DK ShowMaker: "I want to have that feeling of raising the Summoner's Cup again."

 

When the stove league first started heading into the year 2022, the biggest point was where Heo “ShowMaker” Su and Kim “Canyon” Geon-bu are headed to as 2021 was their last year contracted with DWG KIA, and everyone knew that they were the key players that led DWG KIA to two straight world championship finals.

 

It was hard to imagine the two split up or playing for other teams, and the jungle-mid duo’s choice was staying home as they re-signed with DWG KIA. Although several players and coaching staff left the team, ShowMaker and Canyon remained. Why did they stay? Inven had a chance to meet up with the two and listen to what they had to say.

 


 

How were you after Worlds? You were at the finals and the stove league started right after. You should have been pretty busy.

 

ShowMaker: After Worlds, I became a free agent. I thought I would feel easy if I became a free agent, but there were so many phone calls, so it was really hectic for me. I was able to really rest only after I signed the contract with DWG KIA.

 

Canyon: I just played other games for a while during the quarantine after I came back to Korea. Other than that, I just had some rest. After re-signing with the team, I played solo queue and scrims.

 

One of the biggest issues during the stove league was where you two were headed to. Why did you decide to re-sign with DWG KIA?

 

Canyon: The end of this year was quite regretful, and DWG KIA’s offer was too good to turn down.

 

ShowMaker: DWG KIA is a team whose goal is to win Worlds. My number one priority was winning Worlds as well, and I thought the roster and coaching staff was good enough to win it again.

 

For the past two years, you two had the best careers in the LoL scene. There should have been a lot of great offers. Rumor says that you declined to even meet up with other teams. What was the reason?

 

ShowMaker: After talking with DWG KIA, we made up our minds a bit. I thought it was appropriate to tell other teams that we’ll be staying as soon as possible. After all, they need to look for other players if they aren’t able to sign us.

 

 

Canyon and ShowMaker are the only players on the roster that has played from DAMWON Gaming. Did continuing as a franchise star affect your decision?

 

ShowMaker: That’s also quite meaningful. My debut team will always be DAMWON Gaming. I did think of becoming a franchise star. I like traditional sports like soccer and baseball. Those sports have home cities, so it seemed there are more regional team fans than player fans.

 

In traditional sports, most people cheer for a certain team, mostly in their region, but in LoL esports, the players move around so much that a lot of people are fans of individual players. If there are more people like Canyon and me, playing on one team for a long time, more fans might like us and our team more.

 

It seems Canyon and ShowMaker are an inseparable mid-jungle duo now. What do you think of each other?

 

Canyon: ShowMaker is a great player that’s diligent in and out of the game.

 

ShowMaker: I feel comfortable when I’m around him, maybe because we played together for a long time. Although he’s a year younger than I am, it feels that I’m younger than him. We’re good friends, and we kid around a lot. Canyon has a great personality, so we get along very well.

 

It’s hard to imagine Canyon pulling a prank first.

 

Canyon: Just typical stuff that you do with your teammates.

 

ShowMaker: There are two sides of him. [Laughs] He’s really passive when the cameras are on, but when they’re off, you’ll be able to see what wildlife is. Just last night, I was trying to go to bed when Canyon and deokdam showed up, asking what to eat for breakfast tomorrow. They bothered me until we decided what to eat, for almost an hour. I’m a bit tired now because of that.

 

 

DWG KIA’s general manager used to be a soccer player, and he said that the amount of practice you two put into the game is more than traditional sports players. How much do you think a pro gamer has to practice?

 

Canyon: I just practice to play better, and it felt that I shouldn’t fall behind in the number of games played. So I try to work harder every day.

 

ShowMaker: Since I’m a professional gamer, I’m just doing what I’m obligated to do. As a pro gamer, I need to work hard. The patches always change and the champion tiers are always different every patch. If I’m just a teeny bit lazy with practice, I feel that I’m falling behind others, so I try to play more.

 

It’s compulsory to try out weird runes or items for each champion. I always try to play differently every game to find the answer. It’s more important to play as aggressively as I can to find the timing that I win or lose, rather than winning or losing the game in practice.

 

You fell shy of the championship at Worlds 2021 with only a one-game difference. How did you feel? How are you planning to overcome that?

 

ShowMaker: We just needed one more win for that championship, so it was really regretful. It was different from when we won Worlds in 2020. In 2020, after playing just a few scrims, we felt that we were extremely good, and I knew that we’d have good results.

 

In Worlds 2021, I thought we weren’t as dominating as 2020. Not winning the championship was regretful, but if we make it to Worlds next year, I’ll be preparing more thoroughly. I want to play with more confidence. Being confident is really important in big tournaments.

 

Canyon: I was still quite confident, but all I thought was that I should work harder after we lost in the finals.

 

A lot of bans were placed on the jungle in the finals. What did you think?

 

Canyon: If the opponent focuses their bans on me, our draft gets more convenient. I felt proud that I was helpful to the team. The opponent thought those champions I play were difficult to face, so they banned them. I practice other champions a lot, so it didn’t really matter if they banned out my best champions. What’s regretful was that I didn’t play as well in the actual games that mattered.

 

 

Khan picked Canyon as the player with the brightest future. He said that you’re smart and that you sometimes play like a wild beast.

 

Canyon: I’m grateful that he said that. I try to make plays so that we could snowball as fast as we can. To do that, I need to play like Khan described me. I guess it’s the correct expression.

 

You participated in Khan’s retirement ceremony. What did you think seeing him retire?

 

Canyon: It was my first time participating in a retirement ceremony, but it was quite ordinary. Although Khan is retiring because he has to do his military service, as you know as well, he’ll do well wherever he is. I was just glad to see him.

 

ShowMaker: Khan was a great top laner, but unfortunately, he had to retire. I thought it would be a sad occasion, but Khan was so happy that day. He made me feel good as well. Khan says that he’ll be a streamer until he goes, and that was one of the things he wanted to do too. It suits him well, so I’m just cheering for him.

 

While watching him retire, did you think of retiring someday yourself?

 

ShowMaker: There should be generations that watched me play in my prime, and maybe generations after that. I hope they recognize me when I retire as I did with Khan. I just want to be remembered by those who watch LoL esports.

 

Canyon: I don’t think I should be thinking of that yet. If I just work hard every single day, I won’t have any regrets in the end.

 

 

There are new players on DWG KIA in the top and bot lanes. How was it playing with them?

 

ShowMaker: All of them have great mechanics, so it’s going pretty well. They all have great personalities out of the game as well, so we got along really quickly.

 

Canyon: They’re all hard workers, and they excel in many parts of the game. If we just build a bit more synergy, we’ll be doing really well.

 

Was there anything unique about the new players?

 

Canyon: From close, deokdam is really handsome.

 

ShowMaker: I think Kellin is kind of unique. When we were on different teams, I thought he would be a quiet person who keeps to himself. When he joined our team and started to spend time together with us, it feels like he’s from outer space. He’s really funny.

 

Some fans think the top lane is weaker than before. Do you think you can overcome this situation?

 

ShowMaker: During practice, everyone is doing really well, but we’ll really know when the LCK begins.

 

We heard that Canyon often played top lane during your vacations. Do you talk a lot with your top laner?

 

Canyon: Recently, I need to prepare for the spring season and adapt to the new meta, so I mainly play jungle. But I’m still interested in the top lane, where real 1v1s are played. It’s fun to watch too, so I try to talk a lot with my teammates, mostly about the laning phase in the games.

 

They say that mid-jungle is the core of Summoner’s Rift. How much influence do you think you two can have?

 

ShowMaker: It’s true that mid-jungle is important, but nowadays, LoL is a game where all five players have to play well to win. Especially in the competitive scene. If one player isn’t good enough, the team falls behind a lot. There are many games where the opponent tries to get through any revealed weaknesses.

 

We try to help other lanes as much as we can, but we still believe that they’ll do well. Even if we do really well, if our teamwork is bad, we can’t win.

 

 

On the Worlds broadcast, kkOma was giving feedback to you. Now that he’s become the “athletic director”, what’s his role in the team?

 

ShowMaker: Having kkOma on the team itself is a big help. He’s a really talented person. As you know, kkOma’s career is No.1 in the scene. The experience and tips that come from his career are a big help to the players. When we compete in tournaments, there are times when even pros can’t play as well as practice because we get nervous. Since kkOma has a lot of experience, he tells us how to handle those situations and more.

 

You’ve won the LCK and Worlds in DWG KIA. What’s your next goal?

 

Canyon: I don’t have a specific goal. I just want to win all the tournaments I participate in over my career. Individually, I try to put on consistent and stable performance.

 

ShowMaker: I want to do my best and win Worlds every season. That became my goal. Before, I just vaguely wanted to win Worlds. But after I did win Worlds, and after losing this time, I became more desperate to win Worlds again. Having been there makes me want it more than those who haven’t. I want to have that feeling of raising the Summoner's Cup again. So my new goal is to win Worlds a few more times.

 

 

Nuguri decided to take a break this season. How’s he getting along?

 

Canyon: During our quarantine, we played games together a few times. It seems that Nuguri is having quality rest. He hasn’t changed much.

 

How are the preseason patches?

 

Canyon: It seems that the game didn’t change too much. Besides the new runes and items, I don’t think there’s much difference. The champions that appeared in the jungle at Worlds 2021 appear in solo queue as well. The scuttle crab XP was reduced, and I think that was a good patch. There will be fewer fights in the early game, so more champions can appear.

 

ShowMaker: To me, the changes are big. It doesn’t make sense that there are bounties and dragons, turrets, and Rift Heralds. I’ve been experimenting with Lethal Tempo or First Strike. It feels that the game is much more fun now, and the game tempo is faster than before. If I were a Riot balance employee, I would have done the same, since no one really likes long tedious games that get even longer. The bounty system urges players to fight more than before.

 

Which teams are you aware of the most?

 

Canyon: I think Gen.G and T1 will be really strong. And no teams really seem weak, so I think I have to work harder.

 

ShowMaker: Gen.G and T1 both were strong teams every season, and only top lane changed from T1’s roster. I think Zeus has great potential, so T1 should still be strong. And if you look at Gen.G’s roster, anyone would think they’ll be strong as well.

 

 

Any comments to the fans that are looking forward to DWG KIA and you two?

 

Canyon: Thank you to the fans who always cheer for us. I was sorry that we didn’t win the championship in the important tournaments. I’ll work harder so that we could make all of you fans happy with better results.

 

ShowMaker: DWG KIA’s roster has changed a lot as we’re going into a new season. Please cheer for us much, and we’ll repay you with great results.

 

 

All images by Riot Games

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