100 Thieves had a decent first year in the League of Legends scene. In their rookie season, they finished 1st place in the regular season and runner up in the finals. The summer season wasn't as good as their spring, but they earned themselves the chance to compete at Worlds.
In their rookie year, Kim "Ssumday" Chan-ho carried out an important role, and 100 Thieves succeeded to re-sign him. Although being busy preparing for the season, Ssumday spared some time for an interview.
It’s been a while, so say hello to the fans! How have you been?
Hi. We were eliminated early during Worlds, so you must have missed me. It’s Kim “Ssumday” Chan-ho back again in the top lane of 100 Thieves. I’ve been doing my best to do nothing while I was in Korea. (Laughs)
You had tweeted that you were permitted to explore options for 2019, but you rejoined 100 Thieves. What was the main reason?
I thought I performed pretty good last year, so I wanted to be evaluated by the market. I wanted to know how much I would be worth. There were teams in the LCK that gave me good offers, and there were offers from other LCS teams and LEC as well.
However, 100 Thieves showed me my future. One of the most important things I considered was gaining residency after two more years. They expressed that they needed me the most. They also offered to start my own Youtube Channel so I can improve my own brand value.
Since I’m a pro gamer, I often thought of starting a Youtube Channel, but I never had a chance and I didn’t know how to do it. Now the team helps me with the editing and translating. There are only four videos there up to now, but please subscribe to Ssumday Youtube! (Laughs)
It’s already your third year in the NA. How is your communication?
My English used to be really bad; now that I’ve been living here for a while, it has improved drastically. I’m a lot more comfortable now speaking English. I thought I might forget a lot of English since I was in Korea for 2-3 months, but after coming back, I realized that it’s not too bad.
As for within the team, I’ve played with two of my teammates last year, and the two new players are Korean. I’m used to AnDa and Aphromoo and it’s no problem with Huhi and Bang.
How is US life suiting you?
At first, I really struggled. (Laughs) It was hard to get used to the food, but now that I’ve adapted, it’s alright. One thing that’s a bit sad is that all my friends are in Korea and I don’t have many friends here, so even when I have free time, there’s not much to do. (I guess you only have your teammates.) Yeah, but they’re all busy too. (Laughs)
What do you do mostly in your free time?
I usually go to K-Town with Ryu or coach Stardust and go to karaoke or eat something delicious. Other than that, I just play games or stream.
There are four Korean speakers within the team including coach Ryu. Does that help?
Since everyone needs to understand, we usually communicate in English. From time to time, when there are things that we don’t understand, Huhi interprets. But it’s convenient when we’re talking about detailed stuff. We can explain our thoughts more easily.
In-game, we always use English, obviously, since all five people need to know what’s going on. To improve our English, we try to speak English amongst ourselves as well. Sometimes, when we’re talking in Korean, Pr0lly comes and says “English please”.
Do you have a fine system like having to put a dollar in a jar when you say something in Korean during meetings or games?
We don’t go that far. (Laughs)
Among the Korean players, whose English is the best?
Well, Huhi’s English is the best, and Ryu is pretty good too. I think Bang's and my English is the worst.
The team went through some change; 100 Thieves had a decent 2018. Even so, many people say that the team has become even stronger.
Since it was our first year together, I think our results for last year was satisfactory enough, but I think we could have done better. This year, I think we can do better than last year for sure. There were changes in the coaching staff and team manager as well. The team is trying to make the players more comfortable. I hope we can deliver up to our expectations.
How’s Bang and Huhi?
It hasn’t been that long since we’ve been together, but we get along really well. Huhi is very friendly and looks after others a lot. When I ask him something, he explains really well and is very helpful. Even in-game, he talks and communicates a lot so he makes me feel more comfortable to make plays.
Bang is also a cool guy; his English is a lot better than I thought. I was surprised by that. He communicates well on his own and tweets a lot as well. According to Bang, his English is good because he’s been to many international stages. His performance and knowledge in-game is also amazing since he has so much experience.
How did Ryu transition to a coach?
Ryu and the team agreed with each other. I think with his good English and his knowledge of the team and our situation was something our team needed. It hasn’t been long, so I’m can’t say much, but he knows the players and understands the team very well.
The first week of your scrims is over. How is 100 Thieves doing?
The results of the scrims aren’t bad, but we’ve been having a bit of a struggle because of the jetlag. To make it worse, the flu struck so everybody’s in a bad condition. Besides that, everything is going pretty well.
You need to comprehend the meta now. How do you think it’ll go?
Just looking at the top lane, there are A LOT of fights, and very mixed up. Fighting a lot is fun, and playing aggressive carry champs is fun as well, but it seems the next patch is steering top lane to tanks again… I’m fine playing tanks as long as the team wins, but you know, playing carries are more… enjoyable. (Laughs)
AnDa did really well during Worlds. Is he maintaining and improving his performance even more?
Yes, AnDa did really well at Worlds. With the experience he accumulated at Worlds, he’s improving even more. I’m pretty sure having the chance to play at Worlds gave him a big chance to improve since he didn’t have much experience in big stages. At Worlds, everybody is really good. Analyzing and watching opponents play and playing against them must have been a great opportunity for AnDa.
Are there any teams or players that catch your eye in whether the roster or scrim performance?
Obviously, Team Liquid for sure. They won both splits last year and they’ve changed their mid and support. I think they’ll continue to do well. As for players, I don’t think there’s anybody other than our team. My teammates will do well. (Who do you expect the most out of in your team?) (Long pause) Well, I can’t really pick one. They’re all so good. (Laughs)
Next is ranking the top laners. Did you see the one Impact did?
No, but I saw the one Rekkles did a while ago. How did he do it? (Sees Impact's rankings)
First, the top tier would go like this. (Laughs)
Next is Impact; he’s a good player and he has good results.
As for Broken Blade, I actually don’t know him that well; I just heard that he did really well in the Turkish League and has good mechanics. V1per also has good mechanics too. They have potential.
Huni specializes in laning; he can go up higher, but at the same time, he can drop further.
I think Hauntzer is about average.
And the rest are players that I didn’t struggle much while playing against.
(After the interview, while I was touring the 100 Thieves team house, Ssumday approached.)
I want to change my list. Can I change it? (Laughs)
At All-Stars, Bang did a Xayah cosplay and Sneaky did another cosplay just recently. Have you ever thought of doing one yourself?
Personally, I’m having fun watching them. Back when Madlife did Blitzcrank and Flame did Ezreal, I thought that was really cool. But I think I haven’t found one that would suit me well. I’d like to try one day if I had the chance, but I haven’t had the opportunity yet. (Laughs)
In a previous interview, you said that you also want to make a girlfriend like Ambition or Score. Did you attempt to make one?
(Laughs nervously) Not really, but maybe because I talked about making a girlfriend so much, my English teacher or Nadeshot tries to find me one. They introduce me to someone I don’t know… They were just playing around and it wasn’t serious. Anyways, I didn’t make that much effort. I have a bit of a hard time getting acquainted with people I don’t know.
One more ‘light’ question before we end the interview; I heard that you like pineapple pizza…
(Laughs) Yes. It tastes good. I like pineapples and I like pizza. What’s not to like?
Do your teammates agree with you?
Well, last year, there were three Koreans in our team; Ryu, Stardust, and me. All three of us liked it, so we ordered it. Back then, I didn’t know so many people disliked pineapple pizza. Still, I don’t force others to eat it. (Laughs)
Lastly, a word to the fans?
Ssumday Youtube opened recently. Please visit and subscribe!
I’d like to thank the fans that remembered me when I went back to Korea for Worlds, even if I was away for a few years. I’m really grateful. On the other hand, there were some that didn’t know me, so I’m a bit sad. But still, I’d like to thank you for supporting me always.
*Event: League of Legends mousepad with Ssumday’s signature giveaway.
*How to enter: Leave a comment or a short message that you'd like to say to Ssumday.
*The event will be held up to January 24th, 2019 0:00 (PDT).
*The winner of the mousepad will be contacted via the email address you registered on the Inven Global website.
*Note: Due to shipping issues, the event will be limited to NA residents only.