Only a couple of days after announcing his retirement from professional League of Legends play, Cho "Mata" Se-hyeong revealed he will take over the head coach position at his former team - Royal Never Give Up.
Mata, the South Korean support player announced earlier this weekend he is stepping away from the professional League of Legends stage after a successful career, which saw him climb from being an unknown prospect to earning himself an immortal status as one of the best Korean players that ever stepped on the Summoner's Rift.
While Mata's LoL career started in October 2012 with team BBT, it was not until February 2013, when he signed for MVP Ozone that his career really took off. Later that year, the team rebranded itself to Samsung Galaxy Ozone and participated in the 2013 World Championship. Unfortunately, Mata and his team failed to achieve any noteworthy success, as they crashed out of the tournament in the group stage. Mata remained with the team, which renamed itself once more in 2014 into Samsung White, which is to date one of the most recognisable names in the LoL competitive scene.
The same year Mata qualified for his second Worlds in a row, but little did he know that 2014 World Championship was going to be the tournament which will make him a legend. Unlike in the previous season, Samsung White produced one of the most dominant runs at World Championship to date, dropping only two games en route to the title of world champions. With that, Mata not only claimed the title of world champion in his second year as a professional player but also played an integral part of his team's success, which earned him an MVP award and a status as one of the best supports in the world.
Shortly after Samsung White's success at worlds, Mata alongside Choi "DanDy" In-kyu, Byun "Gango" Se-hoon and Lee "Heart" Gwan-hyung all left the team and joined with ViCi Stand Gaming as a part of "Great Korean Exodus", which saw Chinese esports teams luring in Korean esports stars in a bid to make esports scene more competitive.
Early in 2015, Mata and DanDy both moved to ViCi's main roster to compete in the 2015 LPL season. Unfortunately, ViCi failed to achieve any notable success, which included their failure to qualify for the 2015 World Championship. The disastrous season sparked rumours about Mata's return to Korea, but instead, he opted to join Royal Never Give Up for one season, before returning to his homeland, where he signed for KT Rolster. In his first year back in LCK Mata had a fairly successful season, but again fell short of claiming his second World Championship. At the end of 2018, Mata left KT Rolster to join SK Telecom T1 which was his last stop before announcing his retirement.
During his time with SKT T1, Mata won LCK Spring and Rift Rivals but again failed to reach his dreams as he saw SKT T1 crash out of 2019 Worlds after losing to G2 in the semi-finals. During Worlds, Mata did not see much playtime after his team opted to start Lee “Effort” Sang-ho instead. Throughout the whole tournament, Mata played only two games, which was a clear sign for him that it was time to leave the pro scene.
Despite his retirement as a professional player, Mata decided to remain involved in the professional LoL scene by becoming a head coach of his former team - Royal never Give Up, who accepted their former member with open arms and it's not hard to see why. Mata is widely regarded as one of the best and most experienced players in the history of League of Legends, with exceptional knowledge of the game and unmatched shot-calling ability, which is everything you could be looking for in a head coach. While there are some concerns about the language barrier, it's believed Mata knows enough Mandarin to be able to lead the team, seeing how he before lived and played in China for two years.
That being said, Mata's arrival is not the only change in RNG's coaching staff ahead of 2020 season. Alongside Mata, RNG also assigned Shen "Sereno" Dong-Yu, to the assistant coach position and Wong "Tabe" Pak Kan as the team's the Analyst. Overall, it's safe to say the coaching staff of Royal Never Give Up is shaping up nicely for 2020 season and while there are many incredible coaches in the industry, RNG's coaching staff with Mata, Sereno and Tabe is arguably one of the best in the scene.