"Hello!! This is PROGAMER Effort!"
"Are you looking, CJ players? I am PROGAMER Effort!"
I think Effort was made fun of in the CJ house because of his amateur status. After shocking everyone by suddenly retiring last August, he must have boasted to his teammates when he found out that he will get his license on the 6th.
Every time his teammates joked, "how dare an amateur practice with us," Effort replied, "how can you progamers lose to an amateur?" However, in a corner of his mind, he felt sadness about his status as amateur. The fact that he couldn't introduce himself proudly as "PROGAMER Kim Jung Woo" was awkward to him. When he saw his teammates practicing all night and getting headaches throughout the playoffs, he felt like his chest was about to explode from knowing that he could only watch. He realized that as an amateur the only thing he could do was practice and started counting the days until he could introduce himself as a progamer.
Finally, on the 6th of October, he can say, "I'm a PROGAMER." There may be people out there who ask, "what's the big deal?", but to Effort this was not a simple process. Even though Effort was a top Zerg who reverse-sweeped the Ultimate Weapon Flash to become a champion, it chills him to the bone knowing that as an amateur he can't come out when the team's situation is dire and not make himself known. He gritted his teeth and focused on practice, waiting impatiently for October.
The day he is a progamer is now just two days away. Effort confessed that he is so nervous that he can't sleep. What kinds of stories will be in store for his 2nd life as a progamer? Let us now delve into another story of his.
DES: Six months passed already since our last interview regarding your return. How have you been since then?
Effort: It was hard for me. My teammates kept making fun of my status as amateur. They are more persistent thatn I thought. (laughs) Luckily, because I focused on practice, time passed by pretty quickly. I cannot be more lucky than this. I desperately want to be a progamer soon. (Laughs)
DES: What do you think is the difference between you now and you six months ago.
Effort: My skill and the number of topics to talk about in interviews? (Laughs). When I first came back, honestly, I had nothing to say in interviews. I just thought about my return. What could I have said about the worries of "how well I will do" or "if I'll be good enough to be a progamer"? I had to lie back then and say I'm confident when I wasn't.
To be honest, at first I thought, "I won't be able to get get back to where I was." Since the world of progamers is so competitive even if you let go of the mouse for a week you'll inevitably be behind.I distanced myself from the keyboard and mouse for six months. During those six months other players kept practicing very hard. I wondered if I would be able to catch up to them and spent each day with that uncertainty.
Looking back now, I am getting back to where I was faster than I thought. I grew a lot during the last 6 months. (laughs)
DES: You are more emotional about officially becoming a progamer than we thought. Any reasons for that?
Effort: Since I retired last August I thought I would be a pro this August. However, because I finished my paperwork in October, I found out later that I won't be able to be a pro in August. With the thought of my return as progamer in mind, I practiced like crazy in July. If our team advanced to the finals, then I could've been sent out during the Proleague Finals. When I heard that the MSL prelims would also be in August, I practiced away happily in anticipation.
When I found out I won't be a progamer in August all my strength just sapped away from me. I even became depressed. I wasn't able to practice normally. Some may not understand, but the month of August was a sad month for me.
Now? Time's been flying since September (laughs). I can play official games after October 6th. So right now, I'm practicing my heart out. when do the leagues start? I want to sit in the booth (laughs).
DES: Sometime ago a news report came out showing you practicing. It said that you are back to your prime and regularly destroy your CJ teammates. Is that true?
Effort: It is true that I got a lot of my skills back, but I'm not where I want to be. Plus, I'm told my play is very unstable. If I'm playing good, I'm as good as when I won Korean Air Starleague Season 1. However, when I lose, I really lose like an amateur (laughs). Although I'm not totally satisfied with my play right now, I'm fairly confident that I'll be able to go toe to toe with the best out there in Proleague.
Now a few weeks back, a new report went out about the CJ team practice with the dish washing at stake. As if I had possessed superhuman powers, I beat all of the CJ starting lineup and got a good score. I remember being surprised myself (laughs). I think I played so well so suddenly because I heard that outside people would be coming. I think I'm meant for the stage (laughs).
To summarize, It's true I have regained a lot of my skills, but the games I played back then do not reflect my true skill (laughs). That time you can say I wasn't myself (laughs).
DES: If so, then can you confidently say, "I'm better than this CJ player"?
Effort: That's very difficult to answer (laughs). No matter who I pick, that person's going to be on me about this all day... (laughs) Can't I just say I'm better than the kind-hearted Horang2?
DES: Thanks(?) to you, Hydra came into his own. Is there a skill difference between you two?
Effort: It's about the same (laughs). I want to say I'm better, but to my chagrin I don't think I'm in the position to say it. Hydra grew a lot (laughs). Right now I'm learning a lot from him.
DES: After you get back on the CJ lineup, there's going to be some friendly competition between you and Hydra. Are you ready?
Effort: At first, I didn't think Hydra would welcome me back so much. It mustn't have been so easy for him to suddenly become responsible for the team as its Ace. when I came back, he said, "now YOU go out for the Ace Match." (laughs) He may say that but he's a progamer also, so he wouldn't want me to take the Ace spot away from him (laughs). However, I hope that through our friendly competition we can both become the Aces for CJ. I want CJ to have the best one-two punch out there. I think it does not matter who's better or worse.
Anyways, I'll emphasize again that right now Hydra is better. (laughs)
DES:Let's ask you a fun question. Who's better-looking, Hydra or you?
Effort: That's a very fun question indeed (laughs). I personally think Hydra's better looking than me. To be honest, the big shots of CJ are now the two Shin-brothers (Leta, Hydra). I'm the type of person who's close with powerful people. I'm very friendly with Leta-hyung. We even went to a bathhouse together (laughs).I like Leta-hyung very much.Hydra and I are almost like brothers also, so I am very close to powerful people like that.
That doesn't mean I'm not close to the former troika members Skyhigh and Movie-hyung. They still are heavyweights in CJ. Since I'm also in good relations with them you can say I'm also a heavyweight in a way (laughs). CJ probably won't be running smoothly if I'm not there (laughs)
DES: You're so much funnier to be with now than when you first came back. Is it because your mind is not burdened?
Effort: I was always a witty guy. I can confidently say that I'm the mood-maker in the CJ house (laughs). Please call me "witty guy" from now on (laughs).
DES: Not only are you funnier, you are also more brazen.
Effort: I learned that from Leta-hyung (laughs)
DES: How is it with the troika now?
Effort: Before retiring, I was friendliest with Skyhigh and Movie-hyung and I talked with them the most. But now, I think that name has no use. I feel that I'm one with all my teammates who wear the CJ name. I'm only saying this now, but I think we really have become one team. I think CJ will be able to show a kind of teamwork CJ hasn't shown before this upcoming Proleague season.
I talk with my teammates everyday. We vow again and again to be champions this season. The season hasn't even begun yet but we're truly becoming one body now with this goal. We realized that we're a family.
DES: Let's throw out another "fun" question Who's the most handsome among the troika?
Effort: This is more difficult than the College Entrance Exam!! All I know is it's not Movie. (laughs)
DES:We'll ask a question that fans wanted answered most. If you could go back in time, would you have retired.
I think not. In the end, I wasted 6 months. However, I don't regret the decision I made then. I learned a lot from it. In the future, no matter what decisions I have to make in life, I'm confident that this experience will be a big help towards making better judgments.
If I didn't go through what I went through I might have lost my passion for the game and wander aimlessly, ultimately to be forgotten as just this and that kind of a player. After I retired, I returned because my desire for the game was too big. Through that process I realized just how much I loved to play, so I got the passion to start again. I think I'll be an even better player through this experience.
DES: According to Effort: who's the biggest prospect for CJ next season?
Effort: Of course it's me! (laughs) I'm a rookie, too. (laughs) Truthfully, the unseen competition between the up and coming players is very fierce. Therefore, I'm afraid to give a name. Everyone's a triple-A blood type (laughs).
DES: The long-awaited Proleague will start in November. Tell the fans what your goal is for this season.
Effort: I think it's good to have a big goal. Last season Bisu set the record with 64 wins. I'll play with 65 wins as my goal (laughs). Of course it will be difficult, but right now I want to write the dramatic story of me, a player who retired then returned, set the best record in Proleague.
DES: Say something to the fans.
Effort: I remember a lot of fans saying, "don't retire please!" and trying to dissuade me from retiring when I did. And when I returned, the fans heartily welcomed me back. Thanks to the fans' support I was able to practice with more vigor.Thank you all very much. Instead of promising a Starleague win right away, I promise to be the player that surprises and entertains. Please look forward to my performance.
DES: Please say anything else you want to say.
Effort: I always wanted to say this in an interview. Recently Where and BByong have been fiercely arguing over who's better looking. Fans, please settle this dispute. We couldn't make a decision in our team. I personally think there's little difference between them (laughs).
[DailyeSports Reporter Lee Sora firstname.lastname@example.org]
Translated by jpak.