T1 interim head coach Tom: "Faker may be able to play next week before PO. I can say that he’ll be back by PO."


On Jul 29, in the second Telecom Derby of the 2023 LCK Summer Split, KT Rolster defeated T1 again. T1 fell with Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok still missing, being swept 0-2. Although it is uncertain when Faker would return, interim head coach Lim “Tom” Jae-hyeon mentioned that he could return before the playoffs. The following is a full translation of an interview with Tom and support Ryu “Keria” Min-seok.



How do you evaluate today’s match?


Tom: In game 1, we had prepared a poking composition, but the results were not as good as we hoped. In game 2, even though the situation was unfavorable, we had a chance to come back and win, but unfortunately, we couldn't grasp the chance until the end.


Keria: We have been preparing with specific draft strategies, but in the actual matches, things kept playing out differently from what we had expected, so it made the games uncomfortable and more challenging.


It seems that game 2 got extremely difficult after the first dragon fight, as Vayne picked up a triple kill in that fight.


Tom: Although Kai'Sa died once, the situation was alright. Lillia had an item advantage over Sejuani, and we were pushing in the waves first. But after we started and as Tristana was moving to join, the trades didn’t go well, and the plays didn’t work out as we initially planned.


Some evaluate that the current meta is unfavorable to T1. What do you think?

Tom: The meta certainly has an impact. It's challenging to excel in every aspect of the game. Despite that, we need to continue putting in effort and adapt to the meta by preparing well.


Keria: I also think that we have our strengths and weaknesses, and the current meta exposes our weaknesses more. Even though we are working on improving, it seems challenging to perform well, so I guess we need to work harder.


T1 used to gain big leads in the bot lane. Why do you think that is?


Keria: There aren’t any champions in the meta where you can start scraping the turrets off of the opponent or get a huge lead during the laning phase. So as we used to earn a lot from the bot lane, it feels that there is one less way to snowball. The 3v3 and 4v4 skirmishes are more important in the current meta, rather than the laning phase, and we’ve been struggling in those skirmishes. That’s most likely why we’re underperforming.



Statikk Shiv will be nerfed in the next version. How do you think it’ll affect T1?


Tom: Starting next week, we’ll be playing on the next patch, and Statikk Shiv has been nerfed in that patch. Not only the bot lane will change, but all the champions that build Statikk Shiv will also get affected. We also did try the Statikk meta, but we didn’t get good enough results. It might be a beneficial patch for us.


After all, what everyone is curious about is when Faker would return. It seems that he came to LoL Park today.


Tom: If he isn’t getting treated, he comes here other days as well. He watches together and cheers us on. Currently, Faker is still getting well taken care of, and if he were to play, the team will announce it in advance.


Bengi had said that Faker could take a minimum two-week break, yet it’ll become five weeks next week. Up to now, it seems it’ll be difficult for T1 without Faker. What do you have prepared?


Tom: Although Bengi had said two weeks back then, Faker’s wrist wasn’t in a situation where he could take a simple two-week break and come back to playing again. That’s why it has been so long. Faker may be able to play next week before the playoffs begin. I can say that he’ll be back by playoffs.


(To Keria) You’ll be playing against Kwangdong Freecs and Liiv SANDBOX. How do you think next week will go without Faker? 


Keria: Our performance isn’t good, and the results are bad, so I don’t know how it’ll go. Even so, they’re difficult matches for us. I’ll do my best as a pro player to show a good performance.


Many fans are worried about your mentality and morale. How are you?


Keria: Actually, when we fell to a three-match losing streak this month, it was really hard on me, but I’m alright now. I somehow have faith that we’ll perform well in the playoffs. Also, some people mentioned that I look angry because I cut my hair shorter than usual. I’m not angry, it’s just a haircut. [Laughs]


Any last comments?


Keria: The games in July have ended with disappointing results, and I am sorry for that. It's the first time I have experienced such a long losing streak, and I apologize to the fans. As July has ended, rather than immediately promising a great performance in August, I will do my best to show improvement from the playoffs onward. In August, I hope to show why T1 is T1.


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