TSM Academy midlaner Takeover sat with Gamelevate to discuss his reactions after Day 3 of the LCS Lock In Group Stage, joining TSM academy and his goals for the split. You can check our interview below!
TSM made headlines when they announced that they would have their Academy roster starting in the 2022 LCS Lock In tournament. To many fans, they have been showing up, despite their 1-2 record. One player in particular is Ji “Takeover” Cha Hyeun-min who has made a career playing in teams such as Kaos Latin Gamers. He now starts as TSM Academy midlaner facing off some of the best players in the LCS.
The following interview has been edited for clarity and length.
Takeover, thank you so much for interviewing with us. For those who may not know you, you originally came from the LATAM region before coming to North America and then joined TSM Academy. Can you tell me a little bit about your offseason?
So it was mostly boot camps in Korea. But I went there a few months earlier. So most of my time, I was just in Korea. I’m playing solo queue. And just taking a little break from the offseason.
You’ve had a very impressive career. Now you’re joining one of North America’s most well-known organizations, and I want to ask, what has been like so far working with members of TSM Academy, and even making your LCS debut in the Lock In?
I mean, it’s been pretty cool joining a team like this. All our teammates are super fun and are enjoyable people. So I think I got really lucky with my teammates and the team I joined. So yeah, I’m thankful for that.
I know today’s game ended in a loss and yesterday, you were able to pick up a win. So you guys are 1-2, but I want to ask about how’s your experience has been performing in the Lock In?
So personally, I’ve not been playing that well. Like, I get into these games. I kinda start thinking and my brain turns into “nothing.” But yeah, it’s been interesting I would say but I’m not that happy with my performance.
You have the opportunity to play against players like Abbedagge. Yesterday, you played against toucouille and today you played against Fudge, who just made the role swap. What has it been like facing some of these more prestigious, mid laners? What will you take away as you go into the Academy season?
I guess it’s been interesting. Like, obviously, they’re pretty good players. So it’s a different experience, for sure. I’m still just gonna play the same way going into the Academy season. We’ll have to see from there. Like, I don’t have any specific thoughts right now. But yeah, as the season goes on, I’ll try to see from there.
So I want to deviate away from the competitive scene to talk about the meta for a little bit. Today you pulled out the Akali and we’ve been seeing a lot of Viktor, Corki and on some occasions, you’ll see some bizarre picks. Today, you brought out the assassin in the Akali. So I kind of want to get your thoughts on what is your read on the meta
For mid-lane, at least I think, it’s really boring, just Corki, Viktor, just mages, you know. Scaling champs. Every time I see a competitive game, if there’s a Corki in the game, it’s just so over for the non-Corki team. So I think it’s pretty good scaling meta And it’s not that good for assassins, like, because you get poked once or twice and it’s just so doomed. So yeah, I think it’s pretty good for mages right now and those types of champs.
And this preseason brought in a lot of changes, including two new drakes, two new maps. Is there anything that you really enjoy about these new changes and is there something that you’re looking forward to experimenting more with as the season progresses?
Not really. Honestly, like, there’s nothing I specifically enjoy. But there’s nothing I don’t like either. It’s just more of an “I’m just playing and we’ll see what happens.” So I don’t really have specific thoughts on it.
So let’s look a little forward. For instance, as we talked about in the beginning of the interview, TSM is a well-known organization. As you begin your season with TSM, has there been anyone who’s been helping you out, kind of getting you into the mindset and helping you improve in these first few weeks?
Yeah, I mean, our head coach Gunaso, you could tell, really has been trying to help. Not just me, but our whole team. Like, he’s going out of his way, you know, to make sure everyone is comfortable or everyone’s playing their best. So yeah, I think on top of that, like, if we ever need anything, the managers are always ready to help us. So, yes, it’s been really good.
What are your goals for the split?
Personally, I like to make it to LCS ASAP because I’m getting a bit old. And yeah, It’d just be really nice to go and play in the LCS. Yes. That’s my main goal right now.
And what about your goals for the Academy team?
Obviously, it’d be really nice to win the Academy tournament, but like, if we don’t win, it’s fine. As long as you know, we improve and like we actually get better. I think that’s all that really matters rather than winning it.
You have one more game coming up against the Golden Guardians. Do you have any thoughts heading into that game?
Honestly, I have no clue. It’s the first time I see their roster. So I’m not really familiar with them, like when they play together. So I think it’s gonna be interesting for sure, since they’re also an Academy team. And yeah, looking forward to that game.
Finally, is there anything you’d like to say to the fans?
If there are any fans out there, thank you for supporting us.