Despite missing a large chunk of the early 2022 LCS season due to delays in the acquisition of a green card and personal matters, star Team Liquid support Jo "CoreJJ" Yong-in looks to have not missed a step as far as maintaining his status as the best support — and arguably the best player — in North American League of Legends esports.
After Team Liquid's most recent win in the 2022 LCS Spring Split against Evil Geniuses, CoreJJ spoke to Inven Global about re-integrating himself back into TL's starting roster, his role in the development and execution of Champions Queue, and TL's upcoming match against fellow 1st place team Cloud9.
I'm here with CoreJJ after a dominant win over Evil Geniuses in which Team Liquid really seemed to take advantage of EG's Reneta Glasc pick. This champion has not done well in the LCS thus far, but what are your thoughts on it?
There's an advantage to playing Renata because she is a new champion. However, the players in the LCS playing Renata don't even know what Renata is, so it doesn't look very strong in the LCS. However, this champion is broken.
So she is strong, but people who have played her so far in the LCS don't know how to play her?
Yes. Soon, I will play her, and I will teach them.
LCS fans are excited for the battle for 1st place tomorrow between Team Liquid and Cloud9. Any thoughts ahead of that matchup?
Honestly, based on our scrim experience so far, I was more worried about EG than C9. However, C9 is actually doing really well on stage, so I'm actually excited to beat them.
Last time TL beat C9 in the Spring Split, Academy support Bill "Eyla" Nguyen was playing in your place. Was there anything you were able to learn from an outside perspective that you think will help you tomorrow?
We prepared for that C9 matchup together. We were talking about their playstyle leading up to the match. Hans sama and Eyla ended up destroying their bot lane last time, and that will probably happen again.
Has your previously established synergy from last season with your jungler Lucas "Santorin" Larsen helped you slot back into the starting roster this season?
Playing with Santorin is obviously an easy job because we've been doing it for a while and we also see the game in pretty similar ways. As a jungle/support duo we have a pretty clear idea of how we want to play the game, but we also come up with a lot of new ideas, which I think is really good. I can see the game in a new perspective, so it's been a pretty good experience so far.
You and your AD carry Steven "Hans sama" Liv have not had as many games on stage together as other LCS bot lanes. What's it been like been building synergy with him despite that, and how do you think he has played individually so far in this season?
He's really good. Playing with Hans makes me feel like, 'How can I lose the game? This is OP.' I can just play confidently. In any situation, I have confidence that our players will make good plays. Each situation may differ, but we will win eventually.
Can you talk about the long process of getting your green card? Were you able to stay involved with the team and keep your skills sharp before your return to the starting roster?
I've been watching almost every professional game in every region while trying to play Champions Queue as much as possible at the same time. I forgot about everything else outside of the game and was just focusing only on the game. I would just watch and play League of Legends all day, and I actually think it's very important to do both of those things to be a consistently good player.
Do you think being able to watch Eyla play in your place gave you a unique perspective on TL as a team?
Obviously, yeah — Eyla and I see the game a little bit differently. Whenever I watched our team without me, I could see how I could help our team in certain parts of the game. It was really helpful.
You just mentioned that you were playing a lot of Champions Queue before returning to the starting roster, and you were actually a big part of bringing it to the North American scene. Can you talk about your role in establishing Champions Queue with Riot Games and how the idea came to fruition?
Because of the ping in North America, I was actively facilitating in-house games, which is similar to Champions Queue. Riot Games felt like it was a good basis for the idea and all the LCS players have been saying we need a low ping server. Since making it happen, it has worked really well thus far.
Recently, the LCS Players Association signed a new partnership with OneTeam Partners. As a member of the board, what can you say about how this partnership came to be and your role in making that happen?
As a member of the PA, I represent the players in terms of what benefits us. I don't know what else to say about the partnership except that it will make things better for players.
Is there anything else you'd like to say to the Team Liquid fans?
Thanks for watching us, I'm glad we are winning. I was thinking that Evil Geniuses would be one of the toughest matchups and I'm glad that we won against them in today's match.