Round 2 of the 2021 LCK Summer split looks to be more hectic than ever. With four tickets for LCK teams to this year’s world championship, the race to the top is becoming more explosive than ever.
The one team that’s always the hottest topic of discussion within the LCK communities is T1. Currently, they sit at 5th place in the standings with a 5-5 record. In their last matches, they’ve decided to sub out their starting bot laner, Park “Teddy” Jin-seong, for Lee “Gumayusi” Min-hyeong; while they took a dominating 2-0 victory against Gen.G, the very opposite happened against the LCK’s dark horses of the Summer split, NS RedForce.
After their match against Gen.G, T1’s head coach, Yang “Daeny” Dae-in had a lot to share with Inven. “We’re all very busy. I thought that we’ve really organized our champion tier lists very well, so I really thought we would get easy wins early on. However, we struggled to face our internal communication issues. Gumayusi played very well tonight [against Gen.G], and he looks a lot better than he did in Spring. We still have a lot of matches ahead of us, so we won’t let our guard down.”
Daeny expanded on the internal communications issues as well. “There are things that I wanted to share after the split was over, but I’ll just share them now. Ever since my time with DAMWON Gaming, I’ve come to learn a lot of new win conditions and various team compositions. Whenever I create something new, it’s not done randomly; I’m strongly opinionated when it comes to my outlook on various conditions. However, the veteran players all have experience winning even without such changes.”
“I think it’s safe to say that we’re at the threshold of our veteran players understanding them fully. Right now, they still understand them in their head, but whether it’s because of habit or through their physical conditions on that day, it all plays out differently. There are so many reasons behind our losses that are very hard to explain.”
“Communication issues stem from a number of different reasons. My job is to try and help our players understand as simply as possible, and the players are doing everything to understand. This is all I can share about our communication issues that we have right now.”
He also shared why Gumayusi was subbed in. “Players all have a specific set of champions that they’re good at. Truth be told, since the Spring split, I was able to find the strengths of the meta; depending on the patch, I quickly identify the good and the bad, and try what looks strong in scrims. Gumayusi had a good understanding of the meta; not only did he do well in scrims, he absorbed the things I wanted him to do very well. Most of all, he was very confident.”
“I think the game 3 against KT in round 1 was the game that I remember the most vividly. I knew that our players would have a hard laning phase. However, I knew that KT struggled to close out when the series went to game 3, so I made the judgment call that time would be on our side. When it comes to the games we lost, it would definitely have to be game 1 against Liiv SANDBOX and game 2 against Afreeca Freecs.”
“Right now, all champions have decent DPS after 25-30 minutes. This means that one mistake can prove to be fatal, which is why players need to maintain their level of focus for long periods of time. Even in the games with great drafts, there were many games that we lost because of players losing focus. However, in the end, we have to become a team that thrives in Bo5s. Our goal is to be that team, and we'll make sure that we can show versatility in a full series.”
When asked about who he thinks are the teams that have improved the most since the Spring split, he said, “I felt that Afreeca Freecs had great top side, and were really good in scrims, but couldn’t transition it to results during the Spring split. I think they’ve become as strong as they are in scrims, but they still make noticeable mistakes.”
“NS RedForce is very impressive as well. I teach all lanes, but I always starts with the jungle. That being said, I think Han “Peanut” Wang-ho is very versatile. Whether it was Peanut’s jungle pathing or his mechanics, I’ve always felt that he’s an incredibly gifted player, and felt that NS only needed a good mid laner to become a strong team. Their bot lane also does very well in their own way. Liiv SANDBOX seemed lost in identifying the good and the bad in the beginning, but they’ve become much better over time.”
Lastly, Daeny sent a thank you message to his fans as well. “There are no amount of words that will express my gratitude to the fans for all their support. We still have a lot of matches in round 2, so it’ll mean the world if the fans are a little bit more patient with us.”
“When it comes to knowing and not knowing the direction that the team needs to go, as well as the path they need to take, the difference is night and day. All our players know their path, and I’m confident in myself to lead them to the right path. Personally, I don’t think we’ve had any losses that were complete stomps. I’m focusing on making our team be good at Bo5s, and will make sure that happens.”
T1 will face kt Rolster on July 15, in the first match of the day. Tune into the LCK to find out if T1 will be able to shrug off their last match loss against NS RedForce.
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