Samsung Galaxy qualifying for the League of Legends World Championship seemed more like something out of a movie than real life: Overcoming a team, KT Rolster, that had long dominated them. The joy was too much for Lee “Crown” Min-Ho to handle, as he was overcome with emotion and tears at the time, becoming an iconic moment for a team’s ascent that felt like a long time coming.
Despite Samsung’s solid performance during the League Champions Korea’s 2016 summer split, Crown said that he was anything but satisfied with his showing in the regular season, writes Fomos’ Son Chang-Sik.
“The team undoubtedly produced an incredible result,” he told Fomos. “But when others compliment me, I don’t really know if I really did that well. I was in a stupor, especially when we lost to KT during the regular and postseason. I thought why we had to lose so one sidedly when we worked so hard to face a good team like them. When we couldn’t make it to the finals of the LCK like we originally wanted to, we just thought to take down KT. After winning, I felt a well of emotions as I thought my hard work wasn’t for nothing.”
Crown added that looking back he was “only able to play 1,500 games this year,” and said that practice was the only path to success. Due to such a pensive personality, Crown confessed to having trouble falling asleep until he fixed whatever he was unhappy with.
“It all comes from my competitive nature, but when I’m scolded by the coach because of a mistake or not satisfied with my play, I just can’t sleep,” he said. “I need to fix it immediately to feel resolved. When I was a practicing to become a pro StarCraft 2 player, I didn’t have this much pressure since I was an amateur, but now as a pro I feel like I need to show both progress and results.”
Crown said he was also blessed with a great support structure as he became part of Samsung’s starting roster, especially from his head coach Choi Woo Beom.
“Amazingly, the head coach understands my thought process very well,” he said. “When I’m deep in thought about something, he always calls me over to offer advice. Especially when I think I’m not doing well, he is the one who approaches me to help first. When I’m having too many thoughts, coach (Ju Young-Dal) focuses me. When we were down 2-1 against KT in the gauntlet, I was very shaken up but I was able to play thanks to his help.”
Samsung has been drawn into what is now known as the “group of death” alongside Team SoloMid and Royal Never Give Up, but Crown apparently could not care less about such trivial matters and said he cares only about his own performance.
“I don’t feel like I need to win against any particular team,” he said. “I just need to focus on becoming a better player. I also want to break my stereotype that I can only play a small number of champions, and I want to put in my best effort one game at a time rather than having a goal to place high.”