Four of ROX Tigers’ five starters have announced they have left the organization after seeing their contracts expire. Top laner Kyung-ho "Smeb" Song, mid laner Seo-haeng "KurO" Lee, AD Carry Jong-in "PraY" Kim, and support Beom-hyeon "GorillA" Kang will all be looking for new teams, they each announced on Facebook. Jungler Wang-ho “Peanut” Han and substitute mid laner Sung-min “Cry” Hae are both on contract through the end of November, but Peanut posted he may leave the team at that time as well.
For the second straight year, the Tigers were knocked out of Worlds by eventual champions and Korean rivals SK Telecom T1. Last year, as the KOO Tigers, they made it all the way to the finals. This year, as the ROX Tigers, the clash with SKT came in the semifinal round.
It’s a shame to see one of the most talented teams in League of Legends history split up, but this break up is not as surprising as it may appear. The Tigers have been unable to find a sponsor for the team since KOOTV’s bankruptcy, instead choosing the name “ROX” to signify the team’s unity. In October, ESPN reported the roster planned on disbanding once contracts were up, which the team vigorously denied at the time.
Here are each of the player’s announcements, with translations via The Score esports:
Smeb, PraY and Gorilla just posted their goodbye messages on Facebook. I truly hope they find good teams to go to soon. pic.twitter.com/2LMqlYOFql— Susie Kim (@lilsusie) November 25, 2016
Hello, I'm the former top laner for the ROX tigers Smeb Song Kyung-ho. On Nov 25, my contract ended. I wanted to say thanks to all those who cheered me on as ROX Tigers Smeb all this time.
Hello, I'm PraY, Kim Jong-in. At the end of this KeSPA Cup, I left ROX. There's so much I want to write, but I'm not too good with my writing skills, so I don't think I'll be able to say everything I want... We went through a lot during two years, and to my teammates who worked tirelessly through it, [I want to say] thank you so much. For the fans that cheered us on through thick and thin, I want to say thanks. I'm not too sure what will happen later, but please keep cheering for me. Thank you :D
Hello, I'm the ROX Tigers' former leader and support GorillA Kang Beom-hyeon. From today on I have left the ROX Tigers. I want to thank everyone who cheered on the ROX Tigers all this time.
정말 지금까지 팀원들코치감독님들매니저님들 너무 고맙고— Seo Haeng Lee (@lolKur0) November 25, 2016
팬분들덕에 열심히하고 제가 존재하는거같아요
앞으로의 행선지는 미정이지만 프로는 계속할거고 응원해주셧스면 좋겟습니다 ㅎㅎ 사랑합니다 다들!
I want to thank my teammates, coaches, and managers. I think I'm here and work hard because of you fans. I'm not too sure where I'll be headed next but I will continue to be a pro and I hope you keep cheering me on. Haha I love you all.
Hello, I'm ROX's jungler Han Wang-ho. Originally my contract is till Nov. 30. Right now I want to continue to be with my team, but realistically the situation isn't working out as expected, so I've gotten permission to receive offers from other teams. Right now, I'm not too sure if I'll continue to play on the team or move to another, but I will continue to work hard to show my best as a pro gamer.