In the history of PUBG esports, there is one player that stands above all — the one with the most international medals. Ever since Park “Loki” Jung-young joined Gen.G, he’s been at the top of the scene, winning championships after championships.
Recently, Loki had moved to DWG KIA, leaving the team he had his glory with behind. Loki wanted to take on a new challenge and mark his name again at the top of the scene in a new team.
One day after PUBG Continental Series 4: Asia ended, Loki joined Inven Global for a chat.
I want to talk about your whole career today. How did you first start playing PUBG?
I started playing PUBG because of my brothers. One of my older brothers was a pro gamer, and it looked really cool. He’s retired now. His nickname was Hancock and he used to play for Element Mystic.
Then did you always play with your brothers before you became pro?
Yes. In the early days of PUBG, we played a lot of duos and squads. My oldest brother played often too, but he had other stuff to do, so I played a lot with my other brother. They all like games, so I played a lot with them.
Were you originally good at games? What did you play?
I think I was pretty good. I always played FPS games. Special Force, Overwatch, A.V.A…
And were you always in high Elo?
Of course! [Laughs]
That reminds me, what’s more important in being good at FPS games: talent or hard work?
I think talent is important. If you want to become a pro player, you need talent. How much talent players have would be all different, but in the top-tier pro scene, the amount of talent is similar. That’s when the hard work comes in.
How did you become a pro player?
As I mentioned earlier, my brother debuted as a pro player before I did. At that time, I was an amateur player and didn’t have a team, but my mother supported me and told me to do what I truly want to do. So when KSV (Now Gen.G) contacted me, I said yes, got tested, and joined the team.
When was your first official tournament?
I think I played in a tournament that aired on SPOTV or KAKAO TV. That was as an amateur, so my first official tournaments were APL and PKL.
Are you aware that you have the best career in the game?
I am. [Laughs] Honestly, I worked really hard. I had some talent as well. More than anything, I think we were able to do that well because our team was very well-balanced. After all, PUBG is a team game. It’s not a game where a team rises high with one individual doing well, so I’m really thankful to my former teammates.
You played for Gen.G a long time and then joined DWG KIA. Why did you make the move?
Gen.G is a huge organization. They always keep signing really good players. It’s not that DWG KIA doesn’t do that, but I got too comfortable being in Gen.G. I didn’t have to use my head, and I just needed to do what I was assigned to do. As much as I was too comfortable, it wasn’t fun. So I joined DWG KIA to find that fun, and to try harder. I didn’t want to leave any regrets in my short twenties.
I could say that I chose to take a challenge instead of staying with almost guaranteed success.
What was the reason you chose DWG KIA?
I saw the members. The organization is good, and the players are good — there was no reason for me to refuse. I’m really satisfied and I’m having fun here. I need to do more than I was assigned to do, and it’s also fun building teamwork with new players.
As some players left the team when I joined, I became the in-game leader. It feels that I’m developing more as I make the calls. I do more things that I didn’t do before, and I work much harder. I used to be the backup player when I was in Gen.G.
It seems that there are frequent team moves in the Korean PUBG scene. Why do you think that is?
I think the scene is still too small. Since the scene isn’t big enough, the players don’t feel the merits of staying in one team. On the other hand, everyone wants to win the championship. They would move around looking for players that they feel comfortable with.
Do you play duos or squads with other teams’ players often?
Of course. Everyone’s been around for quite a long, so we’re all kind of close with each other. I think I’m close with all of them. [Laughs] Some players that I played together with are in other teams and there are former teammates as well.
In the last PGI.S, you and Gen.G finished in 3rd place. How satisfied are you with that result?
At that time, I wasn’t that happy about the rule. We were consistent, and we made it to all the weekly finals. Even when we won the fifth week, we weren’t able to win the championship in the end, and that was heartbreaking. The reason I wasn’t happy about the rule was that up to that point, the most consistent team took the title, but in PGI.S, the rule allowed one explosive final to take the championship.
What about the chicken rule?
Hmm… The current tournament we’re playing in, TMC, is based on the super rule. And, it’s really fun. Us playing in it is fun, and I heard watching is fun as well. It might not matter if it’s fun for us players, but since others say it’s fun… [Laughs] I’ll say just this.
The current major tournaments are based on the chicken rule. Are you happy with it?
At first, I opposed it a lot, but as time passed, I thought, “What can I do?” Since I’m a pro player, I need to adapt to the given situation. Obviously, if we do well, it’s all good and fun, but it’s really regretful when we don’t. It was like that in our last tournament. We had a lot of kills, but we lacked that one chicken dinner and we fell so many ranks.
I thought DWG KIA would be one of the strongest teams in the chicken rule since the former Entus players were really good at taking placement points, but it doesn’t seem to be working out that well.
There were a lot of changes in the team with the members. Currently, the team is being rebuilt. The former Entus players had played together for a long time so they didn’t need to talk much because they knew what each other would do. At the moment, we need to check things that we know one more time. I think we’re a bit hesitant since we need to fit the pieces and find connections with each other.
So you need more time, right?
Yes. I think talent and hard work are needed here. If there’s a player that played together for a long time, but it doesn’t work out, you’d have to think that they don’t have the talent or they don’t work hard enough. It might be a tough choice, but after being in this scene for a while, that’s what I think.
You’ve been in so many international tournaments. Which was the most memorable?
The 2019 PGC. It was the most memorable because we weren’t in a good situation. When we were preparing for the tournament, our teamwork wasn’t really good. Just the season before the PGC was really difficult for us. We won the 2019 PGC while continuously pulling each other forward, encouraging each other.
Which is the most memorable PUBG esports moment for you?
For me, I’ll pick the most recent 2v4 against Petrichior Road. There are a lot more that I would mention from long ago, but those have come up too often. [Laughs] I’d like people to know this moment too now. It was awesome! [Laughs]
PUBG esports has been changing from the beginning. There would be both positive and negative changes. What change do you hope for?
I hope they make more weapons and balance them out. Right now, everyone uses Beryl M762 or M416. It’s better than before since it was only Beryl M762 before. Before that, it was only M416. Now, we choose according to our preference. If they keep balancing the weapons like this and adding more weapons, people would watch and think, “Wow, they’re using this weapon!”
In terms of rules, I want the super rule, but it does feel that the chicken rule is here to stay. [Laughs]
Aside from PUBG esports, what do you think is more important in the Battlegrounds themselves: kills or survival?
I think survival is more important. If you end up in 1st place, kill points follow if you join the late-late-game fights. But if you’re after kills only, you might lose that chance to win the game. The later the phase goes, one choice could make you 1st or 7th. But if you keep thinking of winning the chicken dinner, kill points follow.
Alright, then. Let me change the question. 20 kills, 10th place vs. 1 kill, 1st place.
[Laughs] I’ll pick 20 kills. The reason is that if you become a teammate with someone who can pull off 20 kills, the team’s morale rises. It feels that we could do anything. Whether it’s the chicken rule or the super rule, kill points are important as well. And, more than anything, it’s fun. [Laughs]
How are your in-game settings?
Usually the resolution or POV. Since it’s all from traditional FPS games, it’s all similar. That stuff and the DPI. What DPI is good, which mouse is good, or what’s new, which mousepad is good… [Laughs] Mostly this stuff.
Do you use low DPI?
I use very low DPI. I use 400 DPI and 35 in-game. It’s really slow.
Don’t you have to use a long mousepad exclusively for your mouse?
That’s how I play. [Laughs] Even so, I sometimes run into my keyboard.
Which mouse do you use?
I use G PRO x Superlight from our sponsor, Logitech. It’s brand new! [Laughs]
Have you played Taego? Do you think it can appear in the pro scene?
I haven’t yet because of the tournament, but when I saw it on Youtube, it seemed that it’s a very well-made map. Since they even played Sanhok in tournaments, I think Taego can be in them. If so, we need to memorize the map, terrains, and stuff. [Laughs] It’s all more work. But at the end of the day, the viewers need to have fun watching. I don’t care if we need to work more. I’m happy if the viewers have fun. This scene can only go on with support from the fans.
You’ve been a pro player for about four years. Are you happy being a pro gamer?
I think this is an experience I would never have again. It’s something people can’t do even if they wanted to. Every single day is full and fruitful. On the other hand, it’s really tiring. I can’t sleep that much as well.
Two tributes I favor are hard work and consistency. Anyone can work hard for a week, but it’s hard to keep it up for a whole month or a whole year. If you do, it’s exhausting. The only reason I keep doing it is that it feels amazing when I get good results through that work. That’s one of the reasons I can continue on as a pro player.
Any last comments?
I always say I’ll work hard, but the results are also important for the fans to have fun and cheer for us. So I’ll do my best to get good results.