On the 22nd of August(KST), the 'LCK Summer Finals Media Day' hosted by Riot Korea took place in Gangnam, Korea. The very first of its kind, the event featured the two teams that will play in the Summer Finals on the 26th. During this event, players and coaches from 'SK Telecom T1' and 'Longzhu Gaming' shared their thoughts regarding their upcoming series.
For LZ, the upcoming Finals will be the most important series the team has ever played. While victory over SKT would be a feat in and of itself, this match carries weight beyond that. After all, if LZ wins their battle against SKT, it would result in their first ever entry into Worlds. As for SKT, the team has already qualified for this year's Worlds, and they have also won multiple LCK titles in the past - but their thirst for victory remains as strong as ever, and their fans expect nothing less than the best. Stakes are high for both sides, and mistakes will not be forgiven.
A while back, before the playoffs officially began, SKT's head coach, cCarter, said that he made an oath of alliance with 'kt Rolster'. The reason being was simple. Since the two teams actually benefit if one of them is able to win in the Finals, the two teams agreed to assist each other during practice. In regards to the alliance, cCarter stated his reasoning:
"Both KT and SKT are indeed supporting each other, but the word "alliance" is a bit glorified; because both teams just simply want to win and make it to Worlds."
In reaction to cCarter's comment, LZ's head coach, Hirai, followed up with a statement of his own:
"I'm not scared of this "alliance" SKT has with KT. Also, our players may have less experience compared to the SKT players, but many rookie players in the past have shown fearlessness, confidence, and the will to take down veterans. The lack of stage experience won't affect our players. I'm also going to make sure to change everyone's mobile service provider in the team to LGU+[and not KT or SKT]."
Hirai was then asked how he feels about facing off against a team that has never lost in the finals before, to which he responded:
"To be honest with you... I wanted SKT to lose. Whenever they played, I kept thinking to myself, 'Please lose, Please lose.' But in the end, they kept winning. When I was watching them playing against KT, and they were down 2 games, I happily went for a restroom break... but when I came back... I quickly lost my smile."
As the interview continued, both head coaches were asked to make a score prediction for the upcoming series. Hirai began by stating:
"First off, I would like to say a word of sympathy for Score(KT)... I'm sorry Score. And as for the prediction, I would like to win the series without dropping a single game. But to make the series a bit more exciting, let's just say that we'll win 3-1."
In response, cCarter immediately commented:
"Against Longzhu, I think we will end the series with a score of 3-0 in our favor. Making a series exciting may be of importance, but I want to help the reporters, journalists, and the broadcast team by sending them home as quickly as possible; so that they can get home and rest."
As the banter between the coaches of SKT and LZ neared its end, the both coaches were given one final request; to point out a weakness that their opposing team may have. In response, kkOma said:
"This was the first time ever for Longzhu to make it into the playoffs. There are many rookies in their lineup and they are all very lacking in stage experience. Right now, LZ members are filled with vigor... but soon, they will be stricken with fear and pressure. I want them to feel the weight of losing the 1st game on a "big" stage."
In return, LZ's coach, 'Kim Jeong-Su', responded with:
"Of course there will be pressure on the big stage. We've already experienced it before. Also, SKT has won many titles in the past, so wouldn't it be more entertaining for us to take the cup this time? We'll make sure to do our absolute best to cause a huge upset during the finals."
level 1 SKtelecomT1
Thanks for this and your work!!! I love the interviews <3
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