NS Irean: "We had issues with champion pools. There weren’t that many champions to pick when they got target banned"

On day 32 of the 2022 LCK Summer split, Nongshim RedForce defeated Liiv SANDBOX in the first match of the day. With their 2-1 victory over LSB, they ended their long eight-match losing streak and found their footing for a momentum shift.


The mid laner for NS, Gwak “Bdd” Bo-seong, and head coach Heo “Irean” Yeong-cheol, joined the media room for a post-match interview.

Thoughts on the victory?


Irean: It’s been a while since we picked up a victory, so tonight’s win feels more meaningful. We needed a momentum shift, and although it did come pretty late in the split, we’ll work hard to prepare for our remaining matches.


It was a long loss streak. What are some of the reasons behind the slump?


Irean: We had issues with champion pools. There weren’t that many champions to pick when they got target banned, and the practice process of widening that champion pool didn’t go well. Once the players started getting more comfortable on other picks, I think we slowly started performing better.


What are your thoughts on the small champion pools, Bdd?


Bdd: My preferred picks changed based on the direction of our team. I just avoided playing the picks that we thought wouldn’t have high chances of winning, so my champion pools naturally seemed smaller.


Irean: There are picks that are situational, but since it’s very limited, the champion pools naturally seemed smaller. There were also a lot of times we had to rely on Bdd; there weren’t that many champions to play in such scenarios.


Nongshim acquired SnowFlower during the middle of the split. How have things changed since he joined the team?


Irean: We felt that teamfighting is incredibly important in the current meta, and we decided to have SnowFlower join us because he excels in engaging to start teamfights. The practice process went great, but in the beginning, he didn’t perform as well as expected because he lacked confidence. Once he got used to playing on stage, he was more confident in starting teamfights, which led to our team’s performance slowly getting better.


Can you expand a bit more on the team’s direction?


Bdd: We were more daring during practice, but we became pessimistic on stage. We tried to be as bold as possible in tonight’s match.


Irean: There were a lot of opportunities lost because we kept making mistakes and weren’t playing like how we were in practice. While tonight wasn’t perfect, I do feel that we played as close to how we did during practice.

In your last match, you scored your first pentakill of your career.


Bdd: I got a lot of pentakills in solo queue, and I was thrilled to have gotten my first one in a pro match. I did feel that we were going to win game 3 of that series, but unfortunately, we couldn’t pull through.


Has the team’s goals changed with the long losing streak?


Irean: Our original goal was to make it to the playoffs. However, our current goal is to show everything we got, and ending the split on a high note.


There’s still a chance for Nongshim to make it to the playoffs. Now that the team defeated a team that was performing well, how do you predict things will pan out for the remainder of Nongshim’s matches?


Bdd: Although our chances are slim, we’ll work hard to showcase everything we can do on stage and make it to the playoffs, rather than looking helpless.


Irean: We needed confidence and a win to change the flow of things, so I hope that tonight’s win will be that momentum shift to be more bold in our plays. We’ll make sure to work our hardest to make it to the playoffs.

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