On Jan. 18, in the 2024 LCK Spring Split, Dplus KIA faced OK BRION. Although OK BRION went ahead early in both games, Dplus KIA managed to turn both games around and claimed a 2-0 victory. After the match, Dplus KIA head coach Lee “Zefa” Jae-min and top laner Hwang “Kingen” Seong-hoon joined the media for an interview.
How do you feel about winning the first match of the season?
Zefa: I’m glad that we won the first match 2-0. I’m also happy that Lucid had a successful LCK debut.
Kingen: The first match of the season is really meaningful, and I’m very happy that we won. We’ll be able to start rolling. Although there are several areas to improve, we have time, and we got some momentum, and I believe we’ll be able to do better.
(To Kingen) How is it playing with new teammates?
Kingen: After joining Dplus KIA, I thought it would be awkward since I haven’t properly met them. At first, I was worried, but after a little bit, I was surprised how everyone got along so easily. It was very natural, and I believe it affected our performance as well.
(To Zefa) How does it feel to be back in a year?
Zefa: It’s been a while since I’ve been in the scene, but whenever there’s a match, I worry and get nervous. I did take a break for a year, and it was the debut for Lucid. I’m happy that all of that was successful, and I hope we can maintain a good performance.
To Dplus KIA, is the addition of Voidgrubs good or bad?
Zefa: It hasn’t been long since they’ve been updated, and all the teams should be still studying its value. For us, it depends on the situation or our composition.
Kingen: As Zefa said, it’s not absolute. If the team that didn’t go for Voidgrubs takes more on the other side, it’s not that good. On the other hand, Voidgrubs are effective when you want to snowball fast. That being said, the value of Voidgrubs would depend on the composition.
Aiming’s performance today was amazing. It seems Dplus KIA is attempting a more bot-centric game compared to last season. Is that the team’s concept this year?
Zefa: We drafted today’s composition thinking of the blue and red side, and the opponent. It depends on the meta. Other teams can also pick Milio or Lucian-Nami, and if those champions start to appear, it’s definitely going to be a bot lane meta.
What did you think about Lucid?
Zefa: To me, what’s important was whether or not he did his role without being nervous. He did that well, but compared to practice, it wasn’t Lucid's best performance. He can do even better. I hope everyone expects more from him.
Kingen: Lucid has played a lot in CL, so he has a lot of experience. However, it was his first LCK game, so to me, it was important to see if he knew what was important when playing. In today’s match, he seemed to know exactly what was important, so I think he did great.
The red side has been winning. What are your thoughts
Zefa: I’m confused too. [Laughs] Everyone’s saying the bot duo on the red side is disadvantageous, and my brain says the same. But in reality, the red side is winning all the games. I’ll have to think about it. We’ll need further analysis.
There are clear top-tier teams this season. Compared to these teams, how good do you think Dplus KIA is?
Kingen: I don’t want to jinx it, so I’ll keep it simple. Objectively looking at our performance, I don’t think we’re that far behind T1, Gen.G, and Hanwha Life Esports. Obviously, the games will be difficult, but if we stay confident, there’s no reason we can’t beat them.
Any last comments?
Kingen: I’m happy we had such a good start. We’ll work hard to win our following matches with this momentum.
Zefa: We’ll prepare for the match against KT well and raise the expectations of the fans.