On Oct 31, the first semifinal match of Worlds 2021 took place between two teams that are considered to be the tournament favorites, DWG KIA and T1. After a full five-game series, DWG KIA beat T1 3-2 and moved on to face the winner of Gen.G vs EDG in the grand finals. Despite the loss tonight, it was a series that would arguably go down as one of the greatest in Worlds history.
After the series, T1 joined media outlets all over the world for a post-match press conference.
To Stardust: What do you think is behind the reason behind the series loss tonight?
Stardust: Hmm… I think that we just lacked that 1% for this series, which was the difference between the win and the loss.
To Keria: Can you tell us how prepared the Zilean pick was? Also, you finished top 8 last year, and top 4 this year. What can you tell us about your Worlds journey this year?
Keria: After the bracket was set, I knew that we were definitely going to face DWG KIA, so I started practicing Zilean right away. I got stomped last year by them [laughter], but I think that I’ve caught up to them well this year.
To Faker: You were so close to beating DWG KIA, but unfortunately, you came up short. How do you feel?
Faker: I knew that they weren’t going to be easy opponents, but my team played better than I thought they would, so that’s why we were so close to beating them. I think slightly losing my focus in the middle of the series is why we lost. I’m not happy with tonight’s results, but I’m hoping that things will be better next time.
To Oner: What is the biggest thing you’re taking back in your first Worlds?
Oner: There’s a lot that I learned, but I think that the biggest thing has to be all the experience.
To Oner: You played phenomenally tonight against arguably the best jungler in the World, Canyon. What can you tell us about the matchup, and how satisfied are you with your performance tonight?
Oner: I believe that he’s been the best player for a long time, and I also think he played a lot better tonight as well. I was really nervous in game 1, so I don’t think I played at my best; From game 2, however, I’ve shed my nerves and am satisfied by the fact that I was able to play the way I wanted. Overall, I’m pretty satisfied.
To Faker: Every time you return to the Worlds stage, you put on a great performance. What are the things that motivate you to keep going?
Faker: The most important thing is to always think how I can do better. Also, T1 provides me with great teammates, coaching staff, and just great support overall, so that’s why I’m able to do so well.
To Gumayusi: How do you reflect on your performance in this series? How do you think you’ve grown from today?
Gumayusi: I think I was only able to play at my 60% today. It really sucks, but I think that I’ve grown tremendously since the Spring split.
To Gumayusi: What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned from this year’s Worlds? What can you tell us about your goals and plans for the future?
Gumayusi: The biggest thing was all the experience I’ve gained from playing well with my team in this tournament. Next year, I want to beat DWG KIA in one of the important matches of the season, and continue to hone myself.
To Faker: Anything you’d like to say to kkOma, your former coach?
Faker: I kept losing to him throughout most of this year, so I really wanted to win tonight. It sucks that I couldn’t, so I want to beat him next time. Recently, because we were both busy in recent years, I couldn’t contact him frequently. However, I wish nothing but the best for him, and I’m planning to congratulate him in a big way if he wins his 4th Worlds title. To be honest, I’m not too interested in the finals, so it won’t matter which team wins.
To the coaching staff: A lot of western players and coaches have been very vocal recently saying how it’s structurally unfair for the western teams. Does the structure need to change, or do the Western teams need to improve to beat the LCK teams at Worlds?
Stardust: I know this because I was actually in NA before; apart from the solo queue ping being high, I don’t think it’s appropriate to blame their shortcomings on their environment. If a team like G2, a team that’s been performing well for a long time, starts blaming their environment for their recent shortcomings, it kind of makes sense. If not, I think the right thing to do is to find the flaws within themselves.
Moment: Personally, becoming better as a team has nothing to do with how well other teams play, as long as you start fixing the mistakes in your own gameplay.
To Faker: Now that the season’s over, what are your plans for the rest of the year?
Faker: I recently started exercising whenever I can, so I’m going to focus on becoming more physically fit for next year’s adventure.
To Keria: Behind Faker, you have the most international experience in the roster. How was spending the year with such a young roster?
Keria: There’s a lot to learn from Faker, both in and outside the game, so I tried to learn from him as much as I can. We worked really hard in Iceland to prepare for our matches, so there’s a lot that I learned from playing.
To Stardust: How has the preparation process been like with such a young roster, especially on such a huge stage? Did your past experiences help smoothen out the preparation process in any way?
Stardust: The common misconception is that things will be harder because the players are young and inexperienced, but it’s actually the opposite. Young players have this spunk that comes from being rookies, so when it comes to trying new ideas for the first time, they were able to pull it off with more strength. Competitors all think the same way; they compete to win one tournament after one another.
Striving for perfection to achieve excellence in esports