When Han “Peanut” Wang-Ho first arrived at the League of Legends World Championship, he mentioned his jealousy of the chanting North American crowd compared to what he’s used to in South Korea.
Then Peanut received chants of his own before the ROX Tigers’ quarterfinal match against EDward Gaming, which he later talked about on the OGN caster desk with Lee “CloudTemplar” Hyun-Woo, Kim Dong-Jun, and Jeon Yong-Jun.
“I felt like that was what it’s like to be a pro gamer,” he told OGN. “I was always so jealous of (Lee “Faker” Sang-Hyeok). It felt great.”
When the casters drew attention to his waving to the crowd, Peanut simply said he did so “because (he is) a polite professional.”
Peanut’s jealousy of crowd chants and cheers in North America is public, after he told Slingshot during the group stage that hearing the crowd’s “TSM!” chants made him jealous. But it is Peanut and the Tigers who have succeeded in the tournament, winning Group A and then defeating EDG to earn a semifinal match against defending champion SK Telecom T1, which defeated ROX in last year’s final and in the spring championship of League Champions Korea.
Peanut told OGN there were some concerns, but also some sense of relief.
“For sure during quarters, I kept thinking about SKT,” he told OGN. “As I saw them win the day before, I couldn’t think about EDG, only about SKT. But I think it’s worth going up against them in the semis, not the finals, because they’re very strong in best-of series, and they become even better in the finals. So I think in a way it’s lucky for us that we’re facing them before the finals.”
The quarter finals have certainly been about Korean junglers as SKT’s Kang “Blank” Sun-Gu also showed incredible growth in his match against China’s Royal Never Give Up. Peanut said he was also surprised by Blank’s performance, but also shared some insight about Blank’s supposed clairvoyance.
“I think he’s gotten so much better all of the sudden,” he said. “He wasn’t this good before. (Liu “mlxg” Shi-Yu) is a very good player, because being able to make successful ganks slightly offbeat is the mark of a good player. But seeing (Blank) perform like that, I think that he’s become a jungler worthy of SKT.” When caster Jun mentioned Blank’s “gut feeling” that might mean SKT would win the tournament, Peanut retorted that “he could be aiming for bigger targets if he used that ability on different things.”
Peanut also commented on how he thinks ROX could win against SKT, and this time his usual confidence seems to be at its end.
“Normally I would say something confidently, but this year’s meta is so focused on the laning phase that I think if Faker doesn’t feel great, we might have a better chance of winning.”