Dignitas’ new coach Park Jae-seok was the head coach of the League Champions Korea team SBENU Korea, previously known as SBENU Sonicboom.
SBENU competed in the 2015 summer split and survived relegation once to fight in the 2016 spring split before being relegated. Due to complications with its sponsor company, the League of Legends team was disbanded in October, and Park left a heartfelt message to his fans on Facebook.
Slingshot’s Andrew had the chance to talk briefly with Park about his move to Dignitas and implementing Korean tactics with his new team.
Andrew Kim: You were the head coach of SBENU previously, now the head coach of an NA organization. How did you come to work with Dignitas after SBENU disbanded?
Park Jae-seok: SBENU had a lot of problems in both management and support, and as a person who has dreamed of supporting my own sports team, I wished to create a system of my own and bring up a strong team. In the process of looking for a team do to that, I thought Dignitas was my best choice.
AK: There has been talk that you wish to bring the LCK system to North America and lead the team in that manner. How do you plan to do that in detail?
PJS: First, I plan to get used to the cultural environment of North America. There are already ideas we have that brings Korean practice methods, game management, and team practice activities. We want to utilize them, gain familiarity with the team, and steadily implement the system in mind to both scrims and individual practice times in order to create the closest possible system to Korea.
AK: You are very well known for caring for the players mentally, with stories about going as far as using your own money to manage the players in SBENU. Do you have a philosophy to your method?
PJS: As a baseline, a coach needs to be more diligent than players, and I believe one needs to work harder than the player in order to keep up with them. Once you manage the players like a parent, the players can accept all manners of feedback and become great players. In the case of League of Legends, there needs to be a person willing to take the responsibility of the team’s performance, and I always believe that responsibility lies with me.
AK: Have you and coach Kim played a large role in the addition of Ssumday and Chaser? What was the process like?
PJS: I think that if you are straight forward and honest with a player, the player responds likewise. Both coach Kim and I met with the players personally after contacting them, and expressed that we as a coaching staff wanted to work with those players, that we could succeed in North America. I believe that was able to convince the player to play with us.
AK: What are your goals, now that you’ve ventured into NA as a head coach?
PJS: At the end of the day, I failed with SBENU. So I want to regain my confidence with Dignitas being my turning point. I honestly think that this will be the last team I coach, so I want to make it into a strong team. More team-wise, I think as long as we communicate and play well, we can make it to worlds no problem.
Cover photo courtesy of Team Dignitas