Gen.G officially reached Top 4 in the 2023 Mid-Season Invitational following their 3-0 lower bracket series victory over North America’s Cloud9.
Following a back-breaking 3-2 defeat to rivals T1, the reigning LCK champions needed to reset before setting off to make a lower bracket run and they did just that against the LCS first seed. Save for some miscues, Gen.G handled C9 with relative ease to eventually win via a clean sweep to progress and set up a date with Bilibili Gaming in the lower bracket semifinals.
Of those who contributed to Gen.G’s victory over C9 is support player Yoo "Delight" Hwan-joong. Following stints with T1 Rookies–-in which he played alongside current C9 AD Carry Kim "Berserker" Min-cheol in 2020—and Fredit Brion, Delight joined Gen.G for the 2023 season as the replacement for Son "Lehends" Si-woo, who left along with Park "Ruler" Jae-hyuk for new teams in the LPL and LCK.
Together with Kim “Peyz” Su-hwan, Delight would form one of the LCK’s best bot lanes and become such that boosted the team towards being domestic champions and helped him reach his first-ever international event.
Following the series, BLIX caught up with Gen.G’s Delight to talk about facing C9, what it’s like to be reunited with Berserker as rivals following their time together in T1 Rookies, his experience in MSI, and more.
A delightful reunion during the Gen.G-C9 series
Pedro Romero, BLIX.GG: Congrats on that victory over C9 in resounding fashion. To start this conversation, I want to know what the preparation was like for Gen.G. Given that your opponent was a Western team and I assume there was plenty of confidence from you guys beforehand. What was the preparation like prior to the series?
Yoo "Delight" Hwan-joong: To be honest, we were underperforming ever since we had the G2 series, especially in scrims, so we were not feeling confident. And after the T1 series, we just focused on preparing and practicing in order to get the best form for the C9 match day.
BLIX: Looking back specifically to that T1 series, what were some of the biggest improvements you made relative to that match for now?
Delight: The biggest difference is now I'm feeling a lot more confident in my own performance, gameplay, and decision-making.
BLIX: Concerning you, this series against C9 marked an interesting reunion with Berserker, given that you were previously teammates with him during your time in T1 Rookies. What are your thoughts on facing him in this series after previously being teammates?
Delight: It's been three years since I last played with him, and today I figured he's become so much better and stronger. When he sometimes comes back to Korea, we usually just catch up and have a chit-chat, so I never got to actually see how he performs on the Rift, and today I found out, and he's become a lot stronger.
BLIX: Did you share any words with him before, during, or after the series?
Delight: I ran into him yesterday, and then we were like, 'Let's do great. How are you feeling? Let's have a great game together.' And after the match, he told me, 'Now that you beat us, I wish you the best of luck until the very end. Thank you.' That was it.
Delight’s experience in MSI 2023
BLIX: It's pretty nice to hear of course. I want to know your thoughts about your general experience in MSI, given that this is your first time playing in an international event. How's that going for you? Have there been any nerves that you've been feeling throughout your time in London? What's that like?
Delight: Well yeah, of course. Because this is an international event, I got a little bit nervous by the fact that we were representing our region, so there was [a] little bit of nervousness and also a little bit of pressure. But I was really excited to be able to just play against a lot of different teams and players.
BLIX: What's been the biggest challenge that you had to go through either within the game or outside of the game throughout your experience in MSI?
Delight: We have a long way to go, so in order to actually win the title, I think we still have to bring our form to the best level, so I just want to work as hard as I can.
Delight’s personal assessment of his time with Gen.G so far
BLIX: In an interview, you had with Ashley Kang, you mentioned that the bot lane between yourself and Peyz [Kim Su-hwan] has a long way to go before it can reach the level you would like for it to reach. What’s your assessment of that process nowadays during MSI?
Delight: Our relationship is getting even better and better but I still want to give it a 45 out of 100.
BLIX: Forty-five out of 100? Why do you give it that rating?
Delight: This is only referring to my own performance and not the ADC's performance. My personal assessment of my performance is not that high so I'm not still happy with that.
BLIX: Understood. How would you describe your progression in working with the leadership of Peanut [Han Wang-ho], Chovy [Jeong Ji-hoon], and Doran [Choi Hyeon-joon] given that they're the veteran members of that team?
Delight: At first, they helped us so much in terms of adapting to the new team, and with their help, we were able to widen our perspective of the game. After that, we were able to have more conversations within the bottom duo, so after that, we are now kind of able to play out the game with the two of us.
BLIX: Falling back to your assessment of your personal play and your dynamic with Peyz as a bot-lane duo Where do you think you and Peyz rank among the rest of the other teams and their bot lanes that have taken part in this MSI?
Delight: I'm not a person that's actually interested in ranking the teams and players, but I can say JDG and T1's bottom duo look really strong.
BLIX: Looking ahead to the rest of the tournament, you have a series against BLG and then possibly matches against T1 and/or JDG. What do you think this team needs in order to finally go over the hump and take home the MSI title?
Delight: The biggest obstacle we have to overcome is setting a really good aim or focus for the tournament and reaching it.