KaKAO's return to the LCK for the upcoming Summer Split has whipped up a storm in the Korean League of Legends community.
In 2013, KaKAO started his career in kt Rolster. He was a competent player that displayed flawless usage of aggressive jungle champions, and he led his team to victory in the Finals of the 2014 LCK Summer. He was the very first jungler to win an MVP title in the LCK.
Right before the Winter Split of that year, he left the team with Rookie and announced his departure from the LCK to join the LPL. However, a controversy regarding the topic arose, as KaKAO was still under KT's contract -- when KT was getting ready to renew his contract, KaKAO was in direct contact with a Chinese team. This act is known as tampering in sports.
Of course, the rules and regulations regarding the act were put in place in the LCK in June of 2015; so technically, KaKAO hadn't broken any rules. And as a matter of fact, when KaKAO first announced his departure, many fans defended his actions, claiming that "Korea isn't very considerate with their players' salary and doesn't provide good support. It's only natural for an LCK player to go overseas."
The main problem was from KaKAO's interview that was broadcasted live soon after his announcement. He stated in the interview that he had told his coach and teammates prior to leaving the team. However, KT's head coach at the time, Ji-Hoon Lee, rebutted in the forums that "including myself, none of the KT members knew of his departure -- as a matter of fact, we didn't know that he was planning to leave until the day he left."
KaKAO's sudden departure from the team at the time put KT in a tight hold -- with their star jungler gone and Arrow experiencing a dire slump; KT fell into a losing streak that lasted until the Spring of the following year. Fortunately, with time, KT climbed out of their losing streak; as Score started to adapt to his newly given jungle role, and Arrow recovered from his slump. However, if things had gone worse, the team could've easily disbanded.
For the long-time KT fans that witnessed this incident, KaKAO is a bittersweet figure. Recently, a KT fan's post in the forums gained a lot of traction when he stated that he'll follow KaKAO and protest at all of his games carrying a sign that reads, "Why did you tamper, and why did you lie in the interview? We demand answers."
Along with the other popular opinion that 'we as fans need to put the state of Korea's esports market [at the time] into consideration', many are wondering if KaKAO can replace UmTi as a starting jungler, since KaKAO had shown lackluster performance during his time in IG, MSF, and Dark Passage.
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