On the 9th (KST), T1 took down SANDBOX Gaming in Round 2 of the 2020 LCK Spring with a set score of 2-0. Despite T1 looking a tiny bit shaky recently, their dominating victory against SB tonight seemed to just wash all that away. On the other hand, with this loss, SB is out of playoff contention and now fights to avoid the Relegation tournament.
The Head Coach for T1, Kim Jeong-soo, joined Inven Global for a 1 on 1 interview to talk about tonight’s victory against SANDBOX.
The regular season of the 2020 LCK Spring is nearing its end. How do you feel about tonight’s victory?
I’m glad that our team had a clean victory, and it feels great that we’re on our way to ending the regular season very positively.
How satisfied are you with the team’s performance in Round 2? Can you share some of the things you think the team did well, as well as some of the things the teams need to work on?
The team played well in both Round 1 and 2, and they continue to stay very sharp so far, so I’m satisfied with the team’s performance in both Rounds. There’s diversity behind our patterns in winning, and it feels like the team is continuing to improve in their wins, so things are looking good.
Compared to Round 1, is there anything in particular that the team drastically improved?
The team’s definitely playing more aggressively. We always took things slow in Round 1, but in Round 2, there were games that we picked up the pace. We told ourselves that it’s okay to make mistakes, whether it was in game or during the draft, so we’re figuring out what works and what doesn’t.
As Canna and Ellim did, rookies that took stage this year have been outstanding. You stated that you started the rookies in matches to test them and have them gain experience, so how did the rookies change from before playing matches to after?
Canna’s a rookie, but he’s already experienced so much, so he’s doing very well. In terms of Ellim/Cuzz, they both have their strong and weak points. Despite being a rookie, Ellim performed well in matches, and I think that it positively affected both Junglers. However, I subbed in Ellim because we had a lot of room to give him some play time in matches, and I think that Cuzz is better at the moment, so I think that Cuzz will mostly be starting for the team.
There’s a lot of people wanting to know more about Gumayusi (the sub Bot Laner for T1), and according to Teddy, he described him as ‘a player that’s already ready to play’. As the head coach for the team, what does he need to improve to see some stage time?
There’s no specific conditions required for Gumayusi. He’s good, but Teddy’s just better. It's just that simple. Truth be told, who in the right mind would have Teddy sit on the side lines? Even if he underperforms one or two matches, he can’t be subbed out. Teddy just puts on such dominating performances! However, Gumayusi is very good as well, and I believe that he’ll perform well in matches as well.
How do you rate Faker’s recent performance? As he is the captain of the team, is there anything that you expect from him in or outside the game?
He does his job well all by himself, so there’s not much that I can say to him. He’s usually pretty quiet and reserved, so I wish he got along just a tiny bit more with his teammates (laughter).
Do you also watch matches in other regions? How would you rate the teams in other regions?
I only watch the LPL. IG and FPX continue to perform well, while the other teams seem to be performing at a pretty standard level. LCK hasn’t won an international title in quite a bit, so I feel that we now need to study their aggressiveness. I think that even if there are mistakes made from playing aggressively, there’s more return to the risk, so I’m studying why they tend to play in such a way. I believe that the safe and passive playstyle of the LCK doesn’t work anymore.
As T1 continues their climb toward the very top of the standings, is there one thing that the team absolutely needs to improve to achieve that goal?
I don’t think there’s anything in particular. Honestly speaking, there’s no need for us to be in first place during the regular season, and we’re performing quite well already, so I think it’s important for us to maintain our level of play. I think that trying to force the team to improve from the way we are now is being a little too ambitious.
Your next opponent is KT. They’ve recently went on an 8-match win streak, but they’ve staggered off from the momentum. How will you prepare for the match vs KT?
We face them tomorrow, so there’s nothing special we can prepare for the match. We’re preparing for the playoffs, so although the matches that we have left are important, there’s nothing special that we need to prepare. We’re just going to play the way we’ve been doing.
Lastly, what would you like to say to the fans cheering for T1 at home?
Although the players are not meeting you face to face, they’re receiving many messages of support, so thank you, and we’ll make sure to prepare well for our upcoming matches.