On Jan. 6, the media day for the 2020 LCK Spring Split was held online through Zoom. The head coaches and a player from each team participated to talk about the upcoming spring season and share their expectations and resolutions with the press. Below is the full transcript of the media day.
Which team do you think will become the 2021 Spring champions, and which place do you think your team will place?
DWG kkOma: I believe that we’re the strongest championship contenders.
DWG ShowMaker: I agree as well.
DRX SSONG: I think DWG looks the strongest. We’re hoping for a 5th place regular split finish.
DRX Pyosik: I think DWG will win Spring. I think we’ll finish 6th or 7th (laughter).
GEN oDin: DWG. Our immediate goal is to make it into the playoffs.
GEN Ruler: I think that we’re a very good team, so I think we’ll most likely become Spring champions.
AF Rigby: I think that DWG has the highest chances of becoming champions.
AF Bang: I believe that T1, Gen.G, and DWG have the highest chances of winning the split, and among them, I think DWG has the highest chances. For us, I think we’ll at least make it into the playoffs.
T1 Daeny: Of course, it’s DWG. Our goal is 3rd-4th place.
T1 Canna: I also believe DWG are the strongest, and I also predict a 3rd place finish.
KT Hirai: Coming into the tournament, I believe that DWG are the strongest, but T1 and Gen.G also have a shot as well. Our goal is to beat each team one by one, with the mindset of a 10th place team.
KT Ucal: DWG are definitely looking the strongest, and our team’s goal is 3rd-4th place.
LSB Micro: It’s definitely DWG. Our goal right now is to not come in 10th place and make it to the playoffs.
LSB Summit: I agree with Micro. I think that we’ll have no problems reaching the playoffs.
NS sBs: I think that DWG will most likely win the split, and our goal is playoffs.
NS Rich: We’re aiming to make it into the playoffs, gain experience for performing better in the Summer.
BRO Edgar: DWG, T1, and Gen.G will most likely win the split. Rather than having our team’s goals on becoming champions this split, we’ve set our sights on making it into the playoffs.
BRO UmTi: I also believe that DWG will win, and rather than worrying about our place in the standings, our goal is to improve as a team.
HLE Kezman: We want to tackle things one at a time, so we’re planning to tackle smaller goals at a time. I believe that once we make it into the playoffs, the rest of the coaching staff and I can prepare a lot in a Bo5, so our goal right now is to make it to the playoffs. As for who I think will win the split, DWG’s incredibly good.
HLE DuDu: I also think that DWG will win the split. Our goal is 3rd-4th place.
(To kkOma) KeSPA Cup marked the first time that the team played with its newest member, Khan. How do you evaluate the team’s synergy so far, and do you think the teamwork will continue to improve over time?
DWG kkOma: We’ve just taken our first steps as a team, so it’s hard to evaluate each player. It’s far-fetched to say that our teamwork is perfect at the moment, but on a personal level, I think they played well. Rather than having the mindset of continuing on the dominance that this team had, we believe that we're back in square one. I want to amplify our team’s strengths to elevate further, and I think that the incredible individual talent will enable us to be better than before.
(To ShowMaker) With the introduction of new items into the game, how does the team internally evaluate the differences between 2020 and 2021?
DWG ShowMaker: I personally think it won’t be too different. Apart from being able to use champions like Samira and Yone, there really aren’t too many drastic changes to the meta.
(To DWG) As the strongest contenders for the championship, which team will prove to be the biggest obstacle for DAMWON Kia?
DWG kkOma: I believe that all teams are very good, so there isn’t a single team to be underestimated. If I really had to choose, it’d have to be T1 and Gen.G.
DWG ShowMaker: I agree with kkOma. I’d also choose T1 and Gen.G.
(To NS) What are some of the perks that come from being sponsored by a huge corporation like Nongshim?
NS sBs: I don’t have to worry about food.
NS Rich: The prestige that comes from the name, Nongshim, is a huge plus itself.
(To Kezman) What was your reaction in acquiring such huge names like Deft and Chovy?
HLE Kezman: I believe that we’ve earned reliable carries. I was incredibly happy. I was slightly disappointed when our mid lane wasn’t as influential as I hoped to be, but one thing I realized through practice was that there was a reason why these players are so good at what they do.
(To Kezman) The fans worry about how the rest of the team consists of rookies and inexperienced players. How do you respond to such worries from the fans, and what kind of feedback did you give to the team after the KeSPA Cup?
HLE Kezman: Because we have a lot of rookies, there are a lot of things that we need to work on. The coaching staff’s job is to shape the team well under such circumstances. So far, it’s not working out as well as I hope to be, but with time, we’ll definitely figure things out. Even if the other three players may be rookies/inexperienced, they’re all very talented individually, so I believe that it’ll work out over time.
(To Edgar) KeSPA Cup marked the first that the team played in a competitive environment. Even though the team hasn’t played that many matches, how do you evaluate the team’s performance?
BRO Edgar: They didn’t perform as well as they did in scrims, and I think it’s due to the fact that we have a lot of rookie players on the team. They made a lot of mistakes due to nerves. We did go 1-1, so I don’t think it’s too bad. I was left hopeful for the future while learning a lot at the same time.
(To Edgar) What kind of a team would you say Fredit BRION is? What kind of a team did you hope to create in acquiring the players, and who would you say the key player of the team is?
BRO Edgar: I wanted to create a team that isn’t afraid to fight. The players skirmish a lot in scrims as well, and in creating this roster, I was thinking a lot about how the players will synergize with one another. I believe that their potential will explode when they’re on the same page, so it’s hard to pinpoint one key player on the team.
(To Hirai and SSONG) Both KT and DRX have called up a lot of rookies to create the starting roster. What was the focal behind your respective rosters?
KT Hirai: I wanted to create a roster that heavily valued the fundamentals, and I hope to shape the team that will improve step by step.
DRX SSONG: I wanted to keep the explosive energy that the rookies brought, and right now, they have the fundamentals down to improve.
(To Hirai) There was a lot of talk during the off-season. What are your thoughts on the completed roster, and what are the team’s goals?
KT Hirai: Things were rather simple. I thought that our completed roster turned out not too shabby, and I believed that there’s a bright future ahead of us. We always gotta look ahead of time for a brighter future.
(To SSONG) In rather an unexpected time, you took over as the interim head coach. How will you lead the team, and can you tell us about the team’s color/concept?
DRX SSONG: Due to the fact that our team mostly consists of rookies, our goal is to improve how we play the game as a team. The players are very aggressive and I want to shape our team around that aggressiveness.
(To SSONG) There was a lot of talk about the team during the off-season. Are there any obstacles that lie ahead in participating in the Spring split?
DRX SSONG: There are absolutely no more problems, and we’ll give it our all.
(To Pyosik) With a new interim head coach, how is practice going for the team? What can we expect from the new DRX line-up in the Spring split?
DRX Pyosik: Even though there were a lot of changes within the team, everyone is 100% focused, and our practice is going well. In terms of what to expect from us in Spring, I really don’t know (laughter).
(To Daeny) Upon joining T1, you stated that you have high hopes in working with talented players. Now that you had some time to work with them, how does it feel?
T1 Daeny: I’ve only had a short time to work with them, so… For now, it’s very fun. When I was with DWG, I had to create the best team in the world from the ground up, but at T1, I’m working with a lot of talented players, so it’s been nothing short of happy days.
(To Daeny) What kind of a team do you hope to shape?
T1 Daeny: The rate that DWG plays is the fastest in the world. To reach the rate that they play at is my goal, and even if I can’t achieve it, my goal is to destroy the team that I created.
(To Daeny) T1’s roster consists of three junglers, while only one support on the starting roster. What’s the mindset behind creating such a roster?
T1 Daeny: The first reason why I chose to join T1 is that I put the highest priority in mid-jungle. In order to kill… I mean destroy Canyon (laughter), I needed a lot of substitute junglers on the roster, and in the process of taking down Canyon, I gave them certain missions.
(To kkOma) Your record of having the most consecutive LCK championship victories is unparalleled (three consecutive victories). Do you believe that you can create another record like such? What are some of the things that need to be improved, as a team?
DWG kkOma: As I always say, if we can produce results from giving it our all each match, the record will continue. I don’t think too much about such records; I just have my sights set on how we’ll perform in Spring.
The meta changes through each patch, and player performance can change from it. I’m just thinking about how the players will perform better throughout the journey.
(To kkOma) Everyone believes that DWG are the strongest coming into the Spring split. Does such evaluation come with a lot of pressure, in continuing the team’s dominance?
DWG kkOma: When I first joined, I definitely did feel the pressure. Even now, if I say that there isn’t any pressure, it’d be a blatant lie. However, to be asked if there’s a lot of pressure, means that players are incredibly talented, so I’m happy to think about how we can win the championship. It’s a huge praise for the team.
(To DuDu) 2020 was a tough year for HLE. However, you’ve improved a lot throughout the year, so how are you building synergy with the new players, particularly in team gameplay?
HLE DuDu: Last season was a tough one, so with such immense pressure on my shoulders, my goal was to do as much as I could. This season, we have a lot of talented players on our roster, so I want to find all the things I could do and make it happen.
(To Hirai) Most people expected Blank to be on the Challenger League (LCK CL) roster, but to much surprise, he’s the starting jungler for the team. Can you tell us more about the decision?
KT Hirai: I considered a lot about how the team will function with him, and internally decided that he’s better suited as the starting jungler for the team over our CL players. I believed that our CL players had many things they needed to work on, so they’ll be called up once they’re ready.
(To UmTi) You’re returning to the LCK stage after a long time. What’s your mindset in returning to the stage?
BRO UmTi: Actually, I wasn’t that far from the LCK -- I was just at a step lower. I was always close by, so my mindset hasn’t changed. No matter where I was, I always wanted to play in the LCK. I want to become a player that plays to my full potential, and without regrets.
(To SSONG) Do you believe that playing in an online format will greatly benefit the rookie players? Or do you believe that it’ll actually prove to be detrimental, because they’re not getting any real stage time?
DRX SSONG: There are both pros and cons, but I believe that there are more pros. It’s more important that these rookie players get a lot of actual competitive match experience, so playing online will bring less pressure to the players.
(To ShowMaker) DWG now aims to become back-to-back world champions with kkOma. How have things been with the newest head coach?
DWG ShowMaker: He’s a really good person. I’m not just saying this to suck up to him, but after spending time with him, he’s a really good person that thinks a lot about us. It’s hard to pick some of his faults. I’m really happy he’s with us.
DWG kkOma: Thank you so much. Please continue to support DWG Kia.
(To Daeny) What is your strategy in utilizing Faker this season?
T1 Daeny: I’ll keep that a secret (laughter). Please cheer for T1 as well!
(To Canna) Now that Nuguri left for the LPL, which top laner do you think is the strongest?
T1 Canna: There are a lot of strong top laners, so it’s hard to choose just one. All the top laners on the teams that I think will do well are very strong, so I’ll definitely need to improve as a player. I always strive to be the best, and I have to work hard to prove that I am the best.
(To Edgar) It took you three years to put Samsung Galaxy at the top, so how long do you think it’ll take for you to put BRION at the top?
BRO Edgar: (Laughter) I didn’t really set a timeline, but I think it’ll take me a while. I don’t know when it’ll be, but I hope that day will come one day.
(To Ruler) What are your goals for the 2021 season?
GEN Ruler: Personally, I don’t think the 2021 Spring split will be bot lane-ccentric, so I want to be more stable, but am practicing hard to win lane every time.
(To Micro) Now that you’ve been in charge of the team for roughly two months, what are some of the unique traits of the players? What kind of a game does the team hope to play this year?
LSB Micro: I was surprised at how much brighter the team’s atmosphere is, and such a bright atmosphere is what makes us stand out. The changes to the team will all depend on the coaching staff. I still very much prefer high tempo gameplay, so we’ve been heading in that direction.
(To Summit) You’ve now become one of the veterans in the LCK. On a team and on a personal level, what are some goals that you can share with us? Which top laners do you believe that are the strongest?
LSB Summit: Our team is practicing very hard, so I hope to make it into the playoffs. All the top laners are very good… But if I had to choose, I’d say Khan, Canna, and Rascal.
(To sBs) NS were the runner-ups at KeSPA Cup. What do you believe to be the biggest factor in the 2nd place finish at KeSPA, and how would you rate the team’s gameplay right now?
NS sBs: Peanut had a huge role in performing well during the KeSPA Cup. Teamwork wise, there are still a lot of things we need to work on, but I think that our team’s very good at gathering for skirmishes/teamfights.
(To Canna) As a ‘Royal roader’ in 2020, what are your goals in your 2nd year of competitive play?
T1 Canna: Despite how things turned out in the 2020 season, it was a very good year for me. My goal for this year is to make it to Worlds, as it’s something that I couldn’t achieve in 2020.
(To Daeny) You’ve stated that you created the best team in the world with DWG, so your goal on T1 is to topple that same giant. How will you defeat DWG in 2021?
T1 Daeny: I think that if I say everything, I’ll end up leaking all my strategies, so please give me some time to think. It’s really hard to answer this while concealing my strategies… To give you a quick rundown of the steps I took as a coach on DWG, my biggest goal on DWG is to make every player be able to carry. In bonding the team as a single unit, there were a lot of concepts that I prepared, and I don’t know if I can catch up to that goal on T1 this year. I took on this new challenge on T1 to learn more about myself. I want to be as quick as possible in figuring the meta, but doing it my way. I previously stated that DWG are the “Villains”, so I want to say that I’ll be the one to stand over their dead bodies in the end, and am contemplating each day on how I can kill them.
(To Bang) What was the biggest reason behind joining AF? Also, what are your goals for this season?
AF Bang: It’s the league that I’ve been a part of the longest, and wanted to work hard to produce results that I’ll be satisfied with in the LCK. AF seemed to be the most optimal team in achieving that goal. As a pro, my goal is to obviously win every match, but I can’t win them all, so I want to continue improving over time.
What are your resolutions for the spring season?
DWG kkOma: DWG won Worlds in 2020, and I’ll make the best preparations from spring so that DWG can win the second consecutive Worlds in 2021. In the league, there could be crises -- if the fans could cheer us on in those situations, we’ll do our best to repay with good results. Please cheer for us always. I’ll make you smile more through good performances.
DWG ShowMaker: We had good results last year. The start of this year is good as well since we won the KeSPA Cup. We’ll do our best to get good results this year as well, since there are many fans always watching us. We have kind of a curse in the spring season -- it’s our chance to break that curse. Please cheer for us.
DRX SSONG: There were several things happening. One thing I can say is that our coaching staff and players have big potential that could make us competitive. Although there could be parts lacking early in the spring, we’ll show strong and solid performances by the end.
DRX Pyosik: Most of us are rookies so we’re not considered a strong team, but I’ll prepare well so that we could improve little by little to become one of the strongest teams by summer.
GEN oDin: The fans hope, the company hopes, and the squad hopes, so I’ll make sure we could win the championship this season.
GEN Ruler: It looks like this year would be rocky too, but I’ll do my best so that I could repay the fans with good results.
AF Rigby: Rather than dwelling on the results, I’ll try to make our team an annoying team, a team that other teams don’t want to face by the end of spring.
AF Bang: I’ll prepare well so that I could show good performances as a team.
T1 Daeny: I’m not sure if I could make refreshing performances by the spring season as I did in the summer. I think the meta has changed a bit as well. As much as I’ve become a person that represents the squad, I’ll do my best to analyze the meta. I won’t be complacent and I’ll always show a good example to the players. If that continues, I believe there will be a point where the squad will become really strong. I’ll do my best so that day comes sooner.
We also have coach Zefa on the team. We’ve worked together for quite a while now and he’s making awesome work recently. We have a great coaching staff working together and are working in one direction. Hopefully, I can say “I win!” at the end.
T1 Canna: When Daeny first came to the team, he said that he’s the god of LoL.
T1 Daeny: What?! Umm… Yeah.
T1 Canna: He really understands the game that much to be called the god of LoL. If we’re able to absorb his feedback fully, I don’t know about spring, but I think we could become the champions by summer.
LSB Micro: It’s way too early for me to say that our team is complete. We need more games so that we could become stronger and more solid. For that to happen, we need a lot of cheering. Please cheer for us.
LSB Summit: It’ll be difficult in the beginning, but we’ll become a team that improves over time.
NS sBs: We wanted to be in the long run. I don’t hope for great results immediately. I’ll work hard to reach the playoffs and to get to the finals.
NS Rich: I want to become a top laner that can be of help to the team. I’m still adapting, but I’ll do my best to fully adapt and be of more help.
HLE Kezman: Our goal is to get better results than last year. It’s really hard to end in a lower rank than last year… I’ll try to make more interesting games.
HLE DuDu: I underperformed last season. In this season, I’ll be back with better performances.
BRO Edgar: Whichever team we meet, I’ll face them as a challenger. I want to make a team where players get better evaluations by the end of the spring season.
BRO UmTi: Frankly, I want to win every game that’s ahead of us. In the new spring season, I want to win against favorites like T1 or DWG and feel that electricity going down my spine when I do.
KT Hirai: I wanted to set our goal of improving slowly, but I really do think we need to show our presence more. I’ll do my best so that we could become a team that could beat any team like DWG.
KT Ucal: We’ll become a team where other teams could think, “This is hard, we could lose” when they face us. I think ShowMaker is the best midlaner. My goal is to beat him.
Images captured from Riot Games Zoom Meeting
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