Last Sep. 9 was Lee “Gumayusi” Min-hyeong’s 3rd anniversary of his debut. Unlike other players, Gumayusi’s debut game was at the regional qualifiers. He mentioned that he likes it better that the debut anniversary is more unique. Looking back on that day, Gumayusi said that he was happy and eager to show the world who he was.
Gumayusi is that kind of player — he enjoys being under the spotlight and doesn’t hesitate to express himself. In this interview as well, Gumayusi shared his thoughts without taking in anything.
Congrats on the third anniversary.
Time really flies. I was able to look back over the three years. So many things have happened since my debut, so I thought about the great memories I had one by one.
Looking back, what was the most memorable?
There have been memorable moments every season… But I think my debut was the most memorable of all.
Unlike other players, you had your debut in the regional qualifiers instead of the LCK.
In a way, I have something special that others don’t have. Fans like it, and I like it too. I’m happy about it.
Was the nervousness and excitement about the debut more memorable?
The excitement. I really wanted to have my debut, so I was very excited and happy. The special situation in the regional qualifiers made it more fun for me. I wasn’t nervous at all, and I thought, ‘Finally, I get to show myself to the world. I got my chance.’
You got good evaluations about your debut, so you can say it was successful. What do you think?
I watched my debut game with the fans during lunch today. Compared to now, there were parts that I lacked. But considering how I felt that day and how people evaluated me, I believe it was successful. Obviously, there still was a lot to improve.
How has Gumayusi improved since then? Both in-game and out of the game.
I know more matchups in-game, and I can play more diverse champions now. Also, I think I have a better insight into the whole game and can make more smart moves. Out of the game, I matured more, and I feel more responsible about my position.
There were negative issues early in your debut in solo queue, and you were criticized because of that. But after some time, there aren’t any issues. It seems to be connected to maturing and feeling responsible. Is there a particular reason?
After becoming a starter, I gained more responsibility. After the last issue, I was scolded quite a lot, and I got a lot of advice from people around me, so I refreshed my mindset. Also, that kind of past doesn’t disappear; it follows me forever, so I’ve been trying to be more careful all the time.
You’ve been in T1 since your trainee days. There should be pros and cons. How is it?
From the start, I wanted to join T1 and play on the starting roster of T1. So I’m really happy about my position. As for the difficulties about being on T1, they would happen on any other team. Personally, I don’t like the environment changing, so there are so many more advantages to being here. The fans like it, too.
Moving forward, how have you been?
After the summer split, I took about a week's break back at home. I’m back to finish my streaming time for August. Since I prefer finishing my homework early, I’ve been filling my time for September as well.
You ended up as the runner-up in the summer again. Did you need some time to refresh?
It was the same last year. The summer season is a difficult season, both physically and mentally. It’s connected to the spring season and MSI. Toward the end, I wished it would end fast. Obviously, it would have been better if we won the championship, but at the same time, I felt relieved that it was over. It was both regretful and relieving.
It was a split that was really hard for the team. What did you work on during the losing streak?
When the team was shaky, I did my best to keep my ground. But as our losing streak got longer, I think I doubted myself a bit. It felt that my plays were wrong, and I even tried changing my equipment and mouse settings. Out of the game, I got counseling, read books, and took walks to keep my mentality. As it was getting better, Faker returned, so I was able to do well again.
It would be a difficult time, but after going through it, there should be something you gained.
I’ve had good results during the regular season up to now, so I thought I would have such an experience during my career. It came earlier than I thought, though, but it definitely helps. Now, I can deal with the situation more calmly and find what I have to do even if I were to fall into another losing streak.
This year, the break is longer between the summer season and Worlds due to the Asian Games. Does it help that you have more time to rest?
Resting is good. Taking a break helps me gain more drive and motivation. But actually, I just need two weeks or so. This time, the break is long, so it’s a bit awkward. Sometimes, I don’t know what to do. I shouldn’t just rest, I should find a way to utilize all this time.
Speaking of the Asian Games, it would be regretful for you. You were one of the 10 candidates for the national team, but as the Asian Games were postponed, you didn’t make it onto the team.
Since Keria is exceptionally good in the support role, I thought it would be better if we went together as a bot duo. It’s regretful that I can’t go this time, but I’m still young. I believe I’ll have a chance in 2026 or even in 2030, and if I do my best, I’ll be able to clinch that opportunity.
The last tournament this year is Worlds. T1 has been slipping in the finals for a while now, some people think it’s a jinx.
There were multiple finals where we lost by a slim margin. When I think of the trophies that we missed, it makes me upset and angry. On the other hand, it means that we are capable of getting to the finals in that many competitions. I believe we are one of the favorites at this Worlds. We got to the semifinals two years ago and were the runners-up last year, so it’s our turn to win Worlds this time.
Then what are your goals for Worlds 2023?
Worlds is a special tournament every year. Some fans might not like it, but this could be the last Worlds we could play with this roster. I want to have a good ending with this roster, so I want to win Worlds. That’s why this Worlds is so much more meaningful. Also, it’s the first time Faker is going to Worlds that’s held in Korea, which motivates me even more to win the championship. I hope we can be repaid for all the runner-up finishes we had.
Lastly, a comment to the fans who cheered for you for over three years?
Thank you for all the support you have been sending me and for congratulating me on my third-year anniversary. My teammates went to the Asian Games, so please cheer for them so they can bring home the gold medal. Oner and I will stay put to prepare for Worlds so that we can win the championship. Fighting!