World-class support Se-hyeong “Mata” Cho, winner of 2014 Worlds with Samsung White and one of the most high-profile examples of the “Korean exodus” that followed, is leaving Chinese team Royal Never Give Up, he announced on his Facebook Monday.
Mata was named MVP of 2014 Worlds while with Samsung White, and left for Vici Gaming along with teammate In-kyu “DanDy” Choi. After a disappointing 2015 season saw Vici finish no higher than fourth in any tournament, Mata left to rejoin former Samsung White top laner Hyeong-seok “Looper” Jang with Royal Never Give Up.
With RNG, Mata found significantly more success. The team won their LPL Spring regular season group and the playoffs, made it to the semifinals of IEM Season X and the Mid-Season Invitational and won their LPL Summer regular season group before being swept by EDward Gaming in the finals. At Worlds, however, RNG was unable to make it past to the quarterfinals thanks to a second-place group finish and an unlucky draw that pitted them against eventual champions SK Telecom T1 -- the team that knocked RNG out of MSI as well.
Mata is the latest of the Korean exodus players to announce he is leaving his Chinese team, along with fellow former Samsung players Hyuk-kyu “Deft” Kim and Won-seok “PawN” Heo. PawN was Mata’s teammate on Samsung White, while Deft played on Samsung Blue.