Here is a star rookie in LCK- Wirim ‘Cepted’ Park, who managed to make his way through the Challengers to join the Ever8 Winners as a midlaner. Cepted joined the Ever8 Winners, a Challengers Korea team, in June, 2016. With his great gameplay, league fans grew to admire and expect much from him.
And he did play up to their expectations in LCK, the dream stage. Cepted awed the fans with plays that reminded them of Faker from the time of his debut. He had not yet played in many games, but he has been outshining many of the other rookies so far.
When a rookie is this well-received, he could become arrogant, but Cepted wasn’t someone who’d be that generous to himself. He was humble throughout the whole interview, saying that he did not yet deserve such a reputation. That sentiment may be from the Ever8 Winners staying in 7th place in the league by 1 win and 2 losses, despite Cepted’s outstanding plays. The Ever8 Winners still have a long way to go, but this is just the starting point for them.
What’s certain, though, is that the Ever8 Winners are a team that deserves some high expectations. The advancement of new teams and players with potential always arouse emotions in the hearts of fans, and is always a nice story to tell. We had the chance to talk to Cepted before his match against SKT T1.
Hello, please introduce yourself.
Hello, I am Wirim ‘Cepted’ Park, a midlaner playing for the Ever8 Winners.
I’ve been always curious about the meaning of ‘Cepted’.
When I first had to come up with a nickname, I typed in random words until I got ‘Cepted’, and thought it seemed good. I didn’t really put a meaning to it when I made it. Later I realized that ‘Cepted’ stood for ‘Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design’, which had a good meaning after all.
What brought you to become a pro gamer?
I never thought about becoming a pro gamer when I was a university student. I took playing LoL as just a hobby whenever I became a Challenger. I gradually lost interest in my university life and decided to take time off when coach Byungcheol ‘alvingo’ Choi offered me a place in the Ever8 Winners. I agreed to the offer and joined the team last June. I became a pro gamer like that by coincidence.
How was your team life in Ever8 Winners? Were you able to adapt well?
Most of us have similar age so we are all good with each other. And I had no problem adapting to team life since life in our team house is really comfortable. I came all the way up to Seoul from Gwangju, Jeollanamdo, and I remember being awed by how there are so many subways in Seoul.
If there’s any difference in enjoying LoL as a student and as a pro gamer, what would that be?
Sometimes I fought with people on my team in chat back when I played in solo ranked games, but I no longer talk to people after I became a pro gamer. If my teammates seem too talkative, I’d just block them for the sake of my mental health and keep on playing. Then, I’d unblock them after the game is over. (Laughs)
What was the most difficult moment for you in your pro gaming life?
The most difficult moment for me was when we lost to Kongdoo Monster in last season’s Challengers Korea semifinals. That was when things were emotionally hard on me. Now, I do get stressed when we lose, though it’s not as difficult.
After many attempts, you have finally qualified for the LCK! How do you feel?
I knew that CJ Entus was an obstacle that we had to overcome in order to qualify for the LCK. However, due to the burden and pressure, we lost both round 1 and 2 to CJ Entus. But in the finals, we beat them, and I started getting confident that we would be able to qualify. When our qualification was confirmed, everyone was thrilled. Afterwards, we all gathered together for a drink. I got so drunk that my teammates had to carry me home on their backs (Laughs).
What changed after your qualification?
Well, first, we started gaining more awareness from fans. Our chances of being able to scrim with LCK teams before was also very slim; but now we are able to do it quite frequently. We are also starting to take care of our appearances more by working out, because we are now being broadcasted.
You only played 3 games so far, but can you tell us how it felt playing on stage?
It’s not easy. I knew it was going to be difficult, but it exceeded my expectations. Before LCK begun, many people predicted that we would be like a ‘vending machine’ throwing out free wins to everyone. But as of now, I don’t think we are doing that badly, and the team atmosphere is still relatively good. However, it would be a lie to say I am not worried. The road ahead is filled with strong teams like SKT, Longzhu, Samsung, and KT.
Although you haven’t played many games yet, you are gaining a lot of attention from the fans as the best rookie player this season. Some of them are even going so far as putting you in the same category as Faker! What do you think about this?
I am very thankful for those words; however, those statements kind of burden me, because the bigger the expectations grow, the bigger the disappointment is if things don’t go too well. When I heard those compliments after the first round, I was glad since I did well. But the season is still new and I am sure there are many players who are better than me.
What makes your style so unique? What are the advantages of having you in a team?
I honestly don’t believe my individual performance is exceptionally good compared to other players. But I am a midlaner that can truly deliver if my teammates need me. How should I say it? I am a midlaner that is worth investing time and resources on. Also, when I am playing on stage, if I predict someone will go a certain direction; I actually end up finding them there. I think I have good game senses. I believe having the ability to pinpoint the flaws of the enemy team like that is an advantage that a team could make good use of.
People also tell me I am a stable laner, but I honestly don’t know about that (Laughs), because in our past game against Afreeca, my Orianna was caught out by an Ashe arrow and it made our game very difficult. When I notice that the enemies’ support or top laner is missing, I make sure I am right under my tower. I don’t really mind if the enemy jungler is missing, because I am confident that I can survive if a gank is to happen.
Is there anything that you pay special attention to when playing?
I always think to myself, “Never die to ganks and make sure my tower isn’t the first one to go down,” and I play the game out safely. I also think about our team composition constantly, and play the game out to our advantages.
Your performances were so top-notch that the fans are calling the team ‘Ever8’ a one man army of Cepted. Do you feel burdened by that?
I think those comments are appearing because I had a couple of good games. But it is not just me, all the players in LCK have very good individual mechanics. Seungchan and I are the only ones who are not challenger ranked in ‘Solo Queue’. When I spectate my teammates playing Solo Queue, I can clearly see how talented they are. I really think they are just having a bit of a slump due to all the pressure they are receiving now. Please look over them with a good heart because they really are good players. Personally, I put all my faith into our jungler Geun Sung when we play (Laughs).
When you lose a match, what kind of feedback goes back and forth among the players and staff?
When we lost our recent match, we all came to an agreement that our ‘Pick/Ban Phase’ and our early game tactics were a little off. The team actually talked about this for quite a bit of time. Seung Chan made a bold statement, “It is important to compare the team composition of both sides before setting up an early game plan, but that is not working out in our team.” And so, we are now focusing heavily on our plans for the early game, and that is what we are mainly practicing on.
Although you have shown beatiful performances with champions like Syndra, Orianna, and Cassiopeia, you did not seem to be favored with Galio. Do you have any champion in particular that you favor?
I personally like damage-focused champions, especially the ones with skill shots. Predicting the opponent’s movement and hitting skills has always been my favorite thing since the beginning. Galio is surely a good champion when used by a good player. He is sometimes a good champion that you can get carried by (laugh). I was inspired by a match where I saw the formidable plays of mid Galio by Seohaeng “Kuro” Lee and used him in the last match, but I was disappointed in the fact that I could not produce any good moments with him. So I decided to practice him more.
What do you think of the mid champion hierarchy?
Each champion surpasses one another. Considering not all mid champions are banned, I suppose that Syndra is top tier among them. However, Syndra is weak against Fizz, and it is quite difficult for her to survive when Fizz reacts well to an ally champion’s gank. Ekko is sometimes considered a counter champion against Syndra, but I believe that she is above him. It is a matter of pure skill that makes her win against him. The next tier would be Orianna, and Galio seems to be in between the two of them. People are somewhat reluctant to pick other champions first, but there are still champions that can counter high tier champions and require good skill.
It seems that Orianna and Galio are picked when Syndra is banned, and the playstyle of Galio is to sustain in the early game and join the teamfight or management after that. What are your thoughts about this mid meta nowadays?
Frankly speaking, the current mid meta is very boring. I love close and frequent combat, but it seems that players even switch the lane after picking their champions. I hope that there is a patch in which the champions are designed for a specific lane only and cannot switch. Also, I would love it if the tank champions would not to come to the mid lane. It rather hurts me whenever I hit them (Laughs).
Is there any pro player you consider a role model?
Minho “Crown” Lee and Myunggu “Tempt” Kang are the ones. Crown is good in every aspect. Tempt has formidable skill in suppressing the opponent in the laning phase. I would like to learn their strengths. Speaking of who I would like to “become”, it’s obviously Sanghyuk “Faker” Lee. Every player desires to become the best player in the world like Faker, and I would also like to be like him, someone who can cheer people up in the future.
What’s your perspective on mid laners?
A mid laner is the position that endures as much as possible in the center and supports other lanes. You need to be able to help at least one of the top and bottom lanes. In the current meta, I believe that the mid laner and jungler must win, otherwise the game becomes really difficult. Even if the champion is not a roaming type, a bit of help to the other lanes would intimidate the opponent laners.
Do you have a goal to achieve as a pro player?
I would like to become a player who can confidently say I deserve the compliments I receive.
And a goal for this year from the team’s perspective?
The practical one would be to remain in the LCK, but the target is to enter the postseason. And also the LoL World Championship.
Please share some final words for today’s interview.
We have a match against SKT T1 ahead, and we will do our best even if it is going to be tough. We will put our best effort in even when the team falters a bit, so please stay with us until the end. We promise to show good progress with the best performance.