Samsung Galaxy is playing in its first League of Legends World Championship since 2014, after which its entire 10-player, two-team roster left to play in another region. This new crop of players has succeeded to this point and is one of 10 teams to have a 2-1 record after the first week of the group stage.
Slingshot’s Andrew Kim had the chance to speak to Samsung’s Kang “Ambition” Chan-Yong to talk about Samsung’s chances, expectations and the feeling of being at his first world championship.
AK: This is your first world championships ever. How does that feel?
Kang “Ambition” Chan-Yong: I feel very accomplished personally. I also started to think a lot about what it would have been like if we didn’t make it. Like how sad or disappointing it would have been for us. I’m very relieved that we were able to make it here.
AK: What are some differences you’ve felt between the LCK and world championships?
KCY: A lot of differences. The stage, the crowd reactions, and the are booths higher up. There certainly is some difficulties getting used to it, but it’s not enough to impact our performance in a major way.
AK: A lot of fans, Korean and foreign, think very highly of Samsung. Do you feel nervous that you might not match up the expectations?
KCY: There is some of that, but from us personally, we think that we shouldn’t throw away an opportunity that is given to us like this. Especially because these types of chances don’t come often.
AK: Head coach Choi said that he was more wary of the crowd than any of the teams. Do you agree with his assessment of the crowd impacting the team negatively?
KCY: I think there might be some issues if we begin to fall behind. I think we should talk about that issue preemptively and prepare ourselves so that it doesn’t happen.
AK: Are there any difficulties that come with traveling to America for the world championships?
KCY: Since it is so far away, we have to take a plane, which I don’t like. I get kind of plane sick as well. I just really don’t like planes. In terms of food I think it’s OK for a foreign country, and we did bring some food from home. Instant ramen, instant rice and stuff like that.
AK: With the competition so close, you have to practice away from home and at a hotel. How is practice in those conditions?
KCY: We practice at the hotel or at the venue itself, but it’s fine. We practice less than we do in Korea for sure, since we have to be here and there. But again, it isn’t enough to impact us negatively.
AK: With an Inven interview translated on Reddit, a lot of American fans are now aware of the baseball bat meme. Did you bring one with you to the world championships?
KCY: No, that was just for fun. I didn’t bring one.
AK: Finally, what are your personal goals or aspirations for the world championships?
KCY: Our goal is to make it to semis. I think we can reach that goal if we reduce the amount of mistakes we make.
Cover photo courtesy of Riot Games