Lunatic-Hai's EscA & Ryujehong on Rogue, Korea, and the new meta

[Note: This interview was conducted on November 17th.]

Half of Team Korea at the Overwatch World Cup were memebers of Lunatic-Hai, an FPS clan with a long history dating back to CounterStrike 1.6. While Jinhyuk "Miro" Kong stood out the most with his otherwordly Winston play, Injae "EscA" Kim and Jehong "Ryujehong" Ryu also boasted their skill.

Since coming back from the World Cup, EscA and Ryujehong carried their momentum into APEX, advancing to the quarterfinals with solid showings. We had a chance to meet EscA and Ryujehong after they crushed Mighty Storm to secure their spot at the top of Group C.

EscA (left) and Ryujehong (right)


Hello, let's start by saying hello to your fans.

EscA: Hi, I'm Injae "EscA" Kim, and I play DPS for Lunatic-Hai.

Ryujehong: I'm Ryujehong, and I supply Lunatic-Hai with skill." [laughs]


There were three of you, including Miro, on Team Korea. What did you learn from other players on Team Korea who were not from Lunatic-Hai?

EscA: Zunba is really next level when it comes to Zarya. I felt that most when he rocket-jumped through the small window on top of the gate on Eichenwalde and initiated with Graviton Surge.

ArHaN is really good with Genji. I used to think ArHaN was only good on Genji, but I realized he was good on other heroes too. And TaiRong took great care of us all outside of gaming. We had a comfortable stay thanks to him.


You looked to have a hard time against Taiwan, which was considered by most a weaker team. What team did you find most challenging at the World Cup?

Ryujehong: I had a hard time against Team Sweden. The team had a superb lineup. It was like an All-Star team.

EscA: Team Sweden and Team USA. Team Sweden was already popular even before the WC began, so I was a bit nervous when we  scrimmed them. [Team USA] had the whole crowd behind them, and we also had a hard time during the match. 


So far we haven’t seen a Korean team win a "club" tournament. Do you think there’s still a gap between Korean teams and foreign teams? Or can you say that Korea is ahead now?

EscA: There was definitely a gap between Korean teams and foreign teams before. However, Korean teams have improved a lot since. No result would be surprsing at this point.

Ryujehong: I think everyone has come up to a similar level now. In Overwatch, one mistake can lead to an entire team breaking down. Any team can be defeated.


Why is practicing in Competitive Play important?

Ryujehong: You go through a lot of things when you play Competitive, and teams often come up with compositions you would not normally see in scrims. Playing Competitive allows you to develop a rich amount of experience as you go through all kinds of situations and possible combinations. That environment allows you to learn how to react to a wide variety of situations.

EscA: I think so too. There are so many unexpected situations, and you learn how to deal with them. This lets you develop the ability to cope.


We are seeing more Soldier: 76 and Pharah since the new patch hit live.

EscA: I think the meta will definitely change. It's not a small patch merely touches a hero or two. D.Va, Widowmaker, Soldier: 76, Pharah, Mercy... all of these heroes received changes that will make the game very different. I am expecting Soldier: 76 to appear more frequently.

Ryujehong: I think D.Va will rise. I don't know about Sombra... I think D.Va and Soldier: 76 will be the hottest picks. We will see more D.Va, Soldier: 76, and Mercy.


EscA, were you satisfied with your Sombra play at APEX just now?

EscA: [Laughs] The patch went live just today, so we weren’t sure if we could use Sombra. We just went with her because we had already made it to the quarterfinals and the match was going well. We were like, "All right, let's just play whatever we want to." So I picked Sombra. It quickly became apparent that I had not practiced her enough.

Players have varied opinions about whether and how much Sombra will be used in tournaments. I think she will be used a lot in certain situations or on specific maps.


You said you wanted a revenge match against Rogue for your defeat at APAC.

EscA: We lacked understanding of the game back in APAC. Rogue is one of the best teams in the entire world, and they understood the game very well already because they had been playing for a long time. On the other hand, we only had three to four months of experience in Overwatch. We are now much more knowledgeable about the game, and I am in better condition now, so I think we will be able to change the outcome this time.

Ryujehong: We were still learning back then. When I went to China for APAC, I thought to myself that we were going there to learn. There were so many things I didn't know then. While I am still learning new things every day, I have improved. I will continue to work hard so we can defeat Rogue the next time we meet.


Thoughts on Dylan "aKm" Bignet's renowned McCree?

EscA: aKm is one of the best McCree players in the entire world, but I believe I can match him.

Ryujehong: McCree depends greatly on how well the team supports him. I don't think there is much difference between great McCree players' aim - they just have different teammates. Rogue understand very well how to support aKm's McCree.


Thank you for sharing your stories. Any last words?

EscA: I am really thankful to everyone who supports us, offline or online. I know I am not doing enough to express how grateful we are to our fans who come to watch us play, but please know I really do appreciate your support. Special thanks to Bokyum Kim who helped us a lot, and also to our coach, assistant chief, and team representative who always support us and strive to make Lunatic-Hai a better team. I also want to say thank you to my family and friends.

Ryujehong: Well, EscA said everything so I don't have much left to say... [laughs] I am really thankful to our coach, assistant chief, and team representative for always helping us so much. We wouldn't be here without our fans' support - thank you so much!



Interview conducted by Inven Flyn and Irro

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