(Pictures: SangWoo Kim)
My first official interview on ‘Merel180’! Whenever possible, I tune in to watch some darts livestreams on YouTube, and ‘DartsTV SangWoo’ was one of the first channels I started following. SangWoo Kim posts livestreams and viewers can send questions, messages and thus it’s a very interactive, but also informative channel. In the meanwhile, he also plays darts himself in South Korea. Time to get to know SangWoo better.
When did you start playing darts?
I started in September 2011 and am now playing for nearly nine years.
The KDC League is currently being held, and you have won one of the tournaments. Can you tell me about the tournament and the championship?
This was my first official steeldart match. I’ve been focusing on soft darts for nine years, but now I want to play in the PDC as well as steel darts. I believe that winning this tournament will be a big stepping stone for me and I will continue to work hard for good results.
*Writers note: KDC League Championship is a series of tournaments, hosted by PDK and KDF, where players participate in their local leagues, and at the end of the season, a final tournament with the best players determines the WDF Team Korea representatives for that year. This year would’ve been for the Asia Pacific Cup in Taipei, which is cancelled.
You participated in the Korea Perfect Tour. Why did you chose the Perfect Tour?
Phoenix Darts is the most active in Korea. Many professional players in Korea are challenging the Perfect Tour and there are many people who are good at it. I chose to participate in the Perfect Tour because I thought it would be the best honor to compete and win there.
What has been your best performance in darts so far?
Up to the best 32 on the Perfect Tour. I’ve won many other competitions.
Have you ever hit a 9-darter? If so, when?
I haven’t done nine darts yet. I’ve done 10 darts a lot. (PRO MODE)
How much do you practice?
When I practiced darts hard, I practiced for 8 to 9 hours.
But these days, I practice for about 3 hours a day to keep my posture.
Soft darts is very popular in Korea. Do you know why soft darts is popular and steel darts is not so much?
In South Korea, darts is recognized as an unfamiliar sport. So, to enjoy darts, it was only possible in bars and electronic soft darts were better for people to notice. That’s why soft darts developed naturally.
I think this is a similar situation to Japan, but I know that Japan is naturally changing into a steel dart country, because there are many players whose goal is to advance to the PDC, the world stage.
Soft darts are more popular in Korea now, but I think steel darts will become more popular someday.
Who is your inspiration for darts?
At first it was the Japanese player Hoshino Mitsumasa, but now it’s Masumi Chino, also a player from Japan.
I’m imitating posture, mind, and performance. Because of that, I heard about Masumi Chino in Korea. (This is what I heard directly from a Japanese professional.)
What are your goals in the future?
My goal is to win the Korea Perfect Tour. And I’m also aiming to join the PDC by playing steel darts.
Why and when did you start streaming darts on YouTube?
I started YouTube four years ago, and I was uploading videos of my club, and I started making and uploading videos of darts in January 2019. Streaming began in January 2020 and I am communicating things that cannot be delivered through video alone through streaming.
What is your favorite thing to stream on YouTube?
When people ask me about things they don’t know about darts, I find it interesting to teach them technically. I feel the best when I hear that what I told them was helpful to them.
What is the most interesting thing that happened in the stream?
Bottle cap challenge, darting in small coins, and dartpin shooting with a gun.
In particular, the Bottle Cap Challenge was most interesting when it was successful because it was possible only by using an accurate dart line.
Is it hard to keep coming up with new ideas? And how do you get inspiration for the video?
I like to make videos cinematic. I’m still an amateur, but I’m getting better and better, and I always think about creative new things to try. Creation seems to be a pretty tough job, but the result is the best satisfaction.
Can you tell me about your sponsor, Jazz?
Jazz Barrel is a famous brand in Korea. The motto is ”FOR THE BEST PERFORMANCE”. Now famous Korean players, Cho Kwang-hee and Seo Byung-soo, were also former Jazz Barrel players. They’ve always made a good barrel at a low price, and many people still want to be a jazz player.
Do you have a message for the readers?
Darts is not very popular in South Korea yet. Through YouTube and Twitch, I’m promoting darts to Koreans and practicing hard to win. Thank you so much!