On May 26, Riot Games held the media day for the 2022 Mid-Season Invitational playoffs. On Friday, Royal Never Give Up face Evil Geniuses, and on Saturday, T1 meet G2 Esports to decide the grand final contestants for championship Sunday. Prior to the playoffs, two players from each team sat with the media to answer questions. Below is a full translation and transcription of the press conference of T1 and G2 Esports.
(To Caps & Flakked) Caps, this is your third MSI. Is it different from your previous experiences? Flaked, talk to me about how you feel coming to MSI on your debut season in a major region.
Caps: Every time it feels a bit different. I’m happy that I was able to return to MSI this year, because I had a pretty rough year last year. I think every year we had a very strong opponent, This year’s no exception, and I’m just excited for the upcoming match.
Flakked: It’s just insane to be here. A lot of people know this is my first international tournament ever; it feels different to be in a whole different country facing the best teams from every region in the world. I can’t wait for a banger match against T1.
(To caPs) The last time you played against T1 was at Worlds 2019. G2 beat T1 3-1 in the semifinals of that tournament. How’s the current T1 different from that squad three years ago? How do you predict the rematch to go?
caPs: The current T1 roster is completely different from back then. The times are different as well, and with them, the meta has shifted a lot. The match will be very different from last time, but I’m hoping that the outcome will be the same as it was back then. We’ll work hard to reproduce such results.
(To Gumayusi & Flakked) In this international rivalry, both of you are the new generation of upcoming bot laners. How does it feel to be playing this matchup?
Gumayusi: From what I know, T1 got shut down hard in 2019. I think we’re a very different team from back then, and as long as we play well, we’ll win. This rivalry is pretty fun, and I’m happy to be in the middle of it.
Flakked: It’s really insane to be here. It’s somewhat hard to believe. It feels like I’m dreaming, playing against world-class bot laners like Gumayusi and GALA. I think that in the semifinals, our bot lane will either play better or at least go even.
(To caPs) You were once called "Baby Faker", and this rivalry between you and Faker has existed for a long time. How do you feel about going head to head against Faker?
caPs: It’s awesome to go up against Faker again. I still remember watching him win Worlds in season 3, where he just dominated on Ahri. Just the thought of facing him is a huge honor. If I’m able to beat Faker, especially on his signature picks like Leblanc and Ahri, it’ll be a huge achievement for me. If I’m able to play at my peak performance, we’ll be able to beat Faker and T1.
(To T1) As T1 struggled early in the tournament, do you feel more pressured now that you’re playing in the semifinals?
Gumayusi: I was a bit pressured early on in the Rumble Stage, but I think I shed a lot of it. I’ll be able to really enjoy playing in the semifinals.
Keria: I also felt pressured that we have to beat G2 and RNG no matter what. All of that’s gone, so I think I’ll be able to put on a good performance.
(To Gumayusi) Kalista and Tristana were the two champions that were primarily picked early on in the Rumble Stage, yet you shifted to Aphelios in round 2 of Rumbles. How come?
Gumayusi: As well as late game value, I thought that Kalista/Tristana weren’t too high in the meta. As for the Aphelios, it was a situational pick.
(To Keria) How does it feel to face G2 for the third time? T1’s showing stability in their gameplay as the tournament progressed, but since G2’s still a very strong team, is there anything that you’re worried about?
Keria: I really wanted to face G2 in a best-of-5 this MSI, and the fact that we can potentially face RNG if we beat them really makes me want to win. As I said before, as long as we play how we always do, I think we won’t drop a single set.
(To caPs) What’s the secret behind winning LEC Spring and making it so far into this tournament with a roster that’s only old as a single split?
caPs: Because we didn’t perform well last year, our off-season was a long one. We talked a lot about what we wanted to do. We spent a long time holding tryouts and scouting for great staff, and I think our hard work paid off. I want to thank everyone for providing such a great environment that contributed to our success, and that’s why I want to put on a good performance.
(To Keria) Which lane are you the most wary of?
Keria: After watching every team’s games, I think that G2’s bot lane’s movements weren’t very good. I think it’d have to be their mid-jungle.
(To Keria) In the laning phase, who makes more in-game calls? The support or the bot laner? Whose opinion matters more?
Keria: For my standards, I think the support needs to be more opinionated. For us, we share opinions, depending on the situation, and play out the game.
(To Gumayusi) As T1 faces G2 once again in the semifinals of an international tournament, is there anything you’d like to say to G2?
Gumayusi: As I said before, the current T1 is very different from how they were back then. I want to tell them to please shed any expectations of winning this time around.
(To G2) As the members of the team are from all around Europe, has the team got into arguments, whether because of culture or even language barriers? If so, how did the team overcome them?
caPs: I’ve been traveling all around the world and interacted with all sorts of people. League of Legends is what unites us with a common goal, and that’s to become the best player. I haven’t faced too many problems, even before G2, where I had different teammates from different backgrounds. They were all pretty open-minded, and because of a common goal, we set a smaller goal for ourselves and worked together to reach a solution, so there wasn’t any discord along the way. Even when there is a problem, everyone has a different way of solving it. Some people like to express what they like, while others keep it to themselves. However, for us, it really didn’t pose a problem for us.
Flakked: I agree with what caPs said. I haven’t been on many teams, because it hasn’t been long since I debuted in the LEC. I think League links every single team member, as well as those in management, because when someone joins a team, they all have the same goal of winning and becoming the best. Every pro player lacks social experience, so they have to focus all their energy on the game. There’s really no time for internal discord, as everyone’s focused on how to become better and create a better team environment.
(To caPs) G2 are 1-1 against T1 in the Rumble Stage. What does the team need to focus on for this upcoming best-of-5?
caPs: Heading into the semis, we can definitely set up goals and whatnot, but I think the most important thing is playing with confidence. We were at the start of a losing streak when we were going into our round 2 match against T1, so we weren’t playing confidently. Now that we came out of the losing streak and are starting a new win streak, I think we can confidently play out the series. We’ll use the time we have left to come up with strategies to beat T1.
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