In the 2023 LCK Summer Split match between Dplus KIA and Nongshim RedForce, Dplus KIA won 2-0, and recovered from their previous loss. Kim “Deft” Hyuk-kyu, who missed a game due to COVID-19, returned by playing online from the team facility. After the match, Dplus KIA head coach Choi “Acorn” Cheon-joo and mid laner Heo “ShowMaker” Su joined the media for an interview.
How do you feel about today’s match?
Acorn: After losing our last match, I really wanted to win today. It’s a relief that we won as prepared. We have several matches against the strong teams remaining in the first round. I think it’ll be really important to prepare well for that week.
ShowMaker: Although Deft was sick, he did well. Also, I wanted to win today because it was Canyon’s birthday. I’m happy that we did.
Rahel could have played again, but Deft played online.
Acorn: First of all, it seemed that Deft was in a condition where he could play, and he also really wanted to play. Rahel was a bit disappointed, but there will be a better chance for him next time.
(To ShowMaker) You had a great performance on LeBlanc. Can you explain the pick?
ShowMaker: I played it often, and the new build goes well with LeBlanc. I picked it in the first phase with confidence.
If you won the last match, you would have been fighting for first place. How did you recover from the previous loss?
Acorn: As we prepared for the season, our biggest goal was Worlds. We need to think about the long run without worrying too much about one or two losses right now. We have to focus on the remaining matches. The players and the team weren’t shaken up much, so it wasn’t that difficult to recover from the loss.
Did you talk with Rahel? What did you talk about with Deft before today’s match?
ShowMaker: If I was in Rahel’s shoes, I would have been quite sad. If there’s another chance, I’d like to get him his first win. I didn’t say much with Deft. He looked fine, so I joked that he should play at LoL Park with us.
Acorn: I was sorry to Rahel because he had to play in the LCK unprepared. I was also sorry that we couldn’t make a proper environment for him to play comfortably. He had a tough schedule because he had to play in the Challengers right away, so I’d like to say sorry. I’d also like to thank Deft for playing today despite being sick.
You have a tough schedule ahead of you. How will you prepare for the matches next week?
Acorn: We’re trying to find what’s easy and comfortable for the players when they play. I need to communicate a lot with the players and prepare well to win. I can’t discuss the detailed strategies here, but I do want to beat KT, who we’ll be meeting first.
In game 1, the opponent didn’t ban Neeko. In the LPL, Neeko isn’t a must-ban champion, but it seems different in the LCK. Why is Neeko considered OP in the LCK?
Acorn: In the LPL, it’s left unbanned in about half of the games, but when it’s picked, it often pulls off super plays. Winning isn’t guaranteed in the late game, but when it’s unbanned, the teams have their own reasons. We often used Neeko in mid and jungle during scrims, so I thought we would pick it up if it’s not banned. If you’re asking if Neeko is OP, we think Neeko is a must-ban champion.
Any last comments?
ShowMaker: Happy birthday, Canyon. I’m happy that we won today, and I hope Deft fully recovers and shows his best performance in his best form. Thank you to all the fans that cheer for us.