On July 15, T1 announced that they’ve fired their coaching staff, Yang “Daeny” Dae-in and Lee “Zefa” Jae-min, with only 8 regular split matches left in the Summer split. Despite such an unprecedented situation, T1 pulled off a clean 2-0 victory against kt Rolster on day 26 of the 2021 LCK Summer split.
After the match, Inven Global spoke with the interim head coach of T1, Son “Stardust” Seok-hee, to talk about the current status, as well as the future direction of the team.
Thoughts on the victory?
Despite the chaos, it was a clean victory that aided in putting the controversy to rest, so I’m very relieved, and I want to thank our coach, Kim “Moment” Ji-hwan for the great work tonight as well.
I think it was a very long day for you. Let’s start with how you reacted when you reacted and think about Daeny and Zefa leaving the team.
Just like the fans, I was very shocked as well. Despite the confusion, the players were still practicing and still had matches left to play. For myself, I needed to quickly recover from the shock and think about what I needed to do for the team.
The players were very confused themselves, so I tried to talk to the players as much as possible. In those conversations, we mostly talked about the future direction of the team; with our GM, Choi “Polt” Seong-hun and coach Moment, we talked about what the coaching staff needs to do to lead the team in the right direction.
With such sudden changes to the coaching staff, you must have gone through a hectic time. What’s the team atmosphere like currently?
It would be a lie to say if things aren’t crazy internally. However, we couldn’t let Daeny & Zefa’s departure distract us from preparing for tonight’s match against KT, so we couldn’t
In today’s series, Oner subbed in for Cuzz. Can you tell us the reason for him subbing in tonight?
Cuzz actually told us a few weeks ago that he needed some time to recalibrate and find his peak form again, but at the time, we couldn’t find the right timing for him to sub out. Moment and I felt that tonight was the most opportune time with all the craziness around us, so we decided to field Oner tonight.
Obviously, things like the way that the coaching staff leads the team and the direction of the team will definitely change from that of Daeny & Zefa. Can you share how they change?
We still didn’t have time to figure all that out because it’s only been a few days since their departure. I think that we’ll find our rhythm and direction as we put out the fires that immediately need to be put out. It’s very awkward to say that I’ll paint the team the way I want to. I’m not quite sure just yet. I think things will figure themselves out as we tackle things one at a time.
Earlier, Faker said the following: “Daeny/Zefa were very knowledgeable about the game, so the team’s direction was mostly based on their in-game knowledge. Now, the coaching staff and the players are acting more as a unit in finding our direction.” Can you comment more on what he said?
Daeny & Zefa definitely passed on their incredible game knowledge to the players, so I think it’ll be the best for the team to do the best we can to utilize that knowledge to move on.
Does the goal of winning Worlds for T1 stay the same, even with the departure of Daeny and Zefa? Or does the team look further ahead into the future and recalibrate the goals?
I think every coach that’s been asked that question will say that the goal will remain the same. Realistically, I think we don’t have the luxury to look that far into the future. We need to get through each day as if it's our last and solve the problems that are immediately in front of us.
Next is against DWG KIA. How will the team prepare for the match? What are the things that T1 needs to be especially wary of?
We don’t have that much time to prepare for the match, so we’ll need to focus on our strengths and exploit DWG KIA’s weaknesses. Our players are very good, and I believe in Moment’s abilities as a coach, so I think we’ll do well. Fighting, Gumayusi! [Gumayusi was standing behind me during this interview - Ed.]
Lastly, would you like to address anything to the fans that are still confused by T1’s current situation?
I know that everyone must be very confused at what happened, but I believe in the players’ ability to pull through and do well throughout the rest of the split and beyond, so please have a little bit more faith and continue to cheer us on. Thank you.
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