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Seraph: “Honestly, nowadays I don’t have the guts I used to have…my anger of losing has gotten duller.”

Seraph says his competitive anger is dampened compared to earlier in his League of Legends career.
Seraph (Shin Woo-yeong) says his competitive anger is dampened compared to earlier in his League of Legends career. Photo courtesy of Riot Games/Slingshot illustration.

Slingshot’s Andrew Kim caught up with EnVyUs’ Shin “Seraph” Woo-yeong during the North American League of Legends Championship Series (NA LCS). They talked (in Korean and translated to English) about Envy’s improved start to the summer split, his competitive fire and the top lane meta.

Andrew Kim: Your team is off to a much better start this split than in the spring. What do you think about the position of your team right now?

Shin “Seraph” Woo-yeong: We are (doing better), but I’m still nervous because when I first joined EnVyUs, we started the split 4-0. But the team kind of got less tense and we plummeted downward to a nine or 10 match losing streak, so I’m not ready to let my guard down.

AK: It does seem like there’s a lot of improvement though, especially with your coordination between LirA (Nam Tae-yoo) and Pirean (Choi Jun-sik). Do you feel like there are fewer communication issues?

SWY: Rather than communication issues, before the players all wanted to play their own game. This split, we’ve come together centered around what LirA wants to do. We set aside our own wants and have been playing with a jungle focus. I can’t say that this is always the right thing to do, but when five players come together with a singular goal in mind, teamwork is much better.

AK: You’re a very competitive player, let it be competitive games or even solo queue. Is there a reason why you have such a competition in you?

SWY: Honestly, nowadays I don’t have the guts I used to have. When I first got to North America, I got angry about losing, let it be in a good way or bad. These days, as time passes and I get a longer career, my anger of losing has gotten duller. I learned how to look at my losses in a more calculating manner, trying to understand what I did wrong. Before I would get upset even for losing a scrim, so I would just do solo queue for the rest of the day, but nowadays I’ve become more introspective, wondering what I did wrong.

AK: Was there a moment that you noticed that change within you?

SWY: I’m mostly focused on reducing mistakes, but I don’t think I’ve changed much from before. I did go through a lot of burn out recently, so I’ve taken the time to look back taking games slowly, and though I do make some big mistakes, I’m able to look more at the big picture.

AK: What’s the most important thing for a team?

SWY: Faith. For example — and this isn’t about our team — if one player is just pegged as the “bad player,” then things go wrong from drafting. Since he can’t carry, if the player is top, let’s just make him play tanks. If the player is mid, let’s just make him play Lulu, things like that. Within the game too, there are moments when you fall behind but another lane gets ahead, since it is a team game. There needs to be a baseline faith of even if I fall behind, I know that the team will be ahead and carry me. If that’s not the case, the game doesn’t come together.

AK: The top lane meta right now is very interesting because while tanks are still the norm, more dealers have entered the fray as well. Last split it definitely felt like tanks were dominating. Do you feel a sense of freedom thanks to that?

SWY: I practiced tanks a lot so I don’t feel all that much pressure playing them even on stage, since I can play Gragas or Galio after a lot of scrims. On the stage, though, I tend to go for more aggressive picks because LirA wants me to. Our team seems to have an easier time when the top lane is able to push, so go for stronger top lane picks.

 

Cover photo courtesy of Riot Games/Slingshot illustration