Slingshot’s Andrew Kim talked to Cloud9 coach Bok “Reapered” Han-gyu (in Korean and translated to English) during Week 1 the North American League Championship Series. They chatted about the differences in coaching in North America vs. Korea, his career and how he tries to get the best out of his players.
Andrew Kim: The management seems like it got really better (than last year). Did you change the regimen up during the off season?
Bok “Reapered” Han-gyu: Last season, when I joined, it was my first season, and I coached for about six months before the world championships. As I enter this season, I have half a year’s worth of experience, and the players all already learned things like game management, but they just don’t realize it on the stage. Like if they made a mistake, they don’t realize in the moment what they needed to do, but now I think they think “If I don’t do this well, I’ll be scolded,” and is more aware of it.
AK: So it’s kind of like “I should be careful to not get scolded later?”
AK: You were a player in Korea and a coach previously in China. What are some of the differences between coaching in China and North America?
BHG: My life is very comfortable (in NA). All regions are systemized when it comes to pro gaming, but in NA’s case, the day starts earlier so the evenings can be open, so I like how I had some time for myself at the end of the day.
AK: The NA daily schedule seems very similar with Korea in that sense of scheduling. As a former player, how much of your experience as a player do you reflect in your coaching?
BHG: I don’t really reflect my experience as a player. I work to make sure to not have my players go through the same things I thought were very difficult.
AK: What kind of things would that be?
BHG: When players don’t sleep well, they can’t maintain their health, and when they get sick they can’t play well. The thing I want to nail down the most is making sure the players eat breakfast, get eight hours of sleep, not letting players play past 3 (in the morning). Simple things like that can promote them to live a lifestyle not only as players, but healthy people.
AK: I’m sure you need to speak English just like the players do. Do you also study English personally?
BHG: I’m using books to study. Also, since I lived here for half a year, I can use daily English. It is still a little difficult at banks though.
AK: Did you have a bad experience at a bank?
BHG: I just can’t understand anything they’re saying.
AK: This is your second year as a coach for Cloud9. Is there something you want to do different? What goals do you have for the season?
BHG: The final goal is to make it to the semifinals of worlds, and our team motto is the same; have fun, be healthy, and spend this year with those in mind.
Cover photo courtesy of Riot Games, illustration by Slingshot