It’s been a long time since League of Legends was released. Many players have come and gone in the LCK, yet there are still some players who have been playing since the very early era of the League. Of course, it is inevitable that the younger generation of players will take over.
This is true even for players like Min-Gi ‘MadLife’ Hong and Hyung-Woo ‘Captain Jack’ Kang, who are both a living part of the LCK’s history. The 1st part of their gamer lives was as pro players, and they are now living the 2nd part by interacting with their fans via personal streams and game-related TV programs.
They may no longer have the same benefits and challenges they had when they were pro players but they are still enjoying their lives as part of the community. Fans have been enjoying the fun chemistry they share - a chemistry they didn’t have a chance to show during their time as pro gamers.
MadLife and Captain Jack participated in this year’s All-Star event, not as players, but as streamers. We had the chance to interview them on the last day of All-Star event in a nearby cafe. The following is our interview with them about the ‘2nd part’ of their lives.
It’s been a while. Although you’ve been communicating with your fans via your stream, could you please briefly tell us how you have been for those who don’t watch?
MadLife: Should I start first? Hello, I am Min-Gi Hong, ‘MadLife’, who is currently streaming on Twitch.TV after I retired from pro gaming. I’ve been coming to meet you fans recently through my stream and several events.
Captain Jack: Hello, I am Hyung-Woo ‘Captain Jack’ Kang. I’ve been working hard through my stream on Twitch after I retired as well. Well… Is there anything more I can say?
MadLife: Maybe something like, ‘Please subscribe to my YouTube channel, hahaha’?
Captain Jack: Haha… That’s a bit… Yeah, anyway, I’ve been working hard in order to be able to work in game-related programs.
MadLife, you’ve had a lot of experience in All-Star events; and Captain Jack, you too have participated in All-Star as a 6th man. How are you two enjoying yourselves at this year’s All-Star?
MadLife: It feels different as I got to take part not as a player but as a streamer. Back in my time as a player, there was a bit of pressure since I would have to win in order to make it fun even if I wanted to enjoy playing. However, it was great since I had a lot of time to share stories with both Korean and foreign streamers this time.
Captain Jack: I participated as a 6th man around 2 years ago, and I got to participate this year as a streamer. I didn’t have any chance during my time as a pro gamer but it’s great that I got to participate this time as a streamer. It seems that Riot intended for this year’s All-Star event to be a fun one, and players are enjoying themselves without any pressure as well.
MadLife: They don’t even have any practice facility.
Captain Jack: There aren’t any players who are practicing at all, and it’s more focused on interacting with each other.
It certainly feels more festive this year. How is Las Vegas? Are you both enjoying yourselves?
MadLife: I think this guy has more to say than I do… He’s really enjoying himself in Las Vegas.
Captain Jack: Actually, it’s my second time here in Las Vegas. My first visit was back when I was in elementary school. The huge fountain I saw in front of the hotel back then is still here. It amazed me.
It was different since I got to take a look around the casino now that I am a fully grown-up. I learned that… gambling is very bad and I should only do it for fun.
MadLife: I don’t like gambling. When other people go to play in the casino, I just stay back at our hotel to rest. Other than that, I would usually stop by here and there in the shopping mall while we went out to eat. But there would be a casino in the underground wherever we went. I was like, wow… What kind of place is this… It amazed me how everyone was gambling. It’s not something you can easily see.
It’s been a while since you both got to play in an international tournament, correct? Captain Jack has already finished playing, and MadLife, you are about to play in one; how do you feel right now? (Note: this interview was held before his game began)
Captain Jack: As I mentioned previously, this year’s All-Star was intended to be a festival solely for enjoyment, and there wasn’t actually any place to practice; we were just made to walk on the stage after getting our makeup done as soon as we got here. So every player was really just far away from practice.
MadLife: However, it seemed that the match was a bit pressuring for me (Laughs). I wanted to enjoy it too, in my head, but I couldn't instinctively. So I played games for 2 hours in a space they prepared for streaming yesterday. That was all I did for preparation. If I were to use a metaphor, the cuisine needs to be cooked before served… but I’m worried mine is just too raw. But still, I’ll try to play as fun as possible.
I look forward to watching a fun game. Now let’s move on to something more mundane. You two often work on your synchronization together in your streams. Is there any memorable anecdote you can share with us?
MadLife: There is. I liked how we would start talking a lot when we played together, so I would always duo with him. Then whenever there are any funny moments, I would edit those separately and create ‘hot clips’. One of the things I remember is that when he was playing Caitlyn, he used his ult when he was really low on health. That was when the enemy Draven’s ult came right in front of him and returned. We were making such a fuss, screaming. It was really fun.
Captain Jack: I remember that moment. And something like MadLife’s ‘Blast Cone Zyra’...
Captain Jack: We also had some amazing moments. I remember the time where he would block Ezreal’s Q as Braum.
Will we be able to keep seeing this MadLife & Captain Jack duo in the next season?
Captain Jack: I guess we will when the season starts? The reason we played together for some time last year was because he asked to climb up the ladder with him after the season reset; we climbed up about 200 points in the Master tier together. Of course, we shone a bit at the early season and then kept falling… Anyway, I think we will keep doing the duo content this season as well.
MadLife: That was when I learned our limit (Laughs). Ah! And yesterday, Riot provided us with League of Legends accounts so I tried playing solo ranked games; after I played my first game, I got Iron IV! I’m just praying that I don’t fall into Iron IV as we duo in the later season.
Is it perhaps because of ‘that game’ that you went up high then fell in the early season...?
Captain Jack: That game? What do you mean by that game….
Captain Jack: Ah! Hahaha. WoW (World of Warcraft)? Of course, I guess I would have went up higher if I played more solo ranked during the time I played WoW, wouldn’t I have? But everyone needs to relieve their stress… You can’t just play the same game all the time.
MadLife: And truthfully, you would have played another game even if you didn’t play WoW.
Captain Jack: That’s right. I would probably have played another game… I don’t regret doing it. I think WoW has nothing to do with my tier.
MadLife: So you are saying that it’s just your skills.
Captain Jack, whenever you begin playing World of WarCraft on your stream, a lot of viewers leave.
Captain Jack: That’s correct. When I announce, “for my second game for today, I’ll play some WoW!” my viewers joke around in chat like ‘good bye Captain Jack’ and leave. But it’s fine. Although I began streaming as a professional League of Legends players, I have to stream other games as a streamer. I have to try and enjoy multiple titles. In order to do that, I have to expand my game pool. If I continue playing WoW, I should get some WoW fans as well.
MadLife: What are you even saying? This is an All-Star interview!
Captain Jack: Still! I might be able to become an all-around game streamer, and not just a ‘League streamer’. Don’t you think so too, MadLife?
MadLife: I’ll only play League of Legends. For the rest of my life.
Captain Jack: Stop posturing.
Okay, Captain. Let’s move on to the next question. You guys garnered a lot of attention when you two cut your hair. Let’s think back to it.
MadLife: Think back to it…?
Captain Jack: It was a nightmare.
MadLife: It was for a broadcast themed around making interesting content that is not related to something in-game. When I was offered a spot on the broadcast, I immediately accepted and agreed to cut my hair as well.
Captain Jack: They told us that we need to leave an impact on the first episode. And so we cut our hair.
MadLife: I learned that day that there is a certain thing called a ‘barber shop’. I won a game of rock, paper, scissors, so Captain Jack had his hair cut first. But the end result wasn’t that bad. And then came my turn…
Captain Jack: Hahaha...ha...
MadLife: I started picturing how I’d look before the cut. That’s when I realized, “so this is the entertainment business.” It’s a good memory.
Captain Jack: There won’t be an episode 2.
Did you like your haircut?
Captain Jack: Not much. I felt that my hair could look good again with just a little bit of growing. I didn’t really care much. MadLife on the other hand…
MadLife: A lot of it has grown back.
Captain Jack: But a lot of it is still there.
MadLife: That’s why I frequently wore masks during streams.
A lot of time has passed since both of you started streaming. Since you don’t have a team supporting and taking care of you, it must be difficult.
Captain Jack: Comparing my stream now to how I streamed back when I was a professional player, I have to plan out my streams more professionally. I streamed when I was a pro, but it was fine for me to simply stream my solo queue games. As a streamer, however, I felt that streaming just solo queue wasn’t enough.
As a streamer, I felt that I needed to make a lot of different types of content for my viewers to enjoy. I’m always thinking, “what should I do during stream?” However, I feel like I don’t put a lot of my ideas to actual use…
MadLife: I’m lazy?
Captain Jack: Hahaha. Well, anyway, I’ll eventually adapt and learn in time. Outside of what I said, I’m doing fine.
MadLife: When I was a pro, I just streamed my solo queue games. Nowadays, however, I evaluate what my viewers’ “needs” are. I believe that increasing my reputation and ‘value’ as a streamer is important. When I began researching to find the best content for my viewers, I started enjoying a different kind of fun.
In addition, when I was a pro, I relied on my coach and head coach for everything. But now, I have to take care of my own finances, content, and health. In the end, everything is measured by my own ‘endurance’. I came to the conclusion that I should exercise…
Captain Jack: Why don’t you, then? All you ever do is talk about it.
MadLife: Hey, I’ve even golfed here [in NA].
Captain Jack: Why don’t you go back to Korea and start exercising as a routine?
Okay, now, please tell us about your streams! Go on and boast!
MadLife: (Without a pause) Hello, I’m Twitch streamer, MadLife. I prefer streaming content where I can showcase my skills as a player. Fun, entertaining clips from my stream are also uploaded onto my YouTube channel. Search me up; they’re easy to find.
What differentiates your stream to the other streamers?
MadLife: I’m MadLife.
Captain Jack: Pft.
MadLife: I’ll show you all the hook plays.
Captain Jack: I stream with the mindset to ‘enjoy’. So if you come to my stream expecting to see the ‘professional player’ Captain Jack, you’ll be in for a surprise.
MadLife: Wouldn’t it be the same then?
Captain Jack: What? Of course not! If you’re looking for a fun, enjoyable stream, come watch mine! I’ll talk about the All-Star during my next stream. For example: how troll Faker’s Alistar is. Things that need to be explained in detail… Please come visit my stream!
Your game will begin soon! Please say a word to your fans in Korea.
MadLife: I heard that Korea is ridiculously cold currently. Please watch out for the cold. It’s dangerous for you to fall while your hands are in your pockets, so don’t forget to wear gloves. Thank you.
Captain Jack: I’m attending this year’s All-Star Event. It was great recalling the Alistar and playing alongside it again. Thank you all for watching and cheering me on. I hope you were happy while watching us play. Please watch with a happy heart, thank you!