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Peanut says kkOma points out every SKT player’s individual mistakes, which “prevents any (negative) personal feelings between players.”

Peanut says kkOma makes sure no individual blame is dealt among SKT players.
Peanut says kkOma makes sure no individual blame is dealt among SKT players. Photo courtesy of Riot Games.

SK Telecom T1 jungler Han “Peanut” Wang-ho said the efforts of coach Kim “kkOma” Jung-gyun prevented any individual blame among SKT’s players during its recent losing streak.

In a video interview with Fomos’ Park Sang-jin, Peanut said the team didn’t go through the common trappings that can accompany a string of losses because of kkOma’s stringent approach.

“(The losing streak) was difficult because we made a lot of mistakes,” he said. “When that happens, it can lead losses and teammates blaming one another, but we didn’t do that thanks to the coach catching our individual mistakes, which prevents any personal feelings between players. The losing streak itself was actually the most difficult.”

The legend of kkOma only continues to grow, as this adds to the revelation that he keeps a timestamped notebook with every SKT miscue. By centralizing the detection of mistakes big or small, it seems like kkOma eliminated awkward moments in the team where players are compelling to point out shortcomings to one another.

That doesn’t mean SKT’s unprecedented four match losing streak didn’t take its toll on kkOma, as Peanut said that the coach has been making references to a darker time in SKT’s history.

“He keeps saying that he’s reminded of 2014,” Peanut said with a smile. “He talked to us about how the team couldn’t qualify for worlds in 2014, giving us a sense of awareness of where we stand. ”

Peanut individually has been a subject of criticism during the losing streak, which Peanut acknowledged by saying his solo queue rank isn’t what it used to be, but he’s trying to improve it.

“I was prepared to accept the criticism that my form has been slipping because my solo queue ranking hasn’t been very high,” he said. “Since the match against Samsung I’ve been steadily climbing the ladder, so I’ve been playing like I always have been and I think I’ve gotten closer to my teammates. I think that’s why we’re doing better.”

Despite the criticism, Peanut said that he’s actively tried to interact with his fans and absorb the criticism directed his way. Peanut said that even criticism can be a good source of motivation and forward momentum.

“I want to thank the fans who have been always supporting us,” he said. “I want to say thank you to those who criticized me too, because reading that kind of criticism give me motivation, and it gives me a want to play better in order to turn their opinion. It’s good to have those moments to a professional gamer, so I want to say thank you to all esports fans.”

Cover photo courtesy of Riot Games

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