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ROX Tigers 'Kuzan' Seong Hyeok Lee: "I wanna be the carry machine season 8"
The biggest weakness of ROX Tigers leading up to the new season was the mid lane. The team lost Mickey abruptly during the summer split, and the rookie ‘Larva’ Tae-hoon Kim, had too big of shoes to fill in such a short time.
Larva is now more experienced after the summer split, but Rox needed a more seasoned player, and acquired just the player - “Kuzan” Seong-hyeok Lee, formerly of the Jin Air Greenwings.
The tough transfer market… new challenge and changes
Kuzan, now a veteran progamer of four years, had been wearing the Jin Air uniform for three of those. This is, in fact, his first change of teams since his debut. Although he had split from Jin Air looking for new challenges, the market wasn’t easy for a first time free agent. The lackluster performance last season also dragged him down.
“I looked into foreign teams, but I felt it would be difficult to get used to a different country. I decided to stay in Korea because of that, but I wanted to experience different teams since I’d been at Jin Air for so long. When I became a free agent, I realized this would be tough. I thought that NA or EU teams would have room at first, but I don’t think teams were interested since I’m neither a good english speaker, nor a star player.
Kuzan’s Rox transfer was made public on December 27th. While the announcement seems late, he had actually made the transfer a few weeks earlier. Rox simply had internal issues that delayed the notice.
Kuzan assimilated into the Rox team quickly. He said it was easy to be friends with Lindarang, Seonghwan, and Key since they were all born on the same year. Kuzan reported that the atmosphere was similar to Jin Air as well, so he felt at home from the start.
It is the first time Kuzan met new coaches as well. After leaving H-Dragon, he is now under the wings of coach Hyun-jong Kang. When asked about their differences, Kuzan smiled and said, “They are the same age and have a lot in common. If coach H-Dragon is like a dad, coach Kang is more like a mom.”
Out of the slump, too late in the season… “I will carry ROX this season.”
Kuzan was the middleman of Jin Air in season 6. however, in season 7, he showed poor form, dragging the team’s rank down with him as well. Kuzan says that the repeated losses he had during the spring split last year was the trigger. He was pressured by the losses and that affected his performance.
“Since I kept losing, I got so scared of it that I couldn’t even play normally. Then I would feel that was the limit of my skill and get more dejected… but then I got to summer split where I felt more confident and could find my form again. I was playing at my peak with confidence during the last game against Afreeca, so I was disappointed that we lost.
Kuzan’s goals for the new year is to be called the carry of ROX Tigers. The next one is to lead the team into postseason. Kuzan says he will play more proactive in game to make that happen.
“Until last season, I just played in lane, but I will start making more calls and orders this year. Of course, I will still have strong laning. As a mid, my job to carry, so I do want to hear that I am doing my job well.”
We asked who Kuzan wanted to defeat the most. He said that it was BDD of Kingzone. Kuzan added that when he is playing against BDD in game, there is a strange pressure that he doesn’t feel against anyone else. Kuzan declared that if he could beat BDD, he could definitely take down everyone else as well.
Kingzone wasn’t the only team on Kuzan’s mind. His former team, Jin Air, is also a team Kuzan wants to defeat. Kuzan smiled as he said, “Umti knows me so well, so he’ll probably target me constantly. I’ll use that to my advantage and destroy his mental. Umti has a weak mental.”
Kuzan finished saying, “I will repay ROX Tigers with a good performance so they won’t regret buying me.” He also promised fans that he would be a more consistent player.
“I heard that I was a player who had ups and downs, that I played really well, but I would also be really bad during my bad days. I’ll make sure my form doesn’t fluctuate as much, so that I'll have more good days then bad. I’ll work with the jungler to kick this year off to an explosive start.