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Pirean: “When I first joined (Envy), I read things on the internet like ‘Nisqy is better,’ or ‘He’s no different from Ninja,’ so I prepared even harder to prove them wrong.”

Pirean says he wants to prove people wrong with his move to EnVyUs.
Pirean (Choi Jun-sik) says he wants to prove people wrong with his move to EnVyUs. Photo courtesy of Riot Games.

Slingshot’s Andrew Kim caught up with EnVyUs’ Choi “Pirean” Jun-sik during Week 1 of the North American League of Legends Championship Series (NA LCS). They talked (in Korean and translated to English) about Pirean’s move to Envy, creating synergy with Nam “LirA” Tae-yoo and the culture of streaming.

Andrew Kim: First off, congratulations on winning your match today. There have been some evaluations of you that Envy is much better off with you in the mid lane now, but do you also agree with those assessments?

Choi “Pirean” Jun-sik: When I first joined, I read things on the internet like “Nisqy (Yasin Dinçer) is better,” or “He’s no different from Ninja (No Geon-woo),” so I prepared even harder to prove them wrong.

AK: What makes Envy’s acquisition of you interesting is that Envy was in a rough patch last split, and you were a member of Phoenix1 previously. As you were moving from team to team, was there anything you kept in mind or prepared for?

CJS: I didn’t have anything special I prepared, but I did learn a lot from Ryu (Yoo Sang-wook). He’s a very good player, so I thought it would be hard for me to be the starter, but I saw that Ninja was departing EnVyUs, so I contacted the owner, took a test, and got in.

AK: You ended up delivering a good punch to Ryu, your former mentor. You said that you felt sorry in the post-match interview, so I want to ask a little bit more into detail about that.

CJS: I’ve been in Phoenix1 for a year, and I’ve gotten close with the team, players, and the coaches, but now that we meet as opponents, I have to win. But after I won, I couldn’t just be happy because they were my old team.

AK: You did show a lot of synergy today with LirA. Do you think the two of you guys are good partners?

CJS: I don’t think we’re especially working well because he’s LirA, but more because he’s a very good player, as well as being able to communicate with him well, since he and I are Koreans. With the top laner Seraph (Shin Woo-yeong), who is also a Korean, the three of us can communicate well, which translates to success.

AK: Starting in 2018, Riot will be removing relegation and enter in franchising. In the community there is still debate about the good and bad of relegation, so I want to ask your thoughts about the topic.

CJS: Without relegation, the teams might get old, and the players might get a little lazy, but I don’t think it’s all positive.

AK: Do you think relegation acts as a kind of way to motivate players?

CJS: Yes. Since you can’t be relegated, you’ll always be under some pressure, and you have to always work hard, making it impossible to be lazy.

AK: As a Korean player in NA, what are some lessons you’ve learned here?

CJS: I think I’ve learned how to take care of myself. For example I do laundry, something I didn’t do at home, and I have a regimented schedule. I think I’m able to do things I wasn’t able to do in Korea.

AK: Something that can’t be removed from NA esports culture is streaming. If you were to make the decision to become a full time streamer, what conditions would have to be met?

CJS: I think the only thing that would be a good thing to the point of giving up being a pro would be money. If you have a lot of viewers, the money might be the same level, but you are much more free as a streamer. Professionals have to do scrims and go through a lot of stress. I wouldn’t mind that as a pro, but with the money being the same, being a streamer won’t be a bad idea.

AK: Do you think you can be a pro while also being a regular streamer?

CJS: If I continue to do well like I did today, I think a lot of people would come watch.

Cover photo courtesy of Riot Games/illustration by Slingshot