On the 10th of April (KST), the Media Day of 2018 LCK Spring Split Finals was held in the Riot Games Auditorium placed in Samsungdong, Seoul. Head coach Kang "Hirai" Dong-hoon, coach Choi Seung-min, Kang “GorillA” Beom-hyeon and Gwak “Bdd” Bo-seong attended from Kingzone DragonX (KZ) and head coach Choi “iloveoov” Yeon-sung, coach Lim “cComet” Hye-sung, Lee “Kuro” Seo-haeng and Park “TusiN” Jong-ik attended from Afreeca Freecs (AFs).
The following is the interview of the coaches and players at the Media Day.
Q. First of all, any comments regarding the upcoming finals?
Head Coach Kang "Hirai" Dong-hoon: I’m very happy to reach the LCK finals 2 times in a row and I also want to have two consecutive championships as well. The players and coaching staff both think we’re really strong and that we can grow stronger still. We’ll prove ourselves through becoming champions.
GorillA: I’ve beaten KT and SKT in the finals before but it’s my first time against AFs. So I think it will be more interesting.
Head Coach Choi “iloveoov” Yeon-sung: It’s the first time for us in the finals. When a new player hits the highest point in his career, how far he'll go while maintaining that position is most important. The same thing applies to an entire team. I’ll raise that highest point for us by winning at the finals.
Kuro: I’ve been playing in AFs for about a year and a half now and I’m doing the best since. I’ll make sure we defeat KZ and win the championship.
Q. (To KZ) Did you think that AFs will come to the finals?
Hirai: AFs was really good during the season and we did predict that they will reach the finals. However, we always thought that whatever team we need to face, we will win. One thing that I can tell you for sure is that our team has become stronger.
Q. Do you have any surprise picks or are you getting prepared for AFs surprise picks?
Hirai: During the scrims, Yasuo is seen a lot. When AFs played Yasuo, we didn’t think it was that surprising. We also have a hidden card prepared, but I’m not sure if it will appear.
Q. The finals is in Busan. How do you plan to maintain your condition?
GorillA: I won the KeSPA Cup in Busan before with Kuro. We’ll be trying to sleep well, but I don’t think going far will be much of an issue because it’s Busan.
Kuro: There aren’t many players [in our team] that have played in cities other than Seoul. As someone who has experienced it, I’ll try to care for my teammates well.
Q. (To iloveoov) It’s your first finals in LOL. How do you feel?
iloveoov: I think winning the championship in LOL is a good way to see if I’m a head coach that is good in any esport.
Q. (To AFs) What do you think caused AFs to grow so quickly?
Kuro: I think it’s because I became captain.
TusiN: The players became one as a team. We learned to look after one another and to sacrifice for each other.
Q. The same position players came here for each team. How do you think of each other?
GorillA: I’ve known him for a while. TusiN’s biggest strength is that his initiating is extraordinary.
Kuro: I think he’s a good player. I can see that he’s confident and he has good mechanics because he’s really young.
Q. (To KZ Coach Choi) AFs has two junglers.
Coach Choi Seung-min: Recently, Cuzz isn't playing much, but he was a member of last year's championship and I don't think he falls behind any of them.
Q. Which position do you think is the most important?
Coach Choi: I think the mid-jungle is the most important. TusiN's performance was really impressive this season, but still, I think mid-jungle is the most important.
Q. How do you think the set score will be?
Hirai: I've had played the Finals at Busan about 5 times now -- I've never lost there before. My home town is Busan and I think we'll win no matter what. I predict 3-0 in our favor.
iloveoov: I want to win 3-2. Trying to win fast and easily is a road to failure. Those kinds of thoughts will eventually get to us, so I always aim at 3-2.
Hirai: I have quite opposite thoughts. I never think of losing. I think being in the mindset of winning no matter what is important.
GorillA: NA and EU both ended 3-0. I do want an easy win. Even if we lose a set, I think we’ll win 3-1.
Bdd: I predicted a 3-1 win last year and I also think that we’ll get a difficult 3-1 win.
Coach Choi: I think they’re revealing their real thoughts(laughter). 3-0 no doubt.
cComet: KZ has a lot of confidence since they've been so good this season. However, I think they will be more frustrated if we each share a set score.
Kuro: I always think of the worst that can happen.
TusiN: Regardess of the score, I think we'll win.
Q. (To cComet) You had less time to prepare compared to KZ. Any thoughts about this?
cComet: I thought that I'd regret regardless of the result. So I'm only going to focus on the finals.
Q. (To Hirai) At the 2017 World Championship, it felt like your team was caught off guard.
Hirai: At our last defeat during the World Championship quarterfinals, we were caught off guard. It taught us a valuable lesson. That's why we were so focused throughout this season. We are never going to get caught off guard from now on. I guarantee.
Q. Your players lack experience in big tournaments. Do you have a solution for it?
iloveoov: Yes, it is true that our players mostly haven't played in the finals. My strength is to alleviate the players’ tension towards the finals. Most of our players show the same amount of performance in both practice and official games.
Also, I’m very happy because I was able to figure out what to focus on against KZ in this interview.
Q. (To BDD) What are your strengths compared to ‘Kuro’?
BDD: Im younger, so I probably have better reflexes.
Q. Can each of you rate your team’s ADC?
GorillA: Even if we’re down one set, I think he’ll take good care of us because he has a lot of match experience. Also, Lee ‘Kuro’ Seo-heang has a very weak mentality on Bo5.
TusiN: I’m not sure about Jong-hun’s strengths (laughter). I think he’s improved while we played as a duo.
Q. (To Kuro) He said that you have weak Bo5 mentality. Any remarks?
Kuro: I can’t agree. As a matter of fact, I actually know more players that have weak mentality in KZ (laughter).
GorillA: I’ve improved a lot after I moved to KZ. Also, Wang-ho improved a lot while he was in SKT.
Q. It’s your first finals. Did the Afreeca TV CEO, Seo Soo-gil promise you anything if you win the title?
iloveoov: I barely have any chance to meet him (laughter). I just heard, “Good work.” from him.
Q. Any last words?
Hirai: This year, it feels more meaningful to me than last year’s finals. I was with Kuro and TusiN in IM. Probably now they’re doing better because I lacked talent during that time. I want to tell them to show their best performance.
iloveoov: We don’t have a lot of time left. I’m going to make good use of it and do my best to get a result that would make our fans proud.
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