DRX Deft: "In our current state, we're not going to beat the top teams at Worlds. We won't make it past quarters."

On Sep 4, DRX defeated Liiv SANDBOX in the 2022 LCK Regional Qualifiers and secured the 4th and last ticket to Worlds. With this victory, DRX will be starting their Worlds run from the Play-in stages.


After their victory, DRX’s bot laner, Kim “Deft” Hyuk-kyu, joined the press at LoL Park for a post-match interview.

How do you feel to have punched the last ticket to Worlds?


It feels good to have made it, but I’m more glad that we were able to find the solutions to victory in situations where things felt dire in the game.


Is there a team you’d like to meet at Worlds this year?


EDG also confirmed their Worlds spot last night. Whether it’s as opponents or even just meeting them outside the game, I think it’ll be fun.


With such an extensive career behind you, does this year’s World Championships feel any different?


Compared to last year, I performed far worse this year. It feels really good to have grabbed the opportunity in such a time where I underperformed.


What would you say DRX’s unique strength is? How does the team stay competitive among all the international competition?


Worlds is a stage where every good team around the world gathers to play. I wouldn’t say that our strengths particularly stand out when compared to their strengths. I’d say that finding the solutions that we need to win is a unique strength of ours. 


DRX will be starting from the Play-in stages.


I think the LPL teams are obviously the strong teams of the tournament. If we learn and gain experience from the play-in stages, I think we’ll do well in the group stages as well.


You managed to keep your promise with EDG’s support, Meiko, on meeting him at Worlds this year.


It’ll be great to see him again this year. He won Worlds last year, so I’ll make sure to try my best to make it as far as he did last year.


From beating KT Rolster and Liiv SANDBOX in the qualifiers, what would you say your role was as the veteran player of the team?


While we managed to produce results in this year’s regional qualifiers, I don’t think I properly filled the leadership role in the regular split and the playoffs. I hoped that I would step up for the qualifiers, and I’m relieved that we managed to produce such results.


Looking back this season, what are some of the things you wished you could’ve done better?


I think just the fact that we had to secure our Worlds spot through the qualifiers is something I wish I could change. If I only played better in the regular split, we would’ve had an easier time making it. While I’m glad that things worked out in the end, I should’ve never put myself and the team in the position where our season would’ve ended prematurely.


Reasons behind the Soraka pick in game 5 tonight?


Gen.G’s head coach, Score, told me about how they’ve prepared their Soraka pick for the LCK finals. He also cheered me on for this qualifiers, so it all really helped.


Since 2019, you’ve particularly performed well in the regional qualifiers. What’s your secret?


I always thought that it was do or die. If I don’t make it to Worlds, the off-season time feels very empty. It feels like I work harder to reduce that time.


How do you reflect on your journey as a pro this year?


I tried to think and come to conclusions on my own. Whenever our team atmosphere wasn’t great, I was always trying to avoid conflict. I should’ve faced those conflicts with my teammates head on and discussed what was wrong. Our team atmosphere wasn’t all that great right up until the qualifiers, so I even thought about giving up, but because everyone worked so hard, we were able to come out on top in the end.


How do you compare the current DRX’s performance level with the other teams at Worlds?


If we play like we did tonight, we won’t be able to beat the top teams at Worlds. I don’t think we’ll make it past quarterfinals.


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


There were multiple instances where I had to greet the fans after losing. I want to apologize for not being able to greet them in a good mood, but I’m also relieved that we were able to make them smile in the end. Thank you for supporting us through such tough times. I also want to thank our sponsor, Shinhan Bank; I’m relieved that we were able to win the ‘Bank Derby’ in the end.

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