League of Legends

12 May 23

Interviews

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A Deeper Look at DIG IgNar’s Career So Far

DIG IgNar recalls a few favorite moments and provides some insight moving into the Summer Split.

Dignitas’ Support, Lee ‘IgNar’ Dong-geun took the time out of his mid-season break to discuss his start with League of Legends, career highlights, his goals for the Summer Split, and much more. Let’s dive right in!

In looking at your career history, I noticed you actually started your League of Legends career in North America as a sub for Winterfox back in 2015. Is this true, and if so, do you remember how this came about?

IgNar: Yeah, it’s correct. But many people don’t know about that. I only practiced 2-3 weeks and it was complicated. I was on the team but playing from home so I wouldn’t say it was the start of my career because I didn’t do anything.


Going back to before your pro career even started, at what point did you realize you wanted to play professionally? 

IgNar: For me, it was later. I didn’t even think I wanted to be a pro until I got an offer from a pro team. The only thing I was thinking about was that I wanted to be better than the other team’s support and win in solo queue. I didn’t want to lose, and I wanted to get more and more LP, because there were only 50 Challenger players back then. When I had this thinking and I was winning a lot, that’s when I got my first offer.


You have always been a Support player in your professional career. Were you always a Support player from the start?

IgNar: At the start, I tried to play everything. I don’t really remember because it was so long ago. When I chose my first main role, it was mid. I one-tricked Anivia and Lux mid. I switched to Support when CLG came to a Korean tournament and I saw on TV the Support player played Janna and used her ultimate aggressively, splitting the enemy team all different ways and they won the teamfight. I thought “Holy Shit!” Support has so much impact on the teamfight in a different way, a game sense way. It shocked me so then I started playing Janna!


You started your career in North America, moved back to Korea to play for Incredible Miracle, where you qualified for the LCK, and in 2016 Spring, played for KT Rolster. Back then, you played with Ssumday, another player currently in the LCS. You two are around the same age, but certainly went on different paths since both leaving KT Rolster in 2016. What was your relationship like back then as teammates, and how has it been playing against him in North America?

IgNar: I would say that when I was in KT, I was really shy and not talking much. It was a really short time, and everyone was really nice. Especially Ssumday and Arrow. When I see them in LCS, I think it’s funny when I think of the times we had a long time ago and where we are now. I wouldn’t say we are friends, but we are definitely friendly.


During your time in Europe in 2017, while on Misfits, you were part of one of the most memorable best-of-fives in recent World Championship Events, when you took SKT - a team at the time who was fighting for their third World Championship title in a row - to Game 5. A big part of this game’s impact was your memorable game 2 Blitzcrank pocket pick, swinging the tempo of the series in your favor after losing the first game. What was that series like, and what have you learned from being in that situation?

IgNar: I remember back then the coach was Hussain. Before Game 1 started, I was asking what to play. He said ‘Let’s go normal for Game 1’. Then we got stomped. On the way backstage after we lost, I said to him, “We need to go Blitzcrank.” Hussain said “Yes!” We picked it and won the game as well as Game 3. We almost won Game 4 and Game 5 as well.

What I learned that day is that team synergy is really, really important. Misfits had really good synergy as a five-man. Everyone was talking and friendly and had a good understanding of each other. If you have a good understanding of each other, even if you have ups-and-downs, you will have a strong team style. Understanding that team style is very important.


Turning our attention towards Dignitas, how do you feel your career experience will help the team as you head into the Summer Split?

IgNar: I don’t feel like, with our team, I can bring that much because everyone is a veteran player. I can bring the Support pieces in the game. The usual vision timing, wards, engage, and things like that. Outside of the game, I can help with the mood and make it more light and fun!


What is your goal for the team for the Summer Split?

IgNar: I have a team goal which is to turn around our luck. We were last place in the Spring Split. But I want Top 5 to finish the regular season first. Aside from that, I want to make Worlds. People will find it funny going from last place to Worlds, and it will be a dramatic and incredible story, so I really want to make it happen!


Having played in Korea, Europe, and North America, can you comment on what each region does better than the others and what North America might be able to learn from Europe and Korea? In terms of practice regimen, team mentality, or even for the server as a whole?

IgNar: I would say for solo queue, the quality is better in Korea first. The playstyle is different, and Champions are different. They play more Champions similar to pro play. Korea has really low ping, and Europe has pretty low ping too. In North America, it’s around 50-60 ping. Which is not bad, but I can feel it.

Professional team-wise, EU and Korea stricter. Korea is really strict, EU is less strict, but still strict about playing and losing. NA is the least strict, which is quite different.


If there was anything you could change about North American League of Legends, what would it be?

IgNar: I want low ping for professionals, so if they could split the server that would be really good if they can. Having low ping like the other regions in solo queue makes a lot of difference when practicing in my opinion.


We’d like to thank IgNar for taking the time to sit down with us during his break and discuss his incredible career thus far! If you’d like to hear and see more of IgNar, check out his socials:

Twitter
Instagram
Twitch

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