Kim “kkOma” Jeong-gyun has stepped down as the head coach of the LPL’s Vici Gaming, returning home to Korea due to “personal reasons,” the organization announced.
“We understand the father, who does not wish to miss watching his child grow up and we understand the husband, who deeply cares for his wife,” Vici said today on Twitter. “Ultimately, we fully support and respect coach’s decision.”
Kk0ma joined Vici in December 2019 following a seven-year stint with the LCK’s T1, where he won three League of Legends World Championships. With his vast knowledge and coaching experience, kk0ma led Vici up the LPL tables.
In the end, the team placed ninth in the 2020 LPL Spring Split and 11th in the summer. But despite the improvement over the previous year, kk0ma “cared about the overall development of the team more than the results.”
“With his rich coaching experience, he has shared us a lot of insights and has helped this young team in both technical analysis and mentality management, which in turn has helped us cultivate our talents and make rapid progress,” Vici said.
Kk0ma is now a free agent and could join a new team for the upcoming 2021 season. For the time being, he’ll likely step away from coaching for a few months and focus on family life, however.
Kk0ma is one of the most experienced and proven coaches around and started his coaching journey in 2011 with StarTale. After almost 7 years of coaching SK Telecom T1 kk0ma joined VICI Gaming in December 2019. The team would go on to place 9th and 11th in the Spring and Summer Split respectively, improving on last year’s results.
Now that kk0ma has left VICI Gaming, he’s free to explore other options as a free agent. It is however expected he’ll take a short break to be with his family before returning to coaching. It’s also likely he’ll try to look for a coaching opportunity in his home country in the future.
With a lot of LCK teams struggling this year, they might look towards kkOma to help them improve for the upcoming franchised League. With more money on the line in a franchised format, teams could splurge on the third time World Champion to secure him for their team. With T1 having a poor split and failing to qualify for the World Championship, they look like a prime candidate for kkOma’s return for the LCK Spring Split 2021.