TL Olleh on His Criticism: "When my father watches the World Cup, he doesn’t know anything about soccer, but he criticizes the players."

Team Liquid has returned to the top. As they took two wins in Week 6, they placed themselves tied at first place with 100 Thieves. As the ADC champions started to rise again, Team Liquid is back their original form.

Everyone should be satisfied with their good results, but there wouldn’t be anyone happier than Olleh. Most of the criticism was targeted at him when Team Liquid’s results weren’t good.

Olleh talked about his opinion on the fans’ criticism. The following is the interview with Olleh.


You got two wins this week. How do you feel?

We lost four games this season, and we would have won those games if only we adapted to the meta well enough. Now it feels like we’re going back to our original form now. Now there are many games that we turn around.

Actually, we started again from ground zero as a team. We thought that our fundamentals aren’t good enough so we started again as if it’s the beginning.

The ADC champions are now rising again. Do you like it? It seems like Doublelift would like it for sure.

It didn’t matter for supporters, but Doublelift had a hard time. There’s a limit to helping your partner even if you’re extremely good. Now, Doublelift has regained his confidence, so it’s more comfortable for me as well.

Before, there were many situations he didn’t know what to do, but now he has confidence in making all the plays. He also understands the matchup perfectly now, so our calls became a lot more flexible. Bot laning is a lot easier.

There are many games that you come up from behind now.

When we lost, we were really greedy. For example, if we lose lane at bot, we tried to go top, but since the opponent freed up the bot lane, they all concentrated on the top lane. Obviously, we weren’t able to make something at top. We continued to try to make something happen but failed, and that kept happening.

Now, if we lose in laning, we try to go slow and recover the damage and wait for the opponent to make a mistake. Before, we were on our toes, but now we try to go slow. After we started to play like that, chances started to appear.


Doesn’t it get too passive if you play like that?

Even if we do, flexible calls come up. It’s just that the calls become more careful; it’s not that we don’t play aggressively or actively. When someone says “I have my ult, should I engage?”, if two of us don’t agree, we don’t do it. But when we have the upper hand, we become more confident saying “I’m going in!”

Criticism hit you fiercely for a while. Now that you got two wins this week, you should feel more at ease now.

I got criticized so much, now I don’t really care. I was blamed a lot during the spring split as well. I had a hard time getting used to Braum, so we lost a lot. Many fans criticized me saying “You can’t even play that extremely easy champion?”

When Smoothie left his team, people started to say “Let’s bring in Smoothie in Olleh’s place!” I thought that I’m here, playing, but what Smoothie? (Laughs) Even the commentators were saying Smoothie should go to TL and Olleh to TSM. What happens to the points I got for Worlds during spring? Are they saying I shouldn’t go to Worlds? I thought it was so unfair. (Laughs)

I would have accepted everything if my performance was really bad. Everyone knows that Doublelift’s Vladimir was bad; I just died instead of him. (Laughs) I was dumbfounded when I saw people saying Olleh’s the troll. I try not to get the fans criticism get to me, but I listen closely to my teammates’ feedback. You know, aren’t most of those fans in silver? (Laughs)

I was meditating just a few days ago, and suddenly, I thought of my father. When he watches the World Cup, he doesn’t know anything about soccer, but he criticizes the players. I thought that this was what fans do. (Laughs) I think I shouldn’t think too much about it.

But what’s funny is when those fans have a friend that’s like Diamond 3, they go like “Wow, you’re awesome!” but they mock a rank 10 Challenger player. I just think it’s all because fans are interested in me, and I don’t get hurt anymore. (Laughs)


It seems like you weren’t that positive before.

Before, I wasn’t sensitive about the teammates’ criticism and cared a lot of the fans comments, but now it’s the opposite. The teammates' feedback hits me harder.

Your communication with Doublelift was an issue.

Now that the meta changed again, it’s a lot better now. When the voice comm was revealed, Reddit was blown up. (Laughs) The team and I thought and all agreed that Vladimir should just farm until Lv.6, but Doublelift told me to go forward. I was thinking ‘I would die if I do…’ and went forward, and Braum was hitting my butt. (Laughs) I died after all, and people started calling me a troll after seeing that.

Frankly speaking, I wished that voice comm didn’t get revealed. I wanted the people to think that it’s my fault. I thought there could be a conflict if the voice comm was revealed with people saying “Why did Doublelift make Olleh die?” This could affect the team chemistry, so I didn’t want that, but Riot revealed it anyway.

You cut your hair short. Is there a reason for that?

Looking back at myself, it seemed that I became too lazy. I just played games and stayed home. I wanted to refresh myself, changing something. It could be just me, but it felt like I was getting depressed because of my long hair. My hair was sucking up my energy or something. (Laughs) My hair was veiling my sight and it just felt gloomy.

Now that I’ve cut it short, it’s a lot cooler and I’ve gained a lot more confidence.


Cain reaching Challenger was also a big issue in the communities.

That also backfired on me. (Laughs) They said “Play Cain!!”, “Olleh’s so bad, Cain practiced so that he can play himself.” and things like that. Reading those comments, I thought ‘Whoa, how can they even think that?’ If Cain is better than I am, he’ll definitely play in my place. (Laughs)

Cain should be a big help since he used to be a support player.

Comparing when Impact makes a mistake and when I make a mistake, I get a lot stronger feedback. He tells Impact “You know about top lane better than I do, so do what you can do.” but if I make a mistake, he says “Olleh. How many times do I have to tell you? Do I need to tell you again?” and I go like, “No, coach, I’m so sorry.” (Laughs)

He even explains in detail where, when, and how to get vision. He tells me to place a ward at a specific position at a specific time. I really learned a lot from him. Although it could be stressful at that time, comparing my current plays and my plays from the spring split, it’s completely different. I’m really thankful to him.

It should have been really stressful as well.

Actually, it was really hard for me during spring; I was really depressed. The team said things to me, and criticism hit me from the outside as well; it was really hard to keep my mentality up. When I was alone after practice at the team house, I sometimes thought ‘Why am I living like this?’

Usually, I’m a really positive character, but since it was so hard during that time, ups and downs were drastic. I even thought I was mentally sick, but now, I’m very fine.


Was your counselor a big help?

‘Jared’ is my American father. (Laughs) He was a big help to me. I asked him if he can be my American father, he said that he will.

I also have an American grandfather. He’s one of the CEOs in our company. He sends me things like how Muhammad Ali overcame his troubles via email. We talk a lot too. I’m always thankful.

Team Liquid is at first place now. Which team are you watching out for the most?

Before the meta changed, I really didn’t know. If we play ADCs, we lose, and if we play non-ADCs, we lack understanding, so it was really stressful, but now, I’m confident against anybody.

I already spoke with our coach on how I want to pick in the bottom lane, and I can deal with any matchup. Doublelift is really good at ADCs so he’s also very confident. Unless we get blown up completely with consecutive dives, we can always turn the game around.


Many people talked about the small champion pool of Team Liquid, but it should be difficult to practice champions in the NA solo queue environment. What do you think?

Playing solo queue in countries other than Korea, it’s too easy. I was always 1st in Brazil, and when I was in Taiwan, my two accounts were placed 1st and 2nd. Even in the NA, I was 1st last year. I wasn’t interested in climbing up the NA solo queue anymore this year.

In Korea, you can understand the matchup by playing solo queue, and the game goes accordingly to the matchup, but in the NA, I win lane even if I have the losing pick. So there’s no point to practicing in the NA solo queue.

For example, there’s a Braum-Rakan matchup. In competitive play, Braum doesn’t have a chance against Rakan. Rakan is too fast, so Braum can’t start a fight, but when I played solo queue, oddly enough, I won all matchups against Rakan while playing Braum. Solo queue data is meaningless.

I don’t know why, but Aphromoo or Biofrost is in Master tier, so when I get up to Challenger, it’s hard to meet pro support players. Most of the challenger supports are normal players who have good mechanics that came up by fighting well. It’s not much practice.

And the players say bad words so much. Before, I tried to lead those by saying things like “If we do our best, we can still win.” but now, I just go like “Shut up and just follow me.” Then some go like “You suck too!” I just lose that match. If you don’t want to play, you should lose. (Laughs)

Then what can you do to expand your champion pool?

Playing many scrims and watching other league games. We’re trying to have more days playing three blocks (8-9 games).

But the problem is, that when we play three blocks, we can see our team and the other team get exhausted. When we get to the third block, the opponent’s mentality is usually completely worn out. So many matches end at 15 minutes. From time to time, I think ‘Why are they playing scrims if they’re playing like this?’ Of course, there are teams that do their best in all three blocks as well.

Any last comments to the fans that criticize you?

I wish when you criticize, don’t just say bad things, but criticize me with facts. Just saying “Dumb nerd!” or “Trade with Smoothie!” is meaningless. You need to at least say something like “I like your hair back then better. Go back to your old hairstyle.” so that I can think and decide whether or not I’ll do that. (Laughs)

If you really want me to change by reading your comments, please tell me in detail with facts.

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