Kim “Ssumday” Chan-ho’s first split in North America is not going as planned.
Ssumday signed with Dignitas of the North American League of Legends Championship Series after almost four years as a part of the KT Rolster organization, but the transition has not necessarily been smooth. Dignitas has struggled throughout parts of the split and also replaced its coach in the middle of the split.
At 6-8, Dignitas is tied for sixth and holds a playoff spot but is only one game ahead of eighth place Echo Fox and a spot in the relegation tournament.
Slingshot’s Andrew Kim caught up with Ssumday briefly during Week 6 of the LCS to talk about his transition to America, how much winning means to him and goals for the rest of the spring.
Andrew Kim: I’m sure you also share the disappointments of the fans dealing with this early split. How do you make sure to keep a level head during times like these?
Kim “Ssumday” Chan-ho: As a player it obviously feels good to win but it’s also natural to not be happy when you lose. I’m not perfect, but I’m trying my best to look at it positively.
AK: You seem to be streaming much more often and interacting with your Western fans more. You mentioned at the start of the split that you wanted to do precisely that. Do you feel you’ve made progress in either English or fan interaction?
KCH: At first when I streamed I didn’t say much because someone would be practicing near me and I thought it would be weird if I just talked to myself, but I still do so when I feel good. The viewers seem to like that a lot so I like it as well. I do think my English has improved as well.
AK: Can you feel it in everyday life or interacting with your teammates?
KCH: I can definitely feel it when I’m talking, and even in reading stuff from Twitch chat. I also think I’ve been improving in my classes.
AK: In the case of English do you have a particular goal for yourself?
KCH: Recently I went to watch a movie with teammates. It was of course in English so I couldn’t understand everything but I got the gist of the story. I didn’t catch the details of the movie, so by next year I want to be able to watch and understand a movie without subtitles.
AK: Do you keep up with VODs from other regions?
KCH: Yes, I watch almost all of the LCK ones. I also watch the LPL and EU LCS when I can find the time.
AK: Is there a player you pay particular attention to?
KCH: Of course I watched the recent SK Telecom T1 and KT match and when I did, it was just as good as people said it was.
AK: There’s still a lot of time left in the split. Do you have a small short term goals? I know that the team is looking to perform in the summer.
KCH: The least I want to do is not fall to the relegation tournament.
AK: What was an event that you had the most fun after coming to America?
KCH: I think as a gamer, I have the most fun when I win.
Cover photo courtesy of Riot Games/illustration by Slingshot