Recently, a mass of Korean players began flocking to the Turkish Champions League (TCL), as if a rich gold mine had suddenly been unearthed, and only League players can dig it out. Lee “Chaser” Sang-hyun was one of them, chasing after something he could only earn himself.
After his contract with Team Dignitas expired, Chaser signed on with 1907 Fenerbahçe to be their new jungler. Shortly after joining the team, just as he was about to fully adapt to the new environment, he returned to Korea in order to do boot camp with the team.
Below is the interview with Chaser.
Q. It’s nice to see you again, it’s been a while. You joined Fenerbahçe in December. When did you decide to go to the TCL?
I decided early in December, and they reached out first. I went to Turkey around the 15th of December.
Q. Why did you decide to go to Turkey?
Well, first of all, Worlds was one of the major issues. I did have the chance to play in LCK teams, so it was a difficult decision to make; picking between an LCK team and a team that is 1st place in TCL. I guess I decided to go to Turkey because I wanted to participate in more international competitions.
Q. How’s the weather now in Turkey?
It’s like fall in Korea. I told the Turkey players that it was really cold in Korea. They acted as if it’s not that cold here, acting tough, when they first arrived here. (Laughs)
Q. What do you think the biggest difference is between your former teams and the current team?
Communication is important in playing a team game, so it is true that the team game is lacking compared to Korean teams. In the TCL, it feels like the game style is somewhat solidified, since they didn’t have many players from other countries play in their league. I think that if we are able to master the team game, we will be able to win constantly.
Q. If you get to play in international teams, which team do you want to play against the most?
If we play against LCK teams, it will be a good experience for the team. Otherwise, I don’t know who I’ll be able to meet, but I want to play against teams that have Korean players that I know.
Q. Can you share your thoughts on joining the TCL?
I think I have to change many things, starting from my mindset. I actually learned this last year in NA. I was able to change my thoughts a lot in NA. Now I’m confident I can play well.
Q. What’s different from living in NA versus living in Turkey?
The environment and food is better in NA. It could just be because I don’t know Turkey as well. I think if I keep my head up, I’ll be able to find good things here, too. Like taking a tour in Istanbul. Still, I can’t read the signs (laughs).
Q. What did you worry about the most when you decided to go to Turkey?
Since they were the no.1 team last year, I thought that even if I was really good, it would be like… how can I say this? It seemed like if we didn’t perform well, people could think that it was because of me. Fans might think being in first place is just a natural thing. I think this is an issue for all pro gamers wherever they go.
Q. What did you think while watching Team Dignitas disappear?
Actually, I thought that they would be broken up. Many things didn’t go in an ideal direction. They weren’t a team that lacked money, but in some other parts…
Q. What’s the most inconvenient part of life in Turkey?
I don’t think I have felt much inconvenience. I miss food the most. I really don’t get homesick. I wondered why, but I think it’s because I watch Korean broadcasts or dramas in my free time; I do stuff that I normally do when I’m in Korea.
Q. How is the solo queue in Turkey?
The solo queue in Turkey isn’t very good. I normally play in the EU server. The ping is better than that of NA, so it’s good enough. (Q. Which do you think plays better, NA or EU?) I think EU is a bit better than NA. Just my personal opinion. The general game play is better I think.
Q. How were the results at boot camp?
Well, in the scrims, the results weren’t so good, but everybody now has the drive to make improvements. I think that’s a very good thing for the team. The other players say that the item tree and lane fights are different from what they’ve experienced before.
Q. Is there something that you gain from boot camp?
It depends on the player, to some players it could be bad. I can’t say everything is positive. The teams of the LCK now are teams that haven’t changed much from last year, they are strong.
Q. Is Frozen good to you?
He introduces me to a lot of different food; always recommending good dishes. But he eats all the stuff that doesn’t taste good, too. I can’t trust him on that (Laughs). So I usually eat the dishes that are well known.
Q. What did you have that was really good?
Kebab pizza was good. The name was kind of suspicious, but it was really good. It’s similar to Korean pizzas, just with kebab topping. It was tasty to me.
Q. How’s life in the team house?
The gaming house is a 3-story building. The third floor is the practice room, second floor is for private rooms, and the first floor is a communal area. It’s located in Istanbul and it’s mostly very pleasant.
Q. You have fans in NA, in Korea, and now you’ll be gaining fans in EU. You’ll be a world star now (Chaser laughs). Please say something to your fans around the world.
To present a good performance to all those ‘world fans’, I would need to be able to compete in international competitions, so I’ll be doing my best to get to MSI first. I want to deliver a good performance and show that we’ve made improvements and can compete on the world-level.
Q. Do you have anything to say to the other teams in the TCL?
Your lane fights are not 1v1. I’m always behind your back, lurking around, so beware.
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