Interview with CLG.NA's AD Carry Doublelift: Playing in South Korea
Sun 7th Oct 2012 - 7:09pm
Peter 'Doublelift' Peng is the AD Carry for the North American CLG team. Curious about his experiences as a foreigner in South Korea playing on the Korean servers, I asked him for an interview. From eating insanely spicy Korean food to being recognized on the streets of Korea, he gave me direct, honest answers about his time in Korea. Enjoy!
How would you describe your trip to Korea in one word? And why that one word?
Doublelift: Terrible. We scrimmed every day for 10 hours and I was stuck in a place where I didn't understand the language or culture, and knew nobody except for my own teammates.
What do think the main differences in gaming are when comparing Korea to North America?
Doublelift: Korea takes gaming much more seriously and has much more skilled players than other regions. I think it's because their environment is conducive to finding talent in gaming.
Are there any things that stood out to you in terms of game play while playing on the Korean server?
Doublelift: Players are a lot more aggressive bot lane on the Korean server and they tend to surrender at 20 for an overwhelming majority of games.
How about the differences in culture and fandom in Korea versus North America?
Doublelift: I'm not qualified to really speak about Korean culture. My impression was that Koreans have a lot of pride but love foreigners, they're very open and friendly people, and they love insanely spicy food. Fans in korea are a lot louder and much more enthusiastic than in any other region. I love me some Korean fans.
Do you recall seeing the video of a Korean guy flipping out whenever he saw that you were on his team? What was your reaction to the video?
Doublelift: Yeah I saw that video haha. That guy is a beast and is a great example of someone who is just really enthusiastic about League and it's pro scene. I honestly just thought it was hilarious and wished I could meet that guy to give him a piece of kimchi or a handshake some day.
How did you cope with the language barrier on the Korean server?
Doublelift: I didn't, really. I guess I learned a lot of bad words and internet slang like "ddr". Please don't ask me what that means.
Do you prefer playing on the Korean server or the North American server and why?
Doublelift: I prefer playing on the American server because there's way more trolls and I love playing a hilarious game where both teams are trying their hardest to throw.
Any memorable moments in Korea that stood out to you?
Doublelift: The most memorable moment in Korea was definitely the day we lost to Azubu Frost. Right after the match, I was feeling a little down - contemplating our loss - and I was going back to our hotel with my team. As I was leaving, I got mobbed by Koreans asking for pictures and autographs for 2 hours, most of them being nervous fangirls. They all seemed really shaken up and excited, trying their best to make small talk with me in English. It gave me a really lasting impression of how big eSports is in Korea.
Who do you think the team to beat in Korea is? Why is that?
Doublelift: Probably Azubu Frost because they have Madlife and Rapidstar, both really strong players with strong, supple backs.
What are your thoughts on the current meta and its evolution? Are there any differences or different interpretations of it on the Korean server?
Doublelift: The meta is always what the pro scene decides for it to be. If tomorrow, M5 ran 5 bruisers and won, people would be saying that 5 bruisers is the new meta. In actuality there's a bunch of ways to play League and at the moment most teams are content with sitting a support/AD bot lane, AP mid, bruiser top, and tank/bruiser jungle. Korea plays as standard as it gets, they just have their own champion pool that they explore exclusive to other regions.
What about League of Legends in Korea stood out the most to you?
Doublelift: The professionalism of the really developed Starcraft scene spilled over into League in Korea. They have the best production, the nicest and most helpful staff, makeup artists for every match and promotional ads running everywhere.
Did you get recognized on the streets while in Korea?
Doublelift: Yeah, a few times actually.
Anything you want to share with the League of Legends community?
Doublelift: Not much. I'm a pretty reserved guy tbh and I don't like to make a big big statements out of nowhere, but I will answer questions honestly when they're asked to me. I just want to say thanks to my fans I guess. It sounds overused and corny but I really love my fans. Without them, I would be a piece of shit with no career or future.
Any future plans to come back to Korea?
Doublelift: My dream is to go back and live in Korea some day.I'll just explain why really quickly because I feel like people will discredit me for leaving the NA region at some point.
First, Korean teams will dominate the scene sooner or later because they have the highest number of god tier players (i.e. Madlife, MakNooN, RapidStar, nolja, impact) and I don't want to be in a region that gets stomped and constantly loses to foreign teams.
Second, I know for a fact that I'm better by miles than any of the Korean AD players, and so I would be welcomed with open arms. For example, Captain Jack gets a bunch of praise for doing absolutely nothing and getting carried. Imagine how highly they would think of me if they actually had someone good to watch.
Third, I don't think there's anything the US has that Korea doesn't have better, and if my career is in eSports then it makes the most sense for me to live in the country where eSports is the king.
Doublelift, thanks for answering all of my questions. I appreciate you taking time out to basically write a book for this interview. Cheers and good luck! :)