On day 2 of the group stages of the 2022 LoL World Championship, Cloud9 failed to pick up the victory against last year’s world champions, EDward Gaming. Cloud9 are 0-2 in the group stages so far, and will be heading to day 3 to face T1 in their third group stage match of the tournament.
Inven Global had a chance to speak with C9’s bot laner, Kim “Berserker” Min-cheol on the group stage run so far, his 2022 season, and what he and the team needs to work on for the rest of the group stages.
Before we get into this interview, I heard that the team got pulled over by the NYPD on their way over to the venue on day 1. What happened?
[Laughter] So we left for the venue a bit late, and I don’t know if our driver usually drives with a bit of temper… [Laughter] But he hastily made a right turn from the wrong lane. It just so happened that the police were there to catch him, so we got pulled over for like 10 minutes.
Cloud9 is off to a rough start. What are some of the problems within the team?
In terms of yesterday’s match [against Fnatic], we didn’t have our champion tier list properly sorted out, and felt like we didn’t properly communicate during the draft. We worked on such things to prepare for today’s match [against EDG], but I think there were problems in our execution. I still think that we’re able to have a successful run in the group stages if we continue working on such things.
You tweeted yesterday that the team’s draft was bad against Fnatic. Looking at today’s draft against EDG, there were a lot of questionable picks today as well. How do you reflect on the team’s draft today?
When I say that we worked on our draft after our loss against Fnatic, I feel that while our draft today [against EDG] was better than day 1, it hasn’t gotten that much better overall. My head’s in a bit of a blank right now, but I think we drafted Xin Zhao and Tahm Kench in R4 & 5? That’s correct. It felt like there weren’t perfect champions for R4 and R5, so we just picked them. The reason why we didn’t draft an enchanter support was because the enemy’s jungle was Poppy. She’s a champion that loves to gank, so we felt that if we played aggressively in the bot lane with an enchanter, she could just gank bot early.
You stated in your scrum interview on day 1, and I quote, “EU is known for picking a lot of ‘joker’ picks but Fnatic played more traditional, just like LCK and LPL. I thought as long as we played as they normally do. It was going to be winnable.” How about today? If Cloud9’s execution was like how you guys normally play, did you feel the game was winnable?
[Laughter] To be honest, I was focused on laning in the bot lane, so I didn’t exactly see what happened at top side. I just got back from the venue, so I’ll need to watch the VOD to see where things went wrong. It’s not to say that I played well in the bot lane, but I think I did alright.
Lucian-Nami was picked more frequently than I initially thought on day 2. What are your thoughts on the duo in the Worlds meta?
Internally, we also thought that Lucian-Nami had fallen off, but teams at Worlds just picked Lucian-Nami when there wasn’t anything good to play. Also, apart from Caitlyn/Kalista, it feels like the rest of the bot lane champions don’t really have a strong laning phase. So I think Lucian-Nami isn’t too bad. It felt like teams just picked Miss Fortune on blue side as an answer to Aphelios on red side, but I imagine that Fnatic changed a lot of people’s minds when they beat T1 with it.
I want to take some time to look back on your 2022 season so far. You went from being a bot laner on T1’s Challengers team to not only being the starting bot laner for Cloud9, but also winning the LCS Summer split and making your first Worlds appearance. Looking back, what are some of the most memorable moments that come to mind?
It definitely has to be winning the Summer split. Lifting the LCS trophy and taking in the electrifying energy of the roar from the crowd is definitely the most memorable. Looking back at it now, we headed into the Summer split with a completely different roster. To win the championship with a team that worked together for less than half a year makes me think that we really worked hard for that achievement.
It’s definitely different compared to Korea. There’s more freedom in my practice schedule, but in the end, no matter which region I’m in, I’ll still do what I do in the end.
Looking back, how do you think you’ve grown as a player?
When I was playing last year, I rarely said anything while I was playing. When I got to NA, I worked on trying to actively talk as much as possible, because it also helped me with my English as well. I think talking a lot more helped me make more in-game calls, and that’s something that’s improved quite significantly this year.
Everybody’s eager to hear how scrims are going for each team. How’s C9 doing in scrims, and is there a team that you felt was really good?
We played a lot of scrims with many different teams, and Gen.G was… Too good. There’s a reason why they looked so dominant in the Summer finals. As for our scrims… Let’s just say that the international ‘wall’ is very high.
You guys are facing T1 on day 3. How do you foresee the matchup panning out, and how does the team need to recalibrate to win that match?
There isn’t much time to recalibrate on a large scale, but I think that we made fundamental mistakes, so as long as we work on not making such mistakes, I believe we’ll be able to perform well. We’ll focus on not making fundamental mistakes.
Ahead of the match, is there anything you’d like to say to your former teammates?
I’ll say this about Gumayusi. Even though I feel I’m in no position to say this because we’re 0-2, I don’t think Guma’s playing that well at the moment [as well]. It’s definitely winnable, so I’ll see you soon, Guma.
Lastly, according to my sources, I heard you’re looking for a girlfriend. What’s your type?
[Laughter] I’m not sure how you manage to find out about this, but as long as they’re pretty, I’m content.
Striving for perfection to achieve excellence in esports