NS Rich: "I don’t know how many years I have left as a pro gamer, so I’m working hard as if this is my last split."

On day 18 of the 2021 LCK Summer split, NS RedForce defeated DWG KIA 2-1 in the first match of the day. DWG KIA fielded their original starting roster of Khan-Canyon-ShowMaker-Ghost-BeryL for this match. While they did look great in game 1, NS RedForce was able to recalibrate their drafts and their game plan, reverse sweeping the series and rising to 2nd place in the standings.


The top laner for NS RedForce, Lee “Rich” Jae-won, joined the press room for a post-match interview.

You’ve had a great performance tonight. Thoughts on the victory?


We lost to Fredit BRION 0-2, and I think if we lost again tonight, I think our team atmosphere probably would’ve become pretty bad. However, beating DWG KIA tonight, we felt like we overcame a huge obstacle as a team, so I feel really good.


Despite the 2-1 victory, the team looked very shaky in game 1. How has the game plan changed after that game?


We picked Diana in game 1, but we didn’t have lane priority everywhere on the map. They had vision everywhere because of it; Maokai saplings just added to the vision that they took. That’s why Diana was basically helpless. We switched our draft to focus on having more lane priority for game 2.


You received PoG for both games tonight. How do you feel about it?


I really wanted to improve my performance for this split, and one of my goals was to receive PoG, so I’m glad that it happened twice tonight.


Renekton has a decent winrate in LPL, but it’s looking pretty bad in the LCK. What are your thoughts on the champion?


It’s like when Graves looked good in the LPL, but bad in the LCK last year. Renekton’s always banned in scrims, so I think not getting enough practice on the champion is what makes him look bad.


NS is in 2nd place. Do you feel confident about the team being able to continue performing well?


While it’s great that we’re doing well early, things can go sideways quickly in round 2, so we can’t get complacent. I don’t think there’s a team that’s a ‘free win’, so we need to keep practicing hard.


What do you think is the reason behind the mayhem in the LCK standings?


Tanks were in the meta during the Spring split, so even if top laners made a mistake, they had more leeway. However, now that bruisers are meta, one mistake can prove to be fatal, so I think that top lane has more influence on the map. Looking at LCK overall, I think that every team practiced very hard for this split.


What do you think is the reason behind Blue side favoritism?


Gen.G always picks the red side; we like the blue side for internal reasons. However, as time passes, I think teams will start picking the red side.


As someone that’s always won championships in another game title, what’s your mindset for this split?


I don’t know how many years I have left as a pro gamer, so I’m working hard as if this is my last split. Obviously, our goal is to head to Worlds, and get as far as possible in the tournament.


Are there any Western players that you hope to face in the future?


I don’t have a specific player that I want to face, but I do watch VODs of top laners that I think are very good right now; Kiin and Nuguri are on the top of that list.


Lastly, is there anything you’d like to say?


I played really poorly in the Spring split, to the point where I was even called the worst top laner in the LCK. Despite this, I’m really grateful for all my fans’ support, and will keep working hard to improve and play better this split.

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