Mata Domestic Career
Cho “Mata” Se-hyeong began his LoL career on MVP Ozone. Together with his teammates, he attended 2013 OLYMPUS Champions Spring. MVP Ozone did well in the group stage, but they reached their peak in the playoffs. There, they scored back-to-back victories against KT B and SKT T1 2 and prepared to face CJ Blaze in the finals. In spite of their underdog status, MVP Ozone showed up in that match and dismantled their opponents with a 3-0 score. With that, Mata won his first OGN split and pulled off one of the biggest upsets in LoL history.
MVP Ozone came down to earth in 2013 HOT6iX Champions Summer. They still had a good showing in groups and won their first playoffs match against Chunnam Techno Universite. But the Semifinals had them losing 1-3 to SKT T1. Still, MVP Ozone regained their composure and took down CJ Frost in the third-place match to qualify for Worlds. Shortly thereafter, MVP Ozone and their sister team—MVP Blue—were acquired by Samsung. They rebranded as Samsung Galaxy Ozone and Samsung Galaxy Blue.
Samsung Ozone showed up at 2013-2014 PANDORA.TV Champions Summer. They breezed through the group stage and proceeded to dismantle CJ Forst and Najin White Shield to reach the finals. There, they fell at the hand of the undefeated SKT T1 K lineup.
Ozone had another respectable showing in 2014 HOT6iX Champions Spring. They had a strong showing in the group stage, defeating Jin Air Falcons, Najin Black Sword, and KT Bullets to qualify for the playoffs. There, they dismantled SKT T1 K before falling prey to Samsung Blue. Even so, they bounced back in the third-place match by taking down CJ Blaze with a 3-2 score.
After the tournament, Samsung Ozone rebranded as Samsung White (SSW). They entered 2014 HOT6iX Champions Summer with new vigor and topped their group with an impressive 2-1-0 record. In the Quarterfinals, they defeated SKT T1 K with a 3-1 score and prepared for a deep playoff run. But once again, Samsung Blue proved to be their kryptonite. After suffering another crushing defeat against their sister team, SSW were knocked down to the Regional Finals. Still, they regained their composure and qualified for Worlds with a 3-0 victory over SKT T1 K.
At the time, Mata earned the reputation of the best shot caller in League of Legends, and his playmaking and communication were vital to SSW’s success. In the off-season, Mata and several of his teammates left to play for the Chinese Vici Stand Gaming. After a few weeks, Mata was transferred to the main Vici Gaming lineup.
He had a decent showing in the 2015 LPL Spring Split. With his help, Vici Gaming secured a fourth-place finish over the regular season and advanced to the playoffs. Their run was very brief, though, as they fell in the first series against Invictus Gaming. During this timeframe, Vici Gaming also attended the 2015 Demacia Cup Spring. Their 3-0 victory over Young Glory showed a lot of promise, but the following loss to Invictus Gaming knocked them out of the competition.
Vici Gaming came back with renewed vigor for the 2015 Summer Split. But Mata’s shot calling didn’t work well on a lineup that communicated in a different language, and Vici found themselves in the middle of the LPL table. With that, they had to go through the Gauntlet. Once again, they kicked off the tournament with a win, this time over OMG. However, they lost the subsequent Seeding Match against LGD, which meant they had to play Invictus Gaming in Quarterfinals. And while Vici put up a great fight, Invictus Gaming once again came out on top.
Then, Vici—and Mata—attended the 2015 NAST. They had a promising start with a 2-1 win over LGD, but the Semifinals loss to Team WE knocked them down to the third-place match. Vici Gaming didn’t let that get to them and scored a confident victory against Unlimited Potential.
In the off-season, Mata parted ways with the organization to play for Royal Never Give Up (RNG). With his help, RNG dominated the 2016 LPL Spring Split and soared to the top of their group. In the playoffs, they scored back-to-back victories against Team WE and EDG to claim the trophy and earn a ticket to the 2016 MSI.
RNG continued their dominance in the 2016 Summer Split. Once again, they showed up in the group stage and secured a bye to the Semifinals. But while they managed to score a 3-2 victory over IMAY, they suffered a crushing defeat in the finals against EDG. Still, this run was enough to get an invitation to Worlds.
During this timeframe, RNG also attended the 2016 Demacia Cup. They put on a clinic in groups and decimated Team WE in the Quarterfinals. But the Semifinals had them clashing with the powerhouse EDG lineup. RNG lost that series with a 1-3 score, and EDG went on to win the tournament. Afterward, Mata and RNG played in the 2016 NEST. They couldn’t gain any momentum, though, and were eliminated after losing to Invictus Gaming and Snake Esports.
When the season came to an end, Mata elected to leave RNG to play for KT Rolster in South Korea. Despite their stacked roster, KT had a haphazard showing in the 2017 LCK Spring Split. Even so, they managed to secure a 12-6 record as well as a third-place finish in the regular season. In the playoffs, KT dismantled MVP and Samsung Galaxy to advance to the finals. There, they suffered a devastating 0-3 loss at the hand of SKT T1.
They came back even stronger in summer. With a 14-4 regular season record, KT got a bye to the Semifinals. But suddenly, they faltered and lost the following series against SKT T1 with a 2-3 score. Of course, they could still make it to Worlds through the Gauntlet. But even though they were seeded directly to the finals, KT fell to the resurging Samsung Galaxy lineup.
In the off-season, KT took part in the 2017 LoL KeSPA Cup. They dominated the playoffs with back-to-back wins against Ever8 Winners and Samsung Galaxy. In the finals, they clashed with Longzhu Gaming. The series came down to the wire, but in the end, KT clinched a narrow 3-2 victory.
Mata International Tournaments
On Samsung Galaxy Ozone, Mata went to his first international tournament, the 2013 World Championship. They had a decent showing in the group stage, but their 5-3 record resulted in a tiebreaker with Gambit Gaming. Ozone lost the match and failed to advance to the playoffs.
On Samsung White, Mata attended the 2014 World Championship. SSW breezed through the group stage with a 6-0 record. In the playoffs, they scored back-to-back victories against TSM and Samsung Blue. And while they did drop a game to Star Horn Royal Club in the finals, SSW sealed the deal with a 3-1 victory. This performance went down in history as the most dominant World Championship run to date.
On RNG, Mata took part in the IEM Season 10 World Championship. His team had a strong showing in groups, defeating the likes of Origen and ESC Ever to advance to the playoffs. There, they suffered a narrow loss at the hand of Fnatic.
He also went to the 2016 Mid-Season Invitational. RNG dominated the group stage, securing an impressive 8-2 record. But they ran out of steam in the Semifinals, losing 1-3 to the resurging SKT T1 lineup.
RNG also made it to the 2016 World Championship. They had a middling showing in the group stage and barely advancing to the playoffs with a 3-3 record. Their run came to an end when they lost 1-3 in the Quarterfinals against SKT T1.
On KT Rolster, Mata went to the 2017 Rift Rivals (LCK-LPL-LMS) event. KT went 1-1 in the group stage, but they redeemed themselves by being the only LCK team to claim a win in the finals against LPL.