Last year, Park “Hajinsun” Hyunseon first made her name known in the Korean LoL community as the team manager for Misfits Gaming. However, not only was she already known for hosting various tournaments in esports, she was also known for translating at various events. Now, she starts a new chapter in life as the team manager/analyst for T1 and entered the LCK.
The word ‘versatile’ fits her very well, as not only is she fluent in 3+ languages, she also has various esports work experience under her belt as well. As the new team manager for T1, she’ll be armed with her bright smile and personality to help manage and strengthen the unity of the team, and as an analyst, she will be utilizing her enormous passion and knowledge for the game to provide the right data for T1.
What kind of a person is Hajinsun, who now starts her new life under an enormous team such as T1? In the hopes of our readers sending her much welcome and support, Inven Global caught up with her at a coffee shop near Hongdae, Seoul for a conversation.
Hello! This is your first time saying hello through an interview, so please introduce yourself.
Hello, I’m the new manager/analyst for T1, Park Hyunseon.
As a manager and an analyst… What exactly are your responsibilities with T1?
As a team manager, I’ll be sharing the original manager’s responsibilities. Not all teams in Korea have analysts on the team, but with "Tolki", the other analyst for T1, we will be assisting the coaching staff by analyzing other team’s matches and solo queue data. We won’t be directly involved with the coaching of the team, but will be providing the coaching staff with the data they can utilize. I believe that as LCK starts, Tolki and I will be looking to prove ourselves in how we fit into the team.
My main title within the team is team manager. However, during my interview with the CEO of T1, I told him, ‘I want to work on things that are a bit more challenging.’ The public opinion of a team manager is to be the mother of the team, but I told him that I didn’t want to stop there. I told him that I wanted to learn more about the game as well, so that’s how I was able to be an analyst as well.
Your resume is very versatile, as you worked various jobs in esports. Can you share what your life was like within esports?
I first stepped into esports in the group stages of the 2015 LoL World Championships. At the time, my friends told me that Riot is looking for a KOR-EN translator, so I applied for the job and was accepted. I remember myself being unconfident, because I grew up in France with French being my main language, and English wasn’t. I just dove in head first with passion. I wasn’t in charge of translating on stage, but was in charge of translating backstage on-camera. I remember the first player to interview being Faker.
I was just a regular engineering student, but starting with Worlds in 2015, I was able to work in many different areas of esports. In 2016, I was the translator for the Korean players on Paris Saint-Germain LoL team, and in 2017, I wrote articles for a French esports website. 2017 was also the year that I also graduated with a computer engineering degree, but I told my mom that, ‘I love working in esports, so I want to pursue my career in this field’.
As a freelancer, I was able to work in various fields of esports. Not only did I continue to translate, I worked as an on-stage host, and was also a manager in the Starcraft scene as well. Then, last year, I got in contact with Misfits and worked as a translator/manager in a LoL team for the first time.
Not only was your life very busy, it must’ve taken great resolve. How did you get in contact with T1?
After Worlds, T1 put out a wanted ad through their social media, and I was told about it through an acquaintance of mine. So I drafted up a resume, and after much talks, I was accepted for the position.
How did the people around you react to your acceptance to T1?
They kept asking me if it’s for real. On the day that I was saying goodbye to my friends after signing with T1, they facetiously said, ‘Are you going to T1 or something?’. Of course, I said yes, and they were really surprised. Everyone really congratulated me.
My parents don’t know much about esports, but they know about SK Telecom. They even know about Faker, so my family congratulated me as well.
What aspects of T1 were you drawn to?
It’s T1 (laughter)! It’s a team with history and tradition. When SKT T1 partnered up with Comcast, they even changed their name to T1. There’s a lot of things that are changing, and when I was talking with the Korean side COO of the team, the phrase, ‘We are in the transition period’ was mentioned the most. I wanted to be a part of T1’s change.
After I left Misfits, I was actually thinking a lot about what I should do next. I was contemplating whether or not I should go join a team in NA, or go to China to learn Mandarin. One thing that I realized was that as teams around the world are facing change, the Korean teams needed to change as well. Then I tried to figure out who can provide aid in those changes as well. As I’m familiar with both Korean and Western culture, I felt that not only did I have things to offer in Korea, I can also learn what it’s like to work in Korea as well. This opportunity felt like the perfect challenge, and I want to give it my all.
Have you started your work with T1 yet? How’s the atmosphere?
I went to the T1 offices the day after I landed in Korea. I only took a look around, went down to the T1 practice rooms, said hello to the players and the coaching staff, and went home. The office was really nice. There were many divisions of the company working in that office space, such as the content production team, the editing team, producers, and the sponsor division. I remember the atmosphere being very bright in the office. I only said hello to the players before their scrims, and that’s when I really felt that I really joined T1. Before, I just felt anxious and things were just hectic, but when I met with the players, the fact that I really joined to work really hit me.
A lot of my friends asked me questions like, ‘How does it feel to be meeting Faker everyday?’, and about the atmosphere with the players. To be honest, players just felt like players, but… head coach Kim had an incredible presence. I’m actually more nervous to work with him than Faker...
I see. What were your first impressions of the players?
This year, T1 has a 10-man roster with a lot of new faces on board, so there were many faces that I was unfamiliar with. My first job as a team manager was to give out the team hoodies. I wrote down their nicknames on the hoodies, and when I called out their nicknames, they would answer one by one to collect them. However, the players decided to play a little trick. When I called Kuri out, Gumayusi came out to get his hoodie. So I told him, ‘I’m sorry, but I know that the SC2 player ‘INnoVation’ is your older brother,’ and didn’t fall for his tricks.
Faker, that one player that all my friends were curious about, was the same as when I met him at Worlds and MSI… He probably won’t remember me though.
There are many fans that are worried about the new T1 members. As an analyst and team manager, are there things you’re worried about?
I’m not entirely sure yet. For now, I just want the team to perform well at KeSPA Cup. We still have a lot of time to prepare for LCK, and I believe that the coaching staff will do well in building the team’s synergy.
As the team manager, how will you approach the players and become friendly with them?
There’s a team workshop coming up, so I think that I’ll naturally end up talking to the players one on one. The players will each have things they’re interested in outside the game; some will be really interested in skin care, and with Faker, he loves reading books, so I’ll probably end up reading some of the books he read as well. I believe that by taking an interest in the things the players like, I’ll be able to become close with them.
Is there something you’d like to do with the players as the team manager?
One thing I personally want to push for is to work out with the players. I want to make the team healthy. When I was on Misfits, the one thing I liked the most was going to the gym with the players. I even gave them supplements and had a healthy lifestyle, so I’m wondering if things can be the same in Korea (laughter). Things are just starting, so I have to become close with them.
In the new offices that are being built, I heard that there’s going to be a gym as well. I’m hoping that the players and I will naturally end up hitting the gym. I heard that the coaching staff is going, so perhaps the players will as well… It’s important to keep up your health.
What else are you expecting from your time with T1?
Learning the ways of the Korean society. Although I’m Korean, I grew up overseas since 4th grade, so I did not imagine myself working in Korea. I have a lot to learn. I need to become better at Korean as well (laughter).
As much as you’re excited about the team, there must be things that worry you as well.
I’m excited to see how the 10 players will synergize. The thing I’m worried about… is that the team may not play up to the fans’ expectations right from the beginning, but I’m worried that they might be disappointed. Although I’d want nothing more than the team to play well from the beginning, I hope that the fans will be patient and continue to give their support. We all want to be the best in the world, and we’re working very hard towards that goal.
Apart from working with T1, what kind of work do you want to pursue later in your esports career?
I love working as a host. I was the on-stage host during the round of 16s at Blizzcon, and also during GSL. The one thing that bummed me out about entering T1 is that I won’t be able to work in the Starcraft 2 scene. Other than being a host… I don’t think I can be a head coach… one day, I’d love to create my own team (laughter).
In the end, what kind of a person would you like to become, and what kind of a person would you like to be remembered as?
When people tune in to my stream and type in chat, the one thing I love to hear is ‘You’re so energetic’, and ‘You make people very happy’. I want to become a person that brings joy and positive energy to others. That’s why my nickname is Hajin’Sun’.
You do know that some people think that’s your actual name, right?
Of course (laughter).
Then lastly, please say something to the T1 fans that will also be embarking on the team’s journey.
Since T1 has a huge fanbase, I’m especially more careful. I want to thank them for their interest in me. I’ll make sure to work hard. Please make sure to tune into my stream as well! Although I won’t be able to talk about the team on stream, if you want to learn French, please make sure to tune in!
A managing editor who can do more things than you think.
Striving for perfection to achieve excellence in esports