Go “Score” Dong-bin returned as the head coach for Gen.G after he finished his conscription. He’s still a rookie when it comes to head coach duties, but seeing him return from the military after two years brought a very different atmosphere from when he was a player. It felt like he grew up to be a fine young man.
We at Inven heard talk amongst the LCK teams about Gen.G’s scrim results with their new roster, so when we asked Score about it, he answered in a witful manner, “Where did you hear that ‘truth’?” He also had nothing but compliments about his players, and it was that moment when we realized that he really became a head coach.
As he and Gen.G prepare themselves to climb to the top in 2022, Score shared his honest opinions across many different topics. From his decision to return to the scene as head coach, his synergy with the rest of his coaching staff, and his stories with the players on Gen.G, he seemed confident for the future.
It’s nice to see you again after so long. Can you please reintroduce yourself to our readers?
Hello, my name is Go “Score” Dong-bin, and I’m the new head coach for Gen.G. I’m thrilled to be able to say hello to my fans right after I got discharged, because I was lucky enough to receive a tremendous opportunity from Gen.G.
To be honest, we never expected you to return to the scene as a head coach.
There were a lot of surprised responses. I never expected myself to become a head coach right after my military service ended as well [laughter]. I initially declined the offer due to the pressure that comes with the job, but after giving it a second thought, I realized how big of an opportunity this is to join such a great team. I felt that it would be such a waste to not take it and challenge myself.
Is there a special reason behind choosing Gen.G? Was your decision influenced due to your relationship with FIFAHUN in the past [current director for Gen.G, who was once on KT Rolster with Score - Ed.]?
I did receive coaching offers from here and there, and personal connections aside, I really liked Gen.G’s vision. It would also be a lie to say that my decision wasn’t swayed by the names on Gen.G’s roster. I think we have a great group of players, and I was already able to see the synergy between them as well.
Tell us how you’re working with the rest of the coaching staff.
The coaching staff’s synergy is great so far. Coach Mafa has so many years of coaching experience already, so there’s a lot to learn from him and he’s very reliable. When we were looking for coaches after I decided to join, I contacted Mafa. He said he trusted me and wanted to work together, so I was really grateful for his decision.
When I first saw coach Museong's picture, he looked like he had a very strong personality. However, he’s a very nice person, to the point where he’s even naive. He’s a cute dude [laughter].
"[Doran] has the most potential to become the best top laner in the LCK."
Can you tell us how you divided the responsibilities among the coaching staff as well?
I can’t go into detail about it, but after our roster was locked in, the coaching staff divided up the responsibilities after much discussion. We have a very horizontal relationship, and we feel that we’re filling each other’s gaps very well. As it’s the beginning of the season, Mafa, who has the most experience in our coaching staff, is in charge of feedback. I’m also on the side assisting him during feedback and making sure we’re very thorough.
Gen.G’s 2022 roster is incredibly flashy. The team’s what you’d basically call a "superteam". As the head coach of the superteam’ do you feel pressurе?
Because we have such strong players, the team’s receiving a lot of attention and a lot of positive energy. To be the head coach of such a team does bring a lot of pressure, but I’m doing my best to make that positive energy flow well. From the players to the coaches, I really like every single one of them.
Who was the player you were most excited to meet for the first time?
Definitely Chovy. I watched a lot of LCK after I got discharged, and I was in awe of Chovy's mechanics. That’s why I really wanted to watch how he plays right beside him; it’s jaw-dropping how good he is.
You also went to the Asian Games with Peanut and Ruler.
At the time, they were the young ones on our national roster. However, they’re now the "big brothers" of the team. It feels like they’ve matured both in-game and outside the game, so while I didn’t have anything to do with their growth, I still felt very fulfilled on the inside.
We’ve heard that Gen.G’s been tearing it up in scrims.
I think that’s because each of our players are individually very good. However, as the coaching staff, we always have to think and prepare for the future, so we try not to get too caught up with the scrim results and strive to give it our best every day.
"I want people to immediately think of Gen.G when they think about the year 2022. That’s my goal as a leader."
Can you tell us what you think about each of the new players on the roster?
I've always thought very highly of Doran as a player. After watching him play, he’s exceeded my expectations. I think he has the most potential to become the best top laner in the LCK.
As for Peanut, I think his in-game calls are really good. They were already great during the Asian Games, but now, his in-game calls are more refined and disciplined. Every decision he makes is very good, and I think he’s very good at min/maxing his resources inside the game.
Chovy always has a very high CS count; it’s always unnaturally high. Not only is he a fundamentally strong player, but he also has a very high ceiling. He’s very reliable. Outsiders may say that he’s usually the quiet one, but every call he makes is so good that there’s nothing to worry about.
Ruler, as everyone knows, plays the laning phase incredibly well. One thing I’ve noticed that’s worthy of a compliment is that he was being incredibly active in communicating with his support. Bot lane duo is considered to be a single unit, and I was really able to feel his proactivity.
Speaking of Lehends, I think that he’s very good at finding kill angles during the laning phase, and is very good at doing his job in teamfights. That’s why he’s a great fit for Ruler, and I think our team will do well this season.
Although it hasn’t been long since the team started practicing, how far do you think the team has come in terms of building their synergy.
I want to say 50%. It’s natural for a new roster to be slow at building their synergy, but because our players mesh so well that it feels like they have a head start in that regard. They communicate really well inside the game as well. Of course, there’s still a lot of work to be done to fill in the gaps.
Including yourself, there seems to be a lot of players/coaches that always finished second place in the past. Does it make you hungrier to become champions?
It took me a very long time to win my first championship [laughter]. Because there are a lot of players just like me, I believe that they were already motivated to begin with. As the head coach, I want to help them relieve their sorrows by winning this year, and I think that’s a real possibility this year.
What kind of head coach do you personally hope to be? What’s the vision that the Head Coach Score has set for himself?
This might sound like a bit of a stretch, but if you think about past years, 2013 was SK Telecom’s year, and 2014 was Samsung’s, so I want people to immediately think of Gen.G when they think about the year 2022. That’s my goal as a leader. I want to shape a team that will be remembered even after 10 years.
Lastly, can you please say a few words to your fans, as well to the Gen.G fans?
I believe that there’s a lot of attention on Gen.G’s 2022 season, and the amount of responsibility that I feel is just as big. I’ll give it my best for Gen.G to turn those expectations into cheers from the fans. I appreciated all the support that I received as a player during my KT days; please continue to cheer me on as I now start a new chapter in life as Gen.G’s newest head coach!
Striving for perfection to achieve excellence in esports