On the 22nd of March, SKT T1 was in a spot where they needed to win as many games as possible to increase their chances of making playoffs. By beating MVP with a score of 2-0, SKT kept the flames of hope going -- and on that day, Bang certainly shined.
After the match, we were able to hear from Bang about his relationship with Tempt, his current attachment to Kendo (A modern Japanese martial art), and more. Let's take a look!
By winning today's match with a score of 2-0, you've increased your chances for making it to the playoffs. How do you feel?
We have to depend on the other teams' match results to secure a spot in the playoffs... to be honest, if we don't make it, I think I'll feel very dejected. We'll continue to practice until the results are final - and if we make it to the playoffs, we'll do our best to reach our goal.
Despite Thal's impressive performance in game 1, you received the MVP title. Were you expecting to receive it?
Since everyone did well, it wouldn't have been a surprise if anyone on the team took the title. In the end, I received it; and to be honest -- to a certain extent -- I felt that I could've earned it.
Looking at your recent ranked games, there were a lot of times where you hard-carried the team without dying a single time. In addition, you have been playing a wide variety of champions. You look to be in a completely new form...
There is an order. The most stressful things are scrims, then comes solo queue. Therefore, I relieve the stress that I receive from scrims on solo queue; and relieve the stress of being a professional gamer as a whole, on stage. To be honest, my performance on stage is much more important than my performance in solo queue. It's not just me -- every other player does well in solo queue... I think playing better on stage is much more important.
That may be true, but you still hit Challenger from Master tier at a blistering speed.
Honestly speaking, when I was at 400lp, I asked myself, "Why am I only at 400lp despite being this good? Why is that guy at 800lp?" Then, naturally, I climbed back up. I used to take on a lot of stress when I was low-ranked, but it's just as stressful when you climb up.
But I still need to stream, so I play ranked while I'm broadcasting -- and during the process, I have no choice but to be more careful... since it could end up being dangerous if I reveal too much of my emotions. While in a sensitive/careful state -- on top of having a tournament going on -- I'm kind of having a hard time controlling my emotions.
On your personal stream, you frequently duo'd with Tempt. But I heard rumors that your relationship with him is actually an awkward one... is that true?
To be honest, we haven't shared a decent conversation before... so I guess it'd be a bit awkward to meet him in person. (Laughs)
You've never really spoken to him before?
We just say our hellos when we meet...
In order to dodge having to play in the challenger promotion matches, bbq Olivers were rooting for SKT to win today -- they even provided chicken today! Did you talk to your "awkward yet close" friend, Tempt, before the match today?
Whenever I call for Tempt or Ghost, I call them by the names of dishes from the BBQ chicken menu. Tempt is "Jamaican Roast," and Ghost is "Golden Olives." Coincidentally, our team played in the same booth that BBQ had today. On my computer screen, there was writing on a notepad that read, "Bang hyung, fighting!"
Tempt came to us after the series and thanked us. He also came before the match to tell us "fighting!". Although we're at a tournament where we compete against each other, I think it's fun and feel that it's a good relationship.
Currently, you've played a total of 11 Xayah games -- and you've won every single one of them. Thanks to that, people are calling you the "golden feather." How confident are you when playing that champion?
I've never really considered myself a good Xayah player. But somehow and in some way, my win rate on her has gotten really high. And you never know; I might end up becoming a "black" feather, so I'll have to continue to practice.
Currently, the community has been talking endlessly about your preference for burger restaurants. Do you have anything to say?
To be completely honest, I think the fans actually like "Lotteria" deep inside, but act like they hate it. I mean, I wouldn't have said anything if Lotteria isn't popular, but the restaurant is always filled with people! I don't understand it!
But a lot of you guys treat me like I'm pure evil just because I said I like Lotteria... of course, you guys are probably kidding, but I don't think Lotteria deserves that much hate.
Is Hongchun's Lotteria restaurant also packed with people?
That place... they pay a monthly rent of about $11,000 because of how well they're selling...
We heard that you started taking Kendo classes. What made you start?
Each day, we have about 3 hours of free time. During that said time, a lot of the players either take a nap or go out to hang out/take care of business. For me, I tend to use that time to exercise. With that being my normal schedule, I started getting bored of the treadmills and cycling. Then, I suddenly felt that taking Kendo lessons on top of my exercise would be a good idea, so I began without any prior knowledge of the sport.
To be honest, it's very tiring. I've been learning since last year, but it's very difficult... so I'm still considered a beginner. I want to try and reach "dan" level (Martial arts ranking system used in Japan and Korea). And to be honest, every exercise is fun for me -- not just Kendo. It feels good to release a lot of sweat from your body. But each and every sport/exercise has a level of difficulty that you need to overcome.
In your most recent games, you've been working together with Effort. Prior to SKT's recruitment of Effort into the roster, you've spent a lot of time with Wolf. Are there any significant playstyle differences between the two support players?
Personally speaking, I'm really bad at noticing differences in playstyle between other players. But I can say that Effort is really talented. He learns and adapts fast. I think he's a great player.
Lastly, do you have anything to say to the members of the Inven community who are reading this interview?
I'm really grateful that you guys take interest in me. While I was climbing the ladder, my friends sent me a lot of posts from Inven that complimented me. I'll do my best to win this time, instead of placing 2nd... Although it feels very far off since we're so behind currently, we still have time. I'll do my best. Thank you!