Having crushed H2K 3-0 in the semifinals of the 2016 League of Legends World Championship, Samsung Galaxy are now set to face off against SKT T1 in what should be the very last match of the tournament. Despite struggling early on in Game 1, SSG recovered in impressive fashion to take the game and the following matches.
The following is Inven's exclusive interview with Samsung's Head Coach Woobum “Edgar” Choi.
How do you feel about advancing to the finals?
I never imagined we would pull through this far. Honestly, I’m rather flabbergasted. The players worked extremely hard during practice in Chicago and only arrived at New York a day before the tournament. Our success is all on the players.
Your drafts against H2K were superb. How did you prepare?
[Forg1ven]’s champion pool is very narrow. We recognized he wasn't very good on anything other than Caitlyn, so we banned it away. Our Miss Fortune support was extremely hastily prepared, but drafting it into a favorable lane matchup mitigated our lack of practice with the pick.
Yesterday, SKT Head Coach L.i.E.S accused SSG of refusing to scrim SKT. Thoughts?
We don’t discriminate when we choose scrimming partners; back home, we regularly scrimmed with challenger teams. Even at the World Championship, we scrimmed with every team we already had scheduled with, including INTZ. I was quite offended and dumbfounded by L.i.E.S' statements.
I’ve been in eSports for sixteen years, and have never seen a team’s coach directly denounce and attack another team. I'm trying to calm myself down and stop the buck here, as L.i.E.S texted me an apology, but to be honest, an apology doesn't feel like enough. On the very morning of our match against H2K, our players woke up to read an false, inflammatory interview against the team, with hordes of fans raging against us in the comments. Can you imagine the mental effect it had on them?
How could we have helped SKT after already having practiced extensively with ROX? Our team did nothing to deserve such malicious accusations. What happened was very inappropriate, and I’m still worried for our players' psychological health.
How are you approaching the finals? What do you think will be the decisive factor?
We had planned a few strategies for the finals while prepping for the semifinals, but the biggest problem is that we don’t have any practice partners right now. Since we’re the challengers, we’re still not sure if our plans are going to work, but we will work hard. If we manage to take the first game, we'll have more than a fighting chance.
Who do you think will stand out in the finals and why?
It’s obvious that Faker and Bang will do well on SKT. The two are just such great carries. For us, I can’t really choose a player who will stand out. Our team is much more about working together as a single unit. I will say that I'm very happy with Ambition's recent form.
Any last words of encouragement for your players?
I know it has been a tough journey - even more so because I always was quite strict. Thank you very much for trusting in me as a coach. I would also like to thank both our support staff and our supportive fans. We promise to practice like we've never practiced before for the finals.