On Sep 22, all four of the LCK teams that are heading to Worlds 2022, Gen.G [#1 seed], T1 [#2 seed], DWG KIA [#3 seed] and DRX [#4 seed] joined various media outlets to answer questions about the upcoming tournament. Each team was given roughly 30-40 minutes to answer questions from the journalists present at the press conference.
The following is the Q&A session with LCK’s #2 seed, T1.
Let’s start this press conference with a shared question for everyone: What is your mindset heading into this year’s Worlds?
Bengi: This is the first time heading to Worlds in the head coach position. I feel the weight of the responsibility that’s on my shoulders, so I’ll do my best.
Faker: This tournament is the one that closes out the season. I’ll give it my all.
Keria: I think that I’ve been farming up to this point, so I hope to harvest good crops from this year’s Worlds.
Zeus: It’s a stage everyone dreams of playing on. I’ll make sure to do well.
Oner: This is my second time going to Worlds, so I’ll make sure to perform better than I did last year.
[To Zeus] You’ve topped some of the rankings for the best top laners performing at Worlds this year. How do you feel about such an evaluation? Is there a top laner that you think will be formidable?
I think both the LCK and the LPL top laners are very good, so I try not to think too much about power rankings. I think that the top laner that can adjust themselves well at Worlds will perform well. I think all of the LCK and the LPL top laners are all good, so they’re all on my radar.
[To Bengi] How do you assess the team’s current level of performance, and from the head coach’s perspective, what are some of the things that need to be fixed to win Worlds?
I think that based on our run throughout the season, we’re definitely championship contenders. Due to the fact that the Worlds patch will shake the meta up, we’ll need to figure out our priority picks and analyze our opponents well to optimize our macro.
[To Gumayusi] How do you foresee your performance at Worlds this year, now that you’re returning to the Worlds stage for the second year in a row?
Last year, I thought that there’s a real chance that we will win Worlds. I’m going back to the Worlds stage with three of my teammates from back then, so I think that as long as I focus and work much harder, we’ll definitely be able to win.
[To Faker] As someone with a ton of international experience, how are your past experiences different from this year? What is the focal point of your preparation for Worlds this year?
You’re playing against teams from other regions, so I think the most important thing is to analyze the other regions’ macro.
[To Keria] Thresh has been buffed on patch 12.18, which is the Worlds patch. What are your thoughts on enchanter supports being less influential in the game?
Enchanters took over the meta during the Summer split, so it was stressful how I couldn’t be influential on my team’s wins and losses. I think that we’ll see more variety of supports at Worlds this year, so it’s very exciting.
[To Bengi] You were suddenly put into the head coach position. I’m curious how you felt when you heard the news yourself. Also, now that the team had some time to catch their breath and take time to analyze other teams, which LPL team do you think will be T1’s toughest opponent?
It’s true that I did feel a lot of pressure when I was first asked to take over the head coach position, but I decided to just take responsibility and take the position. When it comes to the LPL teams, there were a lot of 3-2 series in the Summer playoffs, so it’ll depend on how they’re playing on the day of.
[To Faker] What are some of the synergy effects that you’re expecting from working with Bengi? Also, there’s a lot of traveling at Worlds this year, so as a veteran, how will you manage your physical health and focus?
He’s someone that I played with when he was a player; Bengi and I will definitely have an advantage in factors like communication. I think that as long as you utilize the time you’re given, there won’t be any problems managing my physical and mental condition.
[To Gumayusi] You’ve expressed in the past that you felt fatigued from not having a break throughout the season. Now that you’ve had some time to rest, how will it affect your gameplay? Also, how do you reflect on your Summer split performance?
Personally, I think that I can tap into my potential when I have a long enough break, so now that I got a bit of a break, I think I’ll play well at Worlds. Summer split felt like a hectic blur; I communicated a lot more with my teammates, and I think we all fixed a lot of our problems, so I think I can play much better.
[To Bengi] Can you tell us how you’ve been preparing for Worlds after the Summer split?
When we talked after the Summer split, we realized that there were a lot of communication problems, due to not having a break all season. Communication will continue to be something we’ll work on through discussions at Worlds.
[To Faker] T1’s facing EDG once again in the group stage, just like in 2021.
EDG are the defending world champions, so they’re definitely a team that we need to be wary of. Meeting them in groups means that we can test how well we can play, so I think it’s good in that regard. It’ll be fun if we can beat them 2-0 in groups.
[To Faker] What does playing on the Worlds stage this year mean for you?
Just like last year, it’s a stage where I get to test myself, so it’ll be a good opportunity to improve myself. My plan is to focus on managing my physical condition so that I can head into a match better than before. I’m trying to utilize my time as best as I can, and to focus on my practice through many different methods.
[To Bengi] Worlds is being played on a completely new patch. What are T1’s strengths in the new meta?
Personally, there won’t be too much of a difference in the meta itself, because the only thing that’s changed is champion balance. I still think the meta will heavily focus around the bot side, and since a lot of the champions that we favor haven't been nerfed hard, we’ll just have to play it out and see. Right now, we’re feeling very confident.
[To Oner] Hecarim’s received an update to his kit. While the 12.18 patch did nerf him a little bit, he still looks very good. What are your thoughts on the champion?
I think that every player and team will have a different opinion on the champion; personally, I don’t think he’s S-tier.
[To Zeus] How do you evaluate each of the LPL top laners at Worlds this year? Also, what are your thoughts on the top lane being more influential in the game?
I think that each of them has a unique playstyle, but it’s hard to accurately depict how they play until I play against them. Champions like Jayce and Kennen have been buffed; they’re champions I’m good at, so I was thrilled to hear the news. I’m coming back from a long break from LoL, so I’m still adjusting to things. I’ll need to play more to figure it out.
[To Gumayusi] One other team that T1’s facing at Worlds this year is Cloud9. Kim “Berserker” Min-cheol, the former T1 Challengers bot laner, is the starting bot laner for C9, so what kind of a player do you remember him as?
I think the matchup will be really fun because both teams have mechanically adept bot laners. I’m excited to face him, as I remember him as someone with very good mechanics.
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