kkOma passed on that he's extremely proud of his players for always enduring and overcoming hardships that come their way.
On the 25th of March, at the Gangnam Nexon Arena, the 45th day of the 2018 LCK Spring Split took place. On the 1st series of the day, SKT T1 defeated Kongdoo Monsters with a score of 2-1 -- securing the final spot in the Spring Playoffs. Faker and kkOma, the two from SKT that were interviewed after the match, put emphasis on "persistence and effort," and were motivated to beat team after team as they climb the playoffs from the wildcard.
The following is an interview with Faker and kkOma.
How do you feel securing the final spot in the playoffs?
kkOma: After many twists and turns, we've finally made it. It wouldn't have been possible without the countless effort from the players and the staff members.
Faker: We luckily made it to the playoffs. We'll have to reach the Finals, so there's still a long way to go for us.
Faker, was there a memorable moment this Split?
Faker: This time, not really. I have a hard time remembering things. But... now that you mention it, I do remember our match against Jin Air Green Wings. I'm pretty sure that you understand why, without having me explain it. It was an amazing new experience...
You guys have lost game 2 today. What kind of feedback went back and forth before game 3?
kkOma: It was the same type of feedback that is given to the players every day. I think that today's match was the most pressuring one that the players had played in a long time. I'm very proud of them for overcoming it. In game 3, against a Ryze, Anivia had scaled really well, so I knew that we'd win. When the enemy team dove in, our players did a really good job --beyond my expectations -- chaining their skills near flawlessly.
Faker: In game 2, the enemy picked a composition that's strong in the earlygame. Things went bad for us because we made a mistake in the beginning. Before game 3, we received feedback to prevent that type of mistake from happening again.
You guys had a rough time this split -- even going on the longest losing streak that the SKT organization had ever been in.
kkOma: That might be true, but we also had difficulties during the previous split. SKT is a team that always faced hardships. It's not easy for the same players to protect the title of being the "best" for a long period of time.
I was sad that the fans saw us negatively throughout the split, although the split hadn't ended yet. I had a mindset that, all we needed was one good moment to get the players motivated. I'm very proud of the players for having overcome such hardships. I also want to thank coach Bengi and Poohmandu.
Faker: This season, we really did underperform. I think the players were lacking effort. We'll continue to practice to make sure that doesn't happen again.
Anything you guys want to say in regards to the playoffs?
kkOma: We want to return the pressure that we've been feeling to the other teams. I want our team to successfully climb the playoffs and reach the Finals. To be honest, I felt that we could do that, as long as we won today.
Faker: The results will depend on how we play. The last split, we did climb to the Finals from the wildcard, but this time, we'll have to put in even more effort to make it.
SKT vs. KSV... How do you think the match will go?
kkOma: Faker mentioned the word, "effort" throughout this interview -- and many people criticised our team in regards to that. But now, we have a player that hit rank 1 in solo queue, and including him, everyone else is doing their best during practice. Our most recent results against KSV may be great, but we won't let down our guards. I won't think about our past results.
Faker: We've been winning a lot recently, so I think the match will go in our favor... Looking at the past records, KSV should be very nervous. We'll do our best regardless.
How well do you think your team will adapt to patch 8.6?
kkOma: Both coach Poohmandu and Bengi are playing the game a lot -- almost the same amount as the players themselves. Therefore, they're very knowledgeable about the game. I'm fairly certain that a fast adaptation to the new patch is highly likely.
Faker, you've passed around rice cakes today for the fans -- as today is your 5th year anniversary of going pro.
Faker: I didn't pick out the cakes my self, my uncle did. It's definitely a type of food that some really enjoy while some really hate it. (Laughs)
Any last words?
kkOma: I also want to thank the remaining players that didn't play today. Everyone is doing their best during practice.