In a video interview with SpoTV, NoFe was asked if he had any thoughts or feelings about facing League Champions Korea teams at Rift Rivals as he used to coach the ROX Tigers, which was a strong representative of the LCK during his time there. In short, the answer was yes.
“It’s a new feeling to go to an international tournament as part of a Chinese team facing Korean teams after being part of a Korean one,” he said.
NoFe is the leadership figure most closely associated with the success of the ROX Tigers, as he was the coach starting in 2014. As the on-stage coach, he showed a level of tactical thinking that put his team in an advantage with intelligent drafting, and his team finished as the worlds runner-up in 2015, won the LCK summer championship in 2016 and went to the semifinals of worlds before disbanding in November.
After ROX disbanded, NoFe was picked up by EDward Gaming, a Chinese League of Legends powerhouse that has qualified for worlds on multiple occasions. Although EDG didn’t win the spring split of the League of Legends Pro League, it finished third and is in second place of Group A so far in the summer split, right underneath Team WE, the reigning champions.
Rift Rivals has also given a chance for NoFe to face his old players in Song “Smeb” Kyung-ho, now a part of KT Rolster, and Han “Peanut” Wang-ho, now a part of SK Telecom T1. NoFe said he was happy to see his players do so well after leaving the Tigers.
“I’m very proud to see players that have been under my tutelage become better players…and I’m happy to play against them,” he said. I think it’ll be a meaningful opportunity as I will be able to see how much they’ve improved.”
NoFe also didn’t lose his humble approach to popularity, mentioning that he wasn’t sure if there were “any fans who were looking forward to see me,” and instead asked the fans to support the two Korean players on EDG, Lee “Scout” Ye-chan and Hae “Zet” Sung-min.
“I want to show a good performance by beating down one Korean team as EDG,” he said. “And it might be a little annoying to see as a Korean fan, but I hope they don’t get too annoyed.”
Cover photo courtesy of Riot Games