This is a translated interview from http://eSports.Dailygame.co.kr (http://esports.dailygame.co.kr/news/read.php?id=69218)
“To me, talking was a complex”
This week, I brought in Lee Hyun Woo from Azubu Frost who is famous for his passive jungle champions. In Korea, he is considered the best kind of jungler in this category. Even in 5v5s, he is able to pull off fantastic initiations that win games for his team and you can see why he is considered the best jungler in Korea.
Lee Hyun Woo is also famous for his commentating. One time, he was invited to LoL Champion’s League to commentate and received many positive feedback from the viewers for his detailed and sharp pointers. When he streams to commentate big tournament matches, the stream would fill up incredibly quickly. However, it was a surprise that he had complex in talking, he was the kind that really tried to overcome his weaknesses.
Every day, he would show warm smiles to his friends, yet in matches, he analyzes the game with sharp eyes. Let’s have a talk with Lee Hyun Woo.
Q: Hello, could you introduce yoruself to the readers?
HW) Hello, I’m Hyun-Woo “CloudTemplar” Lee, the jungler of Azubu Frost.
Q: You know how the team used to be called MiG Frost? How did you join the team in the first place?
HW) At the time, I came back from military service and was wandering around. I went to school but it really didn’t fit me. So after finishing one semester, I quit. I didn’t want to graduate without doing anything. I just started studying English out of nowhere, and suddenly, I was tutoring kids in institutes. I also pleayed LoL whenever I had time. However, as I went on, I felt empty. I was stuck in between school, English, and LoL. I wasn’t even dating anyone(laughs). And one day, I got a call from GunWoong, asking me if I didn’t wanna try playing together. I used to know GunWoong from before. At the time, Korea was dominated by MiG, EDG, and Team OP. And because I got a call from one of the best, I thought it was the opportunity of life. I knew I would regret it if I missed the chance. I always thought of progaming, so I tried and joined MiG.
Q: You’re the oldest in the team, isn’t a little awkward?
HW) When I first joined the team, I was really surprised. Everyone was just very young and they were beyond immature (laughs). If they were in the military, they would have been scolded really hard (laughs). However I thought this was part of being in the society, and as the oldest hyung, I thought it was a good chance for me to mature as well. If I said that it wasn’t hard, then it would be a lie. However, everyone’s really innocent. If they were greedy, selfish, and rude, then I would NEVER have stayed. I consider them my little brothers, and now I’m having fun time livign together.
Q: I think Team Azubu has the most popularity in Korea. Especially you seem to have a lot of female fans. What’s the trick? (laughs).
HW) Nah, that’s not really true (laughs). I do think that fans are really a important part of being pro gamers. For someone to survive in the scene for a long time, they need fans. I really enjoy talking with the fans. Also, I love being a pro gamer for the fans. And I think that’s why fans like me too.
Q: I think one of the biggest reasons for your popularity would be your witty comments. Even when you were invited to the LoL Championship League to commentate, your commentating was really “delicious”. It was easy to tell from your MLG Poland Championship commentating, looking at how popular it was. I think you talk really well.
HW) To be honest, I stuttered and talked awkwardly when I was in the elementary school. It was a complex to me. I had some words that were especially hard for me to pronounce and I stuttered every time. I thought to myself, that I cannot go on like this, so I tried really hard. First, I read a lot of books. I especially liked the ones regarding logic. when I went into middle school, I purposely tried a lot of public speaking. I watched all the debating TV shows. While I watched the debates, I put myself in their perspective and thought, ‘What would I have said if I were to face that question?’. In the college, I did many presentations. And while I was doing that, I learned something.*
Q: What did you learn?
HW) When you talk, you need the logic and reason in the background, but also you need wittiness and humor. It came to me especially when I was tutoring the kids in institutes. Even if you’re really good at tutoring, if it’s not funny, then kids would get bored. So I always think about how to talk with humor. I stlil try even now. When I was young, girls avoided me because I often stuttered so it is left to me as a trauma (laughs). I still don’t think I am very good at talking. I still practice pronunciation and debates.
Q: I thought you were born with wit, but you were the kind that worked your way up. I hope to see more of your fun streams. Anyways, I think you felt really challenged when you watched Azubu Blaze work their way up to MLG Poland championship.
HW) Even as of now, I don’t think I have the confidence to do the same. First of all, Najin Sword is a really good team (laughs). I thought Blaze was doing really well when they won. And suddenly, I saw us, that lost in IEM, IPL qualifiers. I especially thought about it a lot after losing to a new team, KT. I think we were full of ourselves. Now we better show the world in the Winter League, how much we have improved.
Q: When you talk about Azubu Frost, you can’t leave out Season 2 Finals. It would often be called the LoL-World Cup since it had the best of best around the world. You guys achieved the second place in the tournament. How were your attitudes?
HW) At the time, the mood of the team was really not that good. Our team is really weak in scrims or online tournaments. There’s really a lot of difference in the stage and our home. Even when we practiced in the world championship, we lost a lot of games. Suddenly, I thought, “are we really going to be fine in the actual matches?”. iG was really strong and we won barely. The other two teams? We were bad but we won because they were even worse (laughs).
HW) At the time, the situation was REALLY bad for us. In the PC Cafe around Riot Games, we lost to all matches against Najin Sword. It was same for other scrims against other teams. I mean, even if we say that we’re strong in actual matches, we felt really weak. Especially, for 상민, it was his first time in the big stage and he was FROZEN. I am the mood maker for my team, so I asked our director if I can play and have fun. I asked the officer and he said that the sound from booths never goes outside. So while I was boosting my teammates confidence, I told them, “Shout and curse, however you want!” (laughs). I really want to do this while having fun. But we faced a situation where we could almost lose. And at the end, when we saw a little hope, we got too excited. I’m really sorry that we showed un-professional face in the world championship. I promise that I won’t show such thing next time.
Q: And Azubu Frost met Team SoloMid, and there was the cheating scandle.
HW) First of all, I have to apologize. When we look back, we didn’t even realize we were in trouble. We received the penalty later. Woong was really suffering mentally at the time because he thought that the whole team would be laughed at because of himself. And in the bigger picture, all Korean teams could be pointed at as cheaters. What we really wanted was a rematch. We were 100% sure that we could win fairly. It was our fault and the most proper thing to do would be a rematch, but Riot Games told us that they didn’t have enough time for the schedule to go on. We met SoloMid in a different place, and I still can’t forget the way they looked at us. In a sense, they were looking at us as if we were garbage. So to Reginald, there were a lot of bad feelings. When we watched SoloMid play in the MLG, I could only laugh. Next time we meet, we will beat them fair and square.
Q: There are a lot of rumours saying that GunWoong is the weak link of the team. As a team member yourself, isn’t it really heartbreaking?
HW) Even when I stream, I hear fans saying, “When is Gunwoong getting kicked out?”, “When is GunWoong going back to top?” In my opinion, for our team at least, each members of the team are 10% and teamwork is 50%, and it makes up to 100%.
Q: That is quite an interesting concept. Can you elaborate on that a little bit?
HW) If CLG’s Doublelift is 9 out of 10 as AD Carry, then GunWoong would be 6 or 7. However, those individual plays really doesn’t affect the gameplay. The reason we are so strong right now is because it’s GunWoong on the AD Carry. Even if someone else play AD Carry for our team, we won’t be able to play the same. Us Azubu Frost doesn’t have the best individual skills. However, it doesn’t mean anything if one of us drops out. I have no plan to swap out GunWoong, and because it’s GunWoong in his position, we are able to pull off such scores in tournaments.
Q: Just like how he was the best Top laner in Korea, I hope he will be able to come back as a great AD Carry soon. Let’s talk about the World Championship again. You guys met CLG.EU during the quarter finals. It was a Summer Season revenge match.
HW) We were really suffering a lot at the time for cheating and cursing. You know how I picked Skarner on the third match? In normal circumstances, I would never have chosen Skarner. On the enemy team, there were many champions that are hard to pull in such as Morgana. (laughs) It’s all thanks to my teammates beliving in me. However, because Skarner was nerfed, I think it wold be really hard for me to play him again.
Q: It really disappoints me to hear that I won’t be able to see your Skarner again. Let’s talk about Skarner a little later and talk about the finals. I was there at the time too, and I heard everyone just cheer for TPA only. I shouted Frost because I was so angry too. How did you feel when there was almost no one cheering for Frost?
HW) I admit that in the finals, we lost fairly due to lack of skill. I have the strongest mentality in the team, but even I was zoning out. Even my hands weren’t moving properly. Sang-Min (Shy) was sitting next to me and it was worse for him. Even for Min-Sung (Rapidstar) who really doesn’t care about these things, he was just on the worst mood possible. GunWoong and MinGi(Madlife) were frozen. They are really sensitive and emotional kids. (laughs) It is true that we have made many mistakes before, but I felt a little betrayed by the fans. I was worried that the kids would be hurt. I was okay with losing the match, but I really didn’t want these events to be left as a trauma for everyone.
Q: How did you feel as you watched the Nexus get destroyed at the end?
HW) I thought of everything that went on until then. Since the joining of MiG to now. There was something that our director talked about. “Our goal is the World Championship!” If we compare it to the hiking, winning the invitational was the first step, Spring League second place was 1/3, Summer League Championship was 2/3, and as I came to the finals, I saw the peak. Also because that day was one year anniversary of the team. It could have been the final result of our effort until then, but it was tumbling down way too easily. I cried a little (laughs). I was rather thinking that I should try harder than angry.
Q: As you guys stayed in the US, there must have been a lot of hard times.
HW) The food was the worst part. It was okay until we got there, but since the second day, it got really hard. Only GunWoong was excited to eat American food (laughs). When we think something is hard to eat, we call it “heavy”. And all American food was “heavy.” We couldn’t find food that wasn’t greasy. On the fourth day, we found a Chinese restaurant, and because there were food similar to that of Korean, we always went there afterwards.
Q: I always wanted to eat kimchi while I was in America. Were there anything funny?
HW) GunWoong was really popular among the American fans. When female fans asked for hugs, he was grinning widely (laughs). Maybe his face is popular in outside of Korea. Also American fans had really great reactions. During the playoffs, we played in the outdoor stage and there were about 1000 people watching. I felt the same heat from Springs and Summer Season. Every time I erased a ward, everyone cheered, and someone even took off his shirt. (laughs) I mean, I got that feeling when there were 1000, imagine the heat in the finals. It felt like I was being focused down by millions of people (laughs).
Q: When people talk about you, you’re always famous for your initiations. Any particular moments?
HW) I think it was the match against CLG.na. At the time I was playing Maokai, and when enemy Anivia walled the passage, I flashed over to initiate. Normal circumstances, I would never do that (laughs). Everyone that were following behind yelled out “Hyung! What are you doing?!” and it was chaotic. But we still won the teamfight. I was so glad that we won the teamfight (laughs).
HW) The things that I fear the most is pride and self-satisfaction. If you have those two, a player cannot improve. I watched even amateur player’s jungling VoDs since the beginning because I thought there was always something to learn from them. This is something that should be obvious. Everyone has something to learn from. If Mokuza realizes that, I think he would improve even more. I never tried to show off or be on the spotlight. When team wins, I win as well. That’s why I always make sure to watch all player’s playstyle.
Q: Actually, I have never seen you play any aggressive junglers (eg. Lee Sin). Is it because you can’t play them? or because it doesn’t fit your team’s playstyle?
HW) It is true that I play passive and teamfight oriented junglers most of the time. Those champions are really good for teamfights and strategic battles. Because in the team, I manage the initiation, it fits my playstyle pretty well too. Long time ago, I would even play aggressive junglers like Udyr too. I do like the aggressive playstyle and I still study counterjungling. There are many reasons why I always pick supportish junglers in the tournaments. But I won’t be doing that for long. If I get the opportunity, I will pull out aggressive junglesr that I have been practicing.
Q: What about Rammus? It used to be your second strongest champion after Skarner, but it’s hard to see nowadays.
HW) I heard that in Season 3, Rammus would be easier to use. I don’t use Rammus in tournaments but I still practice him to make sure I don’t lose the grip. To be honest, he’s kind of hard to use right now. As I watched MVP Blue’s ‘노페’ use Rammus, I felt a bit nostalgic. But when he was playing Rammus, his opponents weren’t really good either. If he pulls off a victory against a good team with Rammus, I would really be disappointed in myself. I thought he wouldn’t be viable in tournaments but if someone else does well with him, I wouldn’t feel great. Anyways, I’m always expecting to see something great out of him with Rammus.
Q: What about your Skarner? His ultimate was nerfed recently. Does it have a big impact?
HW) Skarner’s main role is to pull enemy AP Carry or AD Carry. I have never seen anyone play Skarner like myself. I think that’s why it is often banned. To be honest, flashing to pull someone while sieging has a big risk. It loses the game often too. Other junglers don’t do it but I do. The more I do it, the more I seem to succeed with it. (laughs) Nowadays it’s really hard to pull that off. AP and AD Carries have REALLY good reaction timing. Using counter flash is so easy. When you think about the way I play skarner, I think it really lost its merit after the nerf. So I worried a lot. My two main jungles Rammus and Skarner are both screwed over (laughs). I’m wondering which champion to practice.
Q: Which teams do you think would be the hardest to face in Group A?
HW) Our biggest obstacle would be Najin Shield and KT Rolster A. Even when Shield was in a slump, we never overlooked them. Shield had previous history that couldn’t be ignored, we always thought they would step back up. When they practice and fix their mistakes a little bit, they would be able to climb back to the top easily and I think they’re better now. KT Rolster A had the steepest improvement among the newest teams and it’s really scary. If there are no other variables, then I think it would be fine.
Q: What about your brother team, Blaze and Group B?
HW) It’s similar in Group B. They would probably thinking the same. Najin Sword and KT Rolster B would be hard to face.
Q: I’m not sure if this kind of question is good, but what’s Azubu Frost’s goal this time?
HW) Everyone says it’s obviously the first place. As of myself, it’s the quarterfinals first (laughs). As I get older, I think I’m losing the ambition. Compared to everyone who’s still young. I’m not really that old but I’m on the old side (laughs.) As I get older, I think more realistically. As of now, I want to get to the quarter finals first, and then I would go for the first place.*
Q: If Azubu Frost reaches the finals, everyone would accept the fact that you guys are the best team in Korea. You guys are considered really skilled in the world scene as well and has the most fans in Korea too. However it seems like you guys have as much anti-fans (laughs).
HW) You know, people have to be positive. As much as we have many anti-fans, I think we have the most fans inside Korea too. The reason we have so many anti-fans is because we made many mistakes and I think they are really trying to helps us not make the same mistake. Fans and anti-fans are both important. Our fans really encourage us a lot. In the tournaments, they always give us letters and gifts, as well as words of encouragements. Because we hae so many fans, we are able to survive the anti-fans in a sense. I really want to thank them. Especially I was really touched when Korean fans cheered for us amongst many foreigners. (laughs)
Q: Any comments for the anti fans? (laughs)
HW) There are many things that we did not do right. Even when you guys see us, we might feel unsatisfying and sloppy. However, we are always thinking, admitting, and repenting our mistakes. When you put on colored glasses, you really can’t look at things with other colors you know? We tried our best to change and we did actually change. I hope everyone sees that too. We will try our best to improve so help us a little (laughs).
Category: Korean eSports Weekly
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