Interview with Ex-Pro SSBM Player, KoreanDJ



Mon 11th Mar 2019 - 8:50pm

Daniel "KoreanDJ/KDJ" Jung is one of the most known Super Smash Brothers Melee players of all time. Being one of the featured players in Samox's well-known documentary The Smash Brothers, KDJ became known for a couple things: his playstyle and work ethic. In the documentary, KDJ is shown as a 'fiery' and 'innovative' player who could be found fiending for money matches at tournament venues. His dedication to improving turned him into one of the highest level players of his time. Nowadays, KDJ remains sponsored by Team Liquid and no longer competes in tournaments for Melee. With the coming of Smash Ultimate, the retired pro might show up once more in the competitive scene. 


How are you doing? How have your hands been doing as well? Thanks for agreeing to do this interview with me today.

KoreanDJ: Sure thing! My hands have been recovering prior to Ultimate, but I have been having the hand pain return once I started playing Ultimate for long periods of time. I felt very motivated to learn Ultimate but having the hand pain return made me step back from returning on a competitive level. I am quite disappointed since I wanted to play against some of the best players out there to learn and get a good understanding of the meta, but I have to ensure that my hands and arms are fully healed.

For sure, definitely take care of yourself first! How have you been enjoying the game? What are your early thoughts about Ultimate, and what characters have you been playing the most?

KoreanDJ: I’ve always given the new smash games an honest try. I played Brawl and Smash 4 at a competitive level for a few months, but Ultimate really clicked with me more so than all the other smash games after Melee. I could tell almost right away that I will enjoy playing Ultimate for a long time. Every few days, I keep switching my mains since almost half the roster was incredibly fun to play. I went from Megaman -> Isabelle -> Cloud -> Lucina -> Bowser. I would say Bowser is my current best character but could change next week.

Interesting changes in your picks! Let's say you wanted to come back to competing for Ultimate, hand health aside, what do you think you would want to do differently or keep the same from your time with the past Smash games in terms of how you would approach the game competitively?

KoreanDJ: I would still maintain my strategy of making small goals and slowly improving my skill/ranking over time. Having slow but consistent improvement has worked better for me than trying to brute force a big goal at a fast pace.

I see. What would some small goals of yours be? Beat X or Y player, or achieve certain placements? What kinds of goals do you think would be best for yourself, or maybe somebody else looking to improve in the same way as you?

KoreanDJ: Looking at where you stand in the power rankings of your region/internationally will give you a decent standpoint of where you are. Either aiming to climb up that list or be able to place a bit higher at your local/regional at a steady rate is an example of one of those goals.

That makes a lot of sense! Once you have a goal set, how would you go about completing it? Would you aim to improve fundamentals in your gameplay, or study specific players to either learn what is good or to learn their possible weaknesses?

KoreanDJ: I would aim for fundamentals and learn the decision making of top players on certain scenarios. With streaming and recording equipment able to streamline footage, there are a ton of great resources out there on Twitch and Youtube. I wish I had the same resources back in 2004 haha.

Have you watched any tournaments recently for Ultimate? If so, are there any players who you might be interested in watching in the future?

KoreanDJ: I watched the Genesis set and really enjoyed watching Void’s Pichu. Seeing Pichu in the finals was quite a spectacle. Six months ago, I never even would have imagined Pichu would make Top 3 at an International. I am really glad that Void took Pichu to that level.

So Pichu/Void gave you quite the surprise? Do you think you'll be watching him in the near future?

KoreanDJ: Will be looking forward to seeing how far he can go with Pichu. I will also keep an eye out for Mew2King and Armada and see their progress in the new game. I hope those two do really well.

I have a feeling Armada will be quite good at anything he sets his mind to! Alright, last couple thoughts: Is there going to be an event anytime soon you've been thinking of going to and competing in? Or just taking time off for the foreseeable future?

KoreanDJ: I would love to go to more events but due to my schedule and due to my hand injuries, I won’t be able to play Ultimate for a long period of time. Maybe in the future I would love to compete in one tournament if possible.

Well I'm sure there would be quite a few people interested in watching you play! That just about wraps up everything I had for you today, any shout-outs you'd be interested in giving?

KoreanDJ: Thank you. Shout out to Liquid Ken for being on that React video. Glad to see he is still doing well. Hope to see Ken start attending more tournaments. I wish more old-school Melee players like Azen and PC Chris would give Ultimate a try and see how they do.

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