League Champions Korea’s 2016 summer split was a wild season. It included the rise of two teams from the Challenger series in the beginning and also the fall of a giant at the end. The split also included all the insanity that is Korean players being interviewed. As a primer for the League of Legends World Championship, which begins next week, here is Slingshot’s top 10 most outrageous things said in the LCK since the start of the summer split.
10. “I have a younger cousin who wants to be a pro, but I’ve been trying to tell him not to.” – The ROX Tigers’ Song “Smeb” Kyung-Ho
As part of a recent interview with Smeb by Fomos (it was after the summer split ended, but we’ll include it anyway), the world’s best top laner shared a personal tale and gave fans a glimpse of just what pro gaming entails. The vibe is almost like a concerned father who’s afraid of his son following in his footsteps because he knows exactly what it involves doing. Pro gaming is a rather romanticized profession, and when actual pros start to say that someone should really reconsider, its bound to turn some heads.
9. “I am still a student, so I had to take tests. I tried really hard but I was so sleepy and ended up sleeping through the written questions.” – Samsung Galaxy’s Park “Ruler” Jae-Hyuk
Samsung Galaxy’s AD Carry “Ruler” revealed in a post-match interview that he had been having a tough time balancing his profession and academics. Perhaps a common issue for an esports scene with such young players, it’s admirable that he went to school during his vacation in order to continue his studies. But saying that he slept through an exam on a public video where his parents might be watching is straight up hilarious.
8. “I’m not all that excited after winning a game I thought we would win.” – The Afreeca Freecs’ Jeon “Ikssu” Ik-Su
Here’s a rather gutsy quote from Ikssu in an interview with Inven about their surprising 2-0 win over two-time world champions SK Telecom T1. I guess it’s not that a bad thing to have confidence in one’s team, especially when your team takes down a strong contender of winning the entire split. But on the other hand, saying that you’re not that thrilled after beating such a team because it was such a matter of fact that you would win creeps into ridiculous territory.
7. “I’ve been trying to have some other hobbies since I only play games, but I’m too lazy for that.” – SK Telecom T1’s Lee “Faker” Sang-Hyeok
Faker answered the age old question of “what does one do when gaming is their profession?” Apparently nothing else. In an interview with Fomos, the two-time world champion said that he was simply too lazy to find another hobby. Later he would say that sleeping was his pastime of choice, but it’s not hard to think that he has no time to do anything else other than practice, it seems. But hey, if sleep can be a hobby, then I should get into the hobby of getting quality sleep as well.
6. “We practice at least 12 hours daily.” – MVP’s Oh “MaHa” Hyun-Sik
This is what I heard personally during my visit to MVP’s gaming house. We all knew that professional gaming comes with a lot of time commitment, but it was hard to really quantify it into hours. To hear that a brand new rookie team that made it into the regular season from the challenger scene, it was eye opening to realize that they quite literally spend all their time that’s not sleeping or eating on practice. Again for emphasis, this is a team that won its way into the regular season. Only god knows how much time ROX spends practicing.
5. “We’re not an incredibly good team and not that fluid either. Nothing will largely change, so we’ll come forth by polishing what we have.” – CJ Entus’ Park “Shy” Sang-Myeon
How the mighty have fallen. As CJ was confirmed for relegations and had to fight it out in the promotional tournament, Shy’s comment to Inven just dampened the mood of CJ fans everywhere. They already lost to the Kongdoo Monsters and with their last shot at making it back into the regular season, CJ was clearly aching for some change. Yet, it seemed that the players were just as lost and crestfallen as their fans, and then got completely relegated, forced to fight in the challenger series in the 2017 spring split.
4. “I almost gave up going to worlds entirely because I missed my chance so many times before.” – Samsung Galaxy’s Kang “Ambition” Chan-Yong
Samsung had a decent regular season. They made it to playoffs but got knocked out by KT Rolster 3-0. The Cinderella story was still alive, however, as they took down KT in the gauntlet to make it to the world championships. Behind the power of Samsung’s ascent was clearly the veteran jungler Ambition, and when he shared with Inven that he almost gave up on worlds, it came across as a shock. However he did add that he snapped out of it and thought he should make it to worlds at least once. Look where that got him.
3. “But looking back I can only say that I am sorry to the fans. The players adjusted more quickly than anticipated.” – SK Telecom T1’s head coach Choi Byung-Hoon
Talk about a humble brag, this gem of a quote came from a post-match interview over the phone. This was hot off the heels of past interviews in which he said that SKT was going to be one of the weaker teams in the LCK, perhaps buying the ire of fans. It was certainly inflammatory enough for the OGN casters to ask about it. Perhaps taken aback by his own team’s success, SKT’s head coach was put in the enviable position of his team easily outstripping his expectations. I smell a conspiracy.
2. “Since we throw so often in the LCK, we got used to it.” – ESC Ever’s coach Cho Gye-Hyeon
It’s one thing to acknowledge mistakes and reflect on them. Its an entirely different thing to say something like this live in a post-match interview. This is coming from a pro LCK team’s coach. It could be healthier than dwelling on mistakes and having it affect your next game, but come on, man. You have to think twice about joking about that, even as a joke. I’m sure Ever takes their position very seriously, especially after they managed to stay in the regular season after being in the threat of demotion, so they shored up some mistakes. Here’s to hoping they stop throwing.
1. “I got sick of playing League two years ago.” – SK Telecom T1’s Bae “Bang” Junsik
This quote was definitely provoked some reactions. In a post-match interview Bang shocked viewers and the casters by saying he’s been sick of the game he plays as a profession. It’s true that he approaches the whole thing minus the fun to begin with, but that doesn’t soften the blow of what he said. It was very real in a sense, being professional about the whole thing, focusing on winning as a source of enjoyment itself. But this is ultimately a video game, and “fun” seems to be tied with it. To hear a pro say that it isn’t is not the usual brand of shocking.