Yong-In “CoreJJ” Jo is no stranger to failure. His tenured career, while boasting both LCS and World championship wins, have also included loss streaks and disappointments.
However, many fans were in shock at the opening day of the 2020 LCS season, as Cloud9 swiftly defeated Team Liquid in just under 25 minutes. Of course, visa issues with Team Liquid jungler Mads “Broxah” Brock-Pedersen were the leading factor of this outcome, which forced the team to start their academy jungler, Shern Cherng “Shernfire” Tai, instead.
CoreJJ believes that this isn’t an accurate litmus test of Team Liquid’s strength, but still understands that his team must work even harder to remain at the top of the league. The world-class support player sat down with The Game Haus in this exclusive interview to talk about his off-season, Team Liquid’s recent performance, and even suggested some solutions to bettering North America as a competitive region.
Edited for accuracy and clarity.
Thank you so much for joining us today. First, how did you spend your offseason?
I went back to Korea and just chilled there. Most of the time, I just spent my time playing games. I didn’t really do anything special for New Years, I just spent time with my friends. I tried to save my energy for the upcoming season.
Did you have any New Year’s resolutions for 2020?
Outside of League of Legends, I don’t have any resolutions. In League of Legends, I just want to win Worlds at the end of the year.
So obviously, your team had a bit of a roster change during the offseason. How is your team atmosphere now?
I mean, Broxah’s not even here yet. Most of the time, we practiced with Eugene “Pobelter” Park or Shernfire. Maybe we aren’t fully ready compared to other teams right now, but we’re going to get better.
Who are you most excited to play with this year?
Any one of our junglers. I’m wondering how they’ll play [with our team].
What do you think is going to be different for you and TL this season compared to previous seasons?
Last year, Team Liquid was on the champion spot. We need to hold our title this year. I think holding is way harder than challenging the title. I just want to try hard to keep our glory.
A recent anonymous player survey by Kien Lam for LoLesports found that 58.1% of LCS players would rather win the LCS than make it out of groups at worlds (41.9%). If you would like to disclose, could you explain why you chose your selection?
I don’t remember what I voted for. But I would rather choose to win the LCS. Getting out of groups doesn’t mean anything unless you actually win the World Championships.
So about winning Worlds— there were a lot of questions regarding North America’s international performance last year. In your opinion, what do you think NA needs to get stronger as a region?
There are many things, so I can’t just pick one specific thing. But first, we need to make high quality practice in both ranked and LCS games. If we play high quality games every day, every week, then we can play well at Worlds too.
Do you think good Academy play is important for North America too?
Yeah, I really believe that competition makes people grow really fast. I always tell Academy players, “You guys are NA’s hope. You guys need to play well so we can also play well.”
Is there anyone specific in Academy that you think people should look out for?
I’ve been duoing with Edward “Tactical” Ra, our Academy ADC, so I’ll choose him. He tries very hard.
Speaking of Academy— Shernfire, your academy jungler, started today’s match against Cloud9 (due to Broxah’s visa issues). Did you guys have enough time to prepare and practice for today’s match?
Um… maybe not enough time to prepare for LCS games, but he’s been doing really well, so I’m not too worried about today’s outcome. I think our last game— I want to think about it as a wake up call, like an alarm. You know, when you hear your alarm, you feel annoyed, but you need to wake up.
Any final statements?
[pauses] We lost today, so it sucks. But you know, now we can be challengers again.
Feature image courtesy of Riot Games.
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