T1 Keria: "I studied a lot about the laning phase, to the point where I feel I can beat everyone."

On Apr. 4, the grand finals of the 2022 LCK Spring Split were held. For the first time since the 2019 Summer, the LCK finals were held with spectators. The two powerhouses of the LCK, T1 and Gen.G, battled each other in front of a packed crowd. It was a nailbiter until game 3, but T1 unleashed their full power and dominated game 4 to take a 3-1 victory and an unprecedented undefeated championship. With today’s win, T1 and Faker collected their 10th championship. After the match, T1 joined the media to talk about their run.

To Everyone: Tell us how you feel about the victory tonight.


Polt: It’s been a long and hard journey this split, and I’m glad that our effort came to fruition. I want to thank all the players for all their hard work.


Zeus: It was a very hard series tonight, so I’m glad that I had a fun experience tonight.


Oner: I wasn’t at my 100% tonight, but I was able to play at my full potential because my teammates took care of my mental. I’m very happy that we won tonight.


Faker: Despite everyone not feeling well and having to play a tough series tonight, we stayed focused until the end. I’m very happy that we got to play so well despite all these obstacles.


Gumayusi: I’m very happy that we won tonight, but this is just the first step. There are a lot more matches left in the season, so I want to win them all.


Keria: I was very hungry to win so I want to thank the fans for all the motivation. I also want to thank my teammates for making this victory happen as well.

To Oner: Can you tell us the reason why you broke down to tears when you received the Finals MVP tonight?


I really wasn’t feeling well, so I felt that my teammates deserved it more than I did because I didn’t think I played well. When I heard my name, a mix of emotions just rushed out. They were tears of happiness.


To Faker: When did you think you won the game in game 4?


I think when I saw Chovy’s Ryze facecheck the left bush, I thought that he lost focus. That’s when I knew that we were going to win.


To Oner: How did you keep your mental in check when you kept getting objectives stolen?


As I said in the broadcast interview, I slept at a hotel nearby at Ilsan. I’m not very good at sleeping in a foreign environment, so I wasn’t able to focus tonight. My back also hurt a bit, so I think that’s why I got it stolen. However, my teammates kept saying ‘It’s okay’, so that’s why we were able to end tonight on a high note.

To Faker: You’ve won your 10th title tonight and set history in LoL Esports. What’s left for you to achieve?


I think that the championship victory itself was my efforts coming to fruition. My future motivation comes from wanting to show the fans a better performance.


To Gumayusi: This is your first full season as a starting member. How do you reflect on your growth during your journey?


I think in the last year, I feel I rushed things, especially because I didn't start for the team full time. This year, I did it myself with my teammates, so I think I grew quite a bit.

To Polt: What’s the feedback that you gave to the players after losing game 2?


We did lose game 2, but I knew that my players were individually better, so I had faith that they’d play better. I just simply told them to keep their focus.

To Keria: What are some of the emotions that led you to shed tears after your victory tonight?


I was really holding it in because I wanted my photos to be taken well. I didn’t want any embarrassing photos [laughter]. As I was talking, my journey sort of flashed before my eyes, so I ended up crying because of it.


To Faker: How does it feel to be playing in your first international tournament in Korea?


I think that I’ll have an advantage in keeping my physical condition up. I know the fans are really excited, so I’ll have to prepare well. I’m glad that I don’t have to pack so much [laughter].


To Gumayusi: You’ve finally won a major title, just like your brother, Lee “INnoVation” Shin-hyung. 


My brother won a lot of competitions and was a very good player when he was active. I really wanted to win like him, and am glad that I get to meet my family after winning. My oldest brother couldn’t make it tonight because of military service, but next time, I want him to be there when I win.


To Zeus: There was a lot to watch in the top lane tonight. How did you prepare for the matchup against Doran tonight?


To be honest, I don’t really think about who I play against when I play. I just analyzed how he plays and what he likes to play. He ended up playing what I told my team he’d play. That’s why I didn’t think too much about him as a player, and I just think I called my Jungler well tonight [laughter].


To Keria: In a previous interview, you said you wanted to become a player that’s irreplaceable. Do you think you’ve reached that status after tonight’s victory? From what I’ve heard, you’ve put yourself through intense practice. Can you tell us more about it?


I think I still have a long way to go. Tonight was just the first step towards building my legacy, so it’ll be a few more years until then. Because I finished second last Summer split and got knocked out in the semis at Worlds, I studied a lot about the laning phase, to the point where I feel I can beat everyone. Then I studied about how players played in big matches and learned a lot from it.


To Zeus: You played a lot of aggressive picks like Kennen and Lucian. This next question may seem very one-dimensional, but how do you feel about people saying that you’re going to be a hyper-aggressive top laner, someone like ‘TheShy’? Also, unlike Oner and Keria tonight, you were kind of like, ‘Meh’. What does winning the split tonight mean to you?


I try to absorb the good parts about other players, whether that may be in champion pool or in playstyle. I think that’s how you get better as a player. As for my emotions, I was very emotional during rehearsals and at the start of the match. That’s when I almost cried.


To Zeus: Tonight was your first offline finals with so many people. How did you feel when you watched the crowd from the stage? You didn’t seem that nervous, so what’s your secret?


There were indeed a lot of people. I was able to see the cheer sticks that lit up from the stage, so I tried to not look at it as much as possible, and trick myself that I was in the practice room. Game 1’s laning phase was a bit nerve wracking, but the nerves went away in game 2.


To Zeus & Oner: You two not only have great synergy in-game, but also outside the game as well. From what I know, you always joke around with one another. How would you rate each other both in and outside the game?


Zeus: Oner’s great at listening to my requests in the game. Outside the game, I tend to just put up with him most of the time because he’s older. I think he also just puts up with me as well [laughter].


Oner: I think I’m the only one putting up with him [laughter]. I’ve been friends with him since the academy days, so I think we fit each other’s playstyle very well.


To Faker: A lot of people are looking forward to the potential Faker vs Rookie matchup at MSI. Thoughts?


I haven't watched a lot of LPL recently, so it’s hard to gauge how well he plays at the moment. I feel that I didn’t play that well because I wasn’t in my best condition, so my goal is to just perform well for the fans. I think the fans will be very happy if I confidently make great plays.


To Faker: In an earlier interview, you said that KINTEX was the first venue where you watched the finals 10 years ago. Tonight, you’ve earned your 10th title win at KINTEX. How do you feel?


It was a lot of fun. KINTEX was the first venue that I came to watch my very first finals. Not only was it fun to see so many fans at the finals after so long, and it felt very nostalgic to play here tonight and win. 

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