For longtime fans of the League Championship Series, Kim “Olleh” Joo-sung is a familiar face. But for anyone who may have stumbled upon professional League of Legends during the COVID times, the Golden Guardians’ support’s name may hold no meaning. Whether you know him or not, Olleh has been on an incredible journey through his career, once again finding himself in the LCS.
For those uninitiated, Olleh is a ball of chaotic positivity. He has a strong, infectious smile and a cheerful voice that reflect his eager mentality on life, strife and the pursuit of greatness. He is the type of player to put his whole soul into the game, for better or worse.
After spending some time in the Korean professional scene as far back as 2013, Olleh went to the Circuit Brazilian League of Legends and League of Legends Master Series to play for paiN Gaming and Hong Kong Esports, respectively. In 2017, he came over to California to play for Immortals, starting him on his path in North American League of Legends.
He made Worlds in his first year in the LCS, then both the Mid Season Invitational and Worlds in his second year.
In his third year, he helped Golden Guardians go from back-to-back 10th place finishes to fifth in spring 2019, but partway through the summer, he moved down to GG Academy. Despite performing well, he failed to make it back to the LCS. After one split on Dignitas Academy in 2020, Olleh left the pro scene, becoming a virtual reality programmer.
He took nearly two years off from the professional scene, but Olleh is back in the LCS, once again on Golden Guardians. In 2022, he’s ready to prove himself as a top-tier support yet again.
Olleh’s break and return to Golden Guardians
After grinding to learn C++ and Unreal Engine, Olleh realized his heart wasn’t in it the same way it had been in professional League. So he stopped learning how to program and put his whole efforts into relearning the game and mastering his craft.
“I started to grind so hard in Korean solo queue, I literally played 30 games a day,” Olleh said. “I [had the] most games played as support in Korea. It was 2,700 on one account, and then I also had a smurf.” All those games landed him at a peak of rank three on Korean soloqueue, which is regarded as the best indicator of individual skill for League.
“I would start to queue up at 2 p.m. and play till 4 a.m.,” Olleh said. “That was literally every day. Sometimes I’d even skip dinner because I wanted to play more.”
His hard work did not go unnoticed. Before Olleh even started searching for teams, Golden Guardians had already reached out to him in hopes of bringing him back to their team for 2022. And in his return, he’s found himself amidst an entirely new LCS.
“In 2017, every player had a name,” Olleh said, listing his former teammates like Eugene “Pobelter” Park and Lee “Flame” Ho-jong. “Now, when I see a player in the LCS — I’m not saying they have no name — but they’re brand new to me.”
Among many of the new faces are plenty of super young stars, especially compared to Olleh, who is 27 himself. “I saw on Twitter that it’s boomer vs zoomer,” Olleh said, laughing. “I’m down to play with the zoomers.”
He continued, acknowledging his own position on the team and what his role is among the zoomers. “I think GG has really, really insane potential to make it [to Worlds],” Olleh said. “I believe it’s on me because I’m the oldest player on my team. So I really have to focus and our team will do really great.”
Olleh and Golden Guardians have an arduous journey ahead of them this year in the LCS, with so much of the competition improving this past off season. But the team made great changes themselves, and Olleh is ready to help lead them through the regular season and, hopefully, to Worlds.
League of Legends esports reporter and photographer for half a decade. Sometimes I try to touch grass.