[M Zedd] You are the support for ESC Ever, a Korean team currently in Challenger Series, and you will fight in the play-offs next week. How’s the practice going ?
KeY : It is going smoothly. As a team there are some things that we need to improve, so we talked a lot with the other team members to be a better team. Recently we found that we needed to do some more improvements, and this is why we spend more time practicing.
[M Zedd] You are in Challenger Series for almost a year now and you played for three different teams : are you afraid of not being able to succeed ? Was it a choice to play in Challenger Series ? Or was it more of a necessity ?
KeY : I experienced failure when I could qualify in the promotion tournament last time (with team Xenics), so I know what it feels like to fail. When I look back, I think that we needed more practice at the time, but this time it is a little bit different : I know that it is important and I am also more serious.
[M Zedd] For the second time, you will try to qualify for the LCK, in the Summer Split this time. You will start the semi-finals against E8WIN on monday : are you confident for the matches ?
KeY : From my perspective [laning phase], the support of their team is the weakest link so I don’t worry a lot about it, but their top & midlaner are strong. I think we have high chances to win.
Totoro (support) & Tempt (midlaner) deeply focused on a match of the LCK at their gaming house
[M Zedd] Contrary to the other teams in Challenger Series, you’ve got the opportunity to play against world-class teams in the IEM Cologne & Katowice. Did you find new in-game perspectives by competing against international teams ? Do you think it helped you to improve yourselves ?
KeY : Before these international matches, I didn't really have the experience for playing against such teams. Now, I have the feeling that I learned how they work and also their meta and from these experiences, I might be able to improve myself.
[M Zedd] You played against North America and China, and you have been able to observe teams from other regions : what is your opinion about them and about the level of each country ?
KeY : I think that the fights are well executed by Chinese teams, but the late game is pretty well managed by European teams. I find it interesting that NA doesn't have a lot of Korean players, they have their own style and I believe that if they had more Korean players among them, their level would be better.
[M Zedd] Immortals has two Korean players among them, Huni & ReignOver, and they will fight against TSM in the semi-finals of the play-offs. What do you think about these two players and their teams ?
KeY : The two Korean players lead the game and support the American players. That’s why they become a good team. I think that the only problem with Korean players in other regions is communication, but Huni and ReignOver already speak English, so I think that Immortals will win over TSM in the semi-finals.
Totoro watched over by his Totoro
[M Zedd] Speaking about your team specifically, you have been struggling during the IEM Katowice. Was it because of the recent changes in the line-up ?
KeY : The roster changes were a big factor. And Tempt [midlaner] is also a new player, he never had any experience in big games like that. I was sick during the tournament and wasn’t able to play my best at the time. That's why the team couldn't perform as well as usual.
[M Zedd] Let's talk more about you now : you are the support for team Ever. Why did you choose this role ? Was it your first choice when you started to play League of Legends competitively ?
KeY : I started as a midlaner and I especially liked Ahri. I also played AD Carry, but I realized that I prefered the position of support, because you are less focused on your gameplay, you can make the decisions and I enjoy that a lot.
[M Zedd] Most of the time, the support is the shotcaller of the team. Is it the case in your team ? What do you think of AD Carrys like Rekkles for Fnatic, who are doing the shotcalling for the team ?
KeY : I don’t shotcall in the game, I’m usually focused on the lane fights. About ADC doing the shotcalling, I think it is very hard for them because your positioning is really important and usually you don’t have enough time to look at the bigger picture.
Loken (adc) & Bless (jungler) are watching the match between ROX Tigers and Jin Air
[M Zedd] You are well-known for your Bard. What do you like so much about this champion ?
KeY : I like the E (Bard's tunnel), by using it you can surprise the ennemy team. I also really like the ultimate, which can freeze the ennemy players and allow you to take a good position.
[M Zedd] So do you like combo and team fights compositions, like Orianna & Malphite when you play Bard ?
KeY : It is a good composition and a good scenario to fight, but I also have to think about the risk of such a composition : if it doesn’t work as planned, it is a high risk composition as well.
[M Zedd] Lots of Koreans have chosen to go abroad, including you. Even if the lifestyle is better for most of them, it looks like professionnally, it is not a success. If you had the choice again, would you choose to join a team from another country or would you decide to stay ?
KeY : Normally, Korean players (including myself) tend to stay in Korea and play in Korean Leagues, but if there is a team that needs a particular player and that team is the one that the player will fit in, it is also a good idea to be there. Wherever I go, if I can play freely and if I feel needed by the team, then yes, it is a good choice to go abroad.
[M Zedd] Let's take the exemple of LGD. They have Imp & Acorn in their team, who are both very strong Korean players individually speaking. But so far, they didn’t have any success with the team. What is your opinion about that ?
KeY : If you think back, League of Legends is a video game that involves five players. So if you cannot manage to create results with the team, I think that at least one of the players is a weak point.
[M Zedd] Thank you for your answers and good luck for the play-offs tomorrow !
Shoutout from KeY to Millenium at the end of the interview