Jungler Choi "DanDy" Inkyu came to China at the end of 2014 after playing for World Championship team Samsung White, but now his Vici Gaming squad find themselves in danger of falling to the promotion tournament. DanDy took a moment to talk to theScore esports about his current mental state and how playing in China has impacted his playstyle.
On your teams in Korea, you focused a lot on counter-ganking or covering lanes. Now you seem to focus more on taking initiative to gank or farm for the late game. What factors have lead to this change in style?
The team’s style right now is different. I think that right now if I played a style that waited for an enemy jungler to come gank first, my teammates would die easily. Then if my teammates die, it’s easy for the enemy jungler to invade and get vision or other advantages. So I think right now it’s better for me if I try to initiate ganks. This way we can put more pressure on the enemy team.
I spoke to your solo lane teammates, Loong and Easyhoon. They both said right now that they mostly rely on you to carry. What do you think you have to do in the meta and within Vici’s dynamic to prepare yourself to carry later on in the game?
I don’t think it’s about me carrying or a jungle carry style. It’s more about me getting a certain lane ahead and using that lane advantage as a team to end the game efficiently.
Vici Gaming place a lot of aggressive pink wards compared to some other LPL teams. What system do you have in place to communicate and decide where to place wards?
During scrims, the coach will tell us where to place the wards in the jungle, so we remember it for the matches.
When you go to gank, you’ve placed more and more priority on the duo lane. Would you explain why your style has shifted this way?
I will usually go to the lane that has two people because, if I gank that lane, and it’s successful, it means that two people will get ahead instead of just one in the case where I gank for a solo laner.
I saw an old interview you did when you played for Ozone where you said you had the "servitude of a jungler." As your style has changed and your team has given you more resources, do you still feel that way?
Back when I was jungling on Samsung, my style was more to keep farming and keep track of the enemy jungler’s pathing to keep counter-ganks in mind. Previously, I hated farming the jungle slower or getting to a lane slower than my opponent. After coming to China, however, the playstyle is very different. Chinese teams focus a lot more on ganking lanes, so it's different in that sense.
I have spoken to other Korean junglers who have played in North America, Brazil, and China. They have mostly agreed that jungle is the most difficult role to play when most of the team speaks a different language. Do you agree, and can you discuss differences in jungling for China vs jungling in Korea?
I agree with them. I think that if multiple languages are spoken on the same team, it’s hardest on the jungler. You have to be able to communicate with all four players on the team as a jungler.
This is the first year in quite some time where you’ve played on a team without Mata. Mata is a very vocal player, so what responsibilities have you or other teammates had to take over to compensate?
Back when I used to play with Mata, he was very vocal and he made a lot of calls. Mata is very experienced, so he was also good at making calls. Our support at the moment is very new and not used to making these calls. So what I try to do is discuss things with him as a jungler normally would with a support. I’ll try to tell our support what kinds of calls we should be making, but we’re trying to rely on him for this, and it’s something we’re still working on since he is still new and improving.
Recently on stage in the LPL, you have looked very depressed after matches. There has been a lot of pressure on Vici Gaming. Could you discuss some of the thoughts that go through your head when you lose these games?
We haven’t been doing well lately in scrims or in competition, that’s why I feel a bit down. I think it’s natural that I would feel a lot of stress during our matches. With our results right now, we only have a very slim chance of winning the spring split this season.
You made comments this week to Chinese fans about being interested in returning to Korea. Would you like to clarify this comment or elaborate on it?
Because the team hasn’t been doing very well lately, and I’ve been very stressed. The team atmosphere also hasn’t been very good. This is why I thought that maybe I should take a break.
Translation assistance provided by Vici Gaming staff and Jenny Lee.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Kelsey Moser is a staff writer for theScore esports. You can follow her on Twitter.