On the 10th, the Finals of the 2017 All-Star tournament took place. For League fans that enjoy and follow the international events, Sjokz is a familiar name. She is the host of the EU LCS and is well-known for maintaining a "natural" atmosphere when interviewing players. For 5 years, Sjokz attended all international events that were hosted by Riot, and our team had the opportunity to speak with her for an interview.
Q. It has been a while since Worlds. How have you been?
I went to Mexico during my vacation. I don't know if it was because of relaxing after working so hard, but my body was aching throughout my entire visit... so I pretty much slept through it all.
Q. This year's All-Stars feels much more competitive compared to its predecessors.
It's hard to find a "serious" tournament after Worlds, especially since everyone is waiting for the next season - also, most players practice for Worlds and puts a lot of their stress into it. It's true that the atmosphere for this year's All-Star is more strict, but a lot of players have moved around from team to team, and there were other issues as well. So no matter how "serious" the players were, I'm pretty sure that they were all having a good time, enjoying their games. Meeting other players and getting to know them; I think that's what the players were prioritizing.
Q. The 2017 World Championship took place in China. You've been to multiple esports arenas scattered around the world throughout your career. How different are the arenas for each region?
First of all, it was my very first time visiting Brazil. They were very passionate about LoL. Also, they were all very kind. I've been to China on multiple occasions, but when I was there for Worlds, the fans' passion towards the game far exceeded everything else that I've seen. They were screaming very loudly... it was overwhelming.
Also, another reason why China was so intense was that the fans were very critical towards their teams when they lost a game. I think Korean fans are similar in that regard.
Q. It looked like you were having a great time while interviewing players during Worlds. Which player interview was the most memorable?
The tournament was long, so I had many opportunities to speak with various players. The player that I most clearly remember is Ruler. He is always smiling! Although I couldn't fully understand, I often saw Ruler sharing jokes with his translator, Homin. Also, I think the players talk carefully when doing interviews during an international event. On the contrary, when I watched Korean broadcasts such as OGN, I saw the players trash-talking and sharing jokes with the interviewer! I hope that sometimes they would do that when I interview them.
Q. Which team or player are you anticipating the most for next year?
I want to say Longzhu again. In 2017, I had high hopes for Longzhu Gaming - just like everyone else. In 2018, Peanut joined the team - and that looks like such a strong team! - and by using their experience from 2017, I think they'll do much better.
The player that I'm looking at right now is IgNar. I was very surprised by how good IgNar played during Worlds. He came to EU from KR, but now, he's gone back to Korea to play for bbq Olivers. He's learned a lot and he made a name for himself, so I'm waiting with anticipation to see him perform. As for the EU LCS, sure, many players left for NA, but we still have great players such as Rekkles and sOAZ, so I'm still very excited for it.
Q. What kind of effect do you think the NA LCS franchising will have on the esports industry?
I think next year will be a year we will learn a lot from. Not only League, but PUBG and Overwatch will also take the next step come 2018. I think next year will be a very interesting year for esports as a whole. Currently, there are players that earn so much money, and I wonder what kind of influence this will have on the players. Will they continue practicing as much as possible? What kind of effect will this have on the team? Although I have minor concerns regarding the scene, overall, this is a great development for the NA LCS, because you want to see the players getting treated better and have the big sports teams to join the scene and increase the visibility of esports around the world.
Q. Lastly, I'm curious if you still play League. And if you do, what kind of champions do you play?
During last year, I watched a lot of League, but I didn't get to play too much of it myself, mostly because I was traveling a lot. As for this year, I played a number of different games.
After the rune rework, I started playing League again, but I wasn't doing too well for myself. My preferred roles are mid, support, and ADC. For the midlane, my most played champions are Ahri and Orianna. But when I die, the enemy team always seems to snowball really heavily from it...