A Day in the Life: Dodo

September 27 2018

Imagine, for a moment, that this is your daily schedule:

  • 8:30 am: Wake up, get ready for the day
  • 9:30 am: Arrive at the Alienware Training Facility
  • 9:30-10:00 am: Morning staff meeting with Cain, Artress, and sometimes Jared Tendler and Steve
  • 10:00-10:15 am: Eat breakfast at the AWTF
  • 10:15-11:00 am: Team meeting with the players
  • 11:00am-2:00 pm: First block of scrims; watch and review all scrims together as a team
  • 2:00-3:00 pm: Break for lunch
  • 3:00-6:00 pm: Second block of scrims; watch and review all scrims together as a team
  • 6:00-7:00 pm: Break for dinner
  • 7:00-9:00 pm: Third block of scrims OR strategy meetings with team
  • 9:00~10:00 pm: Head to gym and work out for about an hour
  • ~10:00 pm: Go home for the night

If you think you could make it to the end of the day, Congratulations: You could survive a day in the life of Kang “Dodo” Jun-hyeuk, our League of Legends Assistant Coach! Or at least on paper you could. That schedule barely scratches the surface. From interpreting literally everything that comes out of Coach Cain’s mouth to helping coach the players himself and more, Dodo does a hell of a lot for our LoL team. I decided to sit down with Dodo to get a little insight into what life is like as a coach before he headed off to Worlds.

What did your Journey to Team Liquid look like?

I joined Team Liquid during the off-season in 2017. I became a free agent after Immortals did not make it into NA LCS franchising, and I still wanted to pursue my career in League of Legends. I was the General Manager for Immortals for 2 years, but I was also looking for a path towards coaching as well. Fortunately, I had a chance to talk to multiple teams and had many options to choose from. I decided to join Team Liquid after a long talk with Steve, and the organization’s philosophy fit what I was looking for, and the players and staff that I would be working with was a big plus as well. I joined the team on November 2017, and been having a great time since then.

Is being a truly bilingual team harder than speaking just English? Do you think it’s worthwhile despite the struggles?

Being a bilingual team is definitely harder than being a team with one language. There will always be a situation where there will be misinterpretation between players or coaches because of language barrier. It is sometimes very hard to translate the nuance within the message, and players often have arguments and misunderstandings because of the misinterpretation. But even though there are difficulties from language barriers, raw talent outweighs the struggles. That is the reason why almost every team has translators and gives English lessons to imports so they can break the language barrier as fast as they can.

What do you think helped you the most in making the transition from player, to manager, to coach?

If I had to choose one trait that helped the most of making the transition, it would be the experience of being a pro player. I definitely have easier time understanding what players need because I was a pro player, too. I understand their struggles, their desires, and their feelings. It was also easier for me to connect with the players because they knew and respected the fact that I was a pro player too. For the transition from being a manager to a coach, the fact that I worked with multiple coaches in the past and working next to them gave me a lot of insight of good and bad coaching. By working with multiple coaches and players, I learned how to structure effective practice and how to create a productive relationship between coaches and players. I also learned a lot of strategy and game knowledge from them as well.

How do you like the new two coaches on stage system so far? Would you like for it to become a regular part of the NA LCS/pro play?

I think it can definitely be beneficial for teams who can utilize a second coach really well. For us, Cain and I have been talking to each other a lot about how we can support each other on stage and how we can utilize our resources on stage. It is still a work in process, but personally I would like it to be a regular thing in the future.

How would you describe your coaching style?

I would describe my coaching style as strict and efficient. The one thing I always try to enforce during our practice is to be strict on rules. Making sure the players are on time, that they are focusing on League of Legends only during practice hours, making sure they condition themselves (sleep, diet, etc). I also try very hard to make sure the practices are productive and efficient, since most of the days are the same throughout the long season, I make sure the players feel like they are improving and learning something everyday.

As Worlds is in Korea this year I must ask, do you enjoy traveling to Korea for tournaments? Or do you find that you don’t have enough time to enjoy it/view it as more of a business trip?

I have been going to Korea every year for the past 4 years, and most of it was because of League of Legends. I do always enjoy going to Korea because I was born there and there are many things to enjoy in Korea, but most of the time we do have to just stay in our hotel rooms to practice. But traveling to Korea is always a enjoyable experience for me, whether it be for business or not.

Finally, I just want to ask you two quick, for-fun style questions! Which player is the easiest to deal with? Which player is the hardest?

They are all hard to deal with, they decrease my lifespan every day.

If you were on a stranded island with the LoL team and staff, who do you think would die first? Who do you think would make it the longest? Why?

Olleh will probably die first, wandering around alone or eating something weird without asking. I can survive the longest, since I watched all the seasons of Man vs Wild. I’M READY.

Writer // Sarah Enders

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