In the months leading up to the 2022 League of Legends Championship Series season, Dignitas QNTMPAY controversially signed Ersin “Blue” Gören after his ninth place finish on SK Gaming. Along with that, they grabbed Kim “River” Dong-woo from PSG Talon and Vincent “Biofrost” Wang from out of retirement.
Fans challenged their selections, some calling Blue the worst import to ever join the LCS. This prompted Christian “IWDominate” Rivera to make a video semi-defending the Belgian player. But, even in his defense, Dom still criticized Dignitas’ move to sign Blue.
Despite the resounding narrative of negativity, Dignitas and Blue have had an impressive year so far. They took out 100 Thieves in the Lock In quarterfinals and took a game off Liquid, which is better than the efforts of Evil Geniuses. And now they’re 3-3 in the LCS spring split. Blue himself has the third-highest KDA, the highest kill percentage and the second-highest gold earned per minute of mid laners.
Watch the interview above or read the transcript below:
It’s your first time in the LCS and we’ve just come off this long COVID-19, making us all stuck at home, so how does it feel to sit out on that stage?
Blue: Actually, it feels really nice. It’s also a lot different because we played from home, like the office, for a really long time. I played on stages before, too. I played in the Turkish stage in the TCL. And I played in the LEC stage, too, and now here. But we didn’t play with the fans yet. That’s really sad, but it feels nice. It’s different.
You already touched on some of your past. Can you run through some of what your career has been? What you’re most proud of, signature champs … things like that for people who are tuning in and haven’t watched you before this year.
Blue: So I started playing League in Season 2. I think it was around the age of 11 — I was 11 years old. It was when Trundle came out. I played the game for fun; I just played for fun stuff. And then I had a big health issue when I was 15 years old, and I had to stay at home so I was not going to school. I started playing a lot and took it more seriously.
I grinded to Challenger. I was only playing LeBlanc, Zed and Yasuo — I was just playing these champions. So yeah, my favorite champs are Zed and LeBlanc.
And then I got an offer. I met some people in Solo Queue and stuff. And then I played for Arctic, which is now G2 Arctic. It’s G2’s Academy team in the Spain League. Then, after that, I played on Fenerbahçe Academy. I was 16 or 17 years old and I was still going to school, so I just played from home. And then I played for the main team of Fenerbahçe for two years.
We were really successful — not the first year — but then we were really successful. We should have gone to the Mid-Season Invitational, but COVID-19 happened so we didn’t go, unfortunately. And after that, I had offers in the LEC and LCS but I preferred to join the LEC. After that, I’m here in Dignitas.
Now you’re here. So this is a hindsight thing, but if you had offers here and there last year, why did you choose the LEC? Looking back, what do you think about that decision?
Blue: I regret, I will say going there, but mainly it’s because, I mean, I never went to the U.S.. It’s really far from my home and stuff. And also my family was like, “Are you sure you’re going to America? It’s really far you know.” Stuff like that. So that’s mainly why I chose Europe [last year], because it’s just Berlin. I’m from Belgium, so it’s really close. So these [reasons] are mainly why I went to the LEC instead.
So what changed then for you coming here now? And how is your family reception now that you’ve been here for a couple of months?
Blue: My mom’s kind of sad, I will not lie. She doesn’t see me, and we don’t really talk because of the [timezone differences].
But now that I came here, I’m actually happy because I also came with the coaching staff. I know Helios from Fenerbahçe. So this is also mainly why I joined Dignitas. It’s kind of hard for my mom, but it’s okay. It’s my work. I have to work.
I actually wanted to ask about how you came to be the Dignitas mid laner specifically. What happened this offseason? Obviously, only whatever you’re willing to share, but how did that develop? How did you end up on DIG?
Blue: After this season, I had some talks with SK Gaming, and SK allowed me to explore. I was waiting and stuff and I had some offers and I joined Dignitas. Basically that’s it; nothing fancy or anything.
DIG with the 100% fan turnout pic.twitter.com/QGCJ3X498a
— Dignitas LoL (@DignitasLoL) February 6, 2022
I think the LCS has an issue with narratives and stories and overreactions to things. When the Dignitas roster was announced, everyone reacted as if Dig were just grabbing random players. What was your reception of that? How did you stay grounded, perform well in the Lock In and believe in yourself?
Blue: I’m kind of used to it because when I played in Fenerbahçe, when I first joined the team, it was also like, “Who is this guy? He’s rank one but that’s not a reason to pick him up.” Because the old mid laners in the TCL were big names. It was Kim “Frozen” Tae-il, a Korean mid laner. And it was Onur Can “Bolulu” Demirol and stuff. So when I came, it was like, “Who is this random?”
I was also kind of getting flamed, I would say, from that, so I’m used to it. And then we won. I proved them wrong. But still, some people are not agreeing that I should be playing. So I’m kind of used to it because I have [been flamed] since I started my career. I will have to prove people wrong about me. I just have to play and that’s it.
You were the villain of the LCS before you ever set foot on American soil.
Blue: Yeah, they wanted to kill me. I’m pretty sure if some of these people see me, they’d kill me.
That’s not cool. Does that give you motivation? Or is it something you don’t care about and worry about? How does it affect your mindset?
Blue: Obviously, it’s something a player doesn’t want to see — getting flamed or anything. But that’s normal when you do a sport, like you can do football or basketball. Even if you play well. I’m pretty sure Messi and Ronaldo are getting flamed, you know. So, that’s something normal in sports — you will always have haters and people that support you. So you just have to be used to it and just try to play your game.
Hopefully people are now a little less flamey and realize you were a good pickup for DIG. Do you have anything you’d like to say to fans before we head out?
Blue: I just want to say “thank you” to people that were supporting me even before I joined Dignitas. And people that now are following me and knowing me better, I hope they will start to like me. If not, that’s fine. That’s life. So yeah, thank you so much.