On the 4th of September (KST), the 2018 LCK Summer finals media day was held in the Riot Games Auditorium in Gangnam, Seoul. The members of the two final teams, kt Rolster and Griffin, shared some of their thoughts in the media day Q&A session.
The following is our Q&A with kt Rolster and Griffin.
What are your resolutions for the finals?
KT head coach Oh “ZanDarc” Chang-jong: We always played the supporting role in the finals. However, this time I’m going to put forward my best to make us the lead role.
KT coach Jung “AnimalDax” Je-seung: This is my second time at the finals. Last year, we came in a close second place at the Samsan Gymnasium which will also be the stadium for this year’s finals. This time, we’ve been playing together for more than 2 years. Currently, our players’ performance is at its peak; so as long as we don’t get caught off guard, we’ll win.
KT Smeb: I think that we had a hard time proceeding to the finals. Currently, the LCK teams are really strong, so advancing to this stage is not easy. I’ll play as though this will be my last finals.
KT Score: I’ve performed in the finals quite a lot, but always lost. We did proceed to the finals in first place, and I do think it’s a good place to become the champions. I won’t be caught off guard; I want to claim the trophy.
Griffin head coach Kim “cvMax” Dae-ho: In my past interviews, I was quite confident about heading to the finals, but my confidence decreased a bit going into round 2. I even thought that it wouldn’t be a surprise if we fail to get to the finals. We still made it, so I’m going to give my utmost to win.
Griffin Sword: Since I believe that my teammates will perform well in the finals, I personally want to perform selfishly. I think that it’s going to depend on whether I can deliver a good individual performance. I’m going to be a bit selfish in the finals. My mindset is to keep on performing well even if my teammates underperform.
Griffin Tarzan: There are only 3 days left until the finals. I’ll prepare well and deliver a good performance.
Griffin Viper: Since it’s my first finals, I think it’s going to be very fun. It’s going to be exciting because this is the chance to experience something new. My mindset is to win in order to make it an unforgettable memory.
(To Viper and Smeb) How is the team atmosphere coming into the finals?
Griffin Viper: We’re preparing really hard. Although you might not notice it, I bet that everyone feels nervous. We’re doing our best to alleviate all the pressure in the finals. We will try to show our team’s best and have ‘6 people act as one’.
KT Smeb: Although we had a lot of time to prepare, it’s not been long since we started to practice because Score had to perform in the Asian Games. The team currently has a very good atmosphere and practice is going fine as well.
Griffin was defeated by kt Rolster twice in the regular split. What do you think was the reason for it? Also, from Griffin’s point of view, what do you think the strengths of kt Rolster are?
Griffin cvMax: Although we did lose in both rounds 1 and 2, I’m not that concerned about it. kt Rolster was good and we performed worse on all fronts. It’s normal that an underperforming team loses. The important thing is that we found out what we were bad at and set a clear path for how we’ll improve. In that sense, I think it was good that we lost.
The strength of kt Rolster is that the players’ have significant individual strength. They also have good teamwork. If these two elements are achieved by a team, that team will be good no matter what.
Then, how did kt Rolster manage to win against Griffin twice? What are the strengths of Griffin?
KT ZanDarc: Since we love to fight as well, we thoroughly prepared for initiating fights against Griffin in the regular split. It succeeded and that was the reason behind our victory. Griffin has immense strength in teamfights. We did learn from them, and we also prepared to counter. I think it will be a fun finals matchup.
Which player would be the toughest to go against?
KT ZanDarc: Tarzan and Viper would be the toughest. I do think that Score will deal with Tarzan well, but I think going against Viper would be hard since he knows how to use so many diverse champions.
KT Smeb: I did think Tarzan would be the toughest, but after hearing that Sword will perform well by playing selfishly, suddenly Sword comes to my mind now.
KT Score: I think Tarzan will be the toughest player since he is performing so well these days. I’ll have to do better. Like Sword said, I’ll be more selfish with my plays and mark Tarzan well.
Griffin cvMax: Smeb will be the toughest to deal with. Top is a lane where sometimes the player has to play alone. In those situations, Smeb seems so free. He’s like a collection of surprises that we have to deal with. He does seem a bit unstable at times, but this sometimes becomes an advantage. Still, I believe that Sword will mark him well.
Griffin Viper: Although every lane matchup will be important, I think the most important lies in the mid matchup. That’s why I think Ucal’s plays are something to worry about. He’s frightening both in-game and outside the game. I’m looking forward to seeing how he’ll play in the finals, but I’m also worried.
Griffin Sword: I thought a lot after the Playoffs semifinals against Afreeca Freecs. That’s why I had no time to be concerned about other things. I think the toughest opponent to face is myself. If I underperform, it means that I’m the real enemy.
How is the team practicing for the finals?
Griffin cvMax: We’re practicing without any restrictions since we had a lot of time to prepare. I think it was the first time we received this much time to prepare for a single in-game patch version.
KT AnimalDax: When Score was absent, Rush practiced with us. Thanks to Rush, we were able to find new compositions and strengths. I think we were able to find efficient ways to practice even while our starting member Score was absent. Also, Score delivered a good performance in the Asian Games and he managed to show the same level of performance after he came back; he’s had a positive effect on the team.
What would be the weaknesses of your opponent?
Griffin cvMax: Like lights and shadows, when you find strengths, there’s always a weakness. Smeb, Ucal, and Deft seem to not be afraid of playing with risks. They’re aggressive and can be hard to predict. They love to make high-return plays. However, there’s always a risk that follows. I’ll find a way to present that risk to them.
KT AnimalDax: There are quite a few, but their most known weakness is their vision control. In our case, we move after having concrete information from vision control. Since Griffin seems to have a hard time with this, the players have to cover this up by using their individual instincts. We’ll try to aim for this.
Can you predict the set score for the finals?
KT ZanDarc: Personally, I’ll anticipate a 3:1 victory. If we can gain momentum, our strategy will start to succeed. We might lose a set, but I think we’ll win 3:1.
Griffin cvMax: Although every game will be tough, if we can win the first game, I’m thinking of a 3:0 victory. To be frank, it’s really hard to make these kinds of win-or-lose predictions. In our case, I can’t help but predict the best scenario for us. After winning game 1, I’d like to use the information we learned from it and win games 2 and 3 to close down a 3:0 victory.