In SK Telecom T1’s quarterfinals match against Misfits, Han “Peanut” Wang-ho started in game one with a 81% kill participation on Sejuani. They won convincingly.
In game two however, despite being on an early game jungler, Peanut’s Jarvan IV did not make an impact. When Misfits applied pressure bot side, he was walking from base. When Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok needed pressure at mid, he was a bit too far for a counter-gank.
As expected, Kang “Blank” Sun-gu then took his place in all remaining games.
SKT Peanut is not ROX Peanut. In many ways, we have yet to see his maximum potential as a jungler— one who tries to adapt to SKT’s methodical playstyle while keeping elements of his untamed Tiger.
Game Is Hard sat with Peanut after the match to uncover what went on behind-the-scenes during the intense series, what he thinks SKT needs to work on before the semifinals, and the reason why he’s done with bananas.
TANIA MAE: Your first time on Sejuani was against Longzhu in the regular summer season. Since then you’ve played 2 games on her here at Worlds. She doesn’t seem to fit your playstyle. What do you think about that, and how do you adapt when playing her?
PEANUT: Actually I think she really fits my playstyle. I picked her for the two games because I thought she is a great pick. I think she is the best champion among the three, including Gragas and Jarvan IV. Because even if I make a lot of mistakes I can survive. She has a lot of CC; a tank who goes really well with the current meta.
Do you miss playing champions like Nidalee?
Yes, of course, I miss Nidalee. However, it’ll be difficult to pick her. It’s really difficult to practice with her because I can’t use her in scrims. Also, I lose a lot of pressure considering the current meta, so it will be very risky. I wouldn’t dare to pick her.
Against Misfits, you spent some time backstage. What was the mood like and what did you help with?
Today after we lost game 3, the team atmosphere was really down. It was terrible, so I tried to help them by giving them feedback, like ‘maybe you could just do better this game but still you did really well in this part and that part’. Because right before the 4th game, they were in a really bad mood, so I tried to say ‘Fighting!’ and encourage them a lot.
Tell us the difference between ROX Peanut and SKT Peanut.
Difference? The difference…I believe there are many changes, but the greatest difference is my performance, like will I do well or bad. I would not like to go deep into this, because I know that’s the biggest difference and I only need my friends and family to acknowledge me.
What’s the best advice coach Kkoma has given you this year?
He’s given me a lot of good advice, but the most memorable one was right before I went on stage to play today. He told me, “Blank is waiting for you right down there”. He told me that a lot of times.
When you’re down, what helps you get back on track?
I think it depends on the team atmosphere. Here in SKT T1, rather than trying to encourage each other, they just try to maintain calm. But in my case I just like to shout out, “Let’s cheer up and go!”.
Yes, I love to eat bananas and I used to eat bananas because it’s part of a great diet along with exercise, up until MSI. Since the summer split, because bananas are easily rotten in a very short time, I once had trouble with my stomach so I do not eat bananas anymore.
You change your hair color every year. How do you decide which color to pick?
The reason I don’t really color my hair, but I bleach my hair, is because it takes a lot of risk and effort. I do it because I know I’ll spend more than half of my life with black hair. I think my hair will recover really fast and easily when I’m young, so I’m trying to do this every year.
You tend to post photographs of the beach. Is that where you like to go for your holidays?
Do I? I think I only posted pictures of the sea a couple of times. Maybe because I only travel during summer season, which is why we always go to Southeast Asia where the beaches are.
What do you think SKT needs to work on going into the next round?
(laughs) I think there are a lot of problems that we need to fix. But in short term, it’s impossible to fix every problem considering the characteristics of this game because we need to look into our form as well our habits.
Therefore, we just talk to each other. Maybe we can fix one problem retrospectively for every player, and I think that seems right. That’s the only way we can go up against RNG.
This interview was tranlsated from Korean.
SK Telecom T1 versus Royal Never Give Up Worlds 2017 semifinals match starts 3.30pm (+8 GMT) on 28 Oct 2017, Sat.