With amazing hosting skills, Sjokz has become EU LCS itself, Ovilee has recently been the face of NA LCS, and Candice from the LPL. These announcers all have the knowledge and analysis on par with the pro players. League Of Legends fans are having an affinity towards announcers as they have become apart of League itself.
In the LCK, there are also announcers worthy of mention. Interviewing and translating a variety of players at the 2018 World Championships, Jee Sun Park is starting to be recognized on the international radar. Beginning her career in Esports as a translator for SPOTV, Jee Sun is now apart of the official translation team for the Worlds broadcast. Unlike the other announcers, Jee Sun has only just started her journey into Esports. Despite all this, Jee Sun is now one of the most promising and respected LCK officials. In a short period of time, she is now not only adept at handling live international translations but also interviews as well.
If Yong-Joon Jun is the face of shoutcasting for the front end of the World Championships, the rising rookie Jee Sun Park’s interviews are giving the Worlds backstage a whole new meaning.
On the 14th during group stage, we met with Jee Sun Park. Let’s see what she has to say about a role of a translator and numerous episodes she has gone through since her time here.
¤ It is nice to meet you. Could you briefly introduce yourself.
Hello, I’m Jee Sun Park. Responsible for LCK live translations, I am also a part of the translation team for Worlds.
¤ In the LCK, you are the representative translator. During this year’s Worlds, you are also responsible for live translations... Could you tell us on what your role exactly is for Worlds?
I am responsible live and backstage interviews, Korean translations for interviews, and also help Korean reporters with their video interviews.
¤ This must be your first time at Worlds. What do you like about working on the international stage?
The scale is enormous. It is an amazing honor. I think I am extremely lucky to be working in one of the biggest events for this game.
Many people were asking me why I don’t end the interviews with ‘Annyeong~ (Goodbye in Korean)’ like I do in the LCK. To be honest, it is not necessarily hard to do nor was I trying to make it a trend. Sooner or later, it somehow became a trademark of mine. Despite all this, it is difficult to end the interviews with ‘Annyeong~’ here because the atmosphere is vastly different from the LCK. Since every game dictates the fate of a team’s success, I cannot help but be serious. I am beginning to take the interviews much more seriously.
¤ While doing interviews at Worlds, what is the most nerve racking and pressuring aspects?
It is definitely the translations. Although I do get nervous during Korean interviews, it is not that bad because Korean is my native language. I was practicing my skill to continue the flow of the interview by basing future questions on the player’s responses. But, in addition, I have to translate. Because of this, I tend to forget everything that I had practiced so far for and forced to think on my feet.
There are a lot of instances when the audience understands what the player is saying before I translate. If I mishear and mistranslate, the audience figures it right away. They usually say ‘Oh, she got it wrong. How can she call herself a translator?’ Also, my translations are based on the primary focus of a player’s answer. Since it is unacceptable for me to misinterpret or miss deliver a player’s intentions, I am constantly on edge. This is why I tend to talk faster now.
¤ On the topic of talking speed, how do you feel about people internationally calling you a ‘rap god’?
(laughs) Even when I hear myself, I realize that it might be too fast for people listening to understand. It makes me worry that maybe I am lacking delivery. If I were to make an excuse, I think I ‘rap’ so fast because I am worried I might forget. In my head, the player’s words are all stockpiled up. I really want to say everything that I have stored, but I don’t want to miss out on important things. I think this is why I talk so fast. Also, if a player’s response is short, I try to lengthen out to the answer for the people watching. On top of all this, I am constantly nervous.
In the LCK, I make constant eye contact with announcer Su Hyeon Kim. She gives me signals, so I am able to control my pace. At Worlds, Su Hyeon is not here. The audience is a couple thousand. Even more people watching it online. I cannot help but be on complete pressure.
(Click here to read the Su Hyeon Kim and Jee Sun Park Announcer inteview)
¤ Have you ever gotten any advice on nervousness from an experienced announcer?
I started out just being a translator but all of a sudden I was put responsible for interviews as well. While working, I had a lot of self reflection and blame. I didn’t do well as I expected to do, I cut off, and I did not experience great synergy with some of the players. At times like this, Ovilee and Candice would approach me and say ‘Don’t worry too hard. You’re doing well. You just started. The fact that you are doing this well so early on is amazing. We're not sugarcoating at all. If you really did do bad, we could suggest what you could improve on. You're doing well. Trust us that all you need to do is keeping doing what you are doing.’
Sjokz also came and told me ‘I still stutter as well. When I get nervous, I talk really fast as well. On the other hand, you are translating and interviewing at the same time. You are practically doing a 2 persons job. It must be extremely difficult, but you’re pulling it off.’ I am truly thankful. When Doublelift saw me having a difficult time, he motivated me by saying ‘How are you so good at English? Did you live in the U.S? Your accent is so smooth as well. Of course, it must be really hard if you just started interviewing. If I was in your situation, my mind would be blank. You’re doing so well.’ While it could have been very easy for him to say these words, to a person who is struggling and working their hardest, it meant the world to me. I am extremely grateful.
¤ Which interview with a player was the most memorable?
I was video interviewing EDG Ray in the Play-Ins Stage. I asked the question ‘What did you learn the most while in NA?’ Usually with questions like these, you expect a certain kind of response. Answers like ‘I learned how to live and socialize with the team through this person.’ or ‘I learned how to lane properly through this person.’ However, Rap responded by saying ‘I learned about the way people live. Because the surrounding people were so good to me, I was able to learn a lot.’ Ray gave an overall more reflective answer to life. His responses defied what was seen as the norm. It was memorable.
¤ What kind of interviews is the most difficult?
I personally had a hard time understanding the EU accent because I was so used to listening to mostly American and Asian accents. Since I didn't have enough practice hearing French and German accents, I prepare more before doing an interview with them. Sometimes I talk with the player before starting an interview to be more prepared.
Some players give out long interview answers. Their replies become longer especially after winning a game. English speaking players’ interviews are very long and have a concrete structure. When I interviewed Rekkles, I asked about the EU vs NA rivalry. After giving out a reply, he added his own advice for the NA teams. Also, Doublelift’s interview is long and he knows how to link up his thoughts in a very natural way. I have to be very good in order to remember everything that he said.
¤ Do you have any player that you wanted to interview?
Oh, I finally got to interview Caps. When Fnatic came here for a boot camp, they visited the stadium. PapaSmithy and I prepared for an interview with Rekkles and sOAZ. However, once we were ready to sit down, Caps was already in PapaSmithy’s seat; he seemed so excited. One of our staff seemed confused and said, “I’m sorry, we didn’t prepare any interview questions about Caps...”. Then the Fnatic manager told Caps, “Hey, they want you to get out of the way! (laughs)”. Everyone felt sympathy when Caps sadly walked out of the seats. Then he asked, “Can I at least stay at the back and cheer for you guys?”. This was always in my head. That’s why I wanted to interview him so bad. Well, finally, I got the chance to talk to him yesterday. He was such a positive person with full of energy.
I also want to talk with German players since I can speak a bit of German as well. Also, I’d pick YamatoCannon; his voice is so nice.
¤ What kind of role do you want to have in the field of esports?
I’m currently satisfied with what I’m doing. Compared to the past, now I have to do both translations and broadcasts. After officially working as a translator, chances of becoming a broadcaster naturally followed. Although everything happened in quite a sudden, my translating experience did help and now I'm gradually adjusting to broadcasts. During my rest, I decided to be part in a broadcast content; then I went to the All-Stars and now I’m at the Worlds.
At times, my role in esports seem quite vague; sometimes I think of myself as a translator, but sometimes I’m an interviewer as well. Currently, I’m trying my best to shape out my identity. I would’ve trained more on my speech if I knew I’d be speaking in front of the public.
Still, I want to become an esports broadcaster that can be trusted at all times. It feels very weird if an esports broadcaster lacks gaming knowledge. I’d like to become a person that has profound gaming knowledge. Also, I want to improve my translation and broadcast skills to become a well-trusted esports broadcaster.
¤ What kind of improvements are you making?
I’m always practicing on my translations; I try to read every single foreign media interview. I sometimes watch Ovilee’s NA LCS interviews to learn more vocabulary. It’s about becoming a more native English speaker. It can simply be a kind “Hello.” or it can be a cheering high-five; I want to learn expressions and ways to help the players alleviate their stress.
¤ Do you have anything to say for the LCK teams and the Korean fans?
I think this might become a huge turning point for them. It was like this in the past as well. In the past, LPL won the MSI and I think it’s pretty much the same this year. However, I do think this year will be tougher for the LCK teams. Since Chinese teams won every single international tournament this year, it will be highly pressuring for the LCK players to pull it off. I do think it will have an effect on their performance. Fans seem to think more negative this year compared to the past; the LCK teams will for sure have a hard time going through this Worlds. I hope the players adjust to the tournament well and show their competitiveness in the bo5s. The fans have to have more trust in the players and give them more time.
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