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Olleh: “Last year, Immortals were the best team but lost in playoffs and then couldn’t go to worlds. I think we can learn and our team can be much better since we lost (now).”

Olleh says losing now can be good for Immortals' League of Legends team.
Olleh (Kim Yoo-sung) says losing now can be good for Immortals' League of Legends team. Photo courtesy of Riot Games/illustration by Raphie Rosen.

Before Phoenix1 shocked fans and analysts alike with a strong performance at Rift Rivals, it surprised North America by knocking off then-first place Immortals 2-1 in Week 5 of the North American League of Legends Championship Series (NA LCS). After the loss, Emily Rand sat down with Immortals support Kim “Olleh” Joo-sung to discuss their 0-2 week, his communication with Cody “Cody Sun” Sun, and where Immortals will go from here.

Emily Rand: This was a bit of a down week for Immortals. How are you and the team feeling?

Kim “Olleh” Joo-sung: We played both sides for most of the five weeks. That worked well and we could win many games. The meta is going to change, and we tried to adapt around that meta, to play more around mid and top side and not as much bot side. We just needed to keep our own style. Today, even though we lost, at least our bot was winning. I think we just need to return to our style and play around our winning lanes, so I think we realized something.

ER: Your jungler (Jake “Xmithie” Puchero) had said was that he was waiting for the honeymoon phase to be over, or waiting for a loss to really see how the team would handle it. You said that you thought the team realized something. How will Immortals grow from these losses?

KJS: I think when we were 7-1, even though we lost a lot of games in scrims, we didn’t feel like that was bad, even though me and Cody really hate losing games. Even though we’ll try to be the best team again, I think it’s good. Last year, Immortals were the best team but lost in playoffs and then couldn’t go to worlds. I think we can learn and our team can be much better since we lost (now).

ER: So you have played on a lot of different teams in many different regions. How does this Immortals team compare to your other experiences?

KJS: In Brazil, I was really happy there. We had a lot of fans and while I was there the team would always ask for my opinion on something. I felt great. In Taiwan, I was kind of just another employee. When I asked about things nothing would happen. Our team would just get worse and worse. With this team, I can ask something and I have a right to say things, especially if it’s something that I feel like I can play better or the team can play better. In this way, I think America is more professional, so I like it here.

ER: You’ve now been playing with Cody Sun for well over a split and you both have really improved as a bot lane. How do you think your performance has been this split and what changed?

KJS: After we lost and didn’t make playoffs last split, I talked with him and said, “I think you can be the best AD carry, but you don’t believe that you can be the best.” He just played really passive and didn’t play his best. Because I had more experience, and he just started this year, I said, “If I had someone to help me like I can do for you, I could be the best support in the world. But I didn’t have anyone to try to help me. Now I’m here to help you, and I can do whatever for you. Just believe in me and we can do so much better.”

ER: Along those lines, you are now one of the primary initiators for Immortals which is a slight shift from last split. How do you communicate that with the team?

KJS: We just start with communicating where everyone is, especially if we have one more person and if we see that we can win a fight, I just say, “I can do that! Let’s go.” And then I make the play that we need to make.

ER: How happy are you that a lot of these heavier engage supports are back?

KJS: I was really comfortable on Karma and Miss Fortune, but then people would say, “Oh, Olleh can only play Karma.” Now people think I can play Thresh, Bard, a lot of games people try to ban out my supports, so yeah, I feel happy that I can do that for the team.

Cover photo courtesy of Riot Games