HLE Chovy on the 'Church of Chovy': "I never knew about them until now...It's very fulfilling, and makes everything I'm doing worthwhile."

On day 17 of the 2021 LCK Summer split, Hanwha Life Esports defeated DRX to climb the regular split standings. As the two bottom teams in the current standings, this match was critical for both teams to turn the momentum in their favor; HLE was able to sweep DRX 2-0 and take the victory home.


The mid laner for HLE, Jeong “Chovy” Ji-hoon, joined Inven Global for a post-match interview.

Not only because HLE broke the losing streak, it must also feel good to take the victory against your former teammate, Hong “Pyosik” Chang-hyeon. How do you feel about the victory tonight?


I think that we were able to take the dominating win tonight because we worked on playing as a unit during our practice.


Because the team hasn’t been performing as well as many expected, this match must’ve been a very important one to win. What kind of a mindset did you have, heading into tonight’s series against DRX?


They are my former team, so I felt that I might play emotionally, rather than rationally. I kept reminding myself to stay rational throughout the series. Tonight, there were a lot of moments in the games where I had to contain myself and play safer.


In the voice comms after game 1, you guys all said that the game ended much slower than expected. What are some of the feedback that the team received afterwards?


When it was our ‘turn’ to take the fight, there were multiple instances where I could’ve initiated onto DRX, but my teammates were out of position, so I was feeling anxious. One of the main reasons why we lost, even the matches that we could’ve won, was because I was being anxious and coin flipping a lot of the fights, so the coaching staff told me to be more patient. I feel like that problem was somewhat fixed in tonight’s series, but I still need to do a lot of work.


Do you feel pressured to carry the game as the ‘ace’ of the team?


Being labelled as the ace of the team means that people acknowledge my skills as a player, so it's pressure that I welcome with open arms.


You’re the 15th player to achieve 1,000 kills in the LCK, and the fastest player to achieve this milestone. Is there a particular kill that you remember in your career?


I think it would have to be the 1,000th kill. Heading into the series, I knew that I only had 9 kills left until 1,000; I thought Kalista stole that kill from me, but realizing that I got it was pretty memorable [laughter].


Did your teammates say that they’re going to deny your 1,000th kill tonight?


[Laughter] No, they didn’t care.


Is there another milestone in the LCK you want to achieve in the future?


I do want to get 1,500, or even 2,000 kills, but there are a lot of obstacles in front of me that I need to overcome, so I need to focus on those first.


The current meta competitive trend seems to be that the two solo laners (top & mid) pick AD champions, while the jungler picks an AP champion. One of these reasons is because many say the mage champions are really bad in the current meta. What are your thoughts on this sentiment?


I think that Rumble & Diana are the two champions that are on top of the jungle food chain; it’s true that mage champions have a hard time surviving against those two. I believe that having one AP champion in a team composition makes that comp a lot stronger, so that’s why I think AD champions are thriving in the solo lanes.


With the mythic AP mage item costs dropping in 11.13, do you think that we’ll get to see more AP mage champions in the mid lane again?


While I don’t think the item cost buffs aren’t enough to put mage champions back in the meta, I think that other AP champions can potentially return to the mid lane.


In the Western community, you have a huge fanbase that labeled themselves as the ‘Church of Chovy’. Nicholas “LS” De Cesare, a content creator on T1, claimed the spot as ‘The Leader of the Church’, because he always praises you for your incredible prowess in the mid lane. Do you know about this particular fanbase in the West?


[Laughter] No, I never knew about them until now, but I’m incredibly happy that they support me so much.

Image via @ChurchOfChovy 

When we interviewed Canyon a while ago, he stated that it was the first time he ever felt mid gapped. For someone that’s considered the best mid laner in the world, are there any mid laners that you feel are your biggest adversaries?


Hmm… I think that while there may be some skill discrepancies between the mid laners, I think every team in the LCK have improved quite a bit, so it’s really hard for me to say.


In your last interview, you said that your form isn’t as good as before. How far away would you say you are from your peak performance?


Right now, I’m working very hard on honing the detailed aspects of my gameplay, and improving on my level of focus.

Image via @ChurchOfChovy 

Is there anything you’d like to say to your Western fanbase, the ‘Church of Chovy’?


I’m really grateful for the tremendous support from overseas! It's very fulfilling to see all this support, and makes everything I'm doing worthwhile.

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