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Flame: “Overall, Korea takes scrims very seriously, and the skill you see in scrims would be the skill you see on stage. In NA, I don’t think this is the case.”

Slingshot’s Andrew Kim caught up with Immortals’ Lee “Flame” Ho-jong during Week 7 of the North American League of Legends Championship Series.

Andrew Kim: (In Week 6) the team seemed to be taking the losses rather hard. How did you spend your time since then to recover to perform?

Lee “Flame” Ho-jong: We had a couple of bad things like team condition and whatnot. We also didn’t perform well on stage and made some ridiculous mistakes as well. We had much better practice this time around. With some of the large issues fixed in game, we were able to focus more on practice as well. We trusted in each other more, and focused on our individual abilities. That’s not the only reason, but the results are very good.

AK: How does preparing for scrims and scrims themselves differ from NA to Korea?

LHJ: I think there’s a large difference. I played in Korea a lot, and spent a year in China as well, with now working in America. I also had some scrim experiences in Europe as well for worlds before. Overall, Korea takes scrims very seriously, and the skill you see in scrims would be the skill you see on stage. In NA, I don’t think this is the case. Of course the players could be feeling not as well, or they could also be testing things out. For example, they give the feeling of just collapsing once they lose the early game in a scrim. I feel like there is a large gap between scrims and on stage performances. Rather than believing that the other teams will perform the way they do in scrims, we focus on our own practice and compositions.

AK: What about the team preparation for scrims?

LHJ: Up until now we had great records in scrims, but as I said we discussed a lot about our own play and team. We decided not to put a lot of stock of who we win or lose against in scrims, and just focus on our improvement, our composition, and our teamwork. For drafting, we don’t do it to beat the opponents but more ban things that we planned to ban and see how things play out. I thought a lot about why we wouldn’t do as well on stage as opposed to scrims, so I talked a lot about it (with the team).

AK: Right now the middle of the NA LCS is incredibly competitive. What do you think Immortals can contest the middle of the rankings or even look to make it to third place of the regular season?

LHJ: Our jungler has always been talented, and our mid laner has also been improving, and the bottom has also improved a lot over the course of the split. I think our team is very strong, and if we maintain this, we can really do well, even better than what we’re doing right now.

AK: Do you also often watch VODs from other regions?

LHJ: I watch all of the LCK games. I used to try and watch every NA LCS game as well, but I didn’t have enough time in the day. I usually watch the games I want to watch, or the games of teams we will be playing next.

AK: Is there a player in the LCK that you’re paying particularly more attention than the others?

LHJ: Teams that have strong top laners and teams that are top lane centric. For example, SK Telecom T1, KT Rolster, and the Afreeca Freecs games are really fun. The other games are fun too.

Cover photo courtesy of Riot Games/illustration by Slingshot