The League of Legends players don’t have that much of a break over a year, so after Worlds leading to the spring split, they have their well-deserved vacation. Players have a break away from gaming, some are busy looking for teams, and others would be busy grinding on solo queues.
In this case, while having some quality rest, Jeong “Impact” Eon-young was quite busy, moving into a new home. As recently tweeted, Impact was proud that he was an owner of a newly-built tower. On multiple occasions, he mentioned that he set up enough computers to have a bootcamp there. Impact did say that he's not sure whether Team Liquid will bootcamp there or not, but he hoped to do so.
I talked mostly about Worlds and the past year with Impact. He was disappointed that they didn't make the Knockout Stage, but had a sure thought about the reason that they weren't able to. Impact also appreciated what the two new members of Team Liquid brought in, and added a few thoughts on Broxah joining the team as well.
As the weather just started to get chilly, I met Impact at a cafe near his new tower to chat.
How have you been after Worlds?
I was having a break, having some quality rest. I was looking at the team’s situation and taking care of my wrist. I recently moved, so I’ve been furnishing the new house as well.
Was your wrist in a bad condition?
It wasn’t in that good of a condition. It gets uncomfortable from time to time since I try to play a lot of games. So I try to rest properly when I need to. Mostly, I do stretching, but I’m thinking of doing yoga now. My trainer said that it’s all connected so I need to flex my back or thighs as well.
I remember you had a car accident last season. Is that okay?
I’m alright. I went to the emergency room that day and my neck and back hurt, but there were some aftereffects left. The person that was involved in the accident was a fan, so I took a picture with him. He was really shy about it. I hope if fans want to take a picture, they should just ask without being too shy. I can’t go, “Hey, do you want to take a picture with me?” first, right? That would be weird. (Laughs)
Have you met other players or former teammates during your break in Korea?
I’ll be meeting Rush today and I think I’ll see kkOma soon. Up to now, I’ve seen Flame and Reapered.
After joining Team Liquid two years ago, you won all domestic competitions. Many people still see TL as ‘Doublelift’s team’. Don’t you think it should be seen as Impact’s team now?
Technically, Team Liquid is Steve’s team (Laughs). I don’t mind, really. I don’t even read comments in communities anymore as well. It would be good if I get praised, but if I do well, compliments come. If I don’t, I get criticized. That’s how it is. So I don’t mind much anymore.
How was Worlds?
Honestly, during the summer season, we were doing quite alright, but I didn’t think that we would win the championship. When we were scrimming, it felt that we weren’t trying hard enough. It was fortunate that we did win though.
It got better at Worlds; everyone worked hard. I was always confident, too. I was confident that we can beat anybody and appealed about which champions I wanted to play. So it was regretful. It’s always regretful at the end. We didn’t show what we practiced properly… There’s a lot that I can say, but it would just be giving excuses. We were simply bad.
I still remember dying to a gank. I knew Qiyana was coming with Mobility Boots and that Vladimir would charge E and Flash, but I wasn’t able to react to that. I really got mad at myself because of that. That moment got stuck in my head.
I also remember the game were we swapped lanes against DAMWON. We really should have won that match. The early game went extremely well, but we weren’t able to follow through. It seemed that Cain was really angry after the match because of that. Personally, I think we did perfectly up to 4 minutes. The plan was perfect but we screwed up at the dragon fight.
These two matches were the most regretful. Last year, it felt like we just weren’t good enough, but this time, we had what it takes, but we just screwed up. To come to think of it, even if we got through Groups, we would have been knocked out in the Quarters. All the other teams were so good.
On the other hand, which match was the most satisfying?
It would be the match I played Aatrox against DAMWON. I think I made the game there and played well against Nuguri. The game was a bit unstable. Even the fights we won, we didn’t fully benefit. That’s why we prepared the lane swap in the next match. It didn’t seem that we could win against them if we played classically.
You faced TheShy again after MSI. How was it? Was he different?
It was similar. This time, the jungler didn’t come to top as much. During MSI, he came a lot. As for TheShy himself, he was quite the same. To me, TheShy was always a very good player. When we were bootcamping in EU, TheShy was at 1,600 points. Nuguri was 1,400 and I was only 600 (Laughs). So I really grinded and brought it up to 1,000.
The playstyle is all different. Nuguri is really good at making plays so he’s good at champions like Camille. I think TheShy is really good. I learned a lot this time. The way he played Vladimir was very efficient.
How would a TL;DR of Worlds for you?
We prepared better than last year, but we didn’t do well. Cain was stressed because of that.
Did the results for other teams go as you expected?
At least for NA teams, it was as expected. I thought that no teams other than us can get through Groups since all the other teams were so good. You know, Groups A and C were really stacked. Although if they were in our group instead of us, they still wouldn’t have made it through. This game is a team game. NA teams aren’t that good at the team game and don’t make good flexible decisions. I think that’s why NA didn’t make it out of groups. And FPX is a very good ‘team’ team. That should be why they won the championship.
At first, I thought this game was similar to Go, but now I don’t. In Go, you take turns putting one at a time, but in LoL, you can make two-three-four moves while your opponent only makes one. G2 is like that. If NA teams can think more that way, it would be a lot better.
You were interviewed by Bang, a former teammate and now a rival. How was it?
Actually, I don’t think of him as a rival, since he’s not a top laner (Laughs). But he is in the same league… I guess he wouldn’t like it if I TP bot. It was really interesting. At first, I was thinking, ‘What? Why the hell is he here?’ The interview was really fun. It seemed that he was quite nervous, but he did really well. He was a good interviewer.
I think it was a very enjoyable interview from the viewers’ perspective. It’s good to make interviews fun. People wouldn’t enjoy reading my interviews that much because I always say cliche things, saying the same thing all the time.
In that matter, isn’t Doublelift’s interviews really fun? Doesn't he trashtalk a lot?
Doublelift is incredible. He does trashtalk a lot, but it seems that he also enjoys getting trashtalked as well. That’s why it’s so fun seeing him in interviews. On the other hand, I think he can do that because he’s him.
If I say, “SKT top laners are all bad. I’m the best ever SKT top laner,” then I’ll be criticized so much. (Laughs) It still would be fun, and all the other players would just laugh along. As a matter of fact, I think I am. Maybe this would be a fun trashtalk.
Do you plan to do more in the future so that fans would have fun?
G2 did a lot at this Worlds, and it was fun. If Doublelift does it, it’s fun. I do want to, but I don’t think my personality will allow myself to. But I do enjoy people who do trashtalk, so I like Perkz.
You played with two new teammates over the past year, CoreJJ and Jensen. Although you did play with Jensen before, how was it playing with them for a year?
Jensen did really well except for Worlds. It felt like that his mentality was really shaken up at Worlds. I want to tell him to cheer up. We’ll be playing together next year as well; I hope he does well without getting too nervous. CoreJJ has been so good for the team from the beginning. He’ll do well on his own. I’d like to tell him that he did a good job this year.
Xmithie left and Broxah joined. How do you think the two are different?
Xmithie is a good friendly hyeong. He’s really fun and I learned a lot from him. I mostly learned to ease and manage my mentality. He was a big help.
*Note: Hyeong is a word equivalent to ‘older brother’ in Korean.
Broxah is good. He’s two years younger than I am. Up to now, I was the youngest in the team. Now, Broxah is the youngest. Can you believe it? When I first met him at an international competition, I thought, ‘How old is he? He looks scary.’ (Laughs) The atmosphere would be “fun” if Broxah and Doublelift were bulking and frowning after we lose a match next year.
Broxah is a good player. He’s kind of like Machoke (Laughs). I think we’ll be able to be good friends, exercising together. Although he’s younger than I am, I might need to call him hyeong. I’m looking forward to playing with him. Since Jensen and Broxah are both Danish, they’ll have better communication as well.
How are Impact of before TL and the TL Impact different?
It seems that I have a more relaxed mind. This could be both pros and cons. I became more open-minded and understand others better. Before, I always thought that I was right regarding in-game things. Now I understand others’ perspectives more. In this way, it seems like a pro, but this could also mean that I’m less confident than before. It’s not that I’m not confident. I still have enough confidence, but I don’t get angry as much as before anymore.
Any last comments?
When I’m done organizing things in my new house, I’ll start streaming. Please come watch. If you ask anything, I’ll do my best to answer. Thanks for reading my interview. I’ll be playing doing my best thinking it’s my last year. I still want to play until I’m 30 though (Laughs). I’m sorry for not having good results this year. Cain prepared really well, but we didn’t play good enough. We’ll try hard next year so that we can really carry out what he prepared for us.