Which support gave the biggest impression in EU LCS, at Worlds 2017? Including the Worlds Champion, Samsung Galaxy’s Jo “CoreJJ” Yong-in, there were many supports that played well in Worlds, but I would dare say that Lee “IgNar” Dong-geun, who played for Misfits Gaming, left the most impactful impression. That’s why IgNar was proudly voted as an All-Star to represent EU.
IgNar returned to his homeland, to LCK, leaving Misfits Gaming, where he initially earned his reputation. Many fans of the world wondered where he would go, and were surprised to see him going to a minor team in LCK, bbq Olivers, along with Kim “Trick” Gang-yun, who was also said to be one of the best junglers of EU.
Why did he return to bbq Olivers? What does he want to do? And what did he want to say to the EU fans who supported him, and loved him? We had the chance to meet him shortly in a café at the Incheon International Airport.
Q. You’ve returned to Korea after a long time. Is there a reason that you chose bbq?
The process was somewhat complex. Before I decided to leave the Misfits, I suddenly thought that I wanted to play in LCK again. But what can I say… I thought that LCK teams wouldn’t be interested in me. Moreover, I had some fear inside me. Life would be busier, and if I don’t perform at competitions, I would be criticized in Korean, not English.
These were the things I considered, but bbq had interest in me and they tried to consider many different factors. This moved me more than the many foreign teams that offered a lot of money.
Q. How is the team atmosphere? Do they really give you a lot of chicken?
When the official news (that I was going to bbq) came out, everyone asked me that. To give them chicken gift cards (Laughs). That was kind of funny. And I actually looked forward to having a lot of chicken. But what I looked forward to the most was the fact that I was returning to Korea, to an LCK team. I haven’t been to the residence yet, I’ll probably be going after All-Stars, so I’m still looking forward to it.
Q. Now that you have joined bbq, how do you think the team will change?
What I hope for is, first of all, escaping the underdog title, and maybe giving the top rated teams a hard time. While I was playing in foreign leagues, I had great pride in the bottom lane. That feeling that I can beat anybody. I want to do a lot of laning phase practice, and a lot of team game practice as well.
Q. How were you while you were playing for the Misfits?
I had a lot of fun playing for the Misfits. Everybody was nice, so I learned English quite quickly. But at the end, I got homesick.
Q. When was that?
It was at the finals of the EU LCS. I got homesick for about a month, but until that, I was really happy being there.
Q. In this All-Star event, you’re a support who represents Europe. How do you feel about being picked?
I came first in the vote, and Mithy was second. I knew that Mithy had a massive fan base, so I was just thinking, ‘You don’t say, really?’ so I was really surprised when I got voted first. I feel so good that my reputation has risen so quickly to reach the All-Stars.
Q. This time, the All-Star event will be much more serious than those of before. Are you ready to defeat the LCK team that you meet first?
I’m representing Europe at this All-Stars. I’ll do my best for the European fans, and I will win no matter what for the next season. If I lose, I’ll probably have a mental breakdown.
Q. Are there any players that you’re looking forward to meeting or are keeping an eye on?
I’m not particularly keeping an eye on any of the players. The scariest… well, not scary but I’m really looking forward to meeting the ‘PrillA’ duo. I’m playing with Rekkles for the first time, but that duo has played together for a long time now. I’m wondering what kind of play we could make.
Q. How would you describe the ‘PrillA’ duo?
They’re very good. They’re especially good at team fights. Not to mention PraY, but GorillA is really smart. I just think that I should be better.
Q. What do you think of Rekkles?
More than anything, he’s an ADC that always goes in the top 3 of Europe. He’s trustworthy and people always have high expectations for his plays. I want to know how he is different from HansSama.
Q. Have you talked to Rekkles beforehand?
I haven’t had the chance since I was in Korea. They say that they’re practicing without me; they have a temporary substitute in my position. I’m planning to play in the European style, in European colors.
Q. PowerOfEvil is to play against Faker. Did you talk to him about that?
I heard when we lost to SKT T1 at the last Worlds, I heard that Riot gave PoE a quest. If PoE beats Faker with Orianna and Nasher, that quest will be completed. If that’s true, this All-Stars will be a chance to complete that quest.
Q. What would be the reward for that quest?
Q. How do you think NA will perform?
NA is a league that you have to watch to the end. Their performance goes from good to bad, from bad to good. I can’t jump to any conclusions, but I think that it will go that way, similarly.
Q. You’ve shown innovations playing support by using diverse masteries and picks. Can we expect more innovations in All-Stars?
I’ve tried more new things, but it seems difficult in the current meta. Whatever ideas I come up with have been seen already. So, not any innovations, but I want to show what I always have done. Having fun. Nowadays, there are many supports who deal a lot of damage. I’ll just be myself.
Q. What’s your goal for All-Stars?
I want make All-Stars a fun event. Europe will win!
Q. And some words for the fans, now as a bbq player.
The foreign fans were worried about me; if I go to Korea, they thought that ‘IgNar won’t be IgNar anymore’ since LCK teams are kind of standardized.
But bbq played differently. They even played Blitzcrank, and they frequently pick prioritizing the players. I will show stick to my identity in bbq now.
A managing editor who can do more things than you think.