Life After Retirement: Interviewing OMG San and Loveling
This article was originally posted by ?????? (Pijie), and you can find the original Chinese version here. It was posted after Loveling participated in a streamed "haunted house" reality show event, so some questions reference that.
I'm sure everyone is familiar with the former members of OMG's “forces of darkness” and the retirements of “dark tactician” Loveling and “protective umbrella” San. After retirement, the members' choices have been different: San chose to become a caster and professed his desire to become a knowledgeable caster, while Loveling founded a company and continues to contend in the esports circle as both a CEO and streamer. Today, journalist Pijie interviewed both of them. Their feelings towards the old OMG are still warm-hearted, and they have new objectives and paths for the future.
Interview with San: Becoming a caster
San, hello. After retiring, what are your current plans?
SAN: I've been busy with caster-related business. Recently I signed with Keahearl and I hope to development my League of Legends casting.
Do you have any plans to return to the scene? I've heard a few teams have contacted you.
SAN: I did think about it during the off-season break, but there wasn't a fitting opportunity.
Loveling participated in a show today, what do you know about that?
SAN: I'm too scared to learn about it (laugh), I heard it was extremely scary, so I'm afraid if I watched it I wouldn't be able to sleep. (Are you really that scared of this haunted house?) I'm usually not that scared of horror, but if you wanted me to personally experience a haunted house I'd be pretty scared.
Loveling has been up to a lot after his retirement, and he seems to be taking a very different path from the rest of you. What are your thoughts on this?
SAN: He's trying out a lot of different things, I support him in that. But at the moment, my priority is my own plans and mastering what I want to do.
What are your thoughts on the off-season roster changes?
SAN: I feel this off-season's roster changes are largely the same as last off-season's. Last year was the first year LPL imported a large number of Koreans, and in this year, although there are fewer imports, the management and cohesion of teams has improved, so in the end this year's LPL will be on a higher level than before.
As a former OMG member, what do you think about Uzi's departure?
SAN: He's still very strong, and I hope that in the new season, he can become someone who can represent LPL players. I believe he has this kind of strength.
What expectations and opinions do you have on OMG's new roster?
SAN: After retiring, I left the organization, so I don't know much about the new members. But I'm still optimistic about my old team and I hope they do well. Finally, as the new season begins I hope to be able to announce a little more about what I'm doing, and my hope is that I can become a caster who brings more specialized knowledge to the game.
Interview with Loveling: If you dare to walk the road no one else has, then you will succeed.
Can you explain what today's event was about?
LOVELING: It was a streamed “thriller” program, very scary and suspenseful.
Why did you choose to participate in a reality show-type program after retirement?
LOVELING: Because this program is quite popular and I happened to also like it, so I thought, “why don't I try it out?” To be honest, for a long time I had to work up the courage to participate, so after retirement I actually considered it for a while. Besides, I got to try out a few things other people haven't.
So you had never experienced or rehearsed something like today's event?
LOVELING: There were some that went pretty well, but when the actual event happens, you have to consider a lot of special situations, so it really tested the ability of we streamers to adapt on the fly. (Is that the horror San was talking about?) There were a few, but whether you're scared or not really depends on how much you're into this kind of stuff.
(At this time San and Loveling started chatting with each other: Do you remember how during S4 Worlds we went to that haunted house? Was that scarier than this one? Loveling replied: This one, this one should be the scariest in Shanghai! San then started smiling in the background. I asked: Last time, who was the most scared? San: Dada777, he was so scared he fell down and was too terrified to move!)
Loveling, after retiring, you chose a different path from most others. Why?
LOVELING: This year, I didn't perform that well in our matches, so I had a feeling of wanting to prove myself. In all the things I am doing now, the reason why I didn't follow the others was that I wanted to go another route where I could be successful. To prove myself once again by doing something I had proved myself on before is very difficult, but trying something else is easier. When I talked with other investors, I received everyone's support, so I decided to do what I liked to do. My current goal is to become the Huayi of the Internet community, focusing on, for example, filming webseries, reality shows, and other events. A lot of people don't believe this is something I can accomplish, but this is really my own work and doesn't have anything to do with other people. This is me accomplishing my dreams for myself.
Whether it's in a webseries or reality show, which player or esports scene friend do you think is most suited to participate?
LOVELING: Cool, when we work as partners we still work well together.
After retiring, I still wish the best for OMG and I'm still good friends with Cool.
Let's talk about what happened before. After you retired, I interviewed you but for various reasons it was never released. So now I'll ask you again: at the time, why did you choose to retire?
LOVELING: Because last year's performance wasn't so good and there was still a long time before next season started, and furthermore, the team already had two chances where we could almost touch the championship cup, but after thinking about it, I knew it was hard to ever reach those heights again. On top of that, I also wanted to do some things I was interested in, so I announced my decision to retire.
The former “forces of darkness” collapsed within a day, including San's later retirement announcement. Why did OMG leave us like this?
LOVELING: I think it had a lot to do with our performance. Everyone worked hard for a year but didn't get the results we wanted, so we were all a little depressed and exhausted. In that case retirement is a normal result.
SAN: It was a little coincidental. My personal opinion is that everyone worked with all their heart and all their strength but didn't see results, and feelings that couldn't be resisted just kept increasing.
Were the internal conflicts in OMG very severe?
LOVELING: Every team has its conflicts, only some are severe, some are light. There existed conflicts in OMG that weren't solved in time, such as difference in the way our coach and our team wanted to do things. In the past, after we lost a game, we would always have some “arguments,” but everyone argued with the goal of solving the problem. Speaking of “fights,” I remember once it got so loud our neighbors called the cops… It might be because of the difference between Chinese and Korean cultures, but our Korean coach thought that when we argued and fought, he didn't think this was good, so he chose to talk to each of us individually. He thought this could solve our conflicts, but it actually did nothing. What happened was that each player had some opinions, what's good, what's not good, but in the end these small differences turned into conflict.
So in the end, are you actually “donezo” with Cool?
LOVELING: I had some problems with him. I've known Cool for a very long time, and the way he deals with problems is that he hides them and doesn't talk about them, and there were a few issues and misunderstandings we never fully cleared, so we had some mutual distrust. When I said that, I was acting on anger, but afterwards I realized I should just let the past be the past.
What are your thoughts on Uzi leaving the team?
LOVELING: I'd previously thought about the possibility he might leave the team, but this sudden event was a little unexpected. He'd done very well before he joined the team, so I had high expectations for him, and I hope he will do well next year.
What are you thoughts on the new roster?
LOVELING: To be honest, I've asked about the new roster but never received an answer… I hope each position on OMG's roster can work together in the new season and play to their own style. I personally hope OMG can make it to the finals in the spring split, and when that happens, I'll definitely be watching in the audience.
Through your esports career, what do you regret the most?
LOVELING: At Worlds, at the time we were a little “stressed,” when we lost that match we were all a little stunned, this was my greatest regret.
SAN: When I didn't get the results I wanted.
And what about your happiest moment?
SAN: Every time we won was my happiest moment!
LOVELING: When we turned the game with 50HP left on our nexus. That left a serious impression on me.
During your esports career, Loveling, you switched positions multiple times. Which one is your favorite to play?
LOVELING: I would've picked jungle, and if things between Cool and I could return to how they were, I would still pick jungle. If we played together again, I'm sure it would still be good. Otherwise, I would pick support.
Do you regret retiring?
LOVELING: Many things are decided by your feelings at the time, so you can't say if it was right or wrong, so I can't regret it. Maybe I'll go back to competing one day?
Since you've retired, would you consider playing for another team?
LOVELING: I still want to play with my old teammates.
It will be the new year soon. What hopes do you have for the future?
First of all, we wish everyone the best. Second, we hope to see OMG make it to the S6 World Championships. From what I've seen, dreams are realized step by step. I still hope to prove myself from a new starting point, and I wish for everyone to become more mature, more true to themselves in the new year.