GGS Olleh got to sit down with the press following their 3-0 defeat to Cloud9 in the LCS spring playoffs.
Golden Guardians bowed out of the 2022 LCS spring playoffs following a Cloud9 3-0. There will be no second chances for GGS as they started life in the lower bracket due to their sixth-place finish. Following his side's defeat to Cloud9, GGS Olleh got to speak to the press in a post-match scrum.
The difference in mindset makes a huge difference
When it comes to solo queue practice, there is no denying there is a gulf in difference between LCS players and professional players in South Korea. Whether rightly or wrong, players in the professional Korean ecosystem will grind solo queue for hours upon end because they are determined to be the best and to ensure they are not getting complacent.
Upon making the decision to return to League of Legends, Olleh had made the decision that if he did not reach the top ten on the Korean soloque ladder, he would hang up his mouse and keyboard for good.
When my mother saw me focusing on LoL again, she asked if I wouldn’t regret learning all that and not using it, so I told her that if I don’t make top 10 in KR solo queue, I’d give up being a pro gamer.
Since coming back to North America, Olleh has been one of the biggest grinders, reaching second place in split 1 of the new Champions Queue with over 180 games played. Although it comes with various health concerns, Korea's dedication to grinding has shown why they are the most winningest region in competitive League of Legends.
For Olleh, he outlines his frustrations with the amount of effort players in North America are giving and compares it to the mindset Korean players have.
"When I was in Korea, everyone's spamming the game. Like even Faker was playing 10 games a day after scrim blocks. [...] In NA I feel just like people just don't put that much effort in, compared to other regions."
Champions Queue was meant to help North America
For many years, professional League of Legends players in North America has complained about the quality of life in the region's solo queue. One of the biggest problems is the ping difference between NA and other major regions.
When trying to dissect why North America performs considerably worse at international events, the easiest 'excuse' to reach for is the solo queue experience. 'If NA had the same ping as everyone else we would be doing better' - this line has been lingering around the LCS for many years.
This year, however, Riot Games introduced the LCS Champions Queue. The CQ is an internal solo queue environment that is hosted by the LCS tournament realm, meaning players would be playing on ping considerably greater than in solo queue.
Despite Riot's best efforts to bring about change to the North American scene, it seems there are still formidable hurdles for NA to tackle. The major problem Champions Queue is facing is the lack of LCS players.
This is the final results for split 1 of Champions Queue, with Olleh featuring second on the list. Out of the top ten players, only three are competing in the LCS on a main roster spot.
Although LCS players have less time in comparison to academy players, there is still enough extra time for players to go above and beyond to get better at the game. When checking the numbers, Olleh was surprised at the number of players not playing Champions Queue or solo queue.
"Sometimes I check out other peoples solo queue [numbers], some players they don't even play Solo Queue, they don't even play Champions Queue. I was like then what are you guys doing?"
How would Korea react to champions queue?
Since coming back to the LCS, Olleh has been one of the biggest advocates for change in North America. Similarly to how CoreJJ has helped the region, Olleh is a player that demands hard work and excellence. Olleh has questioned what LCS teams and their players do after taking part in one scrim block.
"I even I asked some other people, some teams say didn't even play for a second block [scrim]. And I was just curious, so what you do after one scrim block after five hours? and yeah that's why I feel kind of mad about it."
Moving back to the mindset of Korean players, Olleh believes if Champions Queue was to be released in Korea, the players would see it as an opportunity to be picked up by an LCK roster.
"If Champions Queue was to happen in Korea, like people would try hard to get ranked one in Korea because that gives you a reputation that can literally get you a team for free, that's what's Gumayusi and Keria were doing in Korea."
Featured image of Olleh / Credit: Colin Young-Wolff / Riot Games via ESPAT