League of Legends is a game that’s been around for ten years. Since I’ve been logging in almost every day for many years, I didn’t realize it. It’s still the most popular game in the world, but being around for so long, we’ve been seeing the same names for several years.
Individual mechanics are important in the MOBA genre, so developing young prospects is important. It’s not easy, but many teams are trying to find and bring up young talent. While the scene had been full of familiar faces for a long time, there’s a new face that’s been collecting a lot of attention.
Ryu “Keria” Min-seok had his debut in the KeSPA Cup. Since then, he’s been playing as the starting support of DragonX. Only half of the 2020 LCK Spring Split has passed, but people in the scene have been speaking extremely highly of his performances. Keria also was confident that he can someday become the best support. This young player is just taking his first steps. What future awaits him?
You’ve played your first round of the LCK regular season. It would have been something you’ve been longing for a long time. How was it?
I wanted to play while hearing the fans’ roars but it was regretful that I couldn’t. Still, I’m satisfied that we finished Round 1 with good results.
You’ve been gaining a lot of attention, being called a ‘hot prospect’. Did that make you feel pressured?
When I first started scrimming, I felt a bit of pressure. I was a trainee for quite a long time, so people knew my name for longer than the other rookies. But as our team was completed and I played more scrims, it all went away. What I often thought was that I wanted to do well in official games so that fans would compliment me.
In that regard, it’s regretful that we didn’t have spectators. It may be positive for me, as a rookie, since I would feel less pressure, but I just want to play in front of many people. I think I’ll still do well.
You haven’t played that many games yet, but was there a game that stuck in your mind?
The match against Gen.G. I made an absurd mistake in Game 2. I’ve always thought that I’m the best at playing Lux, so I played her without practicing, but it had been a while since I played her so I got anxious. I made a mistake by using Flash in the same place during the laning phase and the game was blown since then. That really stuck in my mind. I usually don’t play Lux in solo queue, but since I don’t want to make such a mistake ever again, I practiced her a lot.
Deft is known as one of the best ADCs in Korea. Although you would be quite used to it now, didn’t you get nervous at first playing with him?
When Deft first came, I thought, ‘Wow… Why is this guy here?’ At first, I wasn’t able to say anything and just did as Deft told me to do. As we played more and more solo queue together, it became comfortable. Now, I enjoy kidding around with him and he likes it when I do (Laughs). There’s no boss and slave in a bot duo!
How is Deft’s feedback?
Deft doesn’t usually order me to do something. He just gives me a few pieces of advice while we duo, so I try to remember what he said and fix it. I also learned from watching how Deft plays.
While we scrimmed together, I learned a lot about the laning phase. As it hasn’t been long since I had my debut, I played a lot more solo queues so I had a tendance to play without thinking about the future. Deft balanced me in that matter. Thanks to him, my style changed and I learned to transition between offense and defense.
We heard that you’re the main shotcaller of DragonX. It’s a difficult role for a rookie to do.
I’m not sure how I ended up as the main shotcaller. Actually, during scrims, we all talk a lot, but when we play official games, it seems my vision gets wider. Maybe because I’m a support? I try to see the game as a whole and that made me like that. It’s not that I’m the only shotcaller in the team though. We’re all similar and close, so we talk freely and convey opinions freely.
Except for Deft, there are many young players in DragonX. Even so, you had quite good results in Round 1. What do you think about cvMax’s coaching?
He’s like a really friendly big brother. In-game-wise, cvMax focuses on detailed feedback such as moving in the laning phase, single skillshots, etc. But he doesn’t say much about the bot lane; probably because Deft knows the game well enough. Deft is kind of like a playing coach for our team. I think cvMax believes that Deft would do well on his own.
Let’s talk about your teammates now. I know that you’re really close to Chovy from before. How is it now that he’s a teammate?
I’ve thought that Chovy’s a really good player from before. Now that we’re on the same team, I simply think that we wouldn’t lose in mid lane. For example, if it’s LeBlanc vs. Galio in mid lane, Chovy wins whether he’s playing LeBlanc or Galio. That made us have faith in mid lane. He’s really good even in teamfights and he doesn’t lack in anything. Out of the game, his personality is just like my peers. Chovy’s one year older than me, but it’s like we’re the same age.
Aside from the good evaluations in mid and bot, some people say that DragonX’s top and jungle have to improve more. What do you think?
When the team was first completed, we scrimmed for a few weeks; Deft and I were also worried about that. But cvMax gave very precise feedback about top and jungle and more than anything, Doran and Pyosik work really hard. So I don’t think we’re in a bad situation. The players in our team improve really quickly. Frankly, I’m also a rookie, so I still have a lot of issues to mind myself.
When so many people in the scene praise your performances, how do you feel?
I sometimes search the communities when they do… Honestly, I always read the comments on days I did well (Laughs). I want to get complimented more. Those compliments really motivate me.
Although people in the scene give you top-notch evaluations, there still are many people that don’t know Keria since you’re a rookie. How did you first start playing LoL?
From when I was young, I often played the games my older brother plays. He told me to try LoL so I did. When I first started ranked, I was at Bronze 4, but I reached Diamond in about half a year. I naturally started preparing to become pro since then.
You play other lanes often in solo queue. Why did you decide to become a support?
I originally climbed tiers playing mid and ADC and my main champion was Katarina. But mid and ADC made me feel pressure in the late game. At that time, I often saw Madlife’s Blitzcrank videos and a Thresh main streamer’s streams. Watching them, I became a support. Anyways, since I played other roles a lot, it helped me in widening my champion pool.
You don’t only play with Deft in solo queue, but with top-tier bot laners like Teddy. You must learn a lot.
Right. Deft’s style is playing the laning phase very precisely. When he falls behind, he often attempts high-risk high-return plays. On the other hand, Teddy is less precise, but he’s really good at catching up when he falls behind. Each bot laner has different strengths so I’m trying hard to study about them.
Now, let’s get back to the LCK. Round 2 is starting now. How has DragonX been preparing during the break?
A league is a marathon. We didn’t work too much so that we wouldn’t be exhausted. We just prepared enough to bring our peak performances when the league resumes while scrimming regularly. After Round 1, we all were on vacation, but the coronavirus situation was too serious, so I just practiced in the team house. It would be a massacre if I went out and the team caught the coronavirus.
How do you think the rest of the Spring Split would go?
Our first opponent is Hanwha Life Esports. I think they could have prepared several unique picks. If we prepare well and have a good start from the first game, we’ll have good results.
All LoL esports organizations’ goals would be winning Worlds. What is the realistic goal for DragonX this year?
There’s something we all discussed at the start of this year. We’ll gain experience during the spring season and give our best performances during summer so that we can reach Worlds and win it. It might sound unrealistic, but I want to do my best so that it comes true.
LCK supports this year are very different. Is there any player that motivates you in other teams?
When I was preparing for the KeSPA Cup and LCK Spring, I did my best so that I can get better evaluations than Lehends. For now, I don’t think there’s any player that motivates me. I personally think CoreJJ is really good. And it seems that there are many good support players in the LPL, especially Crisp of FunPlus and Ming of RNG.
Do you have a role model?
It’s Mata. In 2017 and 2018, I studied every day watching him play. I think that Mata is like the creator of the textbook manual for supports.
What kind of player would you like to be remembered by in the future?
I’d like to go down in history in the LoL scene as Faker did. I think all the players would think the same. Also, I don’t what to be involved in any bad issues. Again about Faker, he’s been at the top for long but has always been the model esports player in life as well, which is really respectable. Deft, too.
I also would like to gain the most titles as a support player. I said several things, but to make it short, I want to be remembered as a capable player that sets good examples.
Lastly, do you have anything you’d like to say to the fans?
The reason I wanted to become a pro player was that I wanted to hear the crowd roar while I play. It’s such a pity that I wasn’t able to this season because of the coronavirus. I’d really like to meet all of the fans as soon as possible. Staying healthy is the most important right now, so please take care. I’ll continue to do my best, so cheer for me as well. Thank you.