On the very last match of day 3 at MSI 2021, PSG Talon defeated the TCL representatives, İstanbul Wildcats. As the tournament heads into the second half of the group stages, PSG Talon is now 2-1 in their group, with their sights set way higher in the tournament.
After the match, Inven Global spoke with the head coach for PSG Talon, Kwon “Helper” Yeong-jae.
We’ve reached the halfway point of the group stages, and the team ended with a 2-1 record. How do you reflect on the team’s performance so far?
MAD Lions definitely played like the LEC representatives, but as long as we’re able to show up when it matters, we believe we can beat any team in our groups. We’re more focused on improving our own gameplay.
The team looked very clean in today’s match, as well as on game 2, but what went wrong against MAD Lions on day 1?
The biggest variable was that it’s been a very long time since we played on stage; some players didn’t even have stage time at all. Also, due to Unified’s health issues, we’re playing with a player on loan. Individually, he’s a stellar player, but due to not having enough time playing together with our roster, I think he performed worse than what he’s capable of. We’ve also arrived in Iceland pretty late, so I think that played a factor as well.
Speaking of Unified, can you give us an update on how he’s doing?
During practice, Unified was once diagnosed with pneumothorax before. The doctors said that if he gets it again, he’ll be in a very dangerous situation, so flying over to Iceland was definitely not possible. I’m definitely worried, but I’ve heard that right now, he’s physically stable, and is doing well. Once MSI is over, I’ll have to make sure that he takes care of his health properly.
For whatever reason, PSG Talon is known to perform well on the international stage, even if it’s with emergency subs. What was the experience like working with a substitute bot laner this time around?
Doggo is the core player on his home team, Beyond Gaming. He’s very young, and has a very amiable personality, so there were no problems with him meshing together with the team. He’s very receptive when it comes to feedback from our coaching staff, so it’s been a pleasure working with him so far.
PSG Talon continues to put on a great performance on the international stage. How has the team improved since 2020 Worlds?
At the time, I wasn’t with the team, so while I can’t speak for the 2020 version of PSG Talon, the circumstances are much better this time around. We only have one player unable to attend this time around, so I would say that we’re very close to our original roster’s level of performance.
Are there any wildcard teams that surprised you the most with their performance?
It definitely has to be DFM, who played incredibly well against DWG KIA. They’ve improved quite a lot since we last scrimmed them, and they were on point today, so if we end up facing them, I don’t think it’s going to be easy to beat them. They looked scary.
How far do you believe that the team will make it into the tournament? Also, what are your personal goals for 2021?
Realistically, we were aiming for the semifinals, but I think we can expect to go even further. I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but as long as we play at our 100% and have the right momentum behind us, going even further into the tournament is definitely possible.
It’s been a while since a minor region performed well on the international stage. Now that I represent a team in a wildcard region, I want to leave a mark in LoL Esports history. Whether that’s playing in the finals at MSI or being able to even just make it to the quarterfinals at this year’s Worlds, I’m leading my players to be able to reach those higher heights.
Striving for perfection to achieve excellence in esports