DAMWON Nuguri on His Slump: "I thought, 'Why am I this bad at League?' I decided to block everything out of my sight and focus on my solo queues."

On the 31st of March (KST), DAMWON Gaming defeated kt Rolster 2:0 and finished their last game for their first LCK split.

For KT, this loss was a devastating one since they'll have to now prepare for a rather frustrating postseason; the 2019 LCK Summer Promotions. In case of DAMWON, today's match was a perfect warmup for their Playoffs against SANDBOX Gaming next Wednesday. Although they were behind in the game during the first set, the DAMWON players displayed quite a fascinating 'guerilla' in the mid to late game teamfights. The KT players seemed to have been caught off guard and soon gave back the advantage to DAMWON. After gaining momentum in the first set, DAMWON dominated the second set with their top laner, Nuguri performing exceptionally on Kayle once again. 

After the match, we sat with Nuguri for a 1 on 1 post-match interview. 


Although you've won today, DAMWON was on a tough situation during game 1 against KT. How did you guys manage to turn the tables? 

KT's strategy was to use Kennen's Teleport and initiate a surprise teamfight situation. Although I failed to do this inside the game, I tried to mark Kennen by playing around the side lanes. Another plan was to find Kennen in the map as much as possible to stop him using his Teleport. 


The DAMWON players might have had a lack of motivations going into this match since their standings are already finalized. Also, they have a Wildcard Match shortly next week. How did you guys manage to fasten up your mindset for this series against KT? 

Our head coach motivated us before this match. He said, "although we've made it to the playoffs, we have a match shortly after this so let's try to deliver solid performance for our last match today." Also, the players were keen to get a win for our last match during this LCK Spring Split. 


Now your first LCK split has come to an end. Well, at the beginning of the split, coach Kim said that the players were facing some nerve issues. Also, the players must have been pressured from all the expectations from the LoL fans and officials. What are your thoughts on this split? 

For my first LCK split, my goal was to make it to the playoffs on a slightly higher rank than a 5-6th place. Well, we did make it to the playoffs so I'm satisfied. To be honest, the LCK was tough and I did have to go through some difficult times. Since the stadium was like a dome, I felt really nervous at first. Nevertheless, we're heading to the playoffs and I do feel good. 

For the fans, they might feel a bit disappointed since we received some highly positive expectations going into this Spring. Our players were on the highest ranks in the KR solo queue and we did pretty well in scrims. Still, we do feel happy to have displayed quite a solid result during our very first LCK split.   


Looking back at your first LCK split, what would be the most memorable moment? 

Inside the game... I do remember my recent match against Gen.G.  I was on Kayle and especially that time when I evolved near level 15 was something to remember. I scaled up pretty well and the teamfights in that match were very fun.  


How about a moment you want to forget? 

At times, I thought that my performance was awful. When Flame was in the starting lineup, my performance was at a low. I thought to myself, "Why am I this bad at League?" So, I decided to block everything out of my sight and focus on my solo queues. Yeah... That period was quite tough for me. 


The 2 rookie teams for the LCK, DAMWON and SANDBOX will face each other in the Wildcard Match. What will you focus on for that match? 

SANDBOX is a team with a very aggressive style. If they have something in mind inside the game, they execute right away. I think we can get caught off guard by their unique playstyle and panic during the series.  So, in case of practice, I think we should stick to our usual. However, when the match starts, we'll have to put in our utmost to focus since they're going to be aggressive like they've been all throughout this Spring. 


By the way, your live interview after the match against Gen.G was quite a thing to watch. You never glanced at the camera and stood sideways only facing the announcer for the entire interview. (laughs)

▲ Yeah, they do say that eye contact is important.

(laughs) Well, I had some fun on Kayle that match so I was pretty hyped up. Also, it was a 1 on 1 interview so I wasn't aware of the camera in front of me. I really did not know a thing during the live interview. (laughs) (Q. A lot of fans really liked it!) That's a relief. But, a lot of my close ones and fans are making so much fun of me and that's something I'll have to withstand. (laughs) 


To wrap up our interview, can you say something for your foreign fans? 

I'm not too sure on how popular DAMWON Gaming is among the foreign fans. Well, we did our best in our first LCK split and made it to the playoffs. We'll be doing better in the future so stay tuned for more from us. Thank you for all your support! (Q. You guys were actually in the center of attention back during the 2018 Worlds for the solid performance in scrims against the Worlds participants.) Oh really? Well, then I'll have to put in much more. I'm going to improve. Thank you!


Photo credit: LoL LCK flickr / LCK Twitch.tv live stream

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