From relative unknown to being called one of the best supports at the 2014 Worlds, GE Tigers' GorillA has been a key part to his team's perfect 6-0 star in Korea's Champions league. With only one match left in the first half of the season, GorillA's Tigers will have their toughest test of the season against two-time Champions winner and MVP Faker and his SK Telecom T1 team.
We sat down with GorillA before his biggest match of the year and got his thoughts on his team, the Western scene, and the Tigers' flashy fashion sense.
How did you sign with the GE Tigers? Also, did you get offers from any Chinese or Western teams?
Under a single team system there were worries (I was worried about) about the ability to attend events and inside disputes. Through these feelings I made my decision to leave Najin, and after I had left the GE Tigers sent me an offer and I signed with them. There were offers as well from China, but right now the strongest (or highest level of play) is the Korean LCK and I wanted to continue to compete in the LCK.
You're famous for your Thresh and Janna play. Who is your favorite champion, and do you have a champion you've never played before that you believe can be used in professional matches?
My favorite champion is Janna. I believe that Janna was the champion that allowed me to appear in the Worlds and she is the champion I am most comfortable playing. Also, I have yet to play her in a match, but I feel that Soraka is a very good champion. Soon we may be able to see Soraka making an appearance.
You've played with a super cautious AD carry in Zefa and are now playing with a very aggressive AD in Pray. Which style do you prefer playing with, and how is your relationship with Pray?
I feel that I am a very flexible support player. Depending on the play-style of the AD carry, my play-style will change as well and thus, I cannot say which style I prefer. Also, the entire teams play-style is very important as well. So, in Najin, a safer play-style player fits better and on GE Tigers a more aggressive style of player is preferable.
In regard to Pray, he was a player since he was in Najin Sword that I wanted to play with at least once together. Since I will be playing with him it is surreal. In real life, Pray has a very pleasant, fun personality and it fits well with me.
Smeb has gone from being seen as one of the weakest top laners in Korea to one of the strongest. How has he been as a teammate on GE?
In competitive play I did not feel that he was particularly that good of a player, however, I saw many impressive plays while he was in solo queue online. So, I always felt that he was a player with lots of potential and he is with us now. As the youngest he has a very energetic personality and gives the team an upbeat feel. In competitions he has been as good as any other top laner and I feel he has shown his abilities well.
You are considered the best support in Korea by most people. Who do you see as your main rivals as the best support in Korea? And outside of Korea, who are the best supports?
SKT’s Wolf I feel is my biggest rival in the LCK. In the support role, just considering his mechanics, Wolf is the best in the LCK. Of the players currently outside of Korea, I feel that Mata in the LPL and LemonNation of C9 are the best. As for Mata, I feel I do not have to go into detail about why he is the best (and people will still be able to understand why I picked him). He is so good in all aspects. As for LemonNation I feel he is a student of the game and that is why I picked him.
The GE Tigers have been invited to the IEM World Championships. Is there any foreign team and/or bottom lane you're excited to face?
I am excited to face C9’s bot lane combination of Sneaky and LemonNation. Although during the worlds they dropped out in the top eight, I feel that of the non-LCK (overseas) teams that we faced, C9’s bottom lane was the strongest.
If you could play with one non-Korean AD Carry, who would it be?
I want to play with uzi. Even Pray has complimented him saying that if uzi has a good game he is one of the best AD carries in the world. If you take a look at uzi’s plays, aside from the times he tilts, he is so good that it’s scary.
The GE Tigers have become famous for their school boy and cat eared uniforms. Are you a fan of your outfits? Also, if you could dress up as anything during a game, what costume would you like to wear?
At first I wasn't very happy about it, but because of how much the fans enjoy it I am learning to slowly like the uniforms. I think it would be cool/different to wear traditional Korean wear.
Many believe SKT will be your biggest opponent if you want to win Champions Spring. Are you confident you can beat them this week and go 7-0?
Before the start of the spring season, I did not think that we would have such a good record; however, as we continue to win, I feel the pressure. Never the less, with the way our team has been playing I believe that we will be able to defeat SKT and get our seventh straight win.
Finally, do you have any words you would like to say to your growing fan base in the Western scene?
Really my fans are growing?! I have no way of knowing, but if you are supporting and cheering for me please follow me on twitter @lolGorillA! I want to be able to communicate more with my Western fans but because my English is lacking right now…I will diligently practice my English and some time in the future I would like to do a whole interview in English!
We would like to thank the GE Tigers and GorillA for the interview. GorillA answered in both Korean and English, with our own Paul Park translating the Korean half. You can watch the Tigers try to go 7-0 tonight as they take on SK Telecom T1 in Champions Korea!