On day 2, 2022 LCK Summer split, DWG KIA faced off against Fredit BRION in the second match of the day. With a score of 2-0, this match victory for DWG KIA marked their first regular split win on the board.
After a split-long sabbatical, Jang “Nuguri” Ha-gwon returned to the LCK, as the starting top laner for his former team, DWG KIA. Nuguri joined the press room to answer questions about the victory and his return.
How does it feel to return to the LCK and win your first match of the split?
I’m relieved that we won. It sucks to say that I’m relieved, but that’s the first thought that came to mind. I feel good about it. It was a nostalgic feeling.
Can you please share the rollercoaster of emotions that you had before, during, and after the match tonight?
When I hopped into the bus to head to LoL Park, I felt the same way as I did when I first debuted in Challengers Korea. I know it hasn’t been a long break, but I was very excited and nervous. Playing on stage did calm my nerves, but I misplayed a lot. I felt relieved to win my return match.
What are some of those misplays that you’re talking about?
In game 1 on Sejuani, I had priority, so I could’ve either delayed the enemy from starting the Rift Herald or just take it ourselves, but being unable to execute such plays was disappointing. The fact that I couldn’t make plays to trade my ult for the enemies’ Flash, as well as not being able to pressure even harder on Gnar vs Camille in game 2 are some plays that come to mind. Oh also, the fact that I couldn’t transform into Gnar twice in a single teamfight was disappointing as well.
Maybe it’s due to the durability patch on patch 12.10, but it felt like you were making high variance plays in the late game.
This may be up to analysis, but based on my personal standards, my playstyle before the durability patch was the complete opposite of how I currently play. However, we are seeing Kayle picked in the top lane over tanks, which is a different approach in the meta. It does feel like my previous playstyle doesn’t fit the current meta, but I feel that it’s on me. I’ve yet to become more flexible.
You’re a player who’s known for playing these aggressive carry champions in the top lane. Why did you pick Sejuani for game 1?
I tried playing aggressive champions a lot, but Sejuani beat them all. Sejuani with an AD melee champion is what’s trending in the meta, so after practicing it, I thought she was good.
Other top laners in the LCK are all eager to face you. Who are you most excited to face?
We’re going to be playing T1 and Gen.G next, so I’ll talk about Zeus and Doran. Zeus performed really well at MSI and it felt like I wasn’t watching a rookie. I was very impressed from watching his matches, so I'm excited to play him. Doran’s also a very aggressive player, so it’s a bit tricky to face him. These two are who I’m most excited to face.
You have a completely different bot lane compared to your previous roster. Talk to me about the differences between the two bot lanes.
There’s been a lot of change in the gameplay. ‘Ghost-BeryL’ were in charge of being the sturdy anchor for the team, while ‘deokdam-Kellin’ were the carries even on their last team. Overall, I can really tell the difference in the champion picks and gameplay. The stylistic change is something that we’re working on through practice.
After your return to DWG KIA, many teams have named the team as a top contender to win the split. Thoughts?
I heard that the reason is because the top side of the 2020 World Champions have reunited. Personally, the past is the past, so I just want to focus on what’s in front of me.
Lee “Zefa” Jae-min stated that it’s become easier to communicate with you than before. Is there something that you’ve self-realized during your break?
I just continue to live my life the way I do. I might’ve changed, but I don’t notice anything different. I keep hearing about this, and it’s cool to hear that something’s changed with me. I’m not doing anything different, so I don’t know about any big changes.
Lastly, is there anything you’d like to say?
I’ve returned to DWG KIA. The fans have sent me lots of gifts and support recently. I’m truly grateful for everything, especially all the support. Now that I returned, I’ll make sure to perform well.
Striving for perfection to achieve excellence in esports