On day 36 of the 2022 LCK Summer split, Liiv SANDBOX defeated DWG KIA 2-0 in the first match of the day. Historically, LSB struggled against DWG KIA, with 11 consecutive match loss streak / 22 consecutive set loss streak. However, even with Prince playing remotely due to COVID, they were still able to take the clean 2-0 victory, and qualify for the playoffs this split.
The following is a post-match interview with the head coach for LSB, Kim “Micro” Mok-kyoung,
Thoughts on the clean victory over DWG KIA tonight?
Tonight’s match was a very meaningful one, so we worked very hard on our preparation. Not only was tonight’s match the deciding match for 3rd place, the Summer split playoffs and regional qualifiers [Worlds] were on the line as well. Our W/L record against DWG KIA was quite abysmal to say the least, so we really worked hard to win it tonight. Due to Prince catching COVID, we couldn’t practice as much as a team, but our coaching staff worked on the draft that much harder in his absence. Tonight’s victory is more meaningful than the others.
What do you believe are some of the reasons behind tonight’s victory, specifically against DWG KIA, a team LSB struggled against for a long time?
The fact that their sub support, Bible, started for DWG KIA tonight is definitely one of the reasons. I do feel that a lot of credit goes to our players for working hard tonight. They’ve shown passiveness in their plays against DWG KIA in the past, but they didn’t tonight. They’ve also executed the things we’ve prepared well tonight, so I’m very happy at how they’ve played tonight.
In a previous interview, you stated that LSB will beat every team except for T1-Gen.G-DWG KIA in round 1, and that the team will beat at least one of the three aforementioned teams in round 2. Now that you've achieved that goal, what’s next for the team?
Our Summer split goal was to make it to Worlds, and we’ve been working hard to achieve that since the beginning of the season. In order to make it to Worlds, we have to be seeded well in the regional qualifiers, so the goal was to go to the playoffs. The playoffs and the regional qualifiers are the two immediate things we’re looking at right now.
Ever since your days on DWG KIA, ‘boldness’ is a key word that’s used to describe the teams you’ve coached. For you, what does it mean for a team to be ‘bold’?
For myself, the most important thing is decisiveness. The decision to attack is on the players’ judgment calls; in order to do that, the players have to receive direction on what kind of decisions they have to make, which means they have to know how to create the scenarios to make those in-game decisions. Through our coaching staff, we were able to teach that to our players.
Liiv SANDBOX always becomes a stronger team in the Summer split. What’s the secret?
I think it’s inevitable. What I wanted since the beginning of the year wasn’t to produce results through new players. We were able to do well during last year’s Summer split because we had a lot of players that remained on the roster last year; in order to produce results this year with new players, we needed time. Doing well in the Spring split with players that have less than a year of pro play experience is a harder goal to achieve than going to Worlds.
That’s why I try to give players a vision. Although people may have considered us a weak team during the Spring, I always tell them to ignore all that have our players set their goals high. Proving ourselves is what the Summer split is about. I talk a lot about this with the players. Right now, their desire to win is very strong, and we all worked hard with our sights set on the same goals, so that’s why we’re able to perform well in this split.
One of the key changes to the team’s coaching staff is bringing on PawN as a positional coach in the mid lane. How has he elevated Clozer’s gameplay?
I thought a lot about the efficiency of a positional coach. The conclusion is that if we brought a former world champion, he would be a lot different than your average mid lane positional coach. If he’s able to teach Clozer a lot of his knowledge and experiences, I believe that Clozer would learn a lot of things he never experienced before and grow as a player.
In that process, coach Joker also oversaw his training, so I believe he’s also played a big part in Clozer’s growth.
Lastly, is there anything you’d like to say?
I want to thank everyone of our fans, especially those that have supported us since the Spring split. Because of them, we received the right motivation to perform well in this split. I also want to thank Prince for his performance despite being really sick. Lastly, I think that the number one reason we won tonight was all due to coach Joker’s hard work, so I want to thank him as well.
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