On Oct. 12, LCS’ #2 seed team, Team Liquid, defeated LEC’s #1 seed, MAD Lion in their first match of 2021 LoL World Championship group stage — the only win for the LCS on day 1.TL is scheduled to face LNG Esports on day 2, hoping to add another W in their pockets.
The support player for TL Jo “CoreJJ” Yong-in joined Inven Global in a 1-on-1 interview to talk about the match itself, the NA vs. EU rivalry, and his expectations for this year’s Worlds.
Taking a win against MAD Lions must have been very sweet. How does it feel?
We beat supposedly the best team in the EU. I think we gained some momentum for NA, so I am proud of our win.
To be very honest, I had an impression that I was watching a game of who throws the game harder. How did the game go from your perspective?
We gained quite a bit of a lead in the laning phase, so I kept telling myself to stay patient. But to be honest, there were plays we weren’t patient with. As a team, we should go back to analyze those moments.
There was a rumor that NA teams canceled their scrims early and had a difficult time in scrims. How has Team Liquid’s preparation for Worlds been going so far?
Actually, our preparation went quite well. Unlike in previous years, we felt that we could stand against strong teams this time around. I am not sure where those rumors started, but I also don’t know how other NA teams did.
How did the 2021 Team Liquid change from the 2020 Team Liquid?
The 2020 Team Liquid was passive. This year, we are trying to be more active, even if we could throw some plays. The 2021 Team Liquid is a team with both more positives and negatives.
Including the last game, there have been a lot of blind picks or bans on Yuumi. Where do you rank Yuumi in the meta?
I think Yuumi is OP. When Yuumi makes decent plays, the opponent has to make great plays against her. There is a perception that Yuumi is very weak in the laning phase, but the champion isn’t as weak as people think.
On the other hand, Amumu was predicted to be a meta pick in Worlds, but he hasn’t shown much yet. What do you think about him?
Amumu dies too easily. Double bandage toss is great, but the bandage has to hit the opponent to do work. I think the problem is that there are too many better champions that can do the similar things as he can.
Group D feels like the group where every team will go, it’s “winnable.” Where do you rank yourselves among MAD Lions, Gen.G, and LNG Esports?
Objectively, I think we are fighting for second place. Even though Gen.G did not perform well in the last half of the Summer split, we all know that they are a great team. I think we are the next best team, but no one knows until the games are done because the other three teams are around the same level.
So do you think Gen.G will finish first and Team Liquid will finish second in Group D?
For now, yes. I think we will eventually be the best because we are consistently improving.
Talking about Gen.G, we can’t leave out your former bot lane partner, Ruler. Last year, Ruler said that he wanted to face Team Liquid and send them back home. Now that Team Liquid and Gen.G are in the same group, did you happen to chat with Ruler?
We’ve been good friends for a long time, so we often talk when we pass by each other. I am more motivated because I know that neither of us wants to lose. Since I have my eyes set on Gen.G’s bot lane, I can easily beat other bot laners like LNG Light and MAD Carzzy.
Is there anything you’d like to say to your former lane partner, Ruler?
I've been honing my knives, so he better watch his neck [laughter].
Having beaten the #1 seed for EU, what’s the current status of the NA vs. EU rivalry from your perspective?
I think we are neck and neck. We won today, but we might lose later. Server-wise, I believe the EU players are better than the NA players on average. But who are we? NA has players from various regions, and the best NA players at Worlds are as good as EU players.
What is the Worlds goal for Team Liquid, and how much HOPIUM can we expect from TL this year?
I am aiming for the finals at Least. Since we are aiming for the finals, we can at least make the quarterfinals.
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