Gamsu returns to a new LCS with Dignitas
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Original Reporting
Subject Specialist

Everything was even almost half an hour into Noh “Gamsu” Yeong-jin’s last North American League of Legends Championship Series playoff match against Team Impulse. There was only a single kill on the board, for Team Impulse, and the Dragon offered whoever could claim it the chance to close out the match. As the fight began, the Team Dignitas top laner flash ulted with Gnar to help his team claim the objective — but Gamsu missed all but one opponent.

This gave fellow Korean top laner Jeong “Impact” Eon-young the opening he needed to clean up Gamsu and the rest of his team. With the momentum in Impulse’s favor, they won the round and, soon after, the series.

On that day in early August of 2015, Gamsu’s tactical aggression could have been the last notable play of his North American League of Legends career. After that loss, he moved to Fnatic, in Europe, before retiring from the game entirely. He eventually switched to Overwatch, building a new professional career before retiring and returning to League once again in late 2020.

Adapting to thrive

While Gamsu has now returned to Dignitas QNTMPAY after a stint in the amateur and Academy scene, almost everything is different seven years later. The NA LCS has a new name, Gamsu is surrounded by new players and the game itself has changed significantly since he last stepped out onto the Summoner’s Rift for Dignitas.

“When I came back to League, it felt like a completely different game since I’d left,” Gamsu said. “I had to practice almost everything from the beginning.”

Yet, Gamsu is an older and wiser player now. That allowed him, despite starting from scratch, to fight his way into the League Championship Series in less than two years. Despite knowing Gamsu’s potential quite well, that was still quick enough to impress Team Liquid support, ex-teammate and long time friend Jo “CoreJJ” Yong-in.

“From my friendship with him, I knew how talented he was at video games in general, so coming back was impressive,” CoreJJ said. “To be honest, it was faster than I thought. I thought it would take another year or two, but it’s only been a year and a half, and I’m glad he’s back.”

Gamsu CoreJJ Dignitas
Gamsu (right) and CoreJJ (left) on Dignitas in 2015. | Provided by Dignitas.

Despite playing on opposite sides of the rift, Gamsu and CoreJJ’s friendship brought them together to Dignitas way back in late 2014. Now, in 2022, Gamsu is glad for another opportunity with the team after two Proving Grounds finals appearances (and one Championship) with 100 Thieves Academy. After all, the time spent rebuilding his skills reinforced the kind of player he said he hopes to be going forward.

“Dignitas gave me that chance to compete again in the LCS and I’m taking it,” said Gamsu. “I want to be the top laner that my team wants to be, to fill in whatever role they need.”

The old and the new

Yet, as much as his reputation precedes him, Dignitas didn’t pick up Gamsu because of his previous time with the organization. It was a factor, but the head coach of Dignitas Ilias “Enatron” Theodorou wasn’t even coaching when Gamsu was originally playing in the LCS. He confirmed that Gamsu’s recent play demonstrated his ability to fit right into the team.

“We found out that his map awareness and lane knowledge are something we could really use in our team,” said Enatron. “Our team is very aggressive, especially our mid and bot lanes, so finding that top laner who could balance that out was important.”

Dignitas art 2022 LCS
Art of the new 2022 LCS roster for Dignitas.| Provided by Dignitas.

As for Gamsu, even with his experience, he is hesitant to call himself a “veteran.” In his words, his previous time playing League of Legends means very little since it happened so long ago.

“It’s weird to say, but I just feel like I’m just a rookie with two years of experience,” Gamsu said. “I will keep practicing until I become a veteran.”

At the same time, he joins the Dignitas roster as the oldest player — one with a very extensive journey behind him. That experience alone was something Enatron and Dignitas took into account for his signing.

”For Gamsu, his journey from League to Overwatch and back, that knowledge just from that journey can help our players,” Enatron said. “Especially the newer, younger players on our team. Just gaming world and esports knowledge can help make these rookies turn into professionals like Gamsu already is, even though Gamsu still can learn more.”

The first order of business for Gamsu has been learning to approach League of Legends in a new way. This new style may not earn him a spot in many highlight reels, but it has benefited his teams since returning.

“I used to play for myself a lot, but now I try to play with the team and help them as much as I can,” Gamsu said. “It wasn’t really easy to adapt to that style in a short period of time.”

A lingering hunger

At the same time, frequent adaptation can be an issue. After spending so much time in a specific area, the same hunger that a rookie has might not apply to a older player. For Gamsu, that couldn’t be further from the truth.

“Sometimes the older players don’t have the hunger to continuously grind, learn new champs and build that reputation as a win condition for the team,” Enatron said. “When I talked to him and saw he was still grinding like a rookie, it made me really excited to coach him soon. That’s all Gamsu is, a grinder and a gamer in the truest senses.”

Now, Gamsu is set to face a slew of familiar faces as Dignitas begins the summer split. Their first match, against Counter Logic Gaming, features his old 100 Thieves Academy teammates, Fatih “Luger” Güven and Philippe “Poome” Lavoie-Giguere. They’re the same bot lane who helped Gamsu win that Proving Grounds Championship.

Then, in week two, against Cloud9, Gamsu will face CoreJJ in the LCS for the first time. And after that, in week four of the split, Gamsu will match up against the same top laner he lost to in August of 2015: Impact, now on top team Evil Geniuses.

Winning those matches won’t be easy, but the team’s expectations revolve around getting the most out of their players — and Gamsu’s wisdom is sure to help the whole roster. At the same time, Gamsu himself is striving to show fans he can still fight for Dignitas in the LCS.

“I don’t think I am as good as I was back then mechanically, but I know I’m playing a lot smarter than before,” Gamsu said. “I have that experience for sure, but I still have a lot of things to practice.”

Polish-Canadian game enthusiast. I've been entrenched in gaming for as long as I can remember, with my first game being Pokemon Yellow and my most played games being Borderlands 2 and Overwatch. I have a degree in Film Studies, but writing about esports just makes my job all the better.