It’s fair to say that Park "Bay" Jun-byeong had some big shoes to fill after Huang "Maple" Yi-Tang’s fantastic international performance last year. After starting on Nongshim RedForce last year, Bay moved down to the Challenger roster before going over to the PCS. And now, he has come back to Korea to play in his very first international event. With PSG taking back-to-back wins against G2 Esports, Bay has helped keep PSG Talon’s MSI run alive.
Immediately after their loss to Saigon Buffalo, PSG's mid laner was very self-reflective and critical of his own play. He gave some insight on his improvement over the course of the tournament, some things he wants to work on, and the challenges that came with moving to the PCS.
You’ve had a crazy journey from the LCK to the PCS. How does it feel to play against the best teams in the world at your first international event?
It’s a big honor for me. This is a stage and a tournament where I can learn so much. Furthermore, there are so many players I wanted to face. I was really happy to play against them.
Who do you think is the best mid laner you’ve faced so far at this event?
I mean, everyone is so strong. But… I want to say Faker. I think he’s really strong internationally, and also, he does so much damage in teamfights.
You’ve beaten G2 twice in a row now. What do you think gives PSG the edge over G2?
I think we can play very well against all other teams, so we try to play with confidence and be mindful of all the details. If we do so, we can beat any opponent. I think we were able to stay focused in those games and play with confidence.
What do you think went wrong in your game against Saigon Buffalo? Were you expecting them to perform that well?
When I was pressuring mid lane, Trundle was always ganking. There was a moment when I made a mistake and got ganked and I think that was very critical. I think we walked into all the setups they had.
You often have less farm than your opposing mid laner, but also very high kill participation. Is this a playstyle choice, or do you view it as a place you need to improve?
I think my laning phase has definitely gotten very good. But at the same time, I think my roaming and sidelaning are not on point. I think that’s why the CS discrepancy is happening.
You seem much more confident now than you were in the group stage. What are some of the factors that have contributed to your improved performance?
I’ve been getting a lot of feedback about my laning phase from the beginning of the tournament. Throughout the group stage, [my laning phase] became way better. I was able to beat stronger mid laners when I was in a strong matchup in mid lane, so I gained a lot of confidence. But I still make a lot of mistakes in teamfights and on sidelane rotations.
What would you say has changed about you the most since your time in the LCK? Do you think you’re a better player now than you were back then?
Back in the LCK, I was very weak in lane. It has improved so much. But there are still a lot of other things that should be improved.
From what I’ve heard, you’re fairly active in team communication. Was there ever a language barrier, or was your transition to PSG Talon a smooth one?
I’ve never learned Chinese before, so it was definitely difficult for me, especially the language barrier. Furthermore, Chinese is very difficult to learn and study. It took me so much time to pick it up, but, these days, I’ve been working so hard to become better at Chinese. I’m always trying to have a conversation and have a chat with my teammates. I still need to improve my Chinese a lot.
Do you see yourself staying in the PCS long-term, or do you someday hope to return to the LCK?
If I become and perform better, I want to go to the LCK. But I believe the PCS is a region where I’m developing myself. If I get to improve a lot, evolve, and play better, I might be getting some offers from other teams and I’ll take that into consideration.
Carver is an esports journalist and analyst who specializes in Eastern League of Legends.