Coming back from a rocky start, TSM is now tied with Team Liquid and is one leap away from playoffs.
With the doubt of many TSM fans on TSM earlier on in the split, TSM is proving every passing week why they are the only team that has never failed to go to playoffs finals. Of course, this reputation is an incredible burden to have. However, the roster for TSM has gone passed this and beyond. One of the players that catches the eye is MikeYeung.
MikeYeung was a rookie coming into the professional scene, but Mike has shown truly how much he has grown. After the win against TL, Inven Global interviewed MikeYeung. Let’s see what MikeYeung has to say about being a pro player on TSM.
¤ Because TSM lost to TL in the first game of the split, did it feel good to get your revenge on TL?
I am sure that the win is more important to us compared to TL’s win against us before. This is because, we are coming into playoffs. It is pretty close when it comes to TSM and TL. Our record is currently tied. The win also shows how strong TSM is going into the playoffs.
¤ When Bjergsen did his interview on stage, he told us that you recently picked up Olaf. As shown in the game against TL, your Olaf was insane. Did you have a lot of practice beforehand or did you only practice Olaf for one or two games?
I had almost no experience on Olaf until last weekend. I just started playing him on Monday. I think Olaf fits really well with me. Olaf is the type of jungler that kills people and gets into people’s faces. This fits my old jungle playstyle.
¤ So would you say champions that get into people’s faces fits you best or damage orientated champions?
I think in this meta, it is still very tank oriented. You have to play for your team’s strengths and team comps. Once Cinderhulk gets nerfed or tank items gets nerfed, then we will see the rise of carry junglers again.
¤ Was there any pressure coming into TSM and being surrounded by veterans such as Bjergsen and Hauntzer?
I think the pressure came from my own inexperience. Because it was my first spring split, I did not have any idea of how do play my first split. Whenever you are put into a new team as well, there are always going to be certain challenges.
¤ From where you have started, how have you become the jungler you are now?
I believe it all comes to repetition. Playing a lot more games on stage just makes it normal now. It feels like nothing special. I just play like I did last week. Because it is already week 8, it will only get easier for me. This is how players get used to a lot of the pressure. By experiencing the pressure itself.
¤ Are you satisfied with your own performance or do you still believe you have a lot more to improve?
I have a lot more to improve. So much more that I would not be satisfied with myself even if we won all of our remaining games.
¤ What would need to happen for you to be satisfied with your own performance?
That would be to win playoffs and perform well internationally. Most of all, I would be satisfied if I kept consistent in my overall level of play. What I noticed is that, I want to be more consistent as a player.
¤ More specifically, what aspects to you think you have improved on the most since the start of the split?
Right now, I am able to make a plan and stick to it, adjust jungle plans, and acknowledge my team on what my plan is. I am also able to coordinate 1 minute or 2 minutes ahead of time. Before, I would play off instinct. This resulted in more chaotic plays. If I am playing towards the top side, I will call it out to my team. I would also give my team a timer for when I am going to make a play as well.
¤ Do you agree that if you were experienced and your team had supported you, your previous playstyle would have been more rewarding?
I think it was just me being unable to look at the big picture for plays. I was only capable of looking at myself instead of keeping in mind of every single laner.
¤ In the beginning of the split, you played more of an aggressive style. On the other hand, you are now recently playing a more lane covering style. Where is this difference coming from?
This difference comes from what the meta entails. I am a fairly new player, and I have only played two splits. I haven’t adjusted myself to one style. Because this is my first time being on a high level team, it really comes down to how I mold myself or how my team chooses to mold me. In essence, what kind of jungler I would be.
¤ We have heard funny moments about you from Bjergsen. For example, sometimes you would repeat the same things Bjergsen had just said.
I think that is because I am sometimes awkward. Sometimes, I make random jokes just to humor people. I only do those things to make people laugh. It is just for fun.
¤ Do you have any funny episodes you want to share?
Oh, there was this time when I ate spicy ramen and I dipped it in milk. I did it because I thought it would be funny for me and the viewers as well.
¤ How did it taste?
It was not bad. Just tasted normal.
¤ Which player in your team are you most close to?
Player that I am most close to… hmm… Parth. I am closest to Parth.
¤ Parth is not a player though.
I chose Parth because they will be jealous (laughs). They will all be jealous.
¤ Like you said earlier, you seem to have a special type of humor (laughs). Does your team like your style of humor?
I don’t know. I think I have this style of humor because I am 18, and I don’t really know a lot. Before in school, I was shy. I didn’t talk a lot. Once I left school and joined pro league, this is the most social I have been. I meet and talk to new people more now that I am a pro player compared to when I was at home. Everything is still very new to me.
¤ How were you before you became a professional player?
I was a very quiet person. I would only talk 1 minute everyday at school. This was because, I was a very quiet but serious person. I was always focused and interested in studies, learning, and school work. The only reason why I was so focused in studies was so my mom wouldn’t get mad at me for bad grades. If she wasen’t mad, I could play League at home.
¤ How did you become a pro player?
The chance to become a pro player was always there since I was 13. At the age of 13, I was already playing with other pro gamers. It was always in the back of my head. I never gave up in becoming a pro player. One day, I decided that if a team reached out to me to play for them that I would take it.
¤ You parents seem very strict. Did they initially accept your decision?
At first, she didn’t accept my choice because I would always joke about it. I would joke about dropping out of highschool to become a pro gamer. She was mainly mad because I had all A's and scholarships to go to college. I applied to around 7 colleges, but I decided not to go because being a pro gamer was more important to me. I actually signed my contract to become pro before telling my mom. It was already decided (laughs).
¤ Have you ever regretted your decision to become pro?
¤ What were the biggest differences in being a pro gamer in your dreams and in reality?
I think the biggest difference is how hard it is to be a pro gamer and to be a better pro gamer. This is because, the meta is always shifting. You need to break bad habits. You have to learn really fast because everyone else is trying to do the same. You really need to better everybody else. It is not solely winning because of talent but more so winning because you are working hard.
¤ What are the similarities?
The similarities, I would imagine, would be playing in front of the crowd. This is something that I could always imagine watching from home. How the stage is, how the crowd is, how you can hear the crowd in the middle of the game, etc.
¤ You went through two sides of fanship this split. The haters and the supporters. How did you feel going through all this?
This is already something I have thought about because it is something that affects a player’s mental. In this industry, it is important to play for the fans and win for the fans. This is because, it is the fans that support League of Legends. What supports being a pro player is to have a good audience, so the fan’s opinions of a pro player is really important. This makes me want to work harder for the fans that support me and prove my doubters wrong.
¤ If TSM does make it to playoffs and win, who do you want to go up against at MSI?
Oh, I really want to go up against G2 again. This is because at Rift Rivals, I was able to beat G2 with my old team, Phoenix1. Now that I have Zven and Mithy, I want to beat the new G2 as well.
¤ Lastly, anything you want to say to your fans?
I just want to thank the fans who stood by us even if we are losing. This just shows they are not simply following the hype train. The messages I get from social media like Twitter mean so much to me like no other.