On the 30th (KST), SANDBOX Gaming and Griffin faced off in the second round of the quarterfinals of the 2019 KeSPA Cup.
With SANDBOX and Griffin trading heavy blows in Game 1, SANDBOX took the victory by overcoming a dangerous situation in the late game. However, in Game 2, SANDBOX snowballed an early lead for a landslide victory against Griffin. After his tenure with Misfits Gaming in the LEC, it was the first match back in Korea for SANDBOX’s support, Kang “GorillA” Beom-hyun, and given his domestic popularity, he received much attention from fans all around the world.
The following is the interview with GorillA, after his 2-0 victory against Griffin.
It’s been a while. How are you doing in SANDBOX?
You know how it is in Korea (laughter). Scrims after scrims and solo queue. I do get enough rest when needed, but I’m practicing really hard.
Not only is the KeSPA Cup is a chance for you and your team to improve yourselves, but it’s also a chance to see how others play as well. How do you feel about playing tonight?
We’re one of the teams that started to practice early because of how fast the roster was completed. However, we never had a chance to scrim Griffin, so although we had a general idea on how other teams are, we were nervous because we didn’t have enough information on them. However, I’m glad that we were able to pull off a victory.
What was the team atmosphere like before the match? If you were nervous, the younger players must’ve been a lot more nervous.
Surprisingly, my teammates were fearless. I think they were only pretending to be nervous. They played a lot better than they did in scrims. I think I was actually more nervous than them because it was my first match back in Korea. Also, before I went to Europe, I didn’t have a good track record against Griffin, so I personally felt very pressured.
The LCK, especially the Nexon Arena, must bring back a lot of nostalgia.
Of course. I was actually feeling really insecure before I even thought about returning to Korea. I didn’t play well before I left Korea, so I was unsure whether or not I’ll do well when I returned. However, I’m back to challenge myself, and if we continue to win like we did tonight, I think everything will be alright.
If your return means challenging yourself, I feel that the victory over the team that you didn’t have a good track record against will have a positive impact.
That’s right. It was a good chance to break that jinx. I can only say that because I won tonight (laughter).
Were there any bot lane duos on other teams that impressed you? Perhaps a duo that you’re looking forward to see play?
At the moment, I think that every team is really good. However, I think the duo that’s good in the traditional sense are Gen.G’s Ruler and Life. Also, Hanwha Life Esport’s bot duo is very unpredictable. I’m pretty sure that their flexibility in draft and coach NoFe’s influence has to do with a lot of it as well.
How are you getting along with your teammates? Can you describe your teammates in a sentence?
Within the team, there’s a nickname, ‘Su-On-Do’, which is an acronym for ‘Summit-OnFleek-Dove’. They’re very quirky and odd. Not in a bad way, of course, since they create a very fun atmosphere. Despite tonight’s match being very important, Leo is a player that stepped up and performed well
When people mention your name, they still talk about the famous ‘Pray-GorillA’ duo. What’s the difference in synergy between you and Pray, as to you and the new SANDBOX bot laners?
When I was with Pray, he would normally be the one to shotcall. That’s why I was able to rely on him, had less responsibilities, and was able to play more comfortably. However, although I’m not saying that Route and Leo are bad, I feel like I have to do more as a support player.
Excluding Joker, aren’t you the oldest on the team? Are you still the IRL support that takes care of other players outside the game?
Even before I try to look after the younger players, our head coach steps up to be more friendly with the players, and tries to find out what the players need. I think that’s why he told me that he and I have similar personalities. It feels like I have a strong ally on my side. Joker also takes care of other players well, so I feel very relieved.
SANDBOX is a team that, upon joining the LCK, performed well really fast, but is left with a lot of regrets. Now that you’re on the team, what kind of a team do you think SANDBOX will be?
As a newcomer to SANDBOX, I’ve observed how the team practices and plays for a long time. I think I can safely say that we’re doing well. Obviously, we’re not perfect, but as long as we mesh well in the time that we spend together, we have the potential to play even better.
Lastly, is there anything that you’d like to say to your teammates?
Tonight was the first time that I almost ended the match 0/0/0, but when I saw my teammates try to force at least an assist onto me by the enemy fountain, I was moved. I hope that we continue to be a team that wins, even if my KDA is 0/0/0. So you want to get carried? Well, I’m quite old, so...(laughter).
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