T1 Zeus: "All the top LPL teams, especially their top laners are really good. I’m excited to face them."

The last ticket to the 2022 LCK Summer finals did not come easy. T1 had the 2-0 lead with their game 1 & 2 victory, but DWG KIA caught right back up with their game 3 & 4 win. With both finals and Worlds ticket on the line for T1, there’s a lot of pressure that comes with such stakes, and in such scenarios, rookies are more susceptible to choking. However, Choi “Zeus” Woo-je played his part as the top laner for T1 in the most beautiful fashion, as he figured out the equation of what he needs to do to stay composed.


The following is an interview with T1 Zeus.

Congratulations on punching your tickets to the finals. How do you feel about tonight’s victory?


I didn’t get too much sleep before tonight’s series. I was glad that we won up until game 2, but the series became much tougher as we went to game 5.


T1 went from 2-0 to 2-2. What was your mindset heading into game 5?


When I previously played in an amateur tournament a long time ago called “LoL the Next”, my team got reverse swept. I knew that we couldn’t be pushed back by their momentum, so I had to really focus.


In game 2, you solo killed deokdam’s Draven twice. While some may credit you for managing Gnar’s rage bar really well, some say that it’s due to deokdam’s Draven being way too deep in the mid lane.


The first kill on Draven came when Faker’s Sylas was in the mid lane. From my perspective, the kill angle was unexpected.


Regarding the second kill on Draven, I knew that the enemy didn’t have vision on me while I was coming up from the bot lane. I told my team that I’ll go in if I see the right opportunity, and since it was right before the Mega Gnar form ended, I was able to go in and get the kill.


After the base health nerfs on Gnar, it fell out of the meta a little bit. However, you utilized Gnar to the fullest in this series.


It was a counterpick. I felt it was okay to play Gnar into the enemy team comps. Truth be told, there’s no problem picking Gnar blind, as the laning phase is playable. However, if you factor in what you need to do in a certain game and how Gnar plays into the enemy team comp, it’s not easy to pick Gnar blind.


After the nerfs, Gnar got weaker at level 1, so you have to be careful. I think you can get priority from level 4-5. Also, you have to be wary of the timing when Mega Gnar transforms back into mini Gnar.


Nuguri was subbed in for game 3. With both top laners playing Renekton, did playing against the two top laners feel any different?


At first, I tried not to think too much about Nuguri being subbed in. Actually, this was my first time playing the Aatrox vs Renekton matchup on stage. I felt that I could beat his Renekton at a certain timing, but Nuguri saw the level 6 timing well and fought back. He definitely snowballed the game right.


I think that Aatrox is an up and coming pick in the current meta. I picked it R5 in the draft, and Aatrox felt like the right champion, as Aatrox right now can survive well like tanks. I didn’t utilize Aatrox’s power spike well in that game. 


From Yone to Azir, there were a lot of variety in the top lane. Was it tricky to face them?


Actually, I’m pretty close with Burdol. While he may not have played during the regular season this split, I chatted with him quite often in solo queue. I know what he likes, and I expected the Azir top lane to come out. I did suffer quite a bit from top lane Azir, but I felt I could survive this series. He’s a scary champion when he gets ahead, and the Azir-Yasuo combo looked really good.


Your signature champion, Jayce, is getting buffed next patch. Do you expect to play him at Worlds this year?


I didn’t play Jayce at all in recent patches. I think Jayce will be good once I start using him, but we’ll have to see. Jayce can struggle against the current meta picks, so I’m not sure if he can be picked in pro play just yet.


T1’s victory tonight means that the team also punched a ticket to Worlds. How do you feel?


Before tonight’s series, I thought, “What if we end up playing in the regional qualifiers”? Although the fact that we made it hasn’t fully hit me yet, I’m thrilled to play on the Worlds stage.


Are there players/teams you’d specifically like to face?


All the top LPL teams, especially their top laners are really good. I’m really looking forward to facing them.


Gen.G’s momentum is at an all time high. How will you prepare for the finals?


This is my second LCK finals, and I think our head-to-head record doesn’t mean once we’re at the finals stage. It matters how you play that day, and have to think quite a bit at the venue.


You beat Doran in the Spring finals, and it’s safe to say that it was a landslide victory. How do you foresee the matchup this time around?


Right now, a lot of bruisers and tanks appear in the top lane, so it’ll be quite a sweaty matchup.


Lastly, is there anything you’d like to say?


Tonight’s match was an important one. It sucks that we couldn’t beat DWG KIA in a clean fashion, and I must’ve made the fans worry quite a bit. I really want to win the finals, and I’ll make sure to win. Thank you to all the fans for your support.

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