On August 12th (KST), SK Telecom T1 defeated Afreeca Freecs in the wildcard match of LCK Summer Playoffs 2017. With a clean 2-0 victory, SKT T1 has advanced to the next round where they'll face Samsung Galaxy.
Following is our interview with Head Coach Byunghoon "cCarter" Choi and Wangho "Peanut" Han.
Congratulations on your win today.
cCarter: I felt anxious because we were pretty much equal against Afreeca Freecs in the regular season, and it's the first time that we had to play in the wildcard match. I could feel that AFs prepared a lot for this match. I'm content because we played as well as we have prepared for today's match.
Peanut: I thought we needed to win, and I thought we were going to win because our scrims went very well. Although we've made some small mistakes, our skills more than make up for it. While we were on the losing streak, we fell apart as soon as we made even the smallest mistake - Not anymore.
Why do you think you had a 2-0 victory?
cCarter: We thought over the draft phase a lot. Afreeca Freecs's drafting strategy was expected, and I thought we just needed a right composition to come out ahead in the end even if that meant we'd be giving them some strong picks. It worked out well, and the players followed through the draft very well.
Why did you decide to go with Untara-Peanut duo?
cCarter: Both players are ranked high at Challenger League in KR SoloQ, and their scrim performance was great when playing together. We started to employ these two together in the late season. Other players are doing their best as well, and they are doing even more because Untara and Peanut had the chance to play.
Game 2 was more close than Game 1.
cCarter: We were ahead in the early game, but there was a mistake in our botlane. Not Peanut's, but our botlane duo's mistake. That cost us the advantage that we had due to their jungler's item mistake and made the game roughly equal. I didn't think that we'd lose, but thought it might be more difficult for us to win if the game drags on.
What is your opinion on having worse head-to-head result against Samsung Galaxy?
cCarter: We always had to play another tournament right before going up against Samsung Galaxy. (Laughs) I'm just kidding. More seriously, I think Samsung Galaxy always prepared well, and we couldn't keep up with their preparation. It's going to be an intense and enjoyable match. As for the past results, we never cared much about the past no matter who we go up against.
Peanut: At our current shape, I think we can go all the way up to the finals. There's nothing wrong with some confidence as long as we can defeat everyone. That would also mean that I'd be defeating all of my old ROX teammates. (Laughs)
Peanut, you had some spectacular Baron steals today.
Peanut: Whenever a chance for Baron steal arises, I rush in while thinking about what I need to do to steal Baron. This time, I thought I needed to get their Cho'Gath away from Baron in order for me to steal it because Feast does far more damage than Smite. Although I could have been faster in trying to steal it, it worked out well in the end. I think AFs was a bit too hasty - they must have thought that was their only chance to come back into the game.
How's playing with Untara?
Peanut: Untara isn't as experienced as everyone else, so we talk a lot about the game such as responding to ganks. We also talk about things outside of game, like not eating unhealthy fast food before matches and not spending too much time on cellphone. (Laughs) I'm giving him the same advice that I've got from my ROX teammates last year because our upcoming matches are really important.
How do you feel about having to face old ROX players throughout the playoffs?
Peanut: It feels like I'm going through gym battles as a challenger. It's more fun when we face each other in high-stake games. I guess it's another fun part of the playoffs. In fact, KurO and I cheered for each other after the match as we exchanged handshakes.
Do you have anything else that you want to say?
Peanut: I thought it was about time that we lose when we were going through the losing streak, and now I think it's about time that we win. Every one of us wants to win. I don't think it's impossible for us to make it all the way to the finals from the wild card match. Please cheer for us more.