Early January, the 2022 League of Legends World Champion DRX announced a rebranding, celebrating its 11th year of establishment. They officially added the concept of being a ‘PIONEER’, symbolizing that they will pioneer new paths, a main slogan of ‘ENJOY CHALLENGE’, meaning that ‘enjoyable challenges succeed’, and a new tag line ‘PAVE THE WAY’, which stands for their enterprising and future-oriented form.
DRX’s rebranding shows their will to continue to be successful in 2023 following their successful 2022. DRX CEO Choi Sang-in delivered their goal for 2023 and explained the meaning of the rebranding through an interview with Inven. He thanked the fans who supported DRX in the championship journey last year and assured that they would be doing their best to win new championships in 2023.
DRX had a great 2022 by winning Worlds. As the CEO of DRX, what does 2022 mean to you?
It has been three years since I became the CEO of DRX. When I first took on the job, the ultimate goal for the team was winning three consecutive World Championships. We have finally taken our first step. Until they saw what happened, many people doubted DRX’s championship. We never gave up and took step by step to reach our first goal.
It was the players that worked the hardest. I believe winning the championship is a meaningful result we all fruited, including the coaching staff and the management, by working together as one with all our hearts. I’m happy that all the members understood and practiced the mindset and value of DRX that I emphasized over the past three years.
Since its establishment in 2012, DRX has always had its ups and downs. The outcome of 2022 is a precious reward for the past ten years and a great motivation for the future. Since we showed DRX’s power in 2022, we can now take the challenge for the next higher vision.
You said you emphasized the mindset and value of DRX over the past three years. What are they?
Since 2020, we set the team’s slogan: ‘ENJOY CHALLENGE’. This means we should enjoy the challenges undauntedly without dwelling on the results. This is because I believe if you get fully immersed in the challenge and enjoy the process, you will succeed in the end, no matter how difficult the challenge is.
There were many difficult moments for DRX in 2022 that made us feel like giving up. Reaching Worlds was unclear during the regular season. I remember that the fans had a hard time through the season. After being eliminated from the summer playoffs and when we were preparing for the qualifiers, I gathered the players and said, “This is the only one chance that has been given to us, so let’s work earnestly and never give up.” I also mentioned that, “Even if we don’t succeed, that’s my responsibility, so whatever the result, let’s do our best with a joyful mindset for the fans who cheer for us.” We kept winning after that and made a miracle by winning the championship.
In the process, our team captain, Deft, delivered the tagline: ‘What’s important is the unbreakable heart’ to the fans. I believe this inspired everyone, even outside of esports, that is taking a challenge to reach their dreams. It was a very meaningful year as we were able to share the team’s mindset and value through our championship story.
In 2023, DRX announced a new rebranding. How was this rebranding planned? What was the reason and meaning of the rebranding?
Entering the 11th year of establishment in 2023, I looked back at the path DRX has been walking. There were many stories full of ups and downs, concluded with the fruit of winning the world championship. We wanted to blend that power and mindset we have in the brand.
I gave a lot of thought to how we could project the image and value of DRX within the brand, and defined the core value and direction of the brand through the word ‘PIONEER’. I hope we can share DRX’s strong will and mindset to pioneer new paths through the rebranding, and that this value and story can give hope and inspiration to all challengers that move forward to their dreams.
You said that you emphasized ‘ENJOY CHALLENGE’ as DRX’s main slogan since 2020. What does it mean? What is DRX seeking through it?
Slogans have a story that changes according to the value the brand seeks. For DRX, we wanted to communicate the core value and mindset with the fans, and the phrase that showed DRX’s mindset best was ‘ENJOY CHALLENGE’. This means that ‘if you enjoy the challenges undauntedly, you succeed in the end’. This doesn’t just go for the players. I have faith that all DRX members get immersed in the given situations with joy. Although the process may be difficult, everyone enjoys even the difficult moments. I hope all young generations that dream can get inspired by this mindset, and I hope this mindset can help them reach their dream.
How about the new tagline, ‘PAVE THE WAY’?
‘PAVE THE WAY’ is a phrase that goes with the aforementioned main concept of the rebranding, ‘PIONEER’. This tagline stands for the direction DRX seeks while showing the enterprising and future-oriented form of the organization. DRX will pioneer new paths and pave the way to show light to more directions to those who dream.
What will your goal and core value be when operating the rebranded DRX in 2023?
During the last stove league, four of six members of the world championship team left, so many fans and DRX members were sad. However, we have new hopes. Even in the hardest times, DRX has always taken challenges undauntedly. Like last year, we will happily work with the players to reach our desire of winning three consecutive world championships. There would be doubters this time as well, but we will prove it through results. We will share the story of our unbent challenging spirit and the ups and downs of moving forward. I will spend all my energy until the name DRX becomes a proud name for you.
When thinking of the phrase ‘What’s important is the unbreakable heart’, many positive images come to mind. As DRX’s CEO, what do you think about the phrase?
The phrase ‘What’s important is the unbreakable heart’ shows the mindset that DRX has been seeking since three years ago. This core mindset has been repeated by everyone who is taking a challenge — on TV and social media, even by the national soccer team and baseball teams. I’m happy the player still uses the phrase at his new team. I hope more people and teams shout the never giving up challenge spirit of DRX together, and I hope this helps their challenge in any way.
As DRX’s CEO, what are your goals for the future?
I want to keep proving under the name of DRX that you can succeed in the end if you don’t give up and take the challenges with an undaunted mind. I want to keep contributing to forming a society where the people of this generation can happily hope and keep dreaming.
DRX is at the start line of 2023. All of the DRX teams, including the LoL team, Valorant, Tekken, and Warcraft 3 teams, are happily taking their challenge to prove DRX’s mindset and value. I hope you can have new dreams while moving forward with DRX, and reach those dreams in the end. Thank you to all the fans that were together during DRX’s journey and championship.