TL Impact on Player Fitness: “LCK just think it’s a waste of time. The NA perspective is very different.”

Izento got into the thick of it with Impact about their match on Saturday against Cloud 9. They touched on the nuances of that game, the focus on health in NA and the difference in LCK, and also the importance of having someone else to communicate in Korean.

The early game against Cloud 9 looked shaky. What do you think went wrong for C9?

Even with their early lead, they spent too many resources top side. Licorice had tp advantage so we couldn’t do baron for a while, so I made him push solo and Olaf went bottom and tried to keep mid control.

When your jungler gets that far behind in the early game, what do you do differently as a top laner?

Unlucky (laughs). I was winning so much and he misplayed two times so I had advantage, which allowed me to tp for the jungle fight (@ 4:30). After tp, I misplayed and used my W (Bellows Breath) instead of cc, so Olaf was able to get away with the Thresh lantern. It was fine though, we could still make plays and we could come back easy because we have so much cc that it’s easy for our team fights. They made too many mistakes, so we were able to come back.

You looked really comfortable on the Gnar pick. How do you think Licorice did in that matchup?

I think he lost lane and I was able to snowball that. Then I did that tp play, so he was able to come back a bit. If I didn’t tp, I think he would have lost lane even harder. His runes weren’t optimal because he chose greedy runes with Gathering Storm, that’s why he lost early. I think he’s a greedy player but I respect him but I was able to punish him.

Player health has been talked about recently. Do you think esports players take care of themselves properly? How do you take care of yourself, both mentally and physically?

I think it’s laziness. Esports players are lazy. It’s also about having a balanced diet. I also think you should go outside and just walk or run for 30 minutes. Some players just want to play so much and even compromise on their sleep, even running on 5 or 3 hours of sleep. I’m guilty of that as well. You try that for 1 or 2 months of that and realize your health is really bad. You can even just do gym activities at home, even with something simple like a yoga mat.

Do you think there’s a big difference between NA and LCK when it comes to focusing on health?

Yeah. No one in LCK goes to the gym, while in NA, a lot of people enjoy going to the gym. It’s a different mindset, people in LCK just think it’s a waste of time and just think “Ah, just one more game”. The NA perspective is that if you miss out on one game, it doesn’t really matter if my mentality and general health is better.

What do you think about other Korean players not having someone else to talk to in Korean and to fully connect with another Korean? Do you think it’s necessary?

I think it’s too hard. At first, you definitely need a translator. When you’re together with another Korean player, it’s fine to talk in Korean, but if you’re with other players or coaching staff, you should be talking in English to get better. After one or two years, your English should improve and then you’ll be fine, but at the start, you need a translator. In the initial atmosphere, you would be lonely because you can’t communicate with anyone. In Team Impulse, that was my first time coming to NA and all I could really say was “hello”, “goodbye”, “good”, “bad”, “how are you”. I couldn’t say anything.

I don’t like when Olleh talks to me in Korean in-game. During scrim time, I just want to speak English.

Do you find it annoying that some people compare yourself to when you won Worlds? Is it bothersome that people judge your level of play in the past to your current form?

I don’t care. I think I’m better now than I was before. As time goes on, I think it’s natural to increase your level of play. In the past, I only thought about how to play as a team and being a team player only. Now I’m thinking about improving as an individual, which then carries over to positively affecting my team play. In this regard, I think that’s why my skill has improved.

What are your thoughts going into playoffs?

When we were losing, our team was just playing scared. Now, we’re looking for avenues to win, where our advantages lie. We’re constantly talking about that now and I’m sure that currently, we’re better than previously. I think we can show some good play during playoffs.

You guys are playing a bit riskier. Do you think playing risky is a good thing for your team?

I think you’ll never have 100% surety on your plays. This is a 5v5 game, but it’s not robot vs robot. They can make mistakes and there’s always a chance to capitalize.

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Izento is a journalist present at the NA LCS, armchair analyst and car enthusiast. As an avid Season 1 League of Legends player, he's since pursued his passion for esports through the power of writing.

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