On the 13th of October (KST), Team Liquid (TL) defeated MAD Team (MAD) in the last day of the 2018 Groups round 1. With both teams on a 0W/2L record, they aggressively fought for kills in the early game. With TL on the advantage, the match rather slowed down and went to the mid game. Although their snowballing was slower than earlier, TL still managed to succeed on winning skirmishes and teamfights. After securing the Baron buff, TL won a teamfight near the mid lane and closed down the game.
After the match, TL's top laner, Impact was interviewed.
Congratulations! Although the team won today, the players must have been frustrated with their previous performance.
In our first 2 games, we still did have the advantage on the early game. However, we never really fought; we should’ve been more aggressive. Actually, in today’s game, although we won, we didn’t manage to play aggressive enough. I thought that the fans would think that it was such a boring match. While I was split pushing, I thought, “Man, this would be so boring to watch.”. Still, I do feel relieved that we did win.
Now that the team gained positive momentum, what would TL have to do in order to play better in the Groups round 2?
We’re not a team that’s weak in early-game. We’re also good in laning as well. I just think that we played a bit hasty. Individually, we’ll have to make more smart decisions and use picks that can surprise the opponent. As a matter of fact, a lot of the teams have a hard time dealing with unexpected situations in bo1s.
Each and every region have their own styles. We also have our own unique playstyle and we’ll have to try harder to play better using it in the Groups round 2.
In the early game, you used your ultimate on bottom lane and landed an outstanding Taunt on the opponents. How did you feel after doing this?
Actually, I think the opponent made a mistake there. As soon as I saw them closing down on our bottom turret, I called out for backup. Probably the opponent was feeling pressure since they were so eager to get a win. As a matter of fact, in lane phase, I saw their Sion use his Q backward. Since I was suffering from insomnia, I had some sleeping pills and I think this helped out alleviate some of my pressure.
So you didn’t feel any pressure going into this game?
I didn’t feel pressured at all. Well, us and MAD Team were both on 0W/2L which is quite a pressuring situation. Personally, I was confident and focused on my matchup. I believed that the others would do the rest.
A lot of top champions are used in this Worlds meta. What are your thoughts on this?
I think every champion has a counter pick. Sion might be thought of as a safe pick in lane, but he can be countered by using split push champions such as Camille or Shen. Everyone knows that Sion is such a big threat in teamfights. However, as long as you can make him stay away from his team, you can counter him. It was always like this in every Worlds; a meta pick appears, someone counters it and another prepared pick appears.
Then, do you have a surprise pick that you’ve prepared?
Well, I can’t tell you at the moment but I’m pretty sure I’ll use one in the Groups round 2. I always have a surprise pick prepared such as the top Singed I used in NA. Since we’ll face every team in our group once in round 2, preparing a surprise pick is very important. If a team wins their first game with a new pick, the other opponents usually ban that champ.
Which top laner do you think would make the toughest matchup in laning?
In the case of our group, I really don’t have anyone in mind since they mostly play around the team. Players such as Ray and Smeb likes to play with the team. That’s why I’m not that surprised when going against them.
Well, Smeb is such an outstanding player. I think Smeb and I have a similar playstyle. It’s not about ‘oh the jungler might be going for Red buff, so I should trade some damage’. He does not play aggressive if he is not sure where the jungler is at. It’s about collecting concrete information.
However, when I went against Kiin in practice, I thought that he was one-of-a-kind. Although eventually, I did adjust to his playstyle, I simply thought he had that flair in him. TheShy seemed exceptional as well. These kinds of players make me struggle in lane.
If TL can make it to the quarters, which EU team do you want to face?
First of all, if we make it, I’ll have to kneel, bow, and pray for it so bad. (laughs) Personally, I’d like to face Vitality. Although they make creative and aggressive plays, they seem to lack basics. That’s why I thought their mid laner did so well carrying the team; he didn’t seem to have a limit on his aggressiveness. He was just way beyond my expectations. If I was a mid laner, I’d have a tough time going against him. But, as you know, I’m a top laner… I’m pretty sure our mid laner will do well on his own. (laughs)
You’ve grown a beard. Was it like a good luck charm?
No, I was just a bit lazy. I met my girlfriend and she saw my beard when I felt too lazy to shave it. I left it for about 3 days and she said it looked okay.
Do you have any words for the fans?
If I was watching today’s match, I would have been bored near the 25-minute mark. We’ll try to play more aggressive and show what we’re capable of. Even if we lose… No wait, I don’t want to lose. I’ll do my best to play aggressive and make our games more fun to watch. Thank you!