One of the biggest interests for a LoL esports fan right now has to be how the players in Shanghai are preparing for Worlds: the bubble makes it an extraordinary situation that draws curiosity. While there are bits of news here and there on social media, we at Inven wanted to share more information with our readers by directly talking to the players.
After reaching out to a few players, we were able to get in contact with the jungler for DAMWON Gaming, Kim “Canyon” Geon-bu. After winning the 2020 LCK Summer split and becoming the #1 LCK seed for Worlds, DWG was the first team to fly out (on Sep.11) and stay in quarantine.
Usually, when we start interviews with “How are you? Are you doing well?”, it is usually just an icebreaker question. However, when we asked Canyon the same, it felt like the most important one. Thankfully doing quite well, Canyon’s 2020 journey is far from over yet.
We know that you’re still in quarantine. There are a lot of people wondering about how your quarantine life is. Are you doing well?
Yes, there isn’t anything too uncomfortable at the moment. We all have our separate rooms, and we’re communicating through Discord. Although it can get quite boring, chatting with my team is enough to chase the boredom away.
My meals actually haven’t been that shabby recently either. I can choose from a variety of menus, and I usually just choose Korean food. At first, I really missed the authentic Korean food, but eventually, I just got used to the menu here. When I don’t want any food that we’re offered, I just eat the food that I brought from home.
How’s the online practice? Don’t teams all gather in a room to receive feedback through a single screen?
The feedback is being done through the screen share function, so things don't feel too out of the ordinary. The internet speed isn’t too bad either. (Can you also share some scrim results?) Hmm… I’d say it’s not bad. There are more W’s than L’s.
"We absolutely cannot get complacent. [...] We need to be at our 100% right from the group stages."
I first want to talk about Group B. DWG’s in the same group as JDG and Rogue, so many people are saying that it’s the “Group of Death”.
I feel that JDG is an incredibly strong team, and since we’re in the same group, and since Rogue’s also the 1st place team of the regular split, things are going to be tough. This means that they’re strong in best-of-1’s, so we absolutely cannot get complacent. Having a good start is very important, so we need to be at our 100% right from the group stages. I hope that we get at least four wins to at least get out of groups in second place.
Let’s take a quick look back at your 2020 season. As the starting member for the team, the Spring Split must’ve been quite disappointing for you.
We felt that we really needed to do well in spring, but the fact that we couldn’t was very disappointing for all of us. I think I didn’t do well on a personal level, so the Spring split was quite a letdown.
On that personal level you mentioned, what kind of feedback did you receive and what did you do to improve?
After the Spring Split, I thought, “How can I use our team’s strengths to snowball the game as quickly as possible?” When my laners won their lane, I couldn’t smoothly counter jungle or incite skirmishes to get advantages. That was the main thing I worked on, and I honed it to get the most efficiency out of it. Most of the practice was done in solo queue through trial and error.
Almost everyone said that you reached the peak of your form in the Summer Split. Are you satisfied with your performance in the summer?
Obviously, there were games I was satisfied and dissatisfied with. The aforementioned aspects that I felt I lacked, such as counter jungling and inciting skirmishes, definitely got better. On the flip side, I needed to think about what I needed to do in the mid-late game to win, and that’s something I feel I lacked. However, I feel that I somewhat fixed such mistakes throughout the Summer split. It’s not perfect, so I need to practice more.
"When my laners won their lane, I couldn’t smoothly counter jungle or incite skirmishes to get advantages. That was the main thing I worked on"
Not only did DWG win the Summer split, but the team also set various new records in the LCK.
We all played very well, but we wouldn’t have been able to perform as well as we did without our coaching staff strategizing in-game and creating various draft scenarios to maximize our strengths. Not only did they capitalize on our strengths in lane, but they also utilized our vast champion pool very efficiently. Because of them, we were able to play out the games quite well.
We can’t leave out the fact that you’re the first jungler to score a pentakill in the LCK. Were you aware of such a fact when you scored the penta?
Not at first. I thought that Kim “OnFleek” Jang-gyeom of SANDBOX Gaming was the first, but he actually scored the penta at KeSPA Cup. It’s actually really hard for junglers to score pentas, so I never dreamt that I’d score a penta (laughter). At the time, I was just doing my thing, but my teammates were adamant in feeding me the penta. That’s when I got a little ambitious, so the credit goes to my teammates.
Although you’re part of the All-LCK first team, the “Young Player” and the “Season MVP” award went to the mid laner of DWG, Heo “ShowMaker” Su. Are you disappointed at all that you didn’t get it?
To be honest, mid lane priority dictates how much the jungler can move around. The reason why I was able to do the things I wanted was that ShowMaker was that immovable threat in the mid lane, so it’s natural that ShowMaker got those awards. I’m not disappointed at all.
Many people give you credit for being able to play all kinds of jungle champions very well. In the Summer split, you’ve played scaling AP champions very well, so which champion are you most confident on?
I’d say Nidalee. I’m confident enough to say that I’m the best Nidalee player in the world.
Which jungler at Worlds do you believe that has the most similar playstyle with you?
I think that JDG’s jungler, Kanavi, and Fnatic’s Selfmade are very good on scaling jungle champions. (You’re going to face Kanavi right off the bat in group stages. Are you confident that you’ll beat him?) I am. I’m practicing hard to win.
To expand on the question, who do you think the top 5 junglers are at Worlds?
Yes, including yourself.
Not ranking them in any order, it’d be Karsa, Kanavi, SofM… I don’t know about the other two.
You’re an LCK champion, so why did you not put yourself on the list?
I believe that I still need to work harder… The LPL junglers have clear strengths, and I think they’re very good. Kanavi carries games himself through his laners helping him scale, Karsa ganks very well and the synergy with his team is just incredible. For SofM, his plays are just the most peculiar to watch. His jungle pathing is so flexible, it’s very unpredictable.
The 10.19 patch is live. Did it affect the jungle meta at all?
I don’t think there are major changes. It’ll most likely stay the same as before, and even if the meta changes, I’m confident that I’ll do well.
What are some predictions on highly contested jungle picks?
It’d definitely have to be Nidalee. Other than Nidalee, I’d say Hecarim, Lillia, and Graves would be the other champions. I’m not sure. Oh, also, Evelynn might be drafted here and there as well.
"When I faced Karsa during MSC, I was outjungled in terms of jungle pathing. I was furious when I lost, so I want to face him again."
In the Western leagues’ playoffs, Shen was also picked in the jungle. What are your thoughts on Shen jungle?
Shen’s strength lies in how he can be flexed into three different roles (jungle, top, and support) in draft. I wanted to play him in solo queue, but I haven’t got a chance yet. As long as his strengths are properly utilized, I believe he’s viable. He seems to be more of a pocket pick.
DWG, alongside TES and JDG, is considered to be the favorites to win the tournament. Which team do you think will prove to be the toughest to take down?
It’d have to be TES. Their individual lanes have very strong laning phases. Our laners are very good at laning as well, so as long as critical mistakes don’t happen on both sides, I think that the team with the better jungler will win. When I faced Karsa during MSC, I was outjungled in terms of jungle pathing. I was furious when I lost, so I want to face him again.
This year’s Worlds is full of amazing mid lane talent, so as a way of sending ShowMaker some energy, what are some of ShowMaker’s strengths?
He’s at least ranked second among all the mid laners at Worlds. Only TES’ Knight and DRX’s Chovy would be in contention to take that first place spot. Actually, ShowMaker did say that Bdd’s also very good. In the end, if mid laners are good on both ends, I have to be the one to step up. ShowMaker’s the type of player to do well, even if he’s left alone.
"If I really do win, I really want a Nidalee skin. I think that I’ll be playing her a lot in the process of winning the tournament."
I’d think that the obvious goal for this Worlds is to win the whole thing. Do you also have a personal goal?
While the grand objective is to obviously win Worlds, I personally want to become the Finals MVP.
This next question may be too early to ask, but which champion would you like to have the Worlds skin?
I’m getting ahead of myself here, but… If I really do win, I really want a Nidalee skin. I think that I’ll be playing her a lot in the process of winning the tournament. After all, she is my favorite champion.
I’ll be looking forward to the DWG Nidalee skin. To conclude this interview, please say a few words to the fans supporting you and the team.
Thank you for always supporting us. We’ll definitely work hard to repay your support and love through results!
Striving for perfection to achieve excellence in esports