On the 8th, at Incheon Korea, the 2018 LCK Summer Finals took place. After having played a full series of five games, KT Rolster defeated Griffin 3-2. On this day, Score won his very first LCK title, even winning the Finals MVP award.
The following is an interview with KT Rolster.
You've finally succeeded in winning the LCK! Please tell us how you feel.
Head coach ZanDarc: First off, I want to thank the organization for having provided us with everything that we needed. We wouldn't even be here without them. This year, I told the players "let's get together and try once more." I'm really happy that we were able to make such a great result. We'll work even harder for future matches.
Score: This Finals was OGN's last... I'm really happy that I was able to win an LCK title in-between the beginning and the end of OGN.
Smeb: It was definitely hard-fought... I want to thank all my teammates, coaches, and staff for everything.
Ucal: My first goal as a professional player was and is to achieve just as much as Faker. Starting with this victory, I'll do my best to not only follow him in his tracks, but surpass him.
Deft: After having experienced failure last year, I set my goal this year to win absolutely everything. Unfortunately, we were eliminated during Spring... but I feel that we have a good chance of winning Worlds this year.
Mata: I'm proud of all my teammates. Many fans had said, "Since you guys already qualified for Worlds, I bet you won't be as anxious to win the LCK," but our desire to win was bigger than any other team. Although it's a bit of an overstatement, we had even put our lives on the line for this. This victory was a product of KT's hard work and desire to win, and that's why I'm so happy.
Coach AnimalDAX: I'm very happy that we won. I also want to tell Griffin "good work" for having created such a great Finals match for everyone to watch. The organization, coaching staff, players, and all of my acquaintances including my parents, all sincerely wanted this victory. We were able to win because everyone joined together as one. We'll do our best to show our true value at the World Championship.
During the 5th and final set of the series, Ucal landed the finishing blow on Baron. How would you guys have reacted if the enemy team had stolen it instead?
Score: I was confident that we'll secure it because Taliyah had no Flash and ultimate. However, I made a small mistake, and Ucal ended up securing it instead.
Many things didn't seem to fall in line for you guys this series. What kind of mindset did you have post game 4?
Smeb: We made mistakes from the very beginning. I didn't practice Aatrox as much, and that showed during today's series. It bothered me throughout the duration of the entire match. However, my teammates were playing really well; so after game 2, I played with the mindset to just simply do my best to blend with them and win.
In game 1, you guys had played Viktor and Jinx. How did you guys come to decide to make those surprise picks?
AnimalDAX: The current patch is 8.15. We went through a lot of research and analysis to find champions and compositions that counter certain matchups. In addition, the players themselves also began working on their own to find new picks to bring to the meta. Thanks to their efforts, we were able to draft innovative picks during 'picks and bans'.
You guys were at a huge disadvantage in game 4. When did you become certain that you'd win?
Smeb: We heavily struggled during the early game of the 4th set. We estimated that we could win if we kill Malphite first during teamfights. That's when I started thinking that we could win, and we began focusing on taking down Malphite.
At the World Championship, it's likely that you'll face an LPL team. What kind of strategy do you have for playing against them?
Deft: LPL teams tend to play around their bot lane. I won't have to play aggressively on purpose for them; I'll simply play according to the compositions that we draft. I'll maintain this playstyle.
Griffin finished 2nd in their very first LCK split. As seniors, do you have anything you want to tell them?
Score: Well, I finished 2nd quite frequently in the past... it brings a lot of mixed feelings. However, I hope that their spirit isn't killed off by this loss -- I know for certain that Griffin will use this experience as a stepping stone to do better in the future. They're basically the leaders of the new generation, and I hope that they'll do well.
You made a pledge that you'll dye your hair red if you win. Do you want to make new pledges here?
Score: I'll dye my hair as promised. Making further pledges will be difficult. (Laughs)
Why did you guys pick Nocturne in game 5?
Score: The enemy team banned out a lot of the jungle champions. I then told the coaches that Nocturne could be a good pick. They believed in me and allowed me to play the champion, so I played confidently.
You guys played Xayah-Rakan in game 5.
Mata: The enemy team took both Gragas and Taliyah, so we made the assumption that those two were the support and jungler. Therefore, we chose a bot lane composition that had both a strong laning phase and engage. It's a composition that we practiced a lot for, so we were able to pull it out in any situation.
You seemed to have struggled during the laning phase. What were you planning?
Ucal: Up until game 4, the enemy laner made it out alive whenever I attempted to kill him. It felt like God was testing me. If I had given up, we would've finished 2nd; so I did my absolute best to win. I was initially planning to take a lead through the mid laning phase before transitioning into teamfights, but it didn't work out as I had planned.
It's your first time competing in the World Championship. Is there a specific team or player that you want to face?
Ucal: I personally like LPL midlaners. Since the LPL is now regarded very highly, I want to play against Doinb, Rookie, and Xiaohu.
Score, you won the post-season MVP! If you're to pick a player to give the award to, excluding yourself, who would you give it to?
Score: That's a very hard question. (Laughs) It was very important that we won game 4, and Smeb was the one that came up with the idea to focus down Malphite first. He's the hidden playoffs MVP.
LPL teams have been performing really well this year, and many LCK fans have a lot of expectations for KT in the next international tournament, the World Championship. As team captain, is there anything you want to say?
Smeb: Currently, the LPL teams have the edge. However, we are certain that we'll win. We will do our best to beat them and win the Summoner's Cup this year.