On Feb. 21, in the 2021 League of Legends Champions Korea Spring Split, T1 swept Liiv SANDBOX 2-0. T1 debuted a new jungler, Moon “Oner” Hyeon-joon, along with one of the youngest starting lineups in the league. Bot laner Park “Teddy” Jin-seong was the veteran in this squad, leading the rookies to victory. After the match, Teddy joined Inven Global for an interview.
It was a long break. How did you spend the Lunar New Year break?
I mostly rested with my family at home, had some tteok-guk (rice cake soup) and galbi-jjim (braised short ribs). And played some games with friends — mostly playing ARAM and just chatting about how we’ve been doing.
How do you feel about today’s win?
The first game got long and the macro was regretful. But in the second game, the macro was clean from the laning phase, so I think it was a rather satisfying 2-0 win.
What went wrong with the macro in the first game?
The opponent had Camille, but we didn’t think enough about the sidelanes. We just tried to push and didn’t think about Camille pushing, so she came in easily.
T1’s roster today was full of young players. You would have had to lead them as the only veteran in the lineup. How was it?
It’s true that I had to lead as a veteran, but the top-mid-jungle all play well aggressively, so I didn’t need to tell them to do much. Despite being rookies, they know the game pretty well. I think it was a good chance to feed them experience. I’m looking forward to their future.
It was Oner’s debut today. Wasn’t he nervous?
I think he was quite nervous, but it didn’t show much. He blamed himself too much whenever he missed any skillshots, so I just told him not to think too much about that.
In a recent interview, Faker said that he believes age doesn’t hurt mechanics much and that he wants to prove it. What do you think?
For me, I don’t feel it yet. I think I would know if I play for longer. I haven’t been playing nearly as long as Faker did. Faker has been playing for so long — if Faker says age doesn't hurt mechanics, then it doesn't. [Laughs] I think I’d need to feel it by playing for a long time. I don’t quite know yet if prowess declines from aging, or if more improvement is possible through will hard work.
You haven’t been playing much this season. Is that alright with you?
I’m not uncomfortable with the situation. It’s regretful when the team loses, and when I see regretful moments in scrims or in the LCK, they’re things we could improve on. So I think when I play, I should try to keep the team from making the same mistakes.
You wouldn’t be satisfied with T1's current standings. What do you think is lacking?
We need to gather our thoughts to one, and I think that didn’t work well. This happened both when I was watching and when I played. Sometimes, it looked like we tried to make individual plays and concentrated too much on laning. We weren’t flexible enough. I think we should improve these parts to reach higher in the standings.
T1’s lineup changes very often. What do you think about that?
There was a similar rotation from last summer. At first, it was difficult, but now, I’m quite used to it. So I just work hard thinking I should play well when I play.
Is T1’s rotation decided by the best lineup for each match? Or is the team still experimenting with different rosters?
We play a lot of scrims and in-houses. The coaching staff watches it well and tries hard to harmonize the players and find the best combination.
I’m also curious about the meta. Only a few champions appear in the pro scene.
It’s true that only a few champions appear, but I think it’s also due to the players’ champion pools. I think there are more cards that can be used.
You’ve been playing for 5-6 years, right? Are you happy right now?
When I lose, it’s hard, but I try harder whenever I lose. I work hard when I win as well because I’m happy. I just love gaming, and LOL is still fun. I’m really happy.
Any last comments?
Thank you for cheering for me. I’ll do my best so that we can get the best results.