How do you personally view criticism and praise [from fans and analysts]? Does it impact your mentality at all - negatively or positively?
I don’t care at all about what people think about me. Only what I think about me matters to me.
Of course I will always be receptive if someone had like, a really productive critique to tell me. [...] I can’t always be right about how I view myself as a player and how I view my level as a player. Because like, I’m not delusional, I know that I’m not playing perfectly. [...]
[But] I’m not disturbed by if people talk bullshit about me, talk trash. They can think that but I’m going to Iceland, so why would I mind? Just leave me alone, no? I’m going to see Faker! So why would I mind? [Chuckles]
You’ve sort of switched between strong side and weak side. Was that a tough adjustment as a rookie?
No, of course not. This is not something that should be hard to handle for you as a top laner, especially at my level. When you arrive at my level of knowledge and gameplay, you just don’t care at all.
You just have to know how to play in both strong side and weak side. If you don’t know how to play both of these styles, then you don’t have anything to do in the LEC because the enemy team will exploit you easily and the top side will be a big weakness that cannot be fixed. So no, I just play what is the best for the win.
So in your mind, this is just the basics of the job.
In another interview, you mentioned wanted to face Xioahu and Nuguri the most. What about those two top laners stand out to you?
Honestly, I don’t even know what to expect when I will be facing them. Every time I hear people say who is the best top laner, they say, ‘Oh Xiaohu, Nuguri, Khan…’ So I’m like, okay then I want to face them.
I’m really the guy that doesn’t know anything but he just wants to face the best. For me, Nuguri and Khan, I cannot be the best if I do not face them. [...] I don’t know how to touch them [if] I never face them.
As a rookie, replacing a top laner who had been to Worlds Finals, was having Bwipo on the team helpful at all? Did he help you learn the role better?
He definitely did. [...] At the beginning at least, when I joined Fnatic, he was already here to point out my biggest mistakes and to give me some really micro tips - wave management and stuff - for my lane. Which could be really game-changing for me at least.
Do you think Bwipo being a former top laner, that makes him easier to work with now that he’s a jungler?
I think that it helps but it doesn’t have to be necessarily the case. Even though he used to be a top laner and I’m a top laner now, sometimes we realize - him and I - that we have a completely different vision of how we see top lane. That’s why it doesn’t have to be the case.
But of course [...] he just [sub]consciously knows, at some points in the game, what I’m supposed to need. In terms of communication, there’s a lot of stuff that I don’t really need to say, because he knows it. In-game it helps a lot.
Do you think that that helped you grow? The fact that you don’t have to communicate as much?
Yeah of course, because I really had to focus on one side, which was my gameplay in laning phase and 1v1. I really needed to improve when I joined in Fnatic because I knew that I didn’t have the level for LEC when I joined [...].
If I really needed to focus on communication [as well], I think I wouldn’t have the level that I have today.
Do you feel like playing all those best-of-5’s in playoffs helped you and the team grow a lot?
Well, I assume it did a lot because this was a complete new split, right!?
We played 18 games in the regular split and I think we just played 22 games in the whole playoffs. So we actually played 40 games in the whole split and I think that, for a team that just played together for only 3-4 months, this was the best, right?
Especially when we qualified for Worlds. What can we expect more?
Do you feel, through this playoff run and this split, is this the most that you’ve learned in your time in professional League of Legends?
Definitely. The amount of things that I’ve been learning the entire split, thanks to [coach] Yamato and every one of my teammates, is really huge.
I also learned to be a good teammate. I learned some human values that are really important, you know? I’ve been growing as a human too. This is a really important part, the fact that I’m not only evolving as a player but as a human too.
I think that if you want to improve, you need to be better at the game but you need to be a better teammate too. You cannot only be a better teammate and you cannot only be a better player.
Aside from winning, what gives you the best feeling when playing League of Legends?
Making my family and girlfriend proud of me.