity. It was a joyful moment.

With more championships won, my career rose, and more money came in. It was all good and all, but I was glad that I was able to feel more cheers and attention from fans. On the other hand, there were many moments of regret, where I felt I could have done better. At this very moment, I want to play more games and I am confident that I can be good, but, there is a slight sense of dreariness. I have taken in all the support, criticisms, and hate as attention. To the fans, I was always grateful for your support and I thank you for being with me this past 7 years.

Mata concludes by wishing for future professional players to not receive “unfair treatments” to have “lots of fun” with “no regrets.”

Mata’s history of success

Mata has won several titles and awards in both the LCK and LPL. He began his esports journey in 2013 with MVP Ozone, winning the OLYMPUS Championship in the spring. Jumping to Samsung Galaxy White, he won the World Championship in 2014. Once he decided that his time with them was over, he continued as support with Vici Stand Gaming. In 2016, he joined Royal Never Give Up in China. On the final year of his career, he won a regional title in the spring with SKT T1.

A role model

Because of his achievements, Mata is one of the most popular support players in the professional League of Legends scene. He owns multiple Korean Challenger accounts and serves as a role model to many players all over the world. In the end, winning three times in the LCK, one LPL, and one world championship is something to be extremely proud of. He contributed to the way competitive League of Legends was played. He is also known to be one of Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok’s best rivals, retiring with a slight winning record against him.

As the offseason brings on roster changes and updates, we’ll keep you in the loop here at Daily Esports.

Carly Soba
Digital artist, bunny mom, and avid League of Legends fan. I write about all sorts of things, mostly esports business deals, investments, and game coverage. I'm passionate about helping professional women succeed in the esports industry. Catch me on Twitter: @carlysoba

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