On January 17, 2024, the LCK Spring Split kicked off. On the first day, the blockbuster match featured Gen.G, who won three consecutive LCK splits, and T1, the 2023 World Champion. As anticipated, the match was intense, going three games, and Gen.G secured a 2-1 victory. After the game, T1 head coach Kim "kkOma" Jeong-gyun and mid laner Lee "Faker" Sang-hyeok visited the press room to answer questions.
How do you feel playing the first match of the season?
kkOma: It’s a bit unfortunate that we lost today, but I don’t think it’ll be too difficult to fix what we didn’t do well. Although the result is a bit regretful, all there’s left for us is to improve, so I don’t feel bad.
Faker: Aside from the results, we focused on preparing and playing the game. We did lose, but I felt that they’re beatable. Although there are some regrets, there are parts that I’m satisfied.
(To kkOma) What was regretful and what was satisfying about the match?
kkOma: Game 1 was really good because the players fought so well. In game 2, we were ahead, but we weren’t able to snowball well. That was a bit regretful. As for game 3, we were extremely behind, but the players did so well that they almost won the game. That was very positive.
(To kkOma) There are so many changes in the new season. T1 should have analyzed enough. Is what you predicted similar to the actual matches?
kkOma: We’ll need some more time, but what we researched is similar to what’s actually going on. However, we always have to doubt, so we should keep on researching and analyzing. Champions like K’Sante, or Udyr+@ can come up. We’re still researching.
What we discussed together is all happening, but since it’s just the first day, we’ll still need to work more. The map design changed a lot, and that’s one of the parts we need more work on.
(To Faker) You built Lich Bane on Azir in game 3. It doesn’t seem like a general build. Why did you go Lich Bane?
Faker: As Azir went through some changes, Lich Bane is a good choice. Also, considering the compositions, I felt that I would have to take down turrets often, so I built it.
(To Faker) You almost caught up in game 3, but lost. What’s the most regretful?
Faker: The early game in game 3 didn’t go well, but we managed to catch up pretty well until the late game. There were a few mistakes during the last moments, and that was regretful.
(To Faker) It seems that Gen.G and T1 had different interpretations in the meta. Gen.G preferred late-game picks, while T1 prioritized Voidgrubs. Was there a reason you stuck to that strategy?
Faker: We started adapting to the meta a bit later than others. Also, the preseason patch was applied a bit late on the solo queue server. Although we were a bit late in adapting, I believe we’ll be able to lead the meta. Even after the meta shift, each team will have their own interpretation. We’ll go in our own way.
(To Faker) Compared to previous versions, are there any metas you feel are similar to the current meta?
Faker: There were a few terrain patches in the past as well, but this time, the change is big. All teams have to adapt. What’s important is how well we interpret the situation. Aside from all that, we’ll need more time to get back to our full potential, but we’ll be improving every day. We’ll mostly focus on that.
Any last comments?
kkOma: The players have had a tough schedule up to now. We showed a good performance, and it would have been best if we won. Although we lost, it’s positive that we’ll show a better performance from now on; we just need to adapt more. If I was able to maintain the players’ conditions a bit better, it would have been better. That’s regretful. Our fans would have been happier if we won, but we weren’t able to. Even so, we’ll get better every day, and show you how T1 should be. Thank you.
Faker: Although we lost our first game, considering the process rather than the result, we have a lot to gain. I believe there are many areas we can improve, so we’ll each do our roles in the team and work hard.