EDward Gaming won a narrow 3-2 series against Gen.G in the semifinals of the 2021 LoL World Championship, jumping another hurdle on their way to the organization's first potential Worlds title. After defeating Gen.G and qualifying for the finals of Worlds 2021, EDward Gaming sat down for a press conference to answer questions from members of the global media.
Viper, you had a lot of ups and downs last year, as you were even relegated from the LCK. Now you are standing strong as the best AD carry in the LPL. What has changed from last year
Spending last year going through all those things, I tried to figure out what I had to improve on. And at the same time, I was so hungry to improve myself. So thanks to that desire, I was able to make it up here. I think that was the biggest change.
Maokai, you'll be facing DWG KIA in the finals, and you'll have to face kkOma, who you coached with on Vici Gaming last year. How does it feel?
Last year I worked together with kkOma at the same team. So I really learned a lot from him during the last year's experience. And also, especially, he just taught us a lot of very good qualities that I have learned from him. So I am really excited I can just play against Sunday on a very big stage. And finally, this time both of us were able to get into the final, and I can just face against kkOma in the grand final of the World Championships. I'm very excited and very happy about this part.
Scout, since 2016 you were part of EDG. You made it to the quarterfinals at Worlds, but now, you have achieved the biggest accomplishment in your team's history. So how are you feeling about that?
Yeah, since 2016 and since I joined EDG, I have been making a lot of improvements about myself. I have been to Worlds and I was getting all the experiences. And finally this year, I was able to make it up to the finals. So I'm happy that I will be able to showcase a good performance in front of the worldwide viewers and fans.
Scout, you have been playing against Bdd today — one of the players that have been making a lot of improvements and showing great form throughout Worlds. What was facing against him in mid lane like? Also you will be facing against ShowMaker in the finals. What's your mindset heading into that matchup as well?
We thought Bdd was the centerpiece of Gen.G. So we paid a lot more attention to him. So this time around, we wanted to exert a lot of pressure around mid and jungle. And I think Bdd did a great job in today's series.
About facing ShowMaker in finals: heading into this year's Worlds, I thought once I hope I could face him at Worlds one time. And I'm happy that I finally got to have this matchup. Because well, I didn't expect this to happen at finals, but I'm so happy that I will be able to play against him.
Viper, what do you think of Ghost, your lane opponent in the finals?
I saw him playing a lot, you know, at competitive matches. And also, I've watched this pro-view a lot. And I think he is the best player that fits DWG KIA's style. And also I think he is the best player as an AD carry in the current meta. And I was surprised to be honest, because this might sound a little bit arrogant, but I thought there was nothing more to learn as a player for myself. But after watching him play, I realized that I have a long way to go.
I cannot really break down all the details, but I thought Ghost was doing a fantastic job. And he's been performing so well since last year until now. So I really want to be like him. And I am going to learn from him. He's a great motivation for me and a huge inspiration.
Meiko, you guys have been playing the Lucian Nami comp. The first time off, I think it was Exhaust and Heal. The next time it was Exhaust and Ignite. So could you explain the Summoner Spell choice?
In addition, to the coaches: In Game 2, you decided to ban Galio. It was pretty rare to see that, especially because of Gen.G's characteristics. So why did you decide to ban Galio?
Meiko: The choice of my Summoner Spell is also dependent on the different situations I can choose different Summoner Spells, and also is based on the opponent's draft. And also what kind of early-game tempo we would like to have. So for Game 1, I had Heal because I feel like in the late game, I can use the Summoner Spell to help my AD player Lucian. And also for Game 2, because our AD player played cleanly, maybe I could have used Ignite to help him in the game.
Maokai: The reason for us to use a ban card on Galio is that this is a champion that Bdd can choose based on his champion pool. And also, this champion can really restrain a lot for our mid and top lane players. So that's a reason for us to just ban out his Galio. We have already known their top lane player in Rascal is a very good kind of player, we don't want to give him that very good combination. So that was the reason we just banned Galio in the game.
JieJie and Flandre, this is your first Worlds journey, but you were able to get into the final. How do you both feel at this moment?
Jiejie: I feel that I'm just very lucky.
Flandre: I'm very excited at this moment. And also I have confidence that in the Grand Final, we can also show a very good performance to all of you.
JieJie, in the recent documentary from EDward Gaming, you have mentioned that once your Baron or Dragon got stolen by the opponent's team, you would feel a bit nervous. So how did you do in order to address your mentality? And also, did you get any advice from the coach of your team to help you with that part?
In previous games, some Dragons stolen can be very crucial and can actually affect the whole situation. But I think for today, even when the opponent's team was able to steal some of the Dragons, it was not crucial and not important to change the whole situation. So I wasn't that worried about it.
Meiko, you have been together as EDward Gaming for seven years, and you played all together 857 games on this team. Now, at the 2021 World Championship, finally, you are able to stand on the stage of the Grand Final. So what's the motivation to just drive you all the journey until here? And do you have any people you really would like to give thanks?
I feel like the biggest motivation is from the very beginning until now. I have the goal that I really would like to get a Champion at Worlds tournament. I set this goal, when I just started my pro player career. And also, the one I really would like to appreciate is the teammates, and also all the coaching staff from the very start and until now. All of them really give me a lot of help. I really appreciate that. Thank you.
Scout and Meiko, From 2016 until now, you were able to play together for such a long time. And for this year, you were able to break the curse of the quarterfinal of EDward Gaming. And now you're able to get on the stage of the final. How would you sum up this journey up until this point, and what are your expectations towards the final against DWG KIA?
Scout: I think through this whole journey, both of us have made some growth and also have made a lot of improvements. That's the reason for us to be able to get into the final this year. And for the final against DWG KIA, I really would like to play against ShowMaker on stage. So I'm very happy that we're able to finally get a chance to do so. And I got enough confidence to get a win against him at the World Championship final.
Meiko: I think diligence and hard work were the keys for us to make so many improvements. And also I think through all the years since 2016, both of us made huge improvements. That's the reason for us to be able to have a very good result together. For the game against DWG KIA, I feel very happy that we were able to finally get a chance to play against them. And they are a very strong team. So we are kind of set ourselves as a challenger for the final.
Viper, you have played in both LPL and LCK. How would you evaluate the difference in the playstyle between those two regions? And do you feel like your experience previously in LCK can help you in this grand final?
I'm a player who's performed within both regions. But before that I thought LPL and LCK do have a difference in terms of the playstyle. But nowadays, I kind of feel like those two regions are pretty much the same without any big difference. Both regions are always working hard in order to improve themselves and in order to get the victory.
So speaking of the matchup against DWG KIA at finals, I don't think those kind of a stylistic difference will matter. I think the players performance in that day and the draft will decide the result.
Meiko, along the years, LCK and LPL had faced each other in the Worlds final three times in history. And in all those three times Korea has won against China. So how do you feel about this rivalry against Korea? Do you think you can, for the first time, break this record?
Previously, and also includes the last year's final, it feels like the reason they may have very different playstyle and also the draft can be a very crucial part for the final. But I definitely, I think like all the LPL LCK teams — we have a very similar strength. I have the confidence to get the win in this year's final.
JieJie, in the group stage, you did an interview with Upcomer, and mentioned that your dream final to be would be facing off against Canyon. So now that you are in the Grand Finals and facing off against Canyon, how do you feel that your dream final has come true? And what are your thoughts on facing Canyon in Grand Finals?
I definitely, feel like Canyon is one of the strongest jungler in this Worlds tournament. But I should hold the confidence in facing against him. And also, I hope we can get the win.
Maokai, a couple of weeks ago, ShowMaker said he would keep an eye on EDG as a potential thus far? Do you think EDG is fully prepared for this final showdown? rival. Now that this will be a reality, what do you have to say about DWG KIA's performance?
Definitely. It feels like DWG KIA is one of the strongest teams from LCK, because previously we made some practice with other LCK teams, and I really feel DWG KIA are the strongest one. And also, for opponents: I think in all the knockout stage, we have opponents like RNG and Gen.G. Definitely, they're all very strong teams. So we would like to concentrate on our current matchups against those teams.
I'm not sure about the preparations against DWG KIA. But I believe that in the future, we are going to make full preparations and have a very good mindset in that matchup against DWG KIA, and we definitely have enough competence.
Jiejie and Flandre, were you expecting to reach a final for your first Worlds appearance? Do you have any specific ambitions for the final?
Jiejie: Because we have already got into the final, we're just one step away. So we just would like to just persevere. We would like to fight until the very last game.
Flandre: The only thought on my mind is how I can beat DWG KIA. And I hope we can have a very good result for the final.
This question is for the coaching staff. Today for the first time during Worlds, we saw Flandre on other champions than Graves or Jayce. Also for the first time you decided to ban Graves yourselves. What made you change your picks for the top lane, and what do you think of Flandre's performance on these other champions?
In addition, Flandre, how do you feel about playing different champions other than Jayce or Graves?
Maokai: Gen.G is a team that's really good at these champions as well. But also I want to say our top laner Flandre is the best Graves player. However, for today's game, because we had our own strategies, we had different priorities in the ban/pick phase.
We didn't want to give Graves that high of priority during the ban/pick phase. So there's a reason for us to just use a ban card on this champion. We trust Flandre and his abilities, because he can really have a very good performance even without Graves or Jayce.
Flandre: The reason for me to just have chosen Jayce or Graves in previous matchups is basically based on the needs from my team. So for this time, we can have other good choices. So that's the reason for us. It's very natural and this is very normal for me to just have chosen some different champions besides those two.
Viper, from getting relegated in 2020 to Worlds finalist, your journey has been full of obstacles. In that process, what do you think is the most important lesson that you've learned, and is there anything you'd like to say to the 2020 Park Do-hyeon?
The biggest thing I learned in 2020 is that you have to be mentally strong and healthy. Because throughout so many games that I played in 2020, I started to lose my mental fortitude. And then because of that, I was starting having problems in-game as well. So I learned that having a strong mentality is really important as a player.
When I first started as a professional player, I've never thought mentality will be this important compared to the player's form or performance. I've always put those two things as the most important factor. But in 2020 I actually learned that having a strong mentality is so important. So to 2020 Viper myself, you can lose more. You will be learning a lot from the losses. So yeah, I just think it will be okay even if you suffer a little bit.
All images by: Riot Games
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