Jang “Nuguri” Ha-gwon seemed to be calm when we met him at the 2020 LCK Spring Split profile photoshoot. It was hard to find another person as confident as he was when he first debuted in the LCK, but Nuguri was quite different from then.
“I’ve been practicing for the next season. The schedule’s packed even before and after the Lunar New Year break. Since the new season is just around the corner, I’ve been putting in extra effort and it’s been going well,” started Nuguri.
People say that the current meta is a solo lane carry meta where the abilities of the top and mid laners are important. Nuguri had similar thoughts. “I partially agree with that. The jungler has a hard time leveling up, so the solo lanes are strengthened. In the next patch, the carry ability of the bot lane may decline as well.”
In the recent KeSPA Cup, Afreeca Freecs top laner Kim “Kiin” Gi-in led his team to the championship with astonishing performances. Nuguri said that he was impacted by Kiin. “I wouldn’t know if I did well, but I was really bad (Laughs). Kiin seems to affect the whole game well. Kiin doesn’t miss the smallest things. There’s really a lot to learn from him and I was really motivated by him.”
“From when last year’s summer season was over, I felt that the speed of my improvement was slow. I lacked in giving my team information and didn’t make enough shotcalls in-game. I felt a lot. I was overly confident back then, but now, I’m trying to look back at myself. Although it may be a top carry meta, there would be times where I need to support the team. I need to improve more in that matter,” said Nuguri.
Nuguri used words like teamwork or synergy repeatedly during the interview. We were able to feel how much he was concentrating on those parts. “I was quite inconsistent and I lacked teamwork and synergy with my teammates. I’m doing my best to improve that.”
There were two clear goals for Nuguri. The finals and the best top laner. “I’d really like to go to the finals once. Also, although I have far to go, I’d like to become the best player amongst all top laners in overall attributes. Whatever my strength is, I want to become the top laner that does the best.”
Lastly, Nuguri said, “I didn’t live up to expectations. I’ll be proving myself with my performance and will wash all regrets in the opening match.”