*This interview was conducted and provided by a guest contributor
Cloud9 has added another member to their staff in Kim “Reignover” Yeu-jin. The former Fnatic, Immortals, Team Liquid and Counter Logic Gaming Jungler helps his new team through a coaching role.
Inven Global spoke with Reignover about his role in C9, the meta, influencing his junglers, scuttle crab, Rek’sai’s rework, Tracker’s Knife, role swapping and more.
What’s your position in C9? What areas do you help the team?
My role right now is early game coach. When I was a player I had a huge impact in the early game, so I just think this is just a continuation. The best part of my knowledge is in the early game so my job is mainly about the early game and how our team coordinates during that time.
What’s your opinion on the fast-paced meta that we’re in? There’s barely any time in between mid and late game. It’s almost like mid game is non-existent. So, does this change perspective on how important the early game is?
I don’t think there’s even a late game, it’s just early and mid game. Generally early game is really important, especially this season. Early game has always been important, but especially with this meta and what Riot wants LoL to be.
What are your thoughts on working with Cloud9's Junglers, Dennis "Svenskeren" Johnsen and Robert "Blaber" Huang? How do you make sure that your influence doesn’t make them become the same type of jungler? How do you keep their personalities and styles separate?
I mean, there is a play style individually as a jungler but most of the time the jungle’s decision and movement is based on what the team is prioritizing and what the team thinks is important on the map. Also, there’s two types, in that it depends on the team and the player and if he’s willing to play off of the team or if the team plays around the jungler. Usually it would be ideal if you’re good at both, that you can make the best decision.
Coming into C9 and seeing both of the junglers play, they do have different styles, and I don’t think I should elaborate, but they’re definitely some of the best junglers in NA. It’s so easy for me to work with them and their personalities are really good too, so it’s nice to work with them in that aspect as well, so I’m enjoying working with them.
I don’t think that as I work with them I’m changing their play style. You don’t force anything. It’s not like, 'do this, this and this'. We discuss how the early game should go and how the map should be played and if we agree on that, they can both be similar but the actual play is different. The difference is how they’re going to execute a game plan.
I don’t think that’s a thing you can ever change because it’s going to make the player worse. I’m focusing on how the game should work based on the draft and what we should look for.
Onto game specifics: What do you think of the scuttle crab changes? Now it spawns at 3:15.
These changes mean that there’s more jungle champions available. I think it’s making the jungle more diverse and right now, you can play tanks, carries...mainly tanks *laughs*, but still there’s the option to play carries. So, this change stabilized the jungle and the better team has a higher chance to win because it’s not so random anymore. I think it’s good for me as coaching staff because I think there’s more input that you can give rather than perma-level two fighting.
What are your thoughts on the Rek’Sai rework? You’re the Rek’Sai god! *laughs* Now, I know we’re going a little bit far back in terms of that but, what are your thoughts on her rework in general? Before her ultimate was the “farm alarm”, so you would just be able to farm more efficiently.
I think Rek’Sai is still good, but I think it depends on the draft. As a pick itself it’s tier 1 or 2 for sure, but it’s not the same champion as it once was. *laughs* I think the more confident you are as a player, the stronger on the champion is...
I played Rek’Sai way too much. *laughs* In solo queue I don’t pick that champion, it’s so boring. I’m done with that! *laughs*
Did you ever enjoy playing that champion when you were pro?
Yeah. I enjoyed winning and Rek’Sai was the champion that would give me a free win so, I would just play it and grab some free wins. If they banned it, I would just prepare something else, but if they didn’t ban it, another free win.
I don’t believe we ever got your thoughts on the removal of Tracker’s Knife. Do you think it was good for the game and do you also think that it hurt your style as a jungler?
I’m pretty sure it hurt most of the control style junglers because most of your decisions during any ganks, dives or farm advantages are coming from information from somewhere. The less you have wards on the map, the higher the risk of a play.
After the ward removal you had to make a decision that wasn’t based on facts, it was just based on guess or intuition, which was fine, but I felt like it was annoying and it wasn’t for me. It was the same for everyone, but especially for me, I just didn’t like the patch because I really liked making my decision off of facts. I wasn’t a player that took any type of risk, 50/50 anything, I would go for at least the 60/40, but the removal made me make a 50/50 guess, so it was pretty annoying.
Do you think that was your struggle in both your time in Counter Logic Gaming and Team Liquid? Do you think that’s why it didn’t work out for you as a jungler, that you would rather not take as many risks?
I think it was just one of many things. I think it was one of the major parts but, your play style doesn’t just get ruined by that patch. I still had a lot of problems after I left Immortals and during my time in TL I had a lot of problems there and I had different problems in CLG. The ward system was just one of them.
In the past, you were one of the best junglers in the entire league. Do you think there’s enough variance in jungle pathing to get an advantage compared to when you were playing with Tracker’s Knife?
There’s so much that has changed. Back then, one of the win conditions was playing off of jungle, but now I don’t think that would be the best win condition. Playing off of jungle’s opinion and destroying the enemy jungle and winning jungle matchup is not determined by out-pathing them.
The game has been changed. You can win through that sometimes but, every single champion has their own strengths and it’s all on the team to abuse that advantage. So, I would say that’s it’s just different right now.
What are your thoughts on junglers being a shotcaller for the early game. Do you think it’s an absolute necessity to dictate the early pace of the game?
If you’re playing with perfect solo laners, then you don’t need any communication because the plays will never fail. Jungle has jungle knowledge and laners have laner knowledge, so the laners will call them when it benefits themselves. When it works well, it benefits both but if it works poorly, it will affect the jungler.
The jungler knows what’s going to happen if that fails and the jungler knows when he wants to make the play, so I don’t think any side not communicating is the correct way to play the game. 100% both sides have to communicate for the play and it’s going to depend on the jungler personality and it’s not that you have to change anything, it's just that you have to find the right way and decisions in the game. The communication shouldn’t matter so much if both speaks their needs.
What do you think about the idea that jungle is the hardest position to stay pro? The role is constantly changing almost every year. Funnily enough, this is one of the years in which jungle hasn’t had a ton of changes, there wasn’t an entire change in the jungle.
No, it’s just that it's hard to find competitive junglers. The players that have played have some sort of advantage have gone through all those scenarios, all of those mistakes and bad things happen, and most of the famous junglers have played with a lot of laners so they have massive communication knowledge and that doesn’t come fast.
Right now I think it’s more possible because the game is more simple, but before it was usually jungle constantly changing, but you don’t change the player because you can’t find better ones. Now, the game is more simple so you don’t really need all that knowledge or skill, you just need to be good at the game and have a good personality and are willing to learn and can learn fast. I think Jungle can be one of the hardest roles to stay in if you can’t adjust well.
Do you have any plans to return to pro play?
It’s not 0%. You don’t know what’s going to happen in the future. The thing is, before I really didn’t enjoy playing LoL when I was losing a lot and I dropped motivation and confidence, but recently as I joined C9, watching them, LoL is so fun now. Even in solo queue I’m having so much fun. Watching games is fun, cheering for our players is fun and feeling that nervousness alongside fans is fun.
I’m just really happy right now and since LoL is fun, anything can happen if you’re feeling happy. I’m staying in one of the best LoL teams in NA and I’m learning a lot from the players.
Did you ever think to role swap? I mean, Luka "Perkz" Perković role swapped on G2 before this season.
For sure I would be a really good support player. I guarantee I wouldn’t die to a single gank. There’s no way an enemy jungler would gank my lane! I would know 100% what he’s doing. *laughs* I would be pretty damn good on the vision control and macroing my team’s jungler. My second role in solo queue is support, but the thing is that I haven’t played a lot of support champions, there’s only a few champions that I can play, but I have a really high win rate as support in solo queue. *laughs*
Would you like to say anything to your fans in South Korea?
I have been enjoying my time in NA and I’m really happy; I’m really satisfied under C9 Head Coach Bok "Reapered" Han-gyu, he’s helping me a lot. I see myself always happy in the future too. I will interact with social media in the future and I hope I can see all my fans on the international stage.