The 2019 LoL esports transfer market has almost come to a close. The word, ‘historical’ would fit in perfectly, as a fair number of prominent teams have gone through a huge rebuilding process. Among the teams, SKT T1 was consistently at the center of attention. With SKT failing to meet the high expectations of the community in 2018, they wanted a change; a roster rebuild was inevitable.
The fans were curious about who would fill in for SKT’s lead member and one of the most prominent ADCs, Bang. It did not seem likely that they’d find an ADC that would completely satisfy the long-time SKT T1 fans. However, once fans learned that “Teddy” would be the one to take up the torch, their doubts subsided; it was a solid recruitment of a highly-credited player.
Teddy was called a “Walking Nexus” in his Jin Air Green Wings days due to his exceptional performance and will start his second chapter as a pro gamer in SKT playing with his idol, Faker. Now that the 2019 split is just around the corner, we met up with Teddy to ask about his future goals and some of his own know-how as an ADC.
¤ How did you get into SKT T1?
Since they have been at the top before, I wanted to know how they play the game. I’ve wanted to play in SKT in the past, and as a matter of fact, they gave me an offer and I accepted it.
¤ You must have received a lot of offers, but what was the main reason you chose SKT T1?
First of all, the offer itself was good, and moreover, I wanted to play with Faker. Since he is the best player, I thought of him as an idol.
¤ So, you’ll play with your role model, Faker. How do you feel?
I didn’t have the chance to scrim with Faker yet, but I’m already excited. We’re both playing in the two most important roles: ADC and mid lane. That’s why I want to perform well with him.
¤ There are a lot of players that went abroad. Why did you decide to not go to a foreign team?
I’ve never thought about going to a foreign team. I want to try that when I gain more experience later since I haven’t shown or proven anything yet.
¤ How did your family and friends react after hearing about your move to SKT T1?
Everyone gave me warm congratulations. My dad said he was proud and told me to work harder to fulfill my goals. All of my friends congratulated me as well. My former Jin Air Green Wings teammates said, “Congratulations!” They told me to do well there. (Q. Didn’t the Jin Air players envy you?) Yeah, I think they do envy me a bit. (Laughs)
¤ You fought hard in your Jin Air Green Wings days. Although the team somewhat underperformed, you still managed to deliver solid performance. Your stats as an ADC were always high as well. How did you do that?
Other roles have to stand in the front and tank even when the team is losing, whereas ADCs have to stand in the back and poke. That’s why I can still perform okay if I manage to survive and farm up well even if everyone else in my team is at a disadvantage. I didn’t really funnel up on lane CS when we are at a disadvantage, but I do think that I cleared a lot of UmTi’s jungle camps. (laughs) But you know, junglers don’t need to farm up till mid to late game; the ADC’s growth is the most important.
¤ Your role in Jin Air was so huge that you were called a “Walking Nexus”. Now that you’ll be playing with some star players in SKT, you might receive less attention than before…
I don’t really mind. A single player receiving all the limelight isn’t good. The key is to let all the 5 players perform well. I’m totally fine since I think that the top priority is the team’s victory.
¤ Although you were good throughout your Jin Air Green Wings days, the team was mostly ranked low in the standings every year. Don’t you think you could have gotten a better result?
I am frustrated about that. The most frustrating part is that my support changed a lot. This led us to underperform at the beginning of the split because we lacked teamwork.
¤ At the beginning of the Summer Split, the “Non-ADC Meta” was huge. You were evaluated as one of the biggest victims of that meta.
I think I was a victim (laughs). It’s not that I’m not good on non-ADC champions; I actually think that I’m better than the average performance of other ADC players. However, I couldn’t carry the game with those champions. I failed to deliver the dominance I showed on ADC champs.
¤ The game is shifting to an early-game skirmish meta. It seems likely that this meta will continue due to the recent turret shield patch. Wouldn’t it be difficult to perform well as an ADC?
Normally, an ADC’s role is to carry the mid to late game. If the upper lanes ‘explode’, we simply have to lose. (laughs) I’m going to trust my upper laners.
¤ Between the Ardent Censer meta and the meta right now, which one do you prefer?
I actually like the meta right now compared to the Ardent Censer one. In the Censer meta, the power and focus were all in the bot lane. The other lanes really didn’t have any impact. Of course, I had a lot of fun. But, I know the rest of my team did not.
¤ You will be playing with one of the best supports in the world, Mata. Your thoughts?
I always thought Mata had a very strong image. Contrary to my belief, he was actually very genuine and nice. I look forward to working with him. Since we didn’t have enough time to get on the same footing yet, there is still so much to work on.
¤ How was your synergy with Effort?
Whenever I saw him on stream, he had a very ‘no fun’ vibe. Naturally, I assumed Effort was going to have one of those ‘no fun’ personalities. However, when I tell him a funny story, he reciprocates. Effort is a funny guy. Because I was barely able to play with Effort and Mata, I’m not sure whether we synergize well or not. Since both players are extremely talented, I am sure I can do well with them. Granted, I need to play well myself.
¤ If the super team for 2018 was kt, many people are saying that the super team for 2019 will be SKT. The amount of attention you get must also come with a lot of pressure as well.
To be honest, it is so nice to get attention. I am sort of an attention seeker (laughs). This is why I am going to try harder the more attention I get. I thank all the attention. I don’t feel any pressure.
¤ To my knowledge, you are very close with Khan and Clid. How does it feel to use the same training facilities as them?
They are all really fun. Especially in solo queue, there is a lot of back and forth.
¤ Will it be difficult to have 5 very distinct players moving as a cohesive unit?
Because we aren’t perfect to start, I believe we all need to put the hours in. The number of scrims played is important. I think we need to all respect each other and play well. It has not been long since we officially started playing with each other. We are all trying to respect one another.
¤ What are your predictions for LCK 2019? There are a lot of rebuilt teams and brand new teams as well.
I think it was the same with kt. Many thought that the players would not keep up. All the teams are going to hit hard. It is hard to say which teams are going to be good. I think we will know by the halfway point of the season. For now, we just have to wait and see.
¤ Is there a certain team or player that you are wary of?
I don’t have a team or player that I am necessarily afraid of. The only thing that matters is us playing well.
¤ There is already talk about the 2019 Worlds. Unlike this year, do you think you can make it to Worlds in 2019?
It was unfortunate to see the lack of performance from the LCK at Worlds. If I am able to go to Worlds in 2019, I want to and will play as well as I did in the LCK. Since I have never been to Worlds before, I can’t confidently say “I will reclaim the LCK’s pride!” (laughs). If I went to Worlds at least once, I could have said that...
¤ The interview has almost come to an end. Could you give a few tips on how to be a good ADC?
It is easy to be a good ADC. There are only three things you need to know: be good at taking CS, getting good damage in, and not dying. While other positions are difficult because you have to roam, as an ADC, you are already half way there if you have good mechanics. In trading, you always look for the opponent’s key skills. If you think an enemy is going to come from a flanking position, you immediately adjust. In the midst of trading, it is hard to also look at the map. In lane, it is always best to play aggressive when you have vision. As long as you have vision, most of the time, you can see the jungler coming. If you don’t even have vision and die from a gank while playing aggressive, you’re just a troll.
¤ What are your goals for 2019?
There is a lot of talk going around about SKT being a super team. While I am not sure that is true, we do have players who are extremely talented and hard working. Because I also want to produce good results, I am going to work hard.
¤ Lastly, could you say a few words to your SKT and Jin Air Greenwings fans?
Thank you, everyone who supported me when I was in Jin Air. I will try my best to do well in SKT next season. I hope you guys can continue to support me.