Laeyoung "Keane" Jung is one of a kind even among the imports in the NA LCS. Although we, Inven, recognize him as Korean (and conducts interview in Korean), he is a Kiwi - New Zealander - who started his career in Oceania with an Australian team. He was also ranked very highly in SoloQ in Korea, Oceanian and NA Servers, and now it looked like he found a good place with Team Dignitas.
Unfortuantely, the Third Place Decider match ended with a loss, ending DIG's split with fourth place. Still, Keane's performance throughout the split was definitely an improvement compared to how he did previously.
We had a chance to talk to him after the match and had a glimpse on his thoughts.
Please introduce yourself to the fans.
I'm Laeyoung "Keane" Jang, the midlaner for Team Dignitas.
I'm sorry for your loss today. How are you feeling right now?
I'm obviously not at my best shape, but I think I'll enjoy my time while being here.
I'll find some place nice and go there today, maybe tomorrow.
Let's talk about today's match. You've focused your picks on champions that are good at teamfights. Did you have a specific plan for today's draft?
It wasn't anything special. We just played as we always did. We did prepare some strategies, but we didn't have a chance to try them out.
You often picked Taliyah before your opponent chose a midlaner. Do you feel confident with her enough to do that?
I'm confident with her enough to 'blind' pick her without considering my opponent's pick. Taliyah is a good champion, and while teams differ in evaluating her, I think she is good enough to blind pick.
You started both Game 2 and 3 with a loss due to CLG's invades.
We used to be prepared against a lot of invades when scrimming against CLG, but today we were caught off-guard. That's why we started out with a big disadvantage.
Huhi's pick today was more aggressive than usual - by picking champions like Lucian and Kassadin. Were you thrown off by his picks?
It wasn't as stress-inducing as playing against Bjergsen or Jensen. However, CLG played really well as a team overall. I personally think Huhi is a very good team player. Other midlaners can somewhat be predicted, but it's really hard to predict how Huhi will play - He seems to be very good at roaming.
Do you have anything that you feel that you could've played better this split?
There were many lost matches that we should have won easily. That was a big shame. Later on in the split, every win counts, so we regretted losing those games a lot. We could have ended the split with much better results if we played just a bit better - we regret that a lot.
Do you feel confident about facing FlyQuest in the Regional Qualifers?
I'm confident. I think it's the best for us to face FlyQuest in the first match of the Qualifier series since we'll be able to play other matches while being in a winning streak.
How will you play against Hai in the Qualifers?
I get this feeling how Hai tends to become more aggressive when playing against me. That might help me to gain an edge over him.
What are your evaluation of FlyQuest?
They were really good during spring, but played somewhat poorly since summer. I don't know why, but they've gotten worse overall and their placing followed. I see them lagging behind the metagame and not picking the in-meta champions. That's why other teams started to figure out how to play against FlyQuest. Come to think of it, other teams are playing better too.
How did you first start playing LoL as a pro?
I was playing games for fun, but then my SoloQ rank started to go up really high. I was contacted by an Australian team, so I started to play for them, and while I was playing at Australia I got contacted by Team Curse, so I moved over to NA.
Does having high ELO in SoloQ help you in actual matches?
Having high ELO lets you play against pro players. Beating those pro players does a lot to your confidence. That's how it is for me and probably for others.
You've picked unusual champions like midlane Malphite and Urgot before. Why don't you do that more often nowadays?
I think it's always good to play [unusual champions]. Being able to play those champions in a Bo3 or Bo5 lets you have a big advantage in draft like how Huhi's ASol takes up a ban slot. While there are champions that I'm considering, it'll be difficult due to the metagame. Riot made those non-meta champions too weak. (Laughs)
There are criticisms about you being too passive. What are your thoughts on your own playstyle?
On the contrary, my team tells me how I'm too passive. I think it's inevitable because people are subjective. Being called "too passive" often happens when you are doing poorly. Doing well in game will naturally make those comments go away.
It looks like you are speaking a lot of Korean in in-game comm. Wouldn't it be problematic for non-Korea teammates?
We try to speak English exclusively during practice, but we can't help it when on stage. Thankfully, our botlane duo played with other Korean players before, so they understand some basic Korean used in game. Also, we often use Korean during laning phase, so it seems okay. For Altec, he sometimes answers when we are speaking in Korean among ourselves. I even imagine how they understand Korean pretty well but pretending that they don't know. (Laughs)
Are you satisfied with how you ended the split at fourth place?
I really want to win more. We are playing better than before, but it also gives me a lot more to desire for. However, we are definitely improving and doing well compared to the past.
Who do you think will win in the NA LCS Finals?
I hope TSM wins since they got us in the semifinals. I think TSM is a better team overall anyway - They are really experienced in playing in playoffs.
Do you have anything else that you want to share?
I feel like we could have done better, but I'm okay since we did pretty okay. We have a week before the Regional Qualifer; I really want to do well so that we can get to the Worlds.