The Jin Air Green Wings debuted a new member of their active roster, Jin “Blanc” Seong-Min, with great success in a May 28 win against Longzhu Gaming. Blanc had powerful performances as Azir in the first set and Twisted Fate in the second, dealing the most damage in the entire game. With a lot of attention on him, Blanc is thinking long term about his future performances, writes Inven’s Park Bum.
Blanc had already made his name known even before his long-awaited debut. He joined the team last November after first talking to longtime friend Na “Pilot” Woo-Hyeong, Jin Air’s starting AD Carry.
“Pilot was a neighborhood friend of mine, but he ended up debuting first,” he told Inven in an interview. “I was switching over to studying when he told me I should try out for Jin Air. At the time of the tryout, I had 1,000 points in challenger. For the tryout itself I would face off against (Lee “Kuzan” Seong-Hyeok), and I got some solo kills while showing a good performance, which led me to officially signing with Jin Air.”
Blanc was never given a chance during the spring split of League Champions Korea, though, and was warming the bench while still maintaining the top spot of Korean solo queue.
“Since I didn’t get to debut during the spring, the only way I could appeal to the organization was through solo queue,” he said. “I wanted to get the chance by showing how well I was doing in ranked. When I was first, I felt like I had the whole world to myself. I got an immense confidence boost, like as if I could do anything I put my mind toward.”
Jin Air finished fourth in the spring split, and Blanc gave much of that credit to rival Kuzan in retrospect, despite not being able to compete himself.
“I thought I was doing great, so I thought it was a bit of a shame not to compete,” he told Inven. “But then our team ended at fourth, and I think the reason we were able to have such a good season was thanks to Kuzan. Thinking about it now, it was right for him to play instead of me.”
When he finally did debut against Longzhu, Blanc said that he was still very nervous about his performance but was rewarded through victory.
“Up until the day I competed, I was incredibly nervous. I even thought if I could do well and lost sleep over it too,” he told Inven. Even at the stadium that feeling didn’t leave me. Thankfully the match ended very well for us, and I was elated. It felt like all my hard work was paying off.”
At 2-0, Jin Air is one of three teams still unbeaten in the spring split. With a debut victory, Blanc will be competing against Kuzan to be the mid laner of choice for Jin Air, and Blanc feels there is still much to do to catch up to Kuzan.
“Kuzan is two years younger than I am, so he’s much better in laning and split-second decision making,” he said. “If I don’t try harder he’ll just surpass me. Kuzan also has more experience than I do, so it’s very common to see him working well with the team. If I also become experienced, I think I can continue to compete. Especially because I personally think I have more talent than Kuzan does right now.”
He also expanded on his personal strengths he has over Kuzan in the mid lane, expressing that he has a better grasp on the more mechanical sides of the game.
“I think I am better at game management and play-making,” he said. “There are individual game management and team-oriented game management, and I think I’m better at the latter than Kuzan, such as pushing lanes, split pushing, and grouping up.”
Blanc also commented on the typical assessment that people have about Jin Air, especially about their very late-game focused game plans. He said that this was a common misconception, and not a game plan they always have before the matches.
“A lot of fans have the wrong idea, but we don’t actually prefer the late game,” he told Inven. “As games don’t pan out the way we want them to, we just naturally start looking towards the late game in order to secure a win. We’re working very hard to create quick games, and I also prefer that play style. However, at the actual games, I keep trying to find a more stable long-term strategy. That’s how much the pressure each game is on the team”.”
Finally Blanc shared his personal ambitions now that he got to have his professional debut, beyond even Kuzan or being the starting mid laner for the Jin Air Green Wings. Blanc’s ultimate goal for the summer is to catch up to none other than Lee “Faker” Sang-Hyeok.
“I want to be like Faker,” he said. “When I lane against him, the lane pressure from him is immense. I also want to give that same pressure to my opponents. Another pro-player I look up to is (Vici Gaming’s) Lee “Easyhoon” Ji-Hoon. I think Easyhoon is a great player that delivers the absolute best he can every game.”
He also added that he wanted to be remembered as a “smart player, one that doesn’t just focus on what’s in front of him right now, but knows how to look at the big picture.”
Blanc concluded the interview by addressing Faker directly, asking that Faker goes “easy on (him,)” and that he is very “thankful for the lessons” he learns each time he watches Faker perform.