PSG Talon had a great run through the 2020 League of Legends World Championship play-ins with the help of their substitute players, so when they were drafted in the group of death, fans were interested in how far the underdogs could go.
Although the team is still winless, they've been showing improvements these past three days and their DAMWON Gaming match has been their best performance in the group stage so far. After the match, Kim “River” Dong-woo joined Inven Global to talk about his long journey to Worlds and facing the teams he desired to face.
How does it feel participating in your first World Championship?
The LoL World Championship is a place that all pro LoL players want to reach. I’m extremely happy that I’m here. I could have missed the whole event, but the loaned players did so well, so I’m really happy that I could play on stage.
What did you think when you got to play against the world’s best players?
Frankly, I can’t meet these strong players in scrims. This is the only chance to meet the world’s best players and teams. Although we’ve been losing, there’s a lot that I’ve learned.
You had to be quarantined for a long time to get here. How long was it? How did you spend the quarantine?
It was a total of 28 days. When was first quarantined in Korea, the internet wasn’t that good, so I wasn’t able to practice well. When I got to China, the desk and chair was a bit uncomfortable, so it took some time to get used to. I wasn’t able to scrim, so I just practiced through solo queue.
"I could have missed the whole event, but the loaned players did so well, so I’m really happy that I could play on stage."
Now that you’re playing on the Worlds stage, is it worth the wait?
Definitely. It’s surely worth the wait. I think I'd be able to do anything to play on the World Championship stage.
After PSG’s first match against Rogue, Tank said that the team shouldn’t be too shaken by the loss. How did you get over the loss?
It was our first match, so we were very nervous and felt a lot of pressure. Then, we suffered an unexpected mid gank followed by a level 3 gank from bot. I think Tank was really shaken up after that. Still, we thought if we don’t let the loss drag us down, we would be able to show what we can do.
PSG seemed to be a very aggressive team that likes to fight. That was shown the most in today’s game against DAMWON Gaming. What was different from the first two games?
In the first two games against Rogue and JD Gaming, our picks didn’t have priority in any of the three lanes. I played Graves, but it was hard to go into the opponent's jungle. So when we prepared for today’s picks and bans, we talked about picking champions that are stronger in the early game so that we could do some more things.
"When they had fewer players, I was intimidated, thinking, ‘Is there someone behind? Why are they playing like that?’ It was kind of like playing against a non-existing Evelynn."
As you intended, you were ahead, but the game was turned little by little. How was it playing against them?
Even when we had wards up, it felt dark. When they had fewer players, I was intimidated, thinking, ‘Is there someone behind? Why are they playing like that?’ It was kind of like playing against a non-existing Evelynn.
Were there any teams or players that you wanted to face at Worlds?
First was JD Gaming and Kanavi, the second was DAMWON Gaming and Canyon. I’m really happy that I’ve faced both. I thought their junglers were especially good. Of course, all of their lanes are good as well, but I thought they were the teams with the strongest junglers. I wanted to meet them because I was curious about how they would play in competitions. I was happy when we were drawn into this group.
What did you learn by facing them?
By playing against them, I learned more about where to focus on in the early game and the way they play.
You have three matches coming. What’s your goal?
The first two matches for us were kind of helpless losses. We weren’t able to do anything about losing. I think we were able to show who we are in the early game today. I’d like to show better performances in the remaining three games.
Lastly, a word to the fans?
I’m really grateful to the fans that cheer for PSG Talon. I’m happy that we’ve shown a bit better performance compared to the first two days. Please keep cheering for us so that we can play better. Thank you.