On March 4, in the 2021 League of Legends Champions Korea Spring Split, Fredit BRION upset T1 with a clean sweep. From before the match began, many former fans of Jin Air Green Wings focused on the match as it was the return of Lee “Yaharong” Chan-ju to the LCK. Yaharong hadn’t played in the LCK for about 500 days. On his return, he defeated T1 for the first time in his career. After the match, Yaharong joined Inven for a chat.
You had a clean 2-0 victory over T1. It would be more meaningful for you as it’s your first match in Fredit BRION.
I feel really good. Since my debut, I’ve never won against T1. Today, for the first time, I beat them.
Did you know that you’d be playing today? What did head coach Edgar say to you before the game?
I didn’t even know just yesterday. After the roster was submitted, coach Edgar came to me and told me to play with priority. I don’t know if I played well, but I do think I did my role. The support kept coming to mid lane, so there wasn’t much that I was able to do in the laning phase, but I did my role.
It was your first match in about 500 days. How was your mindset before the game started?
When I played in Challengers Korea last year, my performance was alright, but after the season was over, I didn’t practice properly since I did pretty well in CK. That way, I wasn’t able to get a team during the stove league, and I gained so many regrets.
One day, general manager Park Jung-seok (Reach) contacted me. I wanted to catch the chance when it was in front of me, so I joined the team.
Although it was my first game in about 500 days, I think my last win in the LCK was about 800-900 days ago. With today’s win, I gained a lot of confidence. I always thought that I could do well, but there wasn’t anybody that trusted me. Only I had faith in myself, and I think I proved that I was right.
You played against T1’s Clozer for the first time. How was it playing against him?
Other lanes intervened a lot, so it wasn’t a proper 1v1. I don’t think we could evaluate each other with today’s match.
How did you gain the nickname, LoL Monster (LM)? Do you like it?
When I was in Jin Air Green Wings, fans often said that I look like RM. They gave me that nickname back then and I said it in an interview. I never thought people would pay attention to that so much. Frankly, it's flattering, but I don’t think that I look like him. It’s good to have a nickname, and I enjoy being called LM.
You had changed your nickname from Yaharong to Grace. Now, you’ve returned to Yaharong. What’s the reason?
When I used the nickname, Yaharong, I had confidence in myself. I don’t know if it’s because I changed my nickname, but after I changed it to Grace, I went into a long slump. I changed it back to Yaharong so that I could return to my initial mindset.
You’ve reunited with your former teammate, UmTi. How is it?
I think we both grew a lot compared to back then. Also, we both became more trustworthy [Laughs].
You’ll be playing against DRX in the next match. How will you prepare for it?
If we could play like today, we would have a good chance. I think SOLCA is a good mid laner, but I believe that I could beat him.
How did it help you while you weren’t able to play in the first round?
I reflected on myself thoroughly because I wasn’t able to get a team. And I got stricter with myself.
Any last comments?
Thank you for cheering for me. I’ve improved a lot and become more earnest. Please look forward to a different me.