It has been already a year since the legendary fantastic duo split and gone away to different leagues. Although we can still hear from them or hear about them through the internet, it wouldn’t be enough for the fans who enjoyed seeing them together.
While planning for new content at Worlds with Bang, I came upon the thought of an interesting duo interview I had conducted last year. I was able to lure out Wolf, who was sleeping in, with food to make an interesting reunion of the grand duo. Not many words are needed between close friends - they were rather quiet and calm while enjoying the BBQ.
It’s another duo meet today. Would you like to say hello?
Wolf: Hi, I’m Wolf of SuperMassive, who was the runner up in the league last season.
Bang: Hello, I’m Bang, the bot laner of 100 Thieves.
Do you want to say hi to each other?
Bang & Wolf: (Nods slightly toward each other)
Bang: We just did.
What? Was that…?
Bang: Yes. The nod.
Wolf: This is enough.
What have you been up to in Korea?
Wolf: It’s been about 3 weeks since I’ve been back. I’ve been at home doing nothing, thinking nothing like a rock, playing Maple Story. I’m planning to exercise again, but it’ll start tomorrow. Like always. (Laughs) Anyways, it feels so good being at home doing nothing. I can just answer people contacting me or meet them if I want to. I’ve been having a good time.
Bang: I just lived the average life every day. Thinking of what to eat, exercising, playing games… Going to bed when I want to, sleeping when I have to get up. I haven’t been diligent or anything. I’m living independently and being as lazy as I can.
Did you meet each other during your vacation?
Wolf: About a week ago?
Bang: Has it only been a week? We met up with SKT’s manager and Tom who finished his military duty. We just talked about everyday stuff.
Wolf: Nothing changed with Tom.
I heard something about Bitcoins with Tom…
Bang: He invested a lot…
Wolf: Yeah, he did…
Bang: I’ve been interested in finance for a long time, but Tom invested boldly compared to me. Although, I didn’t invest that much.
Did you meet up with kkOma?
Wolf: Not yet for me.
Bang: I’ve seen him a couple of times.
Wolf: I need to pay him a visit… I heard that he’s on vacation until Wednesday, but I’ve been too lazy. He said “we can meet up before I leave for Europe”, so I’ll try to do so.
After Worlds, he would be busy preparing for his wedding, so you really need to meet him in advance.
Wolf: Yeah. I had said that I’ll get him a TV if he gets married… I have to prepare that as well.
It’s been a year already since you two had a video interview together. How have you been in your own regions?
Wolf: I’ve been really quiet in Turkey. I nearly grounded myself to the practice room. That’s a bit regretful; the weather was really cool. I should have gone out a few times. I only practiced and streamed day after day.
Bang: Not much changed for me. I just worked and streamed repeatedly.
Wolf: I can communicate without any trouble within the team in English now. But when I listen to foreigners’ interviews, I can only understand about half. Here in Turkey, English is a second language, so it’s slower than the English of the NA.
Bang: I can do English interviews, but not 100%. I sometimes understand through context. If there’s a word I don’t know, I can at least ask what it means. Fortunately for me, the language wasn’t that big of an issue. It was more about the culture; the issues that come up with living in a new environment with new people and their differences.
So it would hard to say that Wolf has adapted completely. Does the food suit you well? There was a player that said that he couldn’t get used to the kebab.
Wolf: I made my way with kebab.
Bang: Not for me.
Wolf: Hey, it’s one of the three biggest foods in the world. But if you always eat kebab, you get sick of it. When I suggest eating something else like ramen or delivered food, others would say, ‘there’s this beautiful food here, why are you looking for other stuff?’ Then I get disappointed.
Bang: Oh, that’s different from LA.
Wolf: So in my team, we decided to make Thursday Korean food day.
Is that a rule the team made for you?
Wolf: Actually, I seldom have cravings for Korean food, but our Korean coach and Frozen really seek Korean food. If they don’t like the meal, they go out in a taxi to have Korean food. The problem is that the Korean food there isn’t as good. They have boneless chicken, bibimbap, or bulgogi, but the quality isn’t great. What I was surprised about was that they considered boneless chicken as Korean food.
With low-quality Korean food, it wouldn’t be much fulfilling, because you know how it should taste.
Wolf: Yeah, really.
Are there times you think of each other?
Bang: Sometimes. Out of nowhere.
Wolf: When I do nothing, sometimes teammates or the manager comes and asks, ‘100 Thieves are playing now, wanna watch?’ Then I would say, ‘no, I wanna sleep.’ They always play in the middle of the night…
It’s been two seasons. How do you feel about playing in new regions?
Bang: At first, it was like an adventure. I didn’t think of it that way back then, though. I’m understanding more and more now. I can sense little by little of how we can improve. I’m learning and adapting. With this experience, I think we’d be able to do a lot better in January next year.
Wolf: It’s the same with me. The Turkish league is kind of an underdog, so I tried to apply the LCK style macro. I think that didn’t go along well. The Turkish league has its own way. I got to think the methods of major regions aren’t always right for all regions. Of course, though, it was hard to let go of the LCK style.
What’s unusual here… is that the junglers are somewhat emotional. In the LCK, the junglers’ pathing is predicted logically. Here, sometimes they’re still in the same area for longer than 5 minutes, when I think ‘he should be gone by now’. It can’t be predicted through logic, but it happens in some games. Especially when it’s games between teams based on soccer teams, the ‘emotional pathing’ is more visible. I remember having a hard time getting used to that style.
There would be times where you get tired of living in a foreign country and get homesick. How do you overcome that?
Bang: I come up with short-term goals. From working out to become more fit, or make plans to meet up in the following week. I make those goals and accomplish them to drive myself.
Wolf: I ran without a break to win the season and get to Worlds. There weren’t many things besides that. I just thought about what dessert to eat today. (Laughs) Turkey is known for good dessert. Having a good dessert dish that was recommended was a little comfort for me aside from my drive as a player.
There are some questions from fans as well. What do you think about SKT’s current bot duo?
Bang: I thought Effort would do well. Teddy, too. I thought that they would be a top 3 duo no matter what.
Wolf: I’ve always wished that Effort would do well. I was sorry for leaving him last year all so sudden. I feel really good that he’s doing so well; I knew he had what it takes.
There are some questions about Wolf’s health. How are you?
Wolf: Honestly, if I lost some weight, I would be able to say confidently, ‘you don’t need to worry’, but I’ve gained weight now… I tend to eat a lot of ice cream when I’m stressed.
Bang: Ah, yeah, there a lot of people that do that. Eating ice cream when you crave sweets…
Wolf: The Turkish ice cream has many flavors. It’s a lot for a cheap price. I’d buy like a 1L carton and eat the whole thing watching a movie. That made me gain weight, so I’m trying to exercise more now. Anyways, my health isn’t that bad, but it’s not too good either. I guess it’s just moderate. So if any fans are worried, I’d be thankful if you’re concerned just a little bit. (Laughs)
What did you miss most about Korea?
Wolf: I took a lot of ddeokbokgi, pork back-bone stew, or ramen when I went to Turkey, so I didn’t miss that. What I really missed is all the Korean language that I can hear and see every day. When I was walking out of Incheon airport, it felt weird hearing all the Korean language like ‘eoseo-oseyo (welcome)’. Everything was in Korean; it was something I really missed.
I’ll guess what you missed the second most. Gyeowool (winter) and for Bang, Gamja (potato).
Bang: (Laughs) Of course I missed Gamja. He was also really glad to see me as well. I used to have fur allergy, but maybe because I became healthier, it’s gone now. I lend him my arm for a pillow when we sleep.
Wolf: Gyeowool also ran up to me when I got back. My parents were hurt when they saw that. While I was away, they really loved him, but he ran up to me without looking back. When I’m home, Gyeowool never leads my side.
What are you going to do while waiting for the next season in Korea?
Bang: I have to take care of my Youtube channel. It’s difficult to manage it during the season, but now I have more time. I’m going to exercise as well.
Wolf: I’ve been to Jeonju a few days ago, and it was really good. Although I almost died because the typhoon hit at that time. It was my first time having a road trip like that. Maybe I’ll travel to places. Oh right, I saw a fortuneteller in Jeonju. I don’t know if the teller is famous or anything but he said that my fortune this year is like ‘a dragon rising to the sky but there are regrets at the end’. He asked me if I didn’t pass for an exam, and I told him that I lost the last match. He told me I should be abroad even before I told him that I’m active in a foreign country.
Bang: Hey, me too. I went to a tarot fortuneteller. He didn’t know me at all, but he mentioned that I should be better off in foreign countries. It was really interesting.
Are there any bot duos that you’re keeping an eye on?
Bang: Since I’m in the LCS, I’m looking forward to how well Doublelift and CoreJJ would do against other regions. Those two really know how to play the game. I personally think they’ll do quite well, but we’ll have to see since it’s not a 2-man game. Against NA, the two had a lot of influence. It may be hard to say that they’re the best bot duo, but I’m looking at them with the most interest.
Wolf: For me, rather than just the bot duo, I’m looking forward to G2’s performance as a whole. We practiced a lot with EU teams and G2 was really different. They’re really amazing. When watching them play, they play many weird picks. I wasn’t exactly sure about Perkz transitioning to bot lane, but now I’m just curious about how well they’ll play now.
What are your plans as a pro player and goals in your life?
Wolf: Over the past two years, I often said that I’ll be retiring, but after what I’ve been through this year, I became more motivated. I want to stay a pro player for a long time, and be active in many different regions.
I see. Being in a new region gave you new motivation.
Wolf: Since it was a place I’ve never been to before, it was really fun and interesting. I think living abroad really suits me. I may stay in Turkey next year, but there’s still the possibility of me going to another region like NA or EU. As for a life goal… I’d like to open a PC bang. I go to PC bangs really often…
Bang: Install VR there. I want to play Beat Saber.
Wolf: I played that too much in Turkey. Anyways, the PC bangs nowadays are really amazing. I spent a lot of money last year in PC bangs. I often went with Effort, Untara, and Thal there and had bets, which I lost often. It cost 80K Won (≒ 67 USD) for 3 hours. Since we can order food and soft drinks and stuff… For me, PC bangs feel like places for friendship. Just yesterday, I was playing games at a PC bang, and some guys in their thirties to forties came and played Starcraft. That looked good to me.
Bang: My first goal as a pro player would be getting to Worlds. A long-term life goal would be playing well until my 10th year as a pro player.
That goal would be possible rather faster than Wolf’s goal.
Bang: I don’t really have a huge goal or direction. Nothing that I really want to accomplish in my life. I do have a vague plan though. The owner of 100 Thieves, Nadeshot, is a very famous Youtuber. He made the team after being a pro gamer and I thought that it’s really cool being a well-known figure and having fun working in a field that he really likes and enjoys. So I also want to become an awesome owner like him.
Seems good. If a player becomes a team owner, it would be managed well. Any names for the team come to mind?
Bang: The name… Team Gamja? (Laughs)
As a player that has gone abroad, if a close player considers going abroad, any advice?
Bang: I’d like them to ask as much as they can before they decide. It’s important to ask what they’re curious about in detail. It’s necessary to have information on things that affect living in a foreign country as a player. There may be teams that took some time to know you better, recognizing your value, but on the other hand, there could be teams that are just trying to fill in a spot, thinking ‘we need someone in this lane; he should come if we offer this amount of money’. They need to find which team really recognizes their value. If something goes wrong from the beginning with these matters, it could really affect their career. As much as it’s a sensitive issue for both the player and team, it’s really difficult.
Wolf: Bang already said everything that’s helpful. For some more practical advice: fortunately, I didn’t have any trouble, but it’s really important to read the contract thoroughly. As much as it is a foreign country, there could be problems regarding the contract. Especially if the region isn’t one of the major leagues, it would be riskier. I heard a few issues come up… The contract should be a mutual agreement of two parties; you shouldn’t be uncomfortable because you missed something in the contract. It needs to be reviewed thoroughly for both the player and the team.
That was the last for fans’ questions. Now, for something I can’t help but mention. Worlds. Shall we talk about the groups? How do you think Group A will turn out?
Wolf: We’ll have to see for Griffin… I’m just curious about how G2 would do. I’m not sure right now… I’d have to see how they play, I need to resolve my curiosities before I can decide how the whole Worlds would go.
Bang: I think C9 is a team worthy of getting through the group stage. They have what it takes to get through Group A. I was really surprised last year seeing LCK teams lose and get eliminated, but now, I don’t think I’ll be that surprised now. It’s not that weird to see a specific region get eliminated; the team that thinks more and puts in more effort survives to the next round.
Now all the teams know how to solidify their lead or how to defend when behind. Personally, I think if a team doesn’t get too much ahead for 20 minutes into a game, all teams are not that far apart afterward.
How about Group B? Everyone’s saying FunPlus has the best draw.
Wolf: I’m not sure about other groups besides Group A.
Bang: I think Group B would go as expected.
Wolf: To come to think of it, DAMWON is in the same group as a TCL team.
Yes, they’re in the same group as Royal Youth.
Wolf: Oh, I wish DAMWON makes it through.
And the hottest group is Group C.
Bang: Fnatic, RNG, and SKT, right? I personally think SKT and Fnatic will win. Actually, besides SKT, it wouldn’t be odd to see any team make it through. And even if SKT doesn’t make it, it wouldn’t surprise me too much. It’s Bo1s. Although I said that SKT and Fnatic would make it through, I think Fnatic would struggle a bit.
In Group D, there’s Team Liquid, iG, and ahq.
Wolf: Oh, right! There was ahq.
Bang: Team Liquid would make it through, unless DAMWON gets assigned to Group D to make something with iG…
Wolf: I don’t know about iG this year. I really like the people in Team Liquid, and I think they’re really good. I believe they’ll make it through.
It’s late already. Any last comments?
Bang: All my games are over for this year. I don’t know what you’ll think, but I’m continuing to step forward towards my goal, so please keep watching me. I appreciate all the support and cheers you send me. Thank you.
Wolf: Although this is just something I always say, watch your health, everybody. It’s regretful that I wasn’t able to make it to Worlds, but I’ll be with all of you fans from the Play-ins through broadcasts. I’ll see you then!
Wolf, don’t you want to cheer the TCL team?
Wolf: (Laughs) I don’t want to! I must be still upset and grumpy. We lost 2-3.
Lastly, really last… A word to each other?
Bang: Play some more LoL.
Wolf: Wanna play Maplestory together?
A managing editor who can do more things than you think.