After an impressive 2018 season which saw them head out to South Korea for the World Championship, Team Vitality are revitalising their squad for the upcoming 2019 LEC season. Building on the solid foundation of Cabochard, Jiizuke, Attila and Jactroll, the French squad have signed jungler Lee "Mowgli" Jae-ha from LCK side Afreeca Freecs, bringing a fresh perspective and the experience he carries over from playing against Korea’s top teams.
After a nearly two-year long stint with Afreeca Freecs as a substitute jungler, where he helped the team to a second place finish in the 2018 Spring Playoffs, as well as making it out to Worlds that same year, it’s clear Mowgli is keen to strike out on his own and prove he has what it takes to make the position his own – and he’s got Europe in his sights. As we count down to the roster lock, we got the chance to quiz Mowgli on what he thinks he can bring to the team, what he has planned for Europe and who he’s most looking forward to playing.
Hey Mowgli, how’s it going?
Mowgli: I'm doing well, thanks! I just ate some seafood for lunch and it was delicious! So I'm in a good mood!
What are you currently up to?
I've just finished playing a duo queue game with Jiizuke and we won!
Did Team Vitality approach you? What was your reaction when they reached out?
Yes, they approached me. I was very happy to hear that they were interested in me! At the time, I was already quite friendly with Vitality because they visited Afreeca's gaming house earlier last year, and I also saw them during Worlds.
“[Vitality] played really aggressively, and used good mechanics and intelligence. I’d like to be a part of a team like that.”
You were with Afreeca Freecs since the end of 2016 and made it to the 2018 Worlds Quarterfinals with them too – what made you want to leave them and the LCK?
I wouldn't say I wanted to leave them, I just felt that playing in Europe, as the main jungler, was a new and exciting opportunity. I was a substitute jungler at Afreeca, so it really felt like Vitality wanted me as their main jungler, and I was happy to accept their offer. I’m also interested in learning English and learning about European culture!
What is it about Europe that’s appealed to you? What’s drawn you to the LEC?
I think it’s the perfect chance to learn and use English in a natural environment. I was inspired by Vitality specifically when they played against Royal Never Give Up during Worlds. They played really aggressively, and used good mechanics and intelligence. I’d like to be a part of a team like that.
Are you excited to compete against Europe’s top teams?
Yes, I'm really looking forward to meet them (and beat them) on the Rift! I feel that Europe has a more aggressive play-style, which the current meta supports.
Who are you most looking forward to playing?
I'm looking forward to playing against them all, but I'm especially eager to play Misfits. They look like strong competitors, and also, GorillA is my bro! I think our team can win against Misfits.
“I believe I can bring LCK knowledge and experience to the team which will allow us to go very far.”
Jiizuke and Attila have formed much of the backbone of Team Vitality, are you looking to forward to playing alongside them?
Yes, I've been playing many games with Jiizuke and I think he's really funny! He has a very loud laugh and I think it's really cute. I think Jiizuke has good mechanics and we understand each other well, even though English is not our first language. I also look forward to playing with Attila.
As a jungler, what do you think you can bring to the team?
I think I have very good map awareness and am able to guess the locations of the enemy team well. I believe I can bring LCK knowledge and experience to the team which will allow us to go very far.
Vitality made it to the Worlds Group Stage in 2018 – can you push the squad further in 2019?
Yes, I will push them as hard as possible. I'm sure I can be very helpful to the team.
What are you looking forward to in the 2019 LEC season?
I'm looking forward to Vitality winning LEC finals. They haven't been able to do so yet, so I think we can do it together! Vitality fighting!