EffOrt: “I wanted to stand on stage again”
EffOrt has returned.
EffOrt, during his time when he was with CJ Entus, went on a hot streak with his play that fit his sharp gaze and undertook the role of being his team’s ace player, and in the 2010 Korean Air OSL finals, defeated “Ultimate Weapon” Flash with an upset, and was a top class player that was able to win the finals.
In 2009, at that time, EffOrt had the most consecutive wins in ZvT with 15 straight wins, breaking YellOw’s record of 12 straight wins and set a new record, and that story is an account of EffOrt’s radiant days as a flourishing pro gamer.
But then, EffOrt suddenly announced out of the blue that he was retiring in order to take a new route of life, bewildering and shocking eSports fans who could not hide their pain and disappointment. However, “the Hawk that returned from Hell”, EffOrt’s nickname; had it been given to him because he was expected to return? After EffOrt had announced his retirement, after spending 183 days in retirement, he decided to change his mind with the intent to return.
In order to learn what made him come back and what kind of resolutions he had for becoming a pro gamer again, Fomos conducted a phone interview with EffOrt and listened to his story.
Next is EffOrt’s answers to his questions.
- You decided to change your mind about retirement and have announced your return. What kind of thoughts did you have?
▲ I was full of anticipation while at the same time full of anxiety. But truthfully speaking, I didn’t have any pressure to come back.
- It must have been a hard decision; what made you decide to come back?
▲ I had a lot of troubles. During that time, I just set the principle, “Follow your heart,” for myself, and it seemed that I found the answer to that principle. I decided to speak frankly about my troubles to Coach KIMDONGWOO, who listened carefully to my story and gave me the courage that I would be able to return to the pro gaming scene. The biggest reason why I decided to come back was because I had wanted to return without any regrets and find my spark again. I also missed living with my teammates at the practice house.
- Are you quitting your studies?
▲ In order to return to having the life as a pro gamer, I think that I will postpone my studies later.
- Hydra winning the MSL championship must have been a substantial motivation to you.
▲ Seeing Hydra, who lived together with me as a little brother to me win the championship, impressed me and made me very proud of him. The truth is that I recalled my time at the OSL finals and thought, “I want to stand on the stage again once more.”
- It’s inevitable that after you left the top of the ranks and were in a situation where your results weren’t that good, you’re making a comeback when your image has fallen. Do you have a burden because of that?
▲ I haven’t been getting a lot of stress because of that. I have the mindset that I’ll work hard to start again, and if I do my best, then things will work out.
- Is there a person who helped you out the most for your comeback?
▲ After I decided to retire, it looks like I went this way and that way for deciding if I should return, but Coach KIMDONGWOO and my teammates didn’t think that way and listened carefully to my troubles, which really helped me out a lot.
- Where do you think your current skill falls now, and when do you think you’ll be able to display your full, complete strength again?
▲ I want to think that by starting over again, my current skill is at around half of my past skill’s level. I can’t guarantee that I’ll return to my old skill soon, but I have confidence that I’ll be able to do well again in the future.
- We’ve heard that you’ll be immediately going into training for 3 months.
▲ This time, I really want to devote myself to gaming only. Even though I won’t be able to contact my friends that much, I hope they will understand my situation. I’ll practice on the same level as practice partners, no, I’ll practice even more than that and do my best.
- Please say some words to your fans.
▲ Even during the time of my retirement, I knew that many people suddenly hearing the news were disappointed and got hurt. But just like that again, I’ve suddenly decided to return. I don’t know what to think of myself for doing that, but from now on if you watch over me, I will do my best to make it up to those I disappointed through my games. I will do my absolute best, so I ask for everyone’s support.
Welcome back, EffOrt. We've missed you.
Coach KIMDONGWOO let us know that deciding for EffOrt to return took a great toll on him. Coach KIMDONGWOO, for the well-being of EffOrt, visited his dorm and knew that he could not abandon his lingering affection for EffOrt, and could no longer stand to see his pupil suffering from the route’s hardships he had taken on.
In the end, EffOrt, who wanted to end his sufferings, sought out Coach KIMDONGWOO and said to him, “I want to play games again,” and Coach KIMDONGWOO willingly accepted his decision, discussing with their company and driving forward the project for EffOrt’s return.
Coach KIMDONGWOO told us, “Even though I personally clearly knew what he wanted to do and if he could be able to do it well, it was a misfortune that he was continuously going through troubles. I am not concerned whether or not he will be able to stand on the stage as a pro gamer again, but EffOrt has made a decision without any regrets.”
Next is Coach KIMDONGWOO’s answers to his questions.
- From the standpoint of someone who had trained EffOrt since his days on the B-team, the news of EffOrt’s comeback should please you more than anyone else, but how what are your thoughts on his return?
▲ First of all, I feel good about it. EffOrt showed a lot of will that he wanted to play games again, but this kind of news doesn’t only apply to eSports, it’s like that in all other sports out there, no? There’s a difference between wanting to do something badly and not being able to put out those results. Right now, a similar case that relates to EffOrt’s is [T/N: The original article cut off the answer abruptly here, which is a shame… And Fomos never fixes their mistakes/typos in articles.]
- EffOrt said in his interview that you helped him a lot for his comeback. Truthfully, contrary to being concerned about EffOrt’s gap from being gone, your team has been doing well in both the individual leagues and in Proleague, but what is the reason why you willingly accepted him back?
▲ A team does not have to have a particular ace player in order to win the championship. With that meaning, because EffOrt used to be an ace player, even after the news of his retirement, I had confidence that he would be able to do well together with the remaining players. However, Movie and sKyHigh were players that I picked with my own hands the same way as EffOrt, and if he hadn’t had quit, because I knew well that he was a player that could go on to farther, greater heights, I also have a standpoint where I had many regrets. There’s a saying, “If you don’t like it, then stop,” but at that time, I was unable to prevent him from retiring. I also gave up on him, but for EffOrt to realize what he had done and say that he would return made me accept him back without any hesitation at all. EffOrt has shown that he has matured, and our company also understood that EffOrt’s return could give more energy and new vitality to eSports as a whole, and decided that letting him come back would be the right thing to do.
- Where does EffOrt’s current skill fall right now? We heard that he has been doing well, but if you could describe it yourself, what is it like at present?
▲ We definitely cannot ignore the fact that he was gone for 6 months. Of course, if another player had been gone for the same amount of time, they absolutely would not be in the same situation as this one, and just as I expected, EffOrt’s skill has not faded. Since he was a player that was at the top, if he just manages to prepare in a certain amount of time, then I think that he will be able to rise as a top class player again.
- When will we see EffOrt participate in matches again?
▲ Because we have to follow official procedures and rules, I’ll have to tell an exact time again later. This season’s Proleague seems to not be a possibility, so I will disclose to the public when he will be able to participate in the next Proleague season. Still, there’s a chance that you’ll be able to see him in the individual leagues first over Proleague, but I’ll tell you later when everyone will be able to see him again after we adjust and modify his schedule.
- Is there anything you want to see from EffOrt in the future?
▲ It was a hard decision to let him come back and start over again, and right now since there’s a possibility that quick results won’t come from him, it can be very hard to deal with. It will be hard because all the players who are still playing have been working hard while EffOrt was gone. What’s important to EffOrt is that he must not forget that he came back for the sake of doing what he himself had wanted to do. He has returned with having to start all over again, but if he shows performances that he has matured, I have firm belief that he will be able to become an even greater player than before, so I request to him that he works hard and tries his best.