Having to play against your former team feels unlike most matches, especially if it is the finals. Jung “Impact” Eon-yeong was eager to play against Cloud9, and as a former member of the team, he was happy for them.
Heading to the Oracle Arena for the grand finals which will be played on September 9th, Impact shared his thoughts on Cloud9 reaching the finals, how close he still is with Reapered, and his ambition for Worlds.
You met your former team at the finals. How do you feel?
It’s really interesting. You know, C9 really had a hard time early in the season; I never thought that I would meet them at the finals. Of course, I didn’t know we would be at the finals either, but here we are, and I think it’s really fun and interesting to play against them for the championship.
Licorice filled your place in the top lane in C9. How do you think he’s doing?
I think he’s really at the center of the team. He’s good when he’s playing aggressively and good when playing passively as well. I think Licorice’s the best player in Cloud9.
What do you think it’ll be like, playing against him in a Bo5 this time?
It depends on how the games go, but since I have a lot more experience than he does on big stages, I think I’ll be better off.
Are you preparing a lot to face the 7-man roster of C9?
Yes, we’re doing a lot to prepare for them. Both of their rosters have strong and weak points. When we scrim, we keep that in mind. I’m confident that we’ll do well.
After losing a match to C9 in spring, you said to Jack that it’s a gift to him. Did you talk to Jack before the finals?
That was just a joke. (Laughs) And it was during the regular season in spring. It’s been quite a while since then. I just said that I’m glad to meet him at the finals.
I actually talked to Reapered more. We were saying that we’d met at the finals, and we both said that whether we win or lose, we wouldn’t feel that bad.
Cloud9 wasn’t doing that well early in the season, but they’ve had a magnificent run and reached the finals.
Even when C9 was losing early in the season, looking at their games, they weren’t that bad. Their performance was pretty good; they just lost because they inted. I was sure that they would do well, and find a turning point to come back up, and they did.
How were the semifinals facing Ssumday?
Well… I think there was an issue with 100 Thieves. Their bot lane changed, and the laning was nearly 1v2 for me in that match. As for Ssumday, I’ve never thought that he was extremely good. I just thought he’s not bad, so I thought that if I just play decently, we would win.
So you didn’t think much about him?
I didn’t. When we scrimmed against them, I didn’t think like, “Wow, he’s good.” so I just thought that we would win if I play just like I always do.
In the last spring playoffs, Cloud9 concentrated their bans on top lane. Do you think they’ll do it again?
I think they did that because Licorice wasn’t that good at playing tanks. Since he can play tanks now, if they were to ban top lane, I think they would ban top lane in the second phase, not the first. I’m not thinking too much about that now.
Many people say that Impact’s Gangplank is special. What do you think, and do you have more passion for Gangplank compared to other champions?
Personally, I think that my Gangplank wasn’t good enough for my standards in spring, so I practiced him a lot to make up for that. Since I practiced a lot, I got a lot more comfortable on him and became more skilled.
My most played champion in solo queue is now Gangplank as well. I think my prowess on champions depends on how much I practice; maybe that’s why they say my Gangplank is special.
Your Gangplank was very impressive in the semifinals too.
On that game, Ssumday was really good too. He pressured the lane a lot, and since we didn’t have priority in mid, there was even more pressure. Still, Gangplank is a champion that shouldn’t be greedy for kills or putting pressure in lane. He’s a champion that needs to farm to take action in the mid-late game.
I think I learned a lot while playing many games on Gangplank. I learned not to be greedy. I do have more passion for Gangplank because of that.
Any comments regarding the finals?
We’re here at the finals for the second time in a row. When I was in C9, I was at the finals two straight times as well, but we lost both times, and that was so regretful. Although I did win at the finals last spring, I want to win two straight championships again, so I really want to win this.
Still, I don’t think I’ll feel too bad even if we lose. Reapered had never won a championship; I would feel bad if we lose, but I don’t think I’ll feel that bad because of him. I think Reapered would think the same.
I will do my best regardless.
Whether you win or lose, you’ll be at Worlds this year in Korea. You haven’t played in Korea for a long time now, how do you feel?
I felt really bad when I didn’t make Worlds in 2014; we lost in the Regional finals. This year, that was really my goal, and one of the sources of my motivation. I feel really good now that I made it, and I want to deliver a good performance in Korea.
I still remember that day we didn’t make Worlds; when we go this year, I want to get good results as well.
I’m very glad that the Korean fans will be watching me. It’s been nearly four years since I left Korea, and I’m being forgotten every moment. The Korean fans tend to think less of me; they lost interest. Since I’m playing in the NA, I can’t help it. I feel good that it’s a chance to have myself known again, to show that I’m still alive. I am determined to deliver a good performance there.