In the 2nd match of round 1 playoffs in the 2021 LCK Summer split, T1 defeated Liiv SANDBOX 3-0 and advanced to the next round of the playoffs. With Park “Teddy” Jin-seong starting for the team after 47 days of absence from the starting roster, it felt as if his presence gave his team a breath of fresh air that they needed.
Teddy and T1’s interim head coach, Son "Stardust" Seok-hee, joined the press room for a post-match interview.
Thoughts on the victory?
Stardust: I was worried that we ended our regular split with a poor performance from us, but I’m overjoyed that our players were able to put on a very clean performance tonight.
Teddy: Our game 1 was clean, but we made a couple of mistakes in game 2 and 3, so we’ll need to look back and make sure that we don’t make the same mistakes again.
[To Stardust] Teddy was on the bench for 47 days. Can you tell us the reason behind starting him tonight over Gumayusi after such a long break?
Stardust: Because we still have matches to play, I cannot delve into details. Teddy’s a veteran player with a ton of experience, and due to such, I didn’t think that the long break would affect his performance tonight.
[To Teddy] How does it feel to be back in the starting line up?
Teddy: My goal was to play without dying too many times; I think I died a lot tonight, so I’m not too satisfied with my own performance tonight. I’ll need to play a lot better against Gen.G.
How do you stay in form during such a long break?
Teddy: Solo queue definitely helps, but sometimes, there are games that I just don’t want to play because of people intentionally ruining the games. Solo queue and competitive play are vastly different from one another; in solo queue, I’d play as if I was playing with my team, and that definitely helped me keep my in-game self in shape.
Stardust: I think he was very happy during those 47 days of absence [laughter].
Teddy: I was sad, but I was also happy because my team won a lot.
[To Stardust] How has your method of running a 10-man roster been different from the previous coaching staff this split [Daeny/Zefa]?
Stardust: I think I can safely say that the players are in a different mental place as to when Daeny and Zefa left. In terms of selecting the starting five this time around, there were a lot of various strategic elements involved that decided the line-up tonight.
[To Stardust] When will you reveal what those strategic elements are?
Stardust: Probably when our season comes to an end [laughter]. I’ll definitely share them.
T1 now faces Gen.G in round 2 of the playoffs. As it’s the rematch of the Spring split playoffs, what are some of the elements about the match up you are most worried about, as well as what you’re most excited about?
Stardust: What I can say is that we lost to them in the Spring playoffs, so this time, it’s our turn to win.
Teddy: I was very sad that we got 3-0’d back then; I think we’re a lot better than we were back then, so as long as we prepare well, I think we can beat them this time.
[To Teddy] If you could choose to face DWG KIA or Gen.G, who would you face?
Teddy: They’re both great teams with a wide champion pool and insane mechanics. DWG KIA feels like an immovable wall, while Gen.G feels more like a knife fight. Knife fights are a lot more exciting.
Worlds is just around the corner. Are there any teams/players you’re excited to face?
Teddy: GALA of RNG looked very good on Kai’Sa during MSI; while I haven’t watched RNG’s games too much this split, I think he’s very good. All the LPL teams that are being hyped up right now are very good.
Keria and Gumayusi both stated in their recent interviews that they’re ready to prove to the world that they’re the best bot lane. Do you also currently feel just as confident, to the point where you can say the same thing?
Stardust: Why are you looking at me, Teddy [laughter]?
Teddy: Right now, I’m very confident in my ability to play the game well.
Out of the five games in T1’s match against Gen.G, which game do you think will be the most important?
Stardust: Because Gen.G had more time to prepare, and had a chance to look at what we draft behind a monitor, they’ll definitely have a slight edge over us. If we can take game 1, I think we’ll have an easier time winning. However, if we lose game 1, I think it’ll be a tough series. Game 1 will be very important.
Teddy: Compared to Spring split, our team has improved quite significantly; we’re a lot more thorough on every aspect of our gameplay, so I’m confident that we’ll beat them on Sunday.
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