On 14th of December, Longzhu Gaming Kim “PraY” Jong-in came on his personal stream and to share his thoughts and experiences with 2017 All-Stars Events. PraY was voted represented LCK All-Stars team along with CuVee, Ambition, Faker and Gorilla. In his review stream, PraY shared his All-Stars episodes with his Korean fans, including his interactions with Faker and CuVee, his 1v1 Garen duel with Rekkles; and why he believed that “All-Stars is no longer the festival that it used to be.”
All-Stars was too competitive this year
In previous years, the LoL All-Stars Events have been a yearly culmination to close out the competitive season, where the best players around the world gathered to mingle and have fun. This year, however, Riot has made All-Stars a more serious event; they took away the fun mode games and Team Ice & Fire, and brought more focus to the inter-regional tournament. Many fans did not act approvingly of this change, however; commenting that the competitive aspect put players under more pressure, that prize pool was removed; that the novelty of fun mode games were now gone. And now, PraY added his voice to this public opinion.
“During the feedback session provided by Riot, I suggested that [All-Stars] was too competitive this year. Ambition hyung said the same thing; it’s no longer the festival that it used to be, but a continuation of Worlds.” He said in his stream, adding that he missed playing Magma Chamber and other fun modes. “It’s too stressful; I’m playing with teammates that I’ve never played before, and yet there is that pressure not to lose a match. However, I do understand that from a viewer’s perspective it’s more interesting when matches are competitive. So I wouldn’t know how to resolve this and create a balance between fun and competitive.”
Bringing “fun” back into All-Stars with his Garen
PraY also had a few things to share about his 1v1 experiences. On his stream, PraY said that the famous Garen duel was his and Rekkles’ own attempt to bring “fun” back into All-Stars. “It’s Rekkles who actually suggested a mirror match-up first. We were talking about playing a “funny champ”, and we were discussing Garen, Tahm Kench or Alistar. Rekkles was also the person to suggest our bans to spell out “LZ PRAY”. The match itself was exhilarating….I’d love to face Rekkles next All-Stars and play Garen against him again.”
“After that, I wanted to make it to the 1v1 finals desperately. I wanted to face Bjergsen at the finals and suggest that we have a “fun” game fitting of All-Stars; but alas, I could not overcome Uzi. Uzi-hyung is a serious guy and I couldn’t convince him into doing anything similar, I could barely exchange a word with him. I’m so sorry, Bjergsen-hyung, that I didn’t get to face you at the finals.”
PraY with some Faker gossip
Other than sharing his experiences attending All-Stars, PraY also had plenty of gossip about his fellow players. The gossip that the viewers were most interested about centered around Faker – the iconic superstar of LCK and League of Legends. “Sang Hyuk is a celebrity. In Disneyland, Faker was in his basic skin – an SKT jersey – and he was turning heads, he was attracting a crowd. I’m not sure how fans knew, but there was even a crowd at our hotel lobby, fans screaming “Faker! Faker!” PraY recounted. “When we were in China, it was even more intense; when we were in our bus fans were chasing us with cars, taking pictures and screaming.”
PraY also had a few light-hearted episodes about Faker to share, a glimpse of the dubbed esports God’s more humane moments; talking about the time when Faker lost his passport and everyone went looking for it until they found it in Faker’s jacket pocket, or PraY’s shock when he discovered Faker owned no other clothing other than SKT clothing and white t-shirts. “After semi-finals, we went to dinner with Riot employees. I don’t know how the subject got there, but we mentioned Bitcoin. After this the Riot employee started talking about Bitcoins with Faker – that conversation honestly went on for an hour. Let’s just say that Sang Hyeok has very strong opinions about certain things.”
PraY spills the beans about CuVee, his new favourite player
One of the 5 players that represented the LCK All-Star team was CuVee, the top laner for Samsung Galaxy. A humble and relaxed character with puffy cheeks and a perpetual grin, CuVee is often memed for being a gourmet and a heavy eater. PraY claimed that the memes about CuVee and his food are indeed true, saying “CuVee eats so much, and enjoys every bite”.
But he also had some new information about CuVee. According to PraY, CuVee packed very lightly when he arrived at the airport to attend All-Stars. “When I first met CuVee at the airport, he said he didn’t bring a carrier. I laughed thinking that he’s joking; then it dawned on me that he was dead serious. He literally had packed one extra set of clothing and one piece of underwear.”
“CuVee’s endearing, so likeable. I’ve always used to be Sang Hyeok (Faker)’s fan, but now I think I’m also a fan of CuVee.”
Will the LCK streaming superstar come to Twitch?
Outside Korea, PraY is renowned mostly for his performance as ADC laner, throughout his career in Najin, ROX and Longzhu. In Korea, PraY is also famous for his personality; a social butterfly with a big heart, who is known for dedication to his fans; a dedication that leads to him turning on his stream not long after his return flight lands in Seoul. It is of little surprise that PraY’s stream is currently the most watched Korean pro-gamer stream on AfreecaTV, second overall behind Faker’s stream on Twitch.
A significant number of fans have suggested that PraY move from AfreecaTV, the traditional Korean Streaming platform of choice for both current and former pro-gamers, and begin streaming on Twitch. This move would allow for easier access to PraY’s stream for non-Korean fans, as well as increase the overall amount of support PraY receives through fan donations. To these requests, PraY responded – “AfreecaTV is where I started streaming, and I have a lot of nostalgia, but it’s something that I’ll always consider, as I’m not under any streaming contract… Always and foremost, my top priority is whether I can keep communicating with my fans.“