After an incredibly strong Summer Split for the CLG squad, tying Cloud9 for second place and finishing 3rd in the Playoffs, CLG fell short in the LCS Regional Finals and will not qualify for Worlds 2019. After defeating Clutch Gaming 3-2 in a reverse sweep in the 3rd plac
e match, they lost 3-1 in the gauntlet, ending their season. While it was a complete rebound from their previous splits, missing playoffs for three straight splits, the team wanted to cap off the year with a trip to Europe for Worlds but fell short.
A large part of their return to success was their replacement top laner, Kim “Ruin” Hyeong-min, who came in for long standing veteran, Darshan “Darshan” Upadhyaya. While he sits about middle of the pack for performance across the league, Ruin was able to match his team’s playstyle better, and allowed the bot side to take more priority, slingshotting CLG up the rankings. Ruin talks with InvenGlobal about the series, his whole split, and who the best top laners are at Worlds.
This is Parkes Ousley with InvenGlobal and I am joined by Ruin the Top Laner for CLG after their series loss to Clutch Gaming in the LCS Regional Finals. It was a bummer that you guys lost today, I know you were really looking to get that win and make it to Worlds. But what happened this series? You just beat them in a reverse sweep, but you weren’t able to do that today. So what happened this time.
So today, for the second game, I was trying to play other champs - the Gnar and Jayce - usually I don’t really play them. And it was really awkward for me. I just think that those kind of champs are not a really good style for me. So after the second game I just changed my mind and just played Gangplank and helped my teammates, stuff like this. And it worked, but we just lost.
Yeah it worked in a lot of ways, but unfortunately didn’t get the win. So I want to touch back on some things. We actually got to talk to you in your first week right when you got here. So I want to talk about your whole split, being in North America and facing the different level of talent that you called out earlier. But first, how’s it been just living here in LA?
Well right now I’m living in Koreatown, so it just feels like I’m living in Korea kind of. It’s really nice, there’s Korean food and many Asian people, so it’s really great to live here.
Are there any fun things in LA that you feel like you didn’t have in Turkey, or is it mostly just the fact that you can feel at home as if you were in Korea?
Fun things? Not sure, maybe just like in the off days, meeting other Korean pro players and talk about stuff and drink and have fun.
Gotta love the soju in Koreatown! So moving to the top laners, you said earlier the talent here is much higher - specifically you called out BrokenBlade and Ssumday - but who was the most fun to play against this season, and who taught you the most and helped you grow the most?
I think I will say Impact and Huni. Especially since they are really veteran players. They went to Worlds and so many big tournaments. I never went to big tournaments, only the one time at MSI this year. So Impact and Huni are really different players because they have so much experience. And in a best of five I think they are really strong.
Yeah they definitely are, those SKT Worlds finalists. So what is your next move? Obviously your season is ending today, but you have now an offseason to spend in North America or back in Korea. What are you going to do to ensure this time next year you aren’t going home but rather prepping for Worlds.
So for me, my main point is improving champion pool maybe. I really like to play Jayce, Akali, Irelia. Something like those really aggressive types of champions. But this year in CLG I couldn’t really play those champs because we didn’t really have much time to practice and our team play style wasn’t really good for those types of champs. So I couldn’t really show that. Also, for example, Wiggily could only play on tank champs [due to team style] which was really sad to watch because I think he is really good at other champs too, like Nocturne and Elise, other aggressive champs. So in offseason I will look to practice other champs like many other champs. I want to be better next year.
Okay, so expanding that champion pool. I do want to note though, when you came in CLG had been struggling for a while, since the franchise. And this is the first split where they’ve looked so strong and was even predicted to be the third Worlds representative for NA. Do you feel like that’s all you, you were the one change. Are you proud of yourself, or were there other things that happened within the team?
I’m not sure. I don’t know for other people, maybe I helped my teammates. But I don’t think I did anything special. I feel like everyone just improved a lot from last split. I think everyone is a really smart player, and we just kept practicing. Everyone just got better, so it works.
It definitely worked a lot better this Summer, best of luck improving further next year and making to to Worlds 2020. Speaking of Worlds, if you were to have qualified, who would be the hardest opponent? Rank the best three top laners at the tournament this year.
Ohh, who made Worlds?
There are a bunch, Impact is there, G2 Wunder, SKT, Griffin, Damwon Gaming, RNG…
Oh okay, so yes a bunch of good players. Personally I like Nuguri from Damwon Gaming. I really like his playstyle. I also think Impact is a really good player, and he has his own play style. And then maybe Wonder, I think he is also really good.
Alright we’ve got a few different regions represented there! Any last words to fans before we go?
We are done for today, and I’m kinda sad, but I will not give up. I will try to get better for next year. Thank you to everyone.
Yes thanks to the fans, keep the CLG faith (but not too much). Please like and subscribe, and we will see you next time.