This year, KT Rolster would qualify for their first World Championship since 2015. They were undoubtedly the favorites heading into the tournament. However, after bouncing out in the quarterfinals, it seems like the team will be making some big changes. The team will be letting Cho “Mata” Se-hyeong explore his options for 2019.
The Korean superteam would post on their Facebook, saying, “We are pleased to inform that Mata, who has been a key supporter of KT Rolster for the past two years, has concluded his contract and now [has become] a free agent. As one of the best players, KT Rolster gives [their] heartfelt gratitude and encouragement to Mata, who has presented us with good memories for the past two years.” It is the end of an era for both Mata and KT Rolster, who has been the support of the team since 2017.
The last time Mata would even qualify for Worlds would be back in 2016, with RNG. His bot lane partner at the time would be Jian “Uzi” Zi-Hao, who many consider the best ADC in the world today. Unfortunately, like 2018, he would exit the tournament early in the quarterfinals. Many people had so many high hopes for KT Rolster, but no one wanted to say anything. The running meme that fans “can’t get excited about KT” would stay true.
KT would storm through the group stage in South Korea, only dropping one game to China’s EDward Gaming. Granted, their group was relatively easy for them, as they had North America’s Team Liquid, and the LMS’ MAD Team. However, no matter who was in their group, KT Rolster was dominant from the get-go. Their team synergy and individual skill was on display in Korea and had many people excited for KT’s first Finals appearance. Unfortunately, many people would also jump the gun on that same statement.
Invictus Gaming would stun the League of Legends world when they would take down the Korean powerhouse in the quarterfinals. The Chinese third seed would defeat KT Rolster with ease in games one and two. It looked like the KT Rolster we saw in the group stage was nowhere to be found. Meanwhile, Invictus Gaming was dominating them right out of the gate with perfect coordination and team fights. It was such a close series, but KT Rolster would leave the tournament with their heads held low.
What was KT Rolster supposed to do from here? On paper, they had the most talented roster in the league. From arguably the best top laner in the world in Song “Smeb” Kyung-ho, to their All-Star bottom lane. Every player on the team could be in the running for top five in the world for their position. Unfortunately, they just could not find any success, no matter how hard they would try. It looks like this failure may have been the tipping point for the organization.
Mata is still one of the best supports in the world and should find a team pretty easily. As a result, he has plenty of options to choose from. He could choose to join any of the Korean teams that are shuffling their rosters. However, Mata could return to China, a region that has proven its strength this year. He could even go to North America, to join a top tier team like Team Liquid. The possibilities are endless for the talented veteran. No matter where he goes, hopefully, he can find success.
What are your thoughts on Mata leaving KT Rolster? Let us know what you think in the comments below! If you want more League of Legends coverage, check us out here!
Born and raised in Toronto. Sometimes a writer. Sometimes a creative director. Sometimes bored. Catch me with hundreds of unplayed games in my Steam library.