The long-waited franchising is coming to the LCK in 2021. Among the many talent that will aid the broadcasting, one person is preparing for her second chapter in the LCK. Meet Yoon Su-bin, the announcer for the LCK, who joined the broadcast in summer 2020.
Before the cold winds of late fall could call for the long, warm clothes, Inven caught up with Yoon Su-Bin at an empty outdoor location, her smile and sincerity greeting us from afar.
This is the first time you’ll be interacting with the fans since Worlds 2020. How’ve you been?
Hello! It’s been a while. I’m Yoon Su-bin, the announcer for the LCK. There’s been a lot of preseason changes with the items, and in order to play ranked solo queue next season, I’m playing a lot of LoL and studying the new items.
Last Summer, you embarked on a new journey as an esports announcer. How does it feel to finish your first LCK season and Worlds?
I didn’t think that I’d receive this much support from the fans, but ever since the beginning, the fans have been very welcoming. Because of their support, I quickly found my comfort zone in the LCK and as an esports announcer. I’d like to thank all the fans for putting up with me, and I’ll do my best to quickly learn from my first season!
What are some of the things that you’re satisfied with and regret during your first season in the LCK?
I think the fact that I’m slowly improving is something I’m satisfied with. I’ve rewatched myself on the analyst desk during Worlds, and I found myself making jokes and improvising things on the spot, so I definitely feel like I’ve gotten better since the Summer Split. As time goes on, it feels like I’m getting used to the environment and the people that I work with, more and more.
The biggest thing I’m disappointed in was the fact that the matches were without a live audience. I wanted to really feel the energy that the fans brought, but couldn’t experience it. Also, the fact that I couldn’t do one-on-one post-match interviews with the players was disappointing, but at the same time, a bit fortunate. I think it would’ve been hard if I was interviewing players on day one, but I feel like I’m ready now. If the Player of the Game interviews return next year, I think I can pull them off really well.
Are there any people that you’d like to thank for helping you start your career as an esports announcer?
While I don’t think that I’m that lucky in life, I’ve been blessed to always have great people around me. In terms of this job, I got lucky to have great people to work with, so I’ve been thoroughly enjoying my job. From the casters that gave me great feedback every time I see them, the LCK analyst desk, who I’ve worked with the longest and always helped me, to the PD and the writers that approached me as a kind colleague, rather than stern seniors, thank you very much.
From being a weather forecaster, reporter, to doing news on the radio, you’ve held many different titles in the media industry. What are some of the differences from all those titles to being an esports announcer?
The biggest difference is that the LCK is live without a script. I have to quickly write one after each match, and in the beginning, I had to ask for a lot of help, because I wasn’t knowledgeable enough. There’s a huge pressure of having to be picture-perfect and keeping up the fast pace of esports broadcast. Also, I’ve never had a chance to receive feedback from the fans as fast as I did in the LCK, so receiving so much feedback in a short period of time came to me as a surprise.
"There’s a huge pressure of having to be picture-perfect and keeping up the fast pace of esports broadcast."
You’ve been a weather forecaster for quite a while. Have there been any difficulties in working two jobs?
Physically, it’s been very hard. I had to wake up at 3:30 a.m. in the morning each weekday to do my job as a weather forecaster, and on LCK days, I have to go directly to LoL Park to work late into the night, to wake up at 3:30 in the morning again. Actually, I submitted my resignation as a weather forecaster. Although there’s a lot of reasons behind my decision, the biggest one was that I wanted to focus more on my role as an esports announcer in the LCK. There’s a ton I need to study for the preseason, so I wanted to have more time to play the game to learn more about the game.
As franchising in the LCK is coming next year, how do you predict the LCK will look?
Many other leagues around the world are already franchised, and they’re only going to get bigger as more capital continues to flow into the leagues. DAMWON Gaming became world champions this year, so I think it’ll serve as good momentum for the LCK to rise to the best in the world.
What was your childhood dream? Can you also tell us when you first wanted to become an announcer?
When I was in middle/high school, I wanted to keep studying, graduate from grad school, and become a professor. However, it took me three tries to get to university, so I decided to rethink my future. After taking some time to think about it, I realized that I’m at my best when I’m speaking in front of people. In my search for a job that fits that description, I found an academy for announcers and decided to sign up that day. My parents were slightly against the idea initially, but I managed to convince them that if I do attend the academy, it’ll help with any line of work.
After much preparation in the academy, I submitted my resume to all the broadcast stations that I could think of because I thought getting experience in doing the interviews had a lot of meaning. In 2016, I was hired by OGN, and at the time, it was very hard to balance both my job and my studies. Eventually, I left OGN to graduate from university, but the desire to be an announcer heavily lingered, so I became a weather forecaster, which eventually led me to become an esports announcer.
You have this image of being very composed. What are you like in real life?
I think that came from the LCK content, "Noona Class", but I’ve never been told I’m composed. I’m very talkative, laugh a lot, always distracted, fumble a lot, and make a lot of mistakes, so I’m always being taken care of. It’s very surprising to hear that I look composed, and I think it’s a positive sign because it means that I can bring different appeal to the fans. I haven’t even shown 2% of myself on broadcast so far.
Are you the type to read the fan feedback after each broadcast?
I normally don’t read the community feedback, but I do go back to read the live chat through a VOD. I do get hurt deeply when I do see something negative, but I also forget about it and move on quite easily. On the flip side, compliments in chat always make my day [laughs]. It also feels good to receive positive feedback through social media, so while I can’t respond to each and every single one of them, I do read them all, so please keep sending them!
"In my time, I had the best grades in the whole school, so I was the first international student to receive the Bush Presidential award and had my name go up in the school’s hall of fame."
Have there been any fun stories ever since you became an announcer for the LCK?
My friends and my brother’s friends asked me for an autograph! That never happened to me before. However, no one recognizes me when I’m outside [laughs]. Also, I have a notebook that I used to jot down notes in preparation for the LCK, and this one time, I left that in a taxi, but the next customer that got on the taxi realized that it was mine, and returned it to me.
What are your hobbies? How do you relieve stress?
Apart from watching a movie by myself, I don’t have any other special hobbies. I usually just meet up with friends to chat, and I tend to relieve stress by walking 3-4 hours! I do think about things in my walks… But I don’t remember [laughter[. They say that you need to keep using your body to relieve stress, and I think moving my arms and legs through walking really helps in that regard.
Do you have plans to stream or create your own Youtube channel?
While I do want to interact with fans by playing games or vlogs, I don’t think I’m at that level just yet. I hope to make a crack at those things once I become more experienced as an esports announcer, but for now, I want to focus on running things smoothly during broadcast.
Please tell us some TMI facts about yourself.
I lived in the U.S. when I was 12 for two years. In my time, I had the best grades in the whole school, so I was the first international student to receive the Bush Presidential award and had my name go up in the school’s hall of fame. After all those years, I can still speak English on a conversational level. In terms of other TMI facts… I had my arms and legs broken at least once in my life, and had a cast on nine times in my life.
Do you have a mentor or a role model?
It’d definitely have to be announcer Lee Hyun-kyung! Just like her, I want to be very knowledgeable, to the point where I can host the players comfortably and proficiently. I also said this in my last interview, and she actually contacted me to support me. I’ve definitely become her fan [laughter].
"I was never into one thing this deeply, but now, I think to myself, “Wow, I really ended up enjoying the game”.
How well do you think being an esports announcer suits you?
To be honest, I had my doubts in the beginning, because I didn’t know if games were my thing, and if I could pull it off well. However, I wholeheartedly think that this job is very fun and enjoyable. During the regular split, days before I went on air, I had butterflies about being in front of cameras, and my head was full of thoughts on what I’d wear during the broadcast. I was unsure if I was allowed to be this happy on my way to work. I welcome all changes that are either within the game or within my life, and right now, I don’t have plans to be anything else other than being an esports announcer. I hope this sincerity reaches to all the fans out there, and I’ll make sure to prove it through my actions, rather than words!
How do you think the esports fans will remember you down the road?
Recently, I woke up, and immediately thought, “I want to play Renekton!” [laughter]. Whether it’s on TV or on the street, whenever I see a word that can be associated with LoL, it’s fun. I was never into one thing this deeply, but now, I think to myself, “Wow, I really ended up enjoying the game”. Henceforth, I do want to be remembered as someone who worked as an esports announcer the longest. I want to keep meeting fans, and hope to expand my role in other positions as well, such as casting and translating.
We’ve reached the end of our interview. Please feel free to say anything that you’d like.
Although I’ve said this many times over the course of this interview, I’d like to, once again, say thank you. The fans, the casters, the analyst desk cast, and the other LCK announcer, Lee Jung-hyun as well. Despite my blunders, I’ve received too much love right from my first season. In the hopes of my passion and my sincerity being reached to everyone, I’ll make sure to be a better version of myself in the upcoming season. I’ve got a lot more to show, so please continue to show your support. Thank you!
With regards to the local government protocols regarding COVID-19, the following interview has been conducted with all reporters wearing masks and taking sanitary precautions. Announcer Yoon Su-bin also followed the same protocols, and only took her masks off for the photos taken on set.
Striving for perfection to achieve excellence in esports