On the 28th of August (KST), Afreeca Freecs defeated Jin Air Green Wings 2:0 and advanced to the playoffs. This is their 6th consecutive playoffs and everything started after Choi "iloveoov" Yeon-sung joined the team as head coach. After the match, Afreeca’s head coach iloveoov was interviewed.
Congratulations on advancing to the playoffs. How does it feel to finish the regular split?
Every team must have had a tough time. We also had our own difficulties. A head coach has to decide where the team will head to. However, as there were successful decisions, there were failures as well. Well, we finished on 5th place for the Summer split. The team will share feedback on what we lacked and we’ll try to carry on with our strengths. We have the Wild Cards match soon; we’ll do our best to improve more. Becoming a pro is about results; if we get to know the results in the future, we’ll be able to talk more about our process.
Before the Rift Rivals, the team was on a good atmosphere by securing 6 wins and only losing 2 matches. The team’s results after the Rift Rivals must have been frustrating.
We finished the regular split on 5th place. However, we were always aiming for a higher spot. Although the team didn’t fulfill that yet, we still do have a shot, so we’ll try our best.
Among the team’s recent matches, it seemed that today, they were delivering their best performance.
I knew that we can’t lose when the team is in its best condition. However, we underperformed because some basic things collapsed such as our main focus which is player synergy. That’s why we had to focus on minor and additional things. It was a relief to see the players perform as a team today since we didn’t work out with each other in our previous matches.
After quite a while, today, Kramer performed.
Kramer has his own strengths and Aiming has his own as well. I thought that the team needed Kramer’s strengths, so I used him today.
The team will perform for the Wild Cards match.
I found out that our team does have the chance to directly advance to the Worlds. I believe that ‘where there is a possibility, there is a chance’. I’ll try my best to seize not only the chance to perform in bo3s but also bo5s. When the players win, they think that it’s quite a natural thing. However, when they lose, the team experiences difficulties because they feel so lost. In the past, we looked forward to advancing to Worlds and felt highly pressured about it. Now, we cleared our minds. I think expectations make the team ill.
Now we’re in 5th place, which is the same as last year. I’ll have to say that we’re back to the beginning. I think we eventually cleared our minds. Of course, we believe that our actual ranking isn’t 5th place. We’ll always be aiming for a higher position.
Is there a player that improved more than your expectations?
Every player meets a point where they can improve. Kiin totally changed after he experienced the Asian Games. Kuro improved more compared to last year and now he is more consistent. The other players did improve, but they’re still a bit inconsistent. The coaching staff will do their best to make the team improve.
The team might experience bo5s in the playoffs or the Regional Finals. Do you feel pressured by this?
Experiencing bo5s is crucial for the team. Although we did lack on-stage experience on major tournaments, the Spring split finals helped a lot. Experiences on bo5s and major tournaments are highly important for the coaching staff and the players. I believe that the experience we had in the Rift Rivals will help if the team advances to a higher stage. I’ll think of the Wild Cards match as an experience for our bo3s/bo5s.
Any last remarks?
Pros, in return, should give out results. Thank you for your support and I’ll do my best to make it up for you guys.