So far, it's been a rough split for Team EnVyUs. Heading into Week 6, they sit at 2-8, tied for last place with Team Liquid.
The team has faced challenges, including a late arrival to North America for jungler Nam "LirA" Tae-yoo. Despite the roster's overall record, the former member of Rebels Anarchy and Afreeca Freecs has been one of the bright spots for nV.
He has shown the ability to move away from carry junglers when needed and coordinate for his team using Rek'Sai, playing the void burrower three times between both of nV's match wins.
The team finished Week 5 with a win over Echo Fox. LirA told theScore esports that the team's week of practice during IEM Katowice has given them the time they need to catch up, put the pieces together and show what this lineup can really do.
Read on for LirA's view on NA solo queue, his upcoming match against his friend Lee "Flame" Ho-jong, and adapting to playing abroad.
How would you rank your performance so far this split?
I haven't shown my best performance yet, but my form went up really high so now I can show my best performance soon.
What do you think about NA solo queue?
To be honest I don't know about other lanes, but as a jungler position, it's hard to play solo queue as it doesn't seem like [it's] helping me at all. Also scrim and solo queue are way different, so it's hard to say, but I'd rather scrim a lot than solo queue.
You arrived in NA with little time to practice, but the team has since put up two wins. Tell us about what your recent opportunity to get a little breathing space and practice has done for the team.
During IEM week, which had no LCS that week, we’ve been practicing a lot and I think our team improved a lot, so we can play much better now.
I read that you’ve been keeping in touch with Lee "Flame" Ho-jong. Even though you’ve lived abroad before, how important is keeping in touch with him for you? What will it be like for you to face off against him in Week 6?
Yeah I'm close with Flame as a person and a player, but during the games or stages it doesn't matter, I will do my best [to] win against him.
Would you consider staying in NA after your time with EnVyUs is up?
I went to a different region to play games and it was hard for me the first time, as I missed my friends and family and stuff. But now I'm okay with everything so I like NA.
You’ve played in multiple regions during your career. Have you thought about what you’d like to do after you’re done playing? Have you ever considered a career in coaching?
if I have the chance, I would like to continue working in esports and I haven't thought about what I'm going to do after I retire, but at this point I would like continue my pro gamer life long as I can.
Anything else to add?
We all know that our team is last place in NA LCS, and we’ve been showing fans and people that we're playing bad on game days. But now we've improved a lot [since then], so looks like we're going to win most of [our] games, [but we] still need to work really hard.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Josh "Gauntlet" Bury is a news editor for theScore esports. You can find him on Twitter.