On day 25 of the 2021 LCK Summer split, Gen.G defeated DRX 2-0 in the first match of the day. With their victory that night, they were the first team to get eight match victories in the split.
While the victory was somewhat expected, the fact that they were able to halt their 2-match losing streak held enough meaning. They remained undefeated since the split started, but in the last two games, Gen.G was swept by DWG KIA and T1 prior to the night’s match. Inven had a chance to sit down with the head coach of the team, Ju “oDin” Yeong-dal, to learn more about what the team was going through.
“The entire mood of the team definitely went down when we kept losing. Everyone was struggling, but Kim ‘Rascal’ Kwang-hee definitely had it the roughest. Our drafts usually first picked our top lane pick, so he always had to play against a counterpick; from the coaching staff’s perspective, we felt especially bad for him. The fact that we didn’t have more variety in our draft strategies was definitely a big factor in our slump. Players were blaming themselves very heavily for the slump, so mentally, we had to cheer them up a lot.
Overall, we all realized that we still had a long way to go. There definitely were cracks in our level of trust during that time, but right now, we’ve fixed all that. In terms of in-game feedback, there was only one thing: Patience. We were making lots of mistakes because we were being impatient; there were moments of impatience even tonight. Apart from that, we’re very well aware that our drafts are very one-dimensional, so we’re experimenting with new methods in our drafts during practice.”
The most notable thing about Gen.G’s drafts were the priority on Ziggs and Viego. They loved to first pick Viego, but failed to pick Ziggs, a champion that’s risen to the top of the meta. The fact that Gen.G’s adc, Park “Ruler” Jae-hyuk, went straight into solo queue to practice Ziggs after getting 0-2’d by T1’s Lee “Gumayusi” Min-hyeong was something that the KR community talked about as well.
“We did really well with Viego during practice, and felt that he was a hard champion to deal with on the enemy team as well. We’ve always considered Viego to be a top pick ever since the beginning of the split, but the result was not always positive. Even still, Viego is a triple flex pick, so we felt confident in first-picking him. Ziggs is also a great champion, but Ruler plays so well on the marksman champions, so the fact that we felt restricted in that regard was definitely true. I can say with confidence that we're ready to play Ziggs any time, since he is also a great pick when it comes to playing around top side.”
With Gen.G’s victory over DRX, they’ve kicked off round 2 off to a great start. NS RedForce was the team that was named as the biggest obstacle for Gen.G; NS has definitely shown improvement since the Spring split, as they’re currently 3rd place in the standings.
“NS are no doubt the dark horses of this split. I think they’re playing very well right now. They’re also good in scrims, and they’ve adapted well into the current meta. I think that Lee “Rich” Jae-won has improved very much, which is very evident even in his solo queue match history. Also, NS is a very hard working team. After Lim “Comet” Hye-sung joined their coaching staff, the overall atmosphere of the team has gotten brighter. They’ve become a tighter unit."
Gen.G’s next match is against Hanwha Life Esports. HLE has also shown improvement since their slump, so it’s predicted that it’ll be less one-sided than it was in round 1. While oDin did respect the fact that HLE was a great team, he was also confident that Gen.G will win the match.
“Everyone on the team felt that HLE wouldn’t play well in the beginning of the split. However, they play well in scrims, and I just felt that they’re a very good team. While the fact that they’ve shown improvement does worry me to a certain extent, we’ll win as long as we can deal with Jeong “Chovy” Ji-hoon.
I want to take this time to apologize to the fans for our shortcomings during the DWG KIA/T1 series. We’re aware of the problems that we have, so we’ll give it our all in fixing those problems.”
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