DRX, who had a miracle run through Worlds 2022 to win the championship, has changed completely heading into 2023. The only remaining player is Cho “BeryL” Geon-hee, and he is joined by Kim “Rascal” Kwang-hee, Kim “Croco” Dong-beom, Yoo “FATE” Soo-hyeok, and Seo “deokdam” Dae-gil. It can’t be said that the roster has been upgraded, but as ‘22 DRX did, we’ll have to wait and see.
Also, the new players have been doing their roles well in their respective teams, and it’s a good mixture of veterans and prospects — the expectations for having good synergy among them are quite high. Among the new players, Rascal was the most noticeable — all the other players were on a one-year contract, but only Rascal’s contract was for two years. Rascal is now 25 years old, and the two-year contract should have some meaning.
How have you been since you joined DRX?
It’s been only about a week or two since everyone gathered. I wasn’t that close with them previously, so we’re still getting acquainted. Everyone’s quite cheery, so it has been going well.
As you’re 25 years old, you’re one of the oldest players in the LCK, along with Faker and Deft. In that regard, signing a two-year contract seems that you want to fire up the later end of your career.
I always wanted to stay in one team as long as possible, but it was difficult due to realistic matters. That made me move teams several times, but as I joined DRX this time, I thought that I wanted to stay in a team for at least two years before I need to join the military. DRX also had similar thoughts to me, so I gladly joined the team.
I know that you and Deft are quite close. Deft winning Worlds would have meant something to you. How was it?
I’ve played with many tremendous players over my pro gaming career, but if I have to pick one, it’s Deft. He’s always very professional and has a big desire to get good results and improve. Watching him at first, I thought, ‘maybe hard work doesn’t always pay off’, but he showed everyone this time. Having the mindset of believing someday things will work out through hard work — having an unbreakable spirit, right? [Laughs] That helped me too.
As you said, you’ve played in several teams, with many different players. There have been times when individual performances were praised, but the synergy wasn’t great. Sometimes, you had good results as well. Through that experience, you should feel that there are other important things in playing aside from individual prowess or stats. What was the most important thing you considered when seeking a team?
Having great individual prowess is a positive index. However, everyone has their own opinion, especially when everyone’s great. In that case, there are times when everyone gets “greedy”, and the teamwork gets shaky. From a team’s point of view, there must be someone who can sacrifice. When I spoke about this after joining DRX, everyone agreed.
As you gained more experience, have you tried new things or made changes to improve?
There was a time when I did nothing but practice the game. When I did, it was positive that my in-game prowess was improving, but it was extremely depressing when the results didn’t follow. After that, I thought I should have a hobby, and I’ve been trying to exercise at least a little bit since last year. Now, I’m going to pilates classes using the membership Deft left me from when he was in DRX. [Laughs]
Every season, the game changes a lot through patches. What do you think about this season?
I haven’t scrimmed too much yet, but it hasn’t been too different up to now. Unless there are massive changes, I don’t think it’ll be too different.
You said that you and your new teammates weren’t close before joining the team. What did you think about them when you faced them in the LCK?
We just said hello when we met in LoL Park. I always thought they were all good players, and when the roster was completed, I was satisfied.
Who was the most different from how you thought they’d be?
Hmm… It’s Croco. I thought he would be a chic guy, but he’s full of charm and respects the older players. [Laughs] I heard BeryL has a unique character, but I don’t see it yet. There are moments when he makes me laugh for no reason — I really don’t know why.
You are one of the players that gain the most solo kills. Do you have some special strategies or tips?
I don’t study more about champion matchups or counters compared to the other players. I believe any other player can do the same. There are definitely players that are better than me, but it’s probably because they play more carefully. As for me, if I have data from practice and scrims, I don’t hesitate in official games.
Which team are you looking out for the most?
T1 and DWG KIA seem the strongest. I feel the other teams all have potential as well. If any team starts a good flow, they’ll gain momentum, so we’ll always be on our toes and prepare well.
How is it with the new coaching staff?
They look after the players well. I’ve talked a lot with coach Shine since we’re roommates, and I was able to see why they won this year.
Any last comments heading for 2023?
There’s still a bit of time left until the spring season starts, so I’ll work hard to prepare well. It’ll be difficult to show a perfect performance from the beginning, but we’ll keep improving. Please cheer for us.