Debuting in the LCK as the team's ace is not an easy trial by any means. In that position, one is expected to perform consistently at a high level. Only so many LCK players have managed to live up to those high expectations, and Jin Air Greenwings' Teddy is one of them. Debuting during the 2017 Spring Split of the LCK, Teddy demonstrated a high level of mechanical play and had a noticeable impact during the season. Yielding multiple wins for his team, Teddy is also called ‘General' by his fans.
During the 2018 Summer Split, this was probably the most lackluster season for Teddy. With the sudden change in meta, the carry potential of marksmen decreased. As a result, Teddy’s performance seemed to fall short of his potential and value. However, Teddy did not waver and continued to focus on his role. With this determination, Jin Air was able to defeat the 1st place team, Griffin, in the 2nd round of the regular season. Teddy confidently proved that he is, undoubtedly, still an outstanding player.
When the relentless heat of Korea’s scorching summer had started to become more bearable, we were able to meet with Teddy during the middle of August. From the moment we met him and all the way through to the end of our interview, Teddy did not lose his playful smile. Through our conversation, we were able to feel Teddy’s confidence, his affection for League, and the pride he has as a professional gamer.
Let’s hear what Teddy has to say!
¤ A lot of time has passed since the Summer regular season. What have you been doing?
Since we got a vacation right after the regular season, I have been enjoying my time off. I did some streaming as well. While we are scrimming every now and then, we don’t practice too late. I am definitely spending my time more freely compared to the regular season.
¤ What have you been doing on your vacation period?
I went home and met with my friends. However, it was only brief. I went back to our training facility and played all sorts of games with my teammates. I watched some ‘Mukbang’ (Korean videos of people eating food) and other youtube videos; listened to the music I like. I think living in the training facility is more comfortable than before.
¤ You have already spent 4 splits with Jin Air in the LCK. How has it been so far?
Before I realized it, I became heavily assimilated with Jin Air (laughs). Looking back, I think time slipped by so fast. During my 2 years, it has been a blast. It was definitely a time that enabled me to evolve as a person.
¤ You guys avoided playing in the relegation series, but you must’ve still been disappointed with the team’s result this split.
Yes, it is very unfortunate. Before the regular season, the meta suddenly changed... With non-marksmen champions appearing in the bot lane, the basis of all macro was shifted. We should have been able to adapt accordingly. However, compared to other teams, I believe our rate of adaptation was a lot slower than other teams.
¤ You played non-marksmen champions like Ryze and Vladimir. Did you have any issues with that?
Although it isn’t like I don’t have any confidence in making plays on non-marksmen champions, I just think that I can more comfortably perform on ADCs. Especially in the early parts of this season when ADCs were weak, I was unable to easily pick ADCs. This time around, I also got ‘Nova’ as my support. We had a lot of trouble when it came to synergy.
¤ On the topic of supports, you have so far played with 3 supports in the LCK. You must go through a lot of difficulties when a new support comes in.
Regardless of the player, when you do try to play with a new support, it is not unusual for you and the support to go through difficulties. Since I had to go through this process 3 times, there has been a lot of stress involved. No matter how hard I try, it's like I am going into the early parts of a split feeling that loss is inevitable.
¤ Every support is different in their own way. What kind of support do you prefer?
Because I am the type of player that likes to have the lead role in my team, rather than a support who is good at roaming and initiating, I prefer a support who peels for me in teamfights. The support that peeled the best was Wraith. Since he always protected me with Braum, Thresh, and Tahm Kench, I could comfortably play the game.
¤ Jin Air blocked Hanwha Life Esports twice from entering the post-season. Once directly and once indirectly.
We didn’t mean to do it, but somehow it went that way (laughs). During the Spring Split, we played with the intent to win the whole thing. Because our coach told us to play our best till the very end, we were able to win against ROX Tigers (Currently Hanwha Life Esports). In this Summer Split, I couldn’t focus on the game against Afreeca and also had problems with our plays. I believe this is why we lost.
¤ Every time you die, people say that Jin Air’s probability of winning decreases. This has led to you getting the nickname ‘Nexus’. Did you know about this?
I do know I have a nickname like that... but to be honest, as long as I focus on playing ADC, I have no real reason to die. This is because ADCs have incredible range and can kite efficiently. Compared to a damage top laner or jungler, it is the easiest to survive as an ADC. It is not just for me, but I am pretty sure the other team’s win rates drop if their ADCs die (laughs).
¤ Since the start of your debut till now, you have been the ace for your team. Does it feel burdensome in any way?
I feel no such burden. Like every League player, isn’t it the most enjoyable when you are carrying the game? Same with me, I feel the absolute best when I am carrying my team. With the mindset of always trying to play better, I’m in the game.
¤ Moving onto another topic, there have been times where you have overextended with your plays. Is there a lot of pressure on ADCs having to carry their team?
I admit some of my plays do backfire. However, I don’t make these plays because I feel pressured to carry my team. A majority of the time I make those plays because I have confidence that I can dodge the enemy’s skills. I move with the consideration of my team’s position, skill cooldowns, etc. Of course, when I miscalculate, that is when I die (laughs).
¤ In the earlier part of your debut, you picked Deft as your role model. Has it changed?
Because all the ADCs are so good right now, I don’t necessarily have a role model. (If this is the case, who is the best ADC in your opinion?) Hmm... wouldn’t the person who won the finals be the best ADC?
¤ There are fans that picked Ruler, Deft, and you as the 3 ADC Generals of the LCK.
First off, I want to thank the people who even think that. To be honest, if you compare only mechanical prowess, I am on par with the best ADCs. However, because my team’s standings is low right now, it is hard for me to say that I am extremely good.
¤ How much of your potential do you think you are displaying? I wonder how far you will be able to go.
If I were to put it into a numerical value, I would say 70~80%. There are times when I lose focus and ignore the team’s calls. I believe I definitely need to improve in that aspect. Everything else, I am confident in. Whatever stage, game, and situation, I know I can display my strength.
¤ We recently heard that you have some health problems. Would you care to explain?
I don’t know if it is because I have been eating too little or too much, but I have ulcerative colitis. This is why, since not too long ago, I was unable to eat greasy, spicy, and flour-based food. Hence, I was forced to go on a diet (laughs). Now, I am constantly taking medication and have gotten a lot better. Because this is a chronic disease, it is hard to completely cure. They say the best way is to stay in good health... I am just glad it doesn’t affect my play on stage.
¤ Combining your time with the Ever8 Winners, your time as a pro has been a little over 2 years. What do you think is the biggest change for you since you started?
The biggest change has to be my skill. Compared to before, I have improved a lot and gained confidence. In an anime called ‘One Piece’, there is a concept/ability called ‘Haki’. I think I developed the ‘Conquerors Haki’ (laughs). Same as the anime, the more I improve in performance, I gain more freedom to do other things. An aspect that has not changed is how hard I work every split.
¤ Do you have any regrets about your life as a professional gamer?
Absolutely none. I love League. I loved it before, and I love it now. I am sure it will be enjoyable in the future as well. Even after I retire, I want to continue working in the Esports industry if possible.
¤ What are your goals?
Of course, my goal is to win Worlds. Winning Worlds for a League player would be like hitting max level in an RPG game (laughs). Until that day comes, I will try my best. Before all this, I want to play in the LCK and Worlds playoffs. I think it will be fun.
¤ Lastly, is there anything else you want to say?
I want to thank all the fans and family members that have supported me without hesitation this split. In addition, I want to also thank my teammates, coaches, and staff who have been at my side. I will try my best to reach even higher. I promise to perform well, so please continue supporting me!