DK Nuguri: "The word ‘gatekeeper’ really makes me shudder, and I absolutely do not want to hear that in round 2."

On day 22 of the 2022 LCK Summer split, DWG KIA defeated Kwangdong Freecs in the second match of the day. In a post-match interview with DK’s top laner, Jang “Nuguri” Ha-gwon, he first shared his thoughts on his victory:


“I looked at the standings before the match tonight and thought that we absolutely cannot lose tonight. I’m glad that we were able to take a clean 2-0 victory tonight.”


This match was DK’s last match in round 1. He reflected on his time back in DK, a team he returned to after a year and a half.


“Time flew by really fast. Round 1 went by really quickly as well, and looking back, there’s nothing but regret. Whether I won or lost, I’m disappointed in myself. From communication, decision-making, to the sharpness of my game sense, they’ve all become dull.”


Nuguri provided examples of what he meant with their 2-0 victory over Kwangdong Freecs that night.


“The team wanted to give our opponents the second Herald, but I was the only one who thought we’d fight, so we wasted a lot of time in my pathing, resulting in a lot of gold loss. In game 2, the team continued to verbally keep track of our opponents’ Summoner spells, but I was only aware of Kiin’s Flash being on cooldown. Watching the replay made me realize that I played poorly in many other areas as well. I still feel that I’m not good at reading the big picture of things and what’s going on around the map, so I’ll be focusing on improving such areas with my coaching staff.


Losing to both Gen.G and T1 in week 2 was part of Nuguri’s disappointment in himself.


“I played absolutely terrible at the time. I couldn’t utilize the leads that we had at all, and both as a team and on a personal level, we were shook. I actually read somewhere that because we 2-0’d teams in the mid-bottom of the standings, we’re like gatekeepers that divide the strong and the weak. The word ‘gatekeeper’ really makes me shudder, and I absolutely do not want to hear that in round 2. We’ll beat every single one of the top teams as well, and even if we lose, we’ll play well and be accepted as one of the top teams in the league.”


The 12.10 durability patch had a huge impact on the LCK meta. All the champions that Nuguri prefers, such as Jayce, Kennen, Camille, and Renekton all lost their spot in the meta. On the meta shift, Nuguri commented,


“I do miss playing Jayce and Kennen, but I’d just be making excuses if I said that I can’t adjust to the meta due to not being able to play the champions I like to play. No matter what champion I play, the true display of skill comes from how I perform inside the game; I believe that there are other ways to aid my teammates other than lane dominance.”


Lastly, Nuguri shared his goal for round 2. It was not to be the gatekeepers, but to be a top team.


“I feel that I’m too tense. I need to take a step back, broaden my vision, and find that ease of heart. I’ll work on these for round 2 and become a top laner that has a lot of influence in the game.”

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