Immortals’ Reignover: ‘NA has already surpassed Europe’


Yeu-jin “Reignover” Kim of Immortals was the Most Valuable Player of the North America League of Legends Championship Series (NA LCS) in just hist first split in the region.

He is one of the best junglers in the world, and sadly, he tends to keep things quiet when he is in season. Thankfully, we are in between splits and that gives him the opening to speak out.

Reignover recently did a Korean interview, and an amazing Reddit user translated the entire interview in English so everyone could enjoy it.

It was a long one that allowed Reignover to touch on many topics.

He was first asked about why he left an amazing situation in Europe for North America: “Well, I’ve been playing this game for a while and I’ve realized that if I’m not surrounded by competition and challenges, I start to lose motivation. I didn’t feel this way in 2015 Spring Split, since we hadn’t accomplished anything back then, but starting the summer split, the meta didn’t change much and overall, I began lose that drive. I think that was my toughest split as I found myself depressed often. So, seeking some rejuvenation, I decided to change teams regardless of how we did that split. Oh, and salaries played a factor as well. Europe tends to pay less than other regions and after taking everything into consideration, I decided to head over to North America.”

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It’s very interesting to find that out about Reignover, and it has to be kind of scary for Immortals to hear. Immortals went 17-1 in the regular season and often appeared to be on another level than their opponents, so does that mean Reignover is on a similar path of losing his motivation to play? Fortunately, it looks like Immortals have money on their side, but it’s not a good feeling to know your best player is only in it for the money.

We hear about motivation issues in League all the time, and it shows how different esports are than traditional sports. The Golden State Warriors just had the best regular season of all-time for their sport, but you can guarantee that they are still hungry and motivated. League is a profession for these players, and they need to act like true professionals.

Reignover went on to discuss the team that was built around him when he came to NA, and he was surprisingly concerned about one player. “Personally, I was a bit worried because I had heard about his [Jason “WildTurtle” Tran] throwing tendencies, but once we started scrimming, he played really well.”

It’s just surprising to see he would have doubt about an established player like WildTurtle rather than someone fairly new like Adrain “Adrian” Ma. Things obviously worked out for Reignover, because WildTurlte was a monster in the last split.

Speaking of teammates, Reignover had some concerning words for his long-time partner Seong “Huni” Hoon Heo: “Last time I checked, he hasn’t been playing a whole lot of top lane in Solo Q. He’d pick top as his first choice and ADC as his second choice, but he’s somehow only been playing ADC. I always tell him that he’s not getting enough practice.”

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Huni should be allowed to have some fun with the game and play different things, but it’s concerning when a teammate calls him out for not practicing enough. It’s even more concerning since it was just made obvious that Huni needs to practice meta champs more often. It just seems like Huni only wants to play a carry role, and if that’s the case, he should switch positions.

The interview started to transition into Europe and NA comparisons, and Reignover explained that he likes his new home better than his last: “First off, I don’t really like the weather in Berlin and I prefer the always sunny LA weather. I think food is much better in America for Koreans as well. So, I guess overall living conditions favor North America.”

Reignover is also using his experience in Europe last year as inspiration for his current situation: “One goal I do have on my mind is that last year, Worlds took place in Europe and Europe as a region finished second to Korea. This year, Worlds is happening in NA and I would like to replicate the same results and have NA finish second below Korea. We’ve got to get rid of the worst region tag once and for all.”

He followed that up by adding, “If we focus just on teams’ rate of growth, NA has already surpassed Europe. If teams can keep this up through summer split, I think it’s definitely possible for two NA teams to make it to Semis.”

It’s great to hear that Reignover has high hopes for NA, but in comparing it to traditional sports again, this is weird to hear. You would never hear someone from the Raptors say something like, “We really want to prove to everyone that we can finish right behind the Cavaliers this year.” You should have the highest expectations for your team as possible, and hearing that you are fighting for second isn’t that uplifting.

“We’ve got to get rid of the worst region tag once and for all.”

However, it is great to see that he thinks NA has surpassed Europe. The region has always been the joke of the League community, but the competition has become stronger than ever this year and it is improving the region tremendously. The bottom of NA is still a joke at times, but the top teams are extremely good.

Reignover continued talking about World’s. “I really want to win the summer split and head to Worlds. I also want some payback against Smeb and the Rox Tigers for what they did last year. Like I said earlier, Worlds is taking place in NA and I think it’s a great opportunity to show everyone that NA isn’t a walking meme and it’d be pretty embarrassing if the host region couldn’t even make it to Semis,” said the jungler.

So there it is. Second place or bust for NA at World’s this year, and that definitely seems possible. What if a NA team took down SK Telecom T1 in the finals to win it all? Would the world explode right after the series ended? Probably.

Finally, speaking of SKT, Reignover was asked who would win the upcoming Mid-Season Invitational and said: “Of course SKT will win, no question.”

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