On the 29th (KST), KT Rolster defeated Hanwha Life Esports 2-0 in the 2020 LCK Spring Split. With this victory, KT continues their win streak by 3 games, and is now in a position to potentially set their sights for playoffs.
After the match, head coach Hirai expressed his joy and relief. He commented, “I’m incredibly happy. Although I’m also happy with the victory, I’m incredibly happy for my players. They had a really rough time. Not only was there much mental pressure, there were many other factors that gave them a hard time, but I’m glad that this win gave them cured all that away. I’m so happy to see them smile.”
He says that the team atmosphere was terrible. “The practice itself was good, but because of the losing streak built from games that they should’ve won, they were mentally broken. The expectations on them became very low, much psychological issues followed”. To solve these issues, he commented that he didn’t only focus on practice, but also in building morale and teamwork.
It seemed like KT’s back on track. Hirai commented that the team atmosphere is a lot better, and said, “They’re now properly able to do in-game things that they’re assigned to. It’s important to stay on this road”.
Hirai saw Spring split as a time to fortify their foundations. “Just like last year, I made a year-long plan that looks beyond just the Spring split. If you just look at a match, or a season that’s right in front of you, there’ll come a point where things will seem like it’s out of your control. Our ultimate goal is to go to Worlds. There’s still a long way to go for us, but one by one, we’re slowly filling the things we lack. It feels like we overcame one hurdle out of the many in front of us, and it’s definitely encouraging to think that all the players and the coaching staff feel the same”.
He also commented about the opinions on KT’s top lane. Hirai says that the team can’t always be composed of the best players, so both the coaching staff and the players need to improve together and it’s his job to make it happen. He commented, “It’s the coaches job to individually train the players and help them grow. We were aware that our top lane has been weak since before the season started, so we need to help him improve.”
He shared his resolutions for their next match against Griffin as well. He commented, “We’re always the same. We should never get ahead of ourselves. In order to improve, we need to always look back in where we are and accept it. There were many different champions we couldn’t use because we got docile from the loss streak. If our players can keep their form, we’ll be able to put on a good show”.
Lastly, he expressed his gratitude to all the fan support. “There are two things that raise player morale, victory and fan support. We’re not a team that’s the flashiest, nor is our team full of superstar players. However, I just hope that they won’t be mentally hurt, and that they can enjoy playing through the season. We really need your support, as one word from the fans will give the players much more energy than ten words from me."
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