Do you remember when the new summer season roster for Longzhu Gaming was released? A lot of new names were seen on the roster and many people wondered if the new Longzhu would be able to perform well. Despite the lack of belief in them, Longzhu did perform well and came 1st place in the summer split. Now they are heading to the World Championship.
In Longzhu Gaming, Cuzz (Uchan Mun), their jungler, has participated in every game since the beginning of the split and only started his professional career a month ago.
Though it is his very first professional season in League of Legends, Cuzz found victory and is now heading to his very first World Championship. We went to go interview Cuzz to see how he has been doing since the summer split and to see what his thoughts were on Worlds. Let’s have a look at the origin of his dream to become a pro player.
¤ It has been a long time! How have you been since the end of the summer split?
After the summer split ended, we rented the Longzhu Store so we could all dined together, my parents came to the finals as well. Right after, I got my break to spend time with my parents. We didn't have time to play any games other than League because of training, but I really wanted to try out the new game called ‘Battlegrounds’ because it looked fun to play. I played a few games on it while on break. Met some friends and also went to the hospital for some of my health issues. Time seemed to fly, because the next thing I know….I am back at the gaming house preparing for the Championship.
¤ It was your very first season, and you got 1st place on top of that. You must have gotten a lot of praise.
After achieving first place, some friends who typically don’t contact me at all suddenly reached out to me saying “You did good Uchan”. My parents were also very proud of me and talk about my achievements to other family members. They gave me a hug and said “congratulations”. (Where is your hometown?) Gumi, Gyeongsangbuk-do.
¤ Did you have any ‘Welcome Home’ signs when you went back to your neighborhood? (laughs)
Nope (laughs). I didn’t really want a sign or anything like that…
¤ Since you are still relatively new to Longzhu Gaming, there are a lot of things we still may not know about you. Can you give a detailed self introduction please?
I am Longzhu Gaming’s jungler, Cuzz. I was born in Gumi, Gyeongsangbuk-do. When I was an amatuer, I streamed a lot on Afreeca TV. I had a surprising amount of fans (laughs). Longzhu TV scouted me to work for them in China. After a discussion with my parents, we decided I could do well there and so I moved to China. However, because of visa problems mid-way through the job, I could not re-enter China and had to go back to Korea. I stayed at home without much thought, playing games. A month before the start of the new summer season, the director of Longzhu contacted me to come in. From there, I started to practice and officially join the team.
¤ When did you first decide you wanted to be a pro player?
I honestly never thought too much about becoming a pro player. I did think about becoming a pro player and streaming, but at the time steaming was more fun for me. It suited me more because I love teaching what I’ve learned to other people. My dream when I was young was to become a math teacher. Because of this, I wanted to become a successful streamer and was excited to stream in China to see what that was like. Since my visa was an issue and the director of Longzhu kept contacting me, I decided to consider trying out being a pro player.
¤ If you streamed a lot prior, did you have any experience in playing with a team?
I never played with a team before. When I was streaming for Longzhu with ‘Frodan’, I got some insight into what made a pro player. The first time was when I was preparing for the summer season with Longzhu a month before. I think I trained really hard with my team back then.
¤ You didn’t have a lot of time to train. Did you feel a lot of pressure?
I did feel a lot of pressure because they called me in out of the blue with little time. I thought to myself “will joining change anything for the team?”, “will I be able to play well?”, or “if I make the team worse...wouldn’t I be under a lot of stress?”. ‘Khan’ came at a much later time than me and after the roster finally got confirmed we practiced hard. We won a lot more games than I expected.
I didn’t have any experience in all this, but I thought if I played well it would really show I performed well. People around us started to speculate that “Longzhu will make it into the placements” and that made me think maybe we won because we were lucky. I improved a lot during the week before the summer season. That gave me confidence in the idea that we had the potential to do well. From that point onwards, I didn’t feel any pressure.
¤ Against all odds, you guys won the summer split. Do you have any words to the people who worried about your success?
The fact that there were people who worried/doubted us suggests that they put a lot of effort into observing our performance. Longzhu Gaming is doing well right now and I hope you guys keep watching us. I also hope you guys will later turn into our fans as well.
¤ Speaking of fans, you must have fan meetings after every game. What was it like at your first fan meeting?
We had a lot of fans from the get go because we had ‘Pray’ and ‘GorillA’ and also ‘BDD’. They had huge lines waiting to just meet those 3 players. My line and Khan’s line were a bit short (laughs). At the start, the line was fairly short but as we played throughout the season the line grew longer and longer. You know Khan this season is a huge star, so they had a huge line for him at the end of the season. I just want to thank everyone who stood in line to congratulate me and support me. I am truly thankful for everything and I will try my best in future games. Really.
¤ You and other players alike are at such a young age, so your adult social life has just started to develop. How different is your social life now?
From experiencing social life through the team, I am the youngest on the team and I feel like a little kid most of the time. There is a severity in respecting age in our gaming house, so I got the gist of how social aspects work as an adult. If someone older than me buys us food, we would clean up afterwards. Whenever we would all be together during the weekend, trash would be everywhere. All the younger people, myself included, had to clean everything and bow to older players. I guess this is what it is like in the real world.
¤ Do the older players take care of you? GorillA seems to worry about you a lot (laughs).
GorillA has been in the gaming house for a long time. He has always taken care of me and taught me a lot of valuable things. He would remind of me things I already know just in case I might have forgotten. Even before today’s interview, GorillA made sure I wore the Longzhu uniform with the Longzhu Gaming Badge to the interview. I never even thought about it before he brought it up. He even asked me if I shaved beforehand. GorillA really was careful in making sure I was ready for this interview.
¤ I heard you knew BDD in middle school. How did you know him back then?
We weren’t close enough to meet casually in person. We would just play games together. Kongdoo Monster’s ‘Roach’ also went to the same middle school as me and was very close to BDD. They would talk on Skype and became close. We were just friends who would play together and chat once in awhile but I am glad I got close to him after playing in Longzhu.
¤ I see! BDD said that because he got close to you, his synergy with you has improved a lot. I am curious if you also feel the same way?
I also feel the same way. Because 3 players on the team are older than me, I am most comfortable talking to BDD. I don’t need to say anything in a polite manner. Sometimes we don’t even communicate, but we still understand what the other player wants and needs.
¤ How are you getting along with other players on the team?
The general atmosphere is very nice and Pray is so friendly towards everyone. At first, I was kind of scared of Pray because he was so tall, but once I got to know him I realized he was a very nice person. I understood why he was so popular. He is sort of like a dad figure. (Is there an associated story behind this?) Not necessarily a story, but we would get extended feedback for a game from time to time. Of course I’m not saying I had any bad feelings towards feedback as feedback is always helpful to listen to. Sometimes it just gets hard to listen to because it is so long. At these moments, Pray says “okay okay~ let’s just do better next time~”. Pray saying this makes everything seem just fine.
¤ Okay, now I’ll start asking about Worlds. This is your first international performance. How do you feel?
When it comes to an international stage, I did once participate in one when I was streaming for Longzhu with SKT T1. Chinese streamers (5 members) and SKT T1 (5 members) played a game against each other. Other than that I have no other experience on an international stage. Since it is my first time, I got excited. I looked up the Beijing stage and saw it was a huge stage with 3 floors, able to fit 100 thousand people.
The thought that 100 thousand people are going to see me and cheer when I play is almost unreal to me and makes me a bit anxious. On the bright side, even though I am going overseas, I am going to China, which I have already spent 4 months in. Not saying that I don’t like China (laughs). The one international event I went to was in China so I think there is a bit of an advantage for me, since I already went there before.
¤ Do you have any thoughts on Worlds?
From the pictures of me playing or training, I tried to imagine myself playing in the World Stage. I talked to the players who have already been to Worlds and they tell me they keep the temperature low so it is always a bit cold on the stage. Therefore, it is essential to bring your own heat pack to the stage. There are a lot of images on the floor as well and a lot of performances at Worlds.
At MSI in China, I went to go see the opening ceremony. At the opening ceremony, the players will come up to the stage and the crowd would go crazy with amazing music in the background. I was only a member of the crowd at that time, but it gave me a glimpse of what it would be to be a pro player. It gave me goosebumps. I still get goosebumps just thinking about it. When I go on stage at this World Championship, I think I will feel the atmosphere I felt back then.
¤ Do you personally know any players coming into Worlds?
I don’t know any international players… only international players that are Korean. I know ‘Flame’ from Immortals in North America and ‘Frozen’ in Turkey.
¤ Do have any team/player you want to go up against?
‘Bjergsen’ from TSM is really good. The crowd would go crazy every time he is on stage. I would look at the videos that come up and say “he is really good looking”. Since Bjergsen does play really well, I want to vs TSM and also Immortals as well. I know Flame’s style of play really well so if it does come to us fighting, I can match up against him well.
¤ I see! Do you have any specific jungler you want to vs?
My team has told me TSM’s jungler, ‘Svenskeren’, is really good. Because of this, I really want to play against him. He is considered one of the best junglers in North America so I am curious how he performs.
¤ There has been a trend for ‘Ezreal’ jungle recently in the community. We want to hear your thoughts!
I haven’t personally tried Ezreal jungle. I read the Inven article where it stated that Ezreal is a counter to ‘Kha’zix’. Because of this, I tried picking Kha’zix against Ezreal and I easily won the matchup. For this reason, I personally do not think Ezreal is a good pick in the jungle.
¤ If so, can you recommend another jungler to us?
Before Ezreal was played in the jungle, ‘Twitch’ used to be very popular in the jungle. When I played Twitch in the jungle in Challenger, I had over a 60% winrate with him. If there is a support who can use ‘Ardent Censer’, I think Twitch might be a very good pick at this moment. I would recommend playing Twitch instead of Ezreal in the jungle.
When I finished rank 1 in Season 6 solo queue, I raised ‘Evelynn’’s win rate score. A one trick Evelynn user in China was doing incredibly well so I watched what he did and implemented it in my games. Turns out it produced very good results for me as well. I think Evelynn is still good in solo queue right now. Any champion who is below 50% health is one shot-able with Evelynn and if they are full health you can just ping for the team to help you kill them. Even if you can’t kill them in one rotation, Evelynn’s skill cooldowns are roughly 5 seconds, so you can just back off a bit and kill them when your rotation of skills comes back.
¤ Any last words you want to say? You can speak freely.
I had many unfortunate events happen to me and I am glad the director always took care of me/ gave me support. I am always thankful for the help the directors give me. Doing well in our games makes our teammates extremely happy. Seeing them happy makes me equally satisfied. I want to thank the fans for always supporting us. There is so much I want to say about the fans…. but I want to say that I will try my best to show how much of a good jungler I am at Worlds and I will prepare/train to the best of my ability.