On the 24th of February (KST), Hanwha Life Esports defeated Afreeca Freecs 2-1 and stayed close with the leading group in the standings. They are tied at 6 wins and 4 losses, but behind DAMWON Gaming and Kingzone DragonX due to set difference. In the match, Thal delivered good performance with Urgot and Vladimir.
The following is our interview with Thal.
Congratulations on today’s win. How do you feel?
I’m happy that we won our first match in Round 2. I think we were able to win because we thought that we would never lose to the team we defeated last time.
It seemed the game was more of a struggle than thought.
Our concentration was a bit off because we lost our last match against DAMWON and we were recovering from that. So I think our performance was less stable because of that.
Out of 100%, how much do you think the current team performance is at?
I would say about 40%? We’re a team that can be so much better; we showed it a bit early in the season, but somehow it went away a bit. If we can get back on track, we’ll be able to have better results and jump higher in the standings.
What’s the team atmosphere like? It seems fun since you and Sangyoon are such fun talkers.
My talks are for streams; I don’t do that kind of talk in real life. (Laughs) The whole team is working hard together and bringing up team synergy; it’s pretty good.
The next match is really important, against Kingzone DragonX.
Although we beat them in Round 1, we shouldn’t be careless and do our best in preparing for the match. I think it can be a good turning point for us to get higher.
Who are you looking out for the most in Kingzone?
In Kingzone, Deft is doing really well, but I believe Sangyoon will beat him for us.
How high do you think HLE can get this season?
Except for Griffin, all the top teams’ records are very close. I think we have a shot at 3rd or even 2nd place.
In our last interview, you said that you don’t think you can lose when you play Vladimir. Do you think the opponents will ban Vladimir specifically because of you?
The teams have already been doing that; last match, and even today in Game 2. I guess there would be more of those bans in the future as well.
Vladimir is kind of becoming a signature pick for you. Do you have any tips for Vladimir mains around the world?
My tip… You should go around to the back well. If you initiate well from the back, that’s all there is to it. If you think you can carry all by yourself, you’ll be able to do well.
Was the Blitzcrank pick in Game 3 prepared from before?
We didn’t really prepare Blitzcrank, but Sangyoon said that it would be good in that situation. We did pull him out during practice a few times though.
Your performance in Game 3 was also very good, but Tempt got MVP. Was that regretful?
It was a bit. (Laughs) Vladimir did everything. Franky, we probably would have lost if we didn’t have Vladimir. (Laughs)
I heard that you’ve been practicing Yasuo a lot. Do you think you’ll pick him soon?
Yasuo is a bit uncertain pick. He dies really easy and the team comp has to be synergetic with Yasuo so it’s hard to pick him. I’ll probably pick him when everything is in a perfect situation to pick him.
Game 2 was a bit messy. What do you think the reason was?
We made a lot of mistakes. Still, we were doing what we thought needed to be done, and the game went in that way. It wasn’t perfect, but we were able to take advantage of what had been done right.
Lastly, a word to your teammates and fans?
To our team: if we’re able to bring back the performance and synergy that we brought during the early season, we can get up to 2nd-3rd place. Let’s do well together. And to the fans and users: please continue to support and cheer for us so that we can climb higher. Thank you.