People expected SKT to easily advance to the semifinals when the matchups for quarters were announced. And the prediction was reasonable, especially when considering the differences between SKT and MSF. On one side, we have the former world champions, SKT T1, a team that has won many international events. On the other side, we have MSF, a team that rose quickly from the EU LCS and is much lesser known. MSF is by no means a bad team... but they undoubtedly lacked the international experience.
In the beginning, it looked as if the weak underdogs challenged the unbeatable. But the results that followed the series spoke otherwise. What felt like an impossible challenge, came to be a close fight between two adversaries equal in strength. MSF was strong, sharp, and fearless.
In the end, SKT finally managed to defeat MSF by securing the game 5 of the series, and from somewhere in the arena, SKT's coach, kkOma, let out a sigh of relief. After the series, kkOma was invited for two separate interviews by Sjokz and OGN. He was wearing an exhausted face that looked more stressed than an expression made from losing.
The following two interviews are of SKT's coach, kkOma.
You've never been pushed so hard in the quarterfinals before... but you guys still managed to make it out. What would you say was the most difficult thing to overcome today?
Firstly, our laners made a lot of mistakes. Especially our botlane. That's when the entire team started shaking.
I talked to Huni before, and he had a lot of praise for MSF. What're your opinions on them?
Well, just from seeing the games today, as well as their past performances, it's pretty obvious that they're a very talented team. We can probably expect more from them in the future.
How do you feel after that victory?
I'm glad that we won. We'll need to refine a lot of our weaknesses before proceeding.
It was a really intense match. What kind of feedback did you give to your players when they dropped two games in a row?
I always tell them to play at their best - so that they won't regret their decisions in the future. But then, they underperformed, so it was a bit sad. But we still have a lot of time; so if we are able to fix the problems at hand, their performance will return to normal.
MSF used Blitzcrank and Leona. Did you expect those picks to make an appearance? Were you surprised at all?
I already knew that IgNar preferred playing engage-supports like Blitzcrank, so I had a general idea. But then, the results of the games started going in the wrong direction. That's when I started giving Bang champions with escapes.
In the end, the series went to a game 5. When did you become certain that SKT would win?
There was never a single point during the series where I was certain that we would win. Even when we took the Baron and Elder Dragon, I wasn't sure.
Even when you guys stole the Elder Dragon?
That's when I became certain, actually.
Your team will be facing either RNG or FNC in the semifinals. Who do you think will be more formidable?
Looking at our team's current performance, it won't matter who comes, it'll be a difficult series regardless. I'll need to watch and analyze their games and prepare well. I don't think our team at the moment is in a position to really judge another team.
Lastly, can you give us your final words?
As always, thank you for your support. We'll make sure to pay you back with great performance. Thank you.