On July 17th (KST), DRX defeated Hanwha Life Esports 2-0 in the 2020 League of Legends Champions Korea Summer Split. It was the last game of Round 1 and DRX maintained their position in 1st place. After the match, DRX head coach Kim “cvMax” Dae-ho joined Inven Global to review the first round of the season.
How do you feel finishing Round 1?
We accomplished and earned many things compared to the spring split. I feel good that we’ve improved.
Was it as you expected or higher than your expectations?
My expectations were high, and it was good that we met my expectations.
Were there any players that exceeded your expectations?
Since my expectations are too high, exceeding it is physically impossible, but everyone met my expectations.
Let’s change the word a bit. Did anyone exceed your predictions?
Wouldn’t my predictions be high if my expectations are high? [Laughs]
How did the Kayle support pick come out today?
There’s a certain trigger we have for Kayle. In certain situations, in our compositions, the enemy compositions… We’ve been practicing picking Kayle when certain conditions were met. Today, it came out naturally so we discussed and picked it.
The only loss you had in Round 1 was against kt Rolster. What lacked and how did you make up for it?
We’ve been trying extremely diverse structures of compositions, so we weren’t able to notice the synergy falling. The draft ended up too much focused on a certain strategy. The opponent’s comp was good to counter that so it was difficult.
Did you have proper feedback and made sure that it didn’t happen again in the future?
Yes. As a result, us losing to KT was a kind of vaccination, we were injected. It was good medicine. It was worth losing once like that.
Then what do you have to improve heading into Round 2?
It’ll be great if we become more detailed and more solid when we’re ahead. At the moment, even if we’re ahead, there’s this instability. Instability is sometimes positive, but we need to know how to use it in the right situations.
The foreign leagues metas fight more but in the LCK, only a few teams do that. What do you think the reason is for this difference?
To fight, there needs to be a proper reason. In the current LoL meta, there are a lot more reasons than before. There weren’t those sweet objectives on the Rift before. Now there’s the Scuttle Crab and more. [Without breathing] It’s like, “You’re not gonna fight us? We’ll take the Scuttle Crab. No fight? We’re gonna take the Dragon. Still no? We’ll take your raptors and blue. And the vision in the river. Get ready to get pressured in the mid and bottom. Still no fight? We’ll go for a 4-man dive.” Now, there are too many reasons to NOT avoid fights. When you understand that well, I think there should be way more fights compared to before, but it depends on the concept of the draft. To go into more detail, we need to discuss the compositions.
What you initially asked was “why do foreign leagues fight often but LCK doesn’t?” I guess, it’s probably the leagues have different understandings of the game? [Laughs] The LCK likes to pick Karma. The reason is that Karma’s Mantra shield helps with the strength of the composition in the mid to late game so that the damage dealers can deal damage steadily. I think the completeness of a composition in the mid-late game is important in the LCK, so Karma is popular.
The meta has been changing a lot. For example, DAMWON Gaming lays much strength on the first Rift Herald. They take 9 out of 10 first Rift Heralds and that often leads to the first turret. The wits of the support player are also very important. I think DAMWON has a good understanding of the meta and it’s good to copy their style into each teams’ own styles.
How would you evaluate yourself as a coach for Round 1?
M.. me? I would be always the same. [Laughs] From when I was in Griffin to now. I think I was alright. The DRX players’ understanding of the game has been improving a lot. There’s a positive tiki-taka within the team, the players and me, and it has great synergy.
With YamatoCannon in the LCK, there’s another quote-maker head coach in the league. You’re also known by the fans as a quote-maker.
Actually, I’m usually cynical about quotes. I always try to elaborate and explain what I say in detail. Usually, most famous quotes depend on the circumstances. There are many quotes that I dislike, such as, “Hard work never betrays”. Are you kidding? Hard work often betrays!
“A resolution only lasts three days”? If a resolution went three days, that’s long. It’s a compliment. How can a resolution last 3-4 days? It’s impossible from the hormones. It should rather be, “let’s resolute often”.
Round 2 is coming now. How are your “resolutions”?
It would always be the same. I’ll keep an eye on the current situation properly and do my best to prepare well so that we can show fun and great performances in Round 2.
You’ve always been saying that your goal is to win Worlds. You haven’t reached Worlds yet, but do you think it’s possible? And how likely would it be for an LCK team to win Worlds?
Unless we win the championship in the summer split, there’s still a good chance of slipping. I’m just planning to do my best. Chances for an LCK team to win it… [Thinks for a while] 100%... 90%... Maybe about ninety….eight? [Laughs]
Lastly, a word to the fans?
Thank you all for staying interested in our team and me. I’ll continue to do my best.