Ahead of week 9 of the LCS, aka the Super Week, Team Liquid top the leaderboards at 13-3 — a true comeback from their 9th place finish in Spring. And at the heart of the squad is MVP of the Split contender Jo "CoreJJ" Yong-in.
In a letter sent to Inven Global and his Korean fans, CoreJJ writes about what it's like being anchored to the United States, unable to go home for the holidays due to the COVID-19 pandemic; how he feels playing with Edward "Tactical" Ra in the wake of Yiliang "Doublelift" Peng's departure; being called the "TL commander"; and looking forward to meeting Park "Ruler" Jae-hyuk at Worlds.
Hello, how have you been? I heard that it’s raining a lot in Korea. I wonder if all’s fine with the coronavirus. It’s been such a long time since I’ve said hello, so I’m a bit worried that you might have forgotten about me. It would have been better if I contacted more often, but since it’s far, it’s not easy.
It’s already been nearly two years since I’ve come to NA. Two years may be a long time which could feel like forever to some people, but to me, it feels extremely short. Time really flies. It doesn’t feel like I’ve done much after arriving in NA, adapting to the environment and league, but I can’t believe it’s been almost two years.
I wasn’t able to go back to Korea even during my vacation because of the coronavirus. It’s the first time I didn’t go back after the season was over. The situation is really bad here in the NA, so it’s not easy to go outside. It’s not much trouble since I’ve only been coming back and forth from our practice facility and my house, but it’s really unfortunate that I’m not able to go out to play or have something good.
I heard the LCK is being held at LoL Park. The LCS is being held online, at each teams’ facilities. It feels easy if I think we’re playing scrims, but it’s regretful that we’re not able to play in front of fans, listen to their roars, and high-five with them when we win. Maybe that’s why it feels that time passed so fast.
The results we had last spring was really bad. We finished the season in 9th place, which was the worst I’ve ever had after transitioning to a support player. Early in the season, I thought we would still be able to make the playoffs even if we lost, but time changed nothing. I thought, "We’re doomed…"
When the coronavirus prevented me from going back to Korea after the spring season, I thought to myself that it’s a chance. Whatever it is, we have to do well in the summer and at Worlds to be remembered. Since the spring season was already over, I decided to concentrate for the summer. Actually, I didn’t decide to work that hard… It’s just that there was nothing to do but play LoL.
Prior to this season, my laning buddy changed. Doublelift left the team and Tactical is playing with me. Starting from last season, Tactical was in a good form so I hoped that they would have a positive effect on each other by competing for the starting spot. I guess Doublelift wanted to have a spot guaranteed on the starting roster. It feels good that he’s doing well there, though.
Things are going well with Tactical, so I’m happy. He’s a young fellow, who has a great will to win. The way he thinks and plays is new, so I learn a lot as well. At first, I thought I would need to take care of him, but he was a lot more prepared than what I expected. He’s good at all types of bot lane champions from non-ADCs to supporting or hard-carrying ADCs as well. I’m really thankful that he’s doing well in the LCS.
The team atmosphere is really good as well. There are a lot more coaching staff members now. Jatt, who was formerly a commentator, came to the team as head coach, and Croissant, who used to work with Crown, also joined the team. Since there are more people in the coaching staff, it seems that they’re having more discussions. We spend less time during meetings and we get many different perspectives. Everyone’s working hard, and we’re at the top of the league so even with the pandemic, the team’s happy and well.
Recently, some people started calling me “TL commander”. It seems that I’ve been standing out more since I’ve been playing champions I didn’t play that often before and trying to play good champions actively. I’m playing more constructively now. I try to look at the map widely rather than the laning phase.
I’m happy that our team is doing well as Worlds is coming up. The best way to end a year is to do well during the summer and play well at Worlds. There are still parts to improve, but if we do, I think we could do better at Worlds than last year.
Last year was really regretful. We lacked one win from getting out of the group stage. Although it was just one win, we lacked a lot more than that. But this time, I’m really confident that we can do a lot better than last year since the team and I are both improving a lot. If we were to go to Worlds, I really want to meet Gen.G. I want to meet Ruler and kill him. Haha.
LoL is a very interesting game. I’ve done many things, and have pretty much experience, but it’s different all the time. I always want to win, get mad when I lose. I want to do well this season, go to Worlds again, and continue playing. I want to keep proving myself as a player. This could be really tiring, but it’s more fun because of that. I’ll always be doing my best, so please keep an eye on me.
When I watch LEC nowadays, I sometimes feel jealous. It feels that LEC got bigger recently. Seeing myself thinking these things, I must be craving more attention. To get more attention, I need to do well, and the best way to show that is to do well in big competitions. If we do well in international competitions, LCS would look better and that would make playing in the LCS happier.
I really miss the fans. I know that even in Korea, there are no fan meets after the matches. I just pray that you’re all safe and healthy. I want to see you again. Although I’m far away, please remember me. I’ll be doing my best on my end by working hard and playing well so that you could remember me. Until we meet again, take care, and be happy. Thank you always.
Cho “CoreJJ” Yong-in
For more LoL Esports news and content, head over to our dedicated League of Legends section!
Find full schedules, brackets, and more for your favorite esports on Juked.gg!