On the 23rd of January (KST), Kingzone DragonX (KZ) secured their first win for the 2019 LCK Spring Split.
Going into the Spring Split, things did not seem good for this former LCK champion. Although they acquired quality players during the preseason, KZ had to sacrifice some of their key members. In this upper lane focused meta, losing Khan and Peanut seemed like a big blow for KZ. Watching them lose their first 2 games for the split, losing their starting top-jungle did seem to affect KZ's performance in general.
However, for this series against KT, KZ seemed to recover some of their past performance. After winning a highly competitive game 1, which they almost lost, they dominated the opponent in game 2. In both games 1 and 2, their top laner, Rascal displayed solid performance against the veteran Smeb. This was possible with their jungler Cuzz outplaying his matchup against Score. Using Olaf and Lee Sin, Cuzz aggressively went in for early game counter jungles and also displayed some creative ganks routes.
After the match, we got the chance to meet up with KZ's jungler, Cuzz.
It was the team's first victory for the split! What are your thoughts on today's match?
Cuzz: We lost a lot for this split and that's why we were on a negative team atmosphere lately. Our team was actually pretty good in practice, but we kept on underperforming in official matches. I gained back a lot of my confidence after today's victory. Recently, I had some nerve issues and that was my focus for this match. Overall, everything went well and I'm going to try to improve gradually.
Although KZ was doing good in practice, the team did underperform in the KeSPA Cup and in the recent LCK Spring. What did the team focus on improving?
Currently, we have a lot of players that came from another team. That's why we mostly focused on our calls and tried to improve our teamwork.
Game 1 was probably the most competitive game for this Spring Split so far. KZ was on the verge of losing their Nexus but you guys bounced back after an exceptional play from Rascal's Urgot. What were your thoughts at then?
Although our teammates said, "It seems like it's over. Let's prepare for the next game.", I thought we could defend our Nexus. As a matter of fact, the opponent spent a bit more time destroying our base than expected, so I was buying every item I can to prepare. Then, Rascal landed his Urgot ultimate and taunted 4 enemies.
You said you were a bit nervous going into the game. However, you performed very well against Score. What did you personally prepare going into this series?
I thought that I had a tough time performing in a loud environment. That's why I tried to turn on a lot of noises while I practiced and this helped me focus today. I also tried to perform with a more 'comfortable' posture. This time, I took off my shoes and did my best to relax.
In the LCK and LPL, some interesting champions are used in the jungle such as Kayn. As a matter of fact, Invictus Gaming's jungler, Ning used Kayn and performed very well. What are your thoughts on him? Will you use him as well?
I think Kayn is good against herbivorous jungle picks. Mostly, carnivorous jungle champions are strong in the early game but fairly weak in the late game. However, in case of Kayn, he's quite okay in his early game and once he transforms into Darkin, he becomes really strong in the late game. That's why I think he is a good pick in the current meta.
photo credit: League of Legends Champions Korea LCK flickr