“The league has become super unpredictable.” - Mighty’s NaSang
Mighty’s best-known player may be main tank Kim ‘JOKER’ Ju-hyung, but Support player Na ‘NaSang’ Sang-min is the brains of the team. NaSang’s rise as a respected drafter and shot-caller might come as a surprise to longtime fans of Korean Heroes competition, who will remember his somewhat unremarkable debut in Super League 2016 Season 3, but a year of professional experience and hard work can make a huge difference. Heading into the mid-phase break, NaSang shared a moment to talk about his journey so far, his style of play, Mighty’s new lineup, and the state of HGC Korea.
How did you become a professional Heroes player?
“I was an ordinary college student when I picked up Heroes last March. Initially I didn’t have plans of becoming a professional gamer; the game was really fun and that was pretty much it. But then I started watching Super League on TV, and it made me dream. I wanted to go on that stage. I wanted to be on OGN. So around May I went all-in, and I was able to reach [my goal] that fall.
I actually planned to quit after Super League 2016 Season 3 because I had achieved what I had started playing for. But then Blizzard announced [its new plans for] the scene, so I changed my mind and stayed and tried to qualify for HGC Korea. Without this stable new system, I probably wouldn’t have stayed in Heroes, so I’m pretty glad that [HGC] happened.”
Did you have any prior competitive gaming experience?
“Not really. I did play some League of Legends, but only up to Diamond.”
How would you describe your style of play?
“I don’t think I have a set philosophy. I adjust my approach depending on what kind of team composition we have. If we’re stronger in fights, I go in very aggressively; if we need to be on the defensive, I position really conservatively.”
Who’s your favorite Hero?
“Li Li is my absolute favorite, but she’s not that great right now, and my team doesn’t like it when I pick her. We actually tried Li Li out in scrims twice, but it didn’t go too well. Out of the viable Supports I think my favorite would be Rehgar. I like how he can do a little of everything—take mercenary camps, clear lanes, bring some early game damage, and save allies in a [clutch fashion]. Plus I really like animals, so I find Rehgar cute. He’s a running doggo.”
Speaking of picks, L5’s SDE had great praise for your skills in the pick-and-ban phase. He said that had you been in charge of Mighty’s draft from the beginning, the team could have done even better in Phase 1.
“I’m not sure if I agree. I did end up [taking the reins], but I don’t think I’m very good at it. I do think that I build team compositions with a clear intention, so I guess that’s one thing I do okay.”
How does the new Mighty differ from its Phase 1 iteration? How did the roster moves affect the team?
“I think we became a more proactive team. In the past, we used to be extremely reactive. We always just looked to respond to our opponents’ plays. But now we feel comfortable taking the initiative. So our [stylistic range] has been enlarged. Overall, I feel that we’re primarily a team fight-centric team. We’re vulnerable to good rotational play, and we tend to gain advantages through brawling.”
Many players have told me that Mighty are one of the most diligent teams in the league. Is this true?
“That might have been true last phase, but right now, I think L5 are practicing the most. We at least have set hours for scrims and practice—L5 literally play the game all day. Maybe we would have won against them if we practiced that much. In any case, though, I believe that we will be able to improve a lot going forwards. We aren’t on the same page yet when it comes to decision making, so we flounder a bit on some calls. If our thoughts and play become more aligned, we should do much better on stage.”
Do you think your team will be able to qualify for BlizzCon?
“We’ll get to know once [regular play resumes]. To be honest, we thought that we would qualify for this phase’s Eastern Clash, but we didn’t. So I don’t think predictions at this point in time will mean much, especially because the league has become super unpredictable. We didn’t expect BlossoM to dominate MVP Miracle like that, for instance. BlossoM looked really strong after their swaps.”
What are your long-term goals as an individual player?
“Well, when I first started out, the goal was just to make it to the OGN stage, and I did that. So now my current goal is to make it to an international stage. Once I get there, my next goal should reveal itself.”
Mighty will resume play in the HGC with their sights set on BlizzCon when Phase 2 continues on Friday, August 25. While Mighty won’t be in attendance at the Eastern Clash, you can meet the teams they’re up against regularly in the HGC when the event kicks off on Friday, August 11 right here on playheroes.com/esports.