Chanho “ssumday” Kim joined KT Rolster back in 2013 and spent four years on the team. His soft appearance was in sharp contrast to his aggressive plays as a toplaner. Fans were both delighted and heartbroken to hear his transfer news.
Inven sat down with Chanho “ssumday” Kim near Bupyeong District to hear his thoughts about leaving KT, expectations about Team Dignitas, and living in America.
What have you been up to lately?
Since signing on with Dignitas, I’ve been getting ready to go to America. I’ve also been resting up for my new foray, but I’ll concentrate on practice soon.
You were a symbolic player for KT Rolster. Will you miss KT when you leave?
I’m not as symbolic as Score, so KT probably wouldn’t think that about me. [laughs] Still, I’ve been with the team for a long time and everything was so incredible to me; leaving the team was a pretty big moment.
What was so incredible about joining KT?
It was an odd feeling meeting people whom I had only seen on TV. I still think it’s pretty incredible that I’ve become a professional gamer. I’ve spent my childhood looking up to pro gamers, so now the fact that some people look up to me is incredible.
Do you have any gripes about KT Rolster not asking you to stay?
I had some issues with how the team did not promptly handle player deals and how negotiations did not go as smoothly as they could have. At the time, I felt that I needed change, and so did the team. I believe we parted ways for mutual benefit. Being in the same environment and on the same terms for four years made it feel like there was nothing new. I had fallen into bad habits and my plays suffered. I hope to show my untapped potential with the new team.
Is there a reason you decided to go to a foreign team?
If I were to continue in Korea, I would have tried to stay with KT. That didn’t work out, so I chose to move abroad where it can bring me the most change. I can’t wait to play in the US. I’m concerned that Korean fans may lose interest in me, however.
All the more reason to strive for participating in international tournaments then?
I daydreamed about how excited I would be to meet Korean fans abroad. I love my fans and believe fandom is a big part of pro gaming. I’ll miss Korean fans a lot, but I look forward to meeting foreign fans as well. I plan to actively communicate with Korean fans even when I’m in the US.
Have you planned a fan meetup on the day of Christmas yourself?
I’ve often seen other players organize fan meetups by themselves, so I wanted to do one if fans wanted. Then I was a little bummed that I didn’t receive any calls. Recently, I found out that fans felt it was too difficult to bring it up, so I finally got a chance this time around. Fortunately, many fans and I were free on Christmas.
Is there a reason for setting the date on Christmas?
I don’t have that many days off because of the boot camp schedule. Then there’s also the fact that I would hate playing video games on Christmas. You know, I’ve never been to other countries, but I imagine it would feel similar to going to mandatory military service. My friends tell me to have a good time before I go, and I’ll do just that with the meetup.
How well do you know Chaser?
I don’t know him personally, but from what I’ve seen from solo queue and what other players have told me, he and I could be a good fit. Some people call him the best jungler in the first 15 minutes of the game. [laughs] I think we can work together to use that early lead to the team’s advantage.
What do you think about the current meta in which junglers have a low priority for top lanes?
I’m well aware of the meta, and I plan to do everything in my power to assist the team in using the jungler to its fullest. I’ve heard good things about foreign toplaners, and watching so many Korean players find new homes in NA does unnerve me a little. I guess it makes being number one that much more meaningful, right? [laughs] I’m a player who can adapt to the needs of any coaches and teammates. I think one of my biggest strengths is that I’m a flexible toplaner who can play both offensively and defensively.
What do you think about the foreign members of the team?
When I was thinking about signing with Dignitas, I’ve watched their VODs and thought they were pretty good. Also, the ADC was switched to a new, younger one, and my job is to help him keep his composure. I’m eager to start communicating with them and build some good teamwork. I’d like to say to the foreign members of the team that I would very much like to communicate with you but my English may not be adequate. So, please be patient with me, and I hope you can teach me one or two things about the language and the culture.
How do you think you’ll do in the next season?
Most core members and coaches have changed; we have our work cut out for us. I aim to be in the middle of the pack for the spring and would definitely like to make the finals in the summer. Career-wise, I want to prove that I’m still a good player who is capable of winning tournaments. Other than that, I’m just so psyched about everything else. I’d also like to meet LCS fans and visit many places.
Anything we missed that you’d like to say?
I wish the best of luck to all the ex-KT players and hope Score can win the championship this time. I’ll always keep Korean fans in my mind even if I go to America. I hope you will do the same for me.