On the 7th of April (KST), SKT defeated Kingzone DragonX 3:0 in the 2019 LCK Spring Split Playoffs Semifinals and advanced to the Finals stage. With every SKT player performing on an MVP level, their support, Mata's performance stood out as one of the best; especially his exceptional shield usage on Braum was remarkable.
After their win, SKT's head coach, kkOma and support, Mata joined the press room for a post-match interview.
SKT has advanced to the Finals with a 3:0 victory. How does it feel?
kkOma: I've promised to the fans that our players and coaching staff will improve. It's a relief that I've made my promise to a certain point of
Mata: I'm happy that we've won 3:0. Our players, coaching staff, and front put in a lot of effort; I think we've received our reward. I believe that we can lift the trophy if we work a little bit harder.
You've made it to the Finals 2 consecutive times. Doesn't it feel special?
Mata: It's my first time to make it to the Finals twice in a row so I'm even happier. I'll aim to win the title twice in a row.
Although the score was 3:0, there were some close calls inside the game. When did you feel certain that you'd win?
kkOma: Although we were winning 2:0, I did think we had a chance of losing if we lost game 3. That's why I didn't count my chickens till the end. I also believed that things outside of the game such as our mentality would be very important. When the opponent Nexus was finally destroyed, that's when I thought we won.
Mata: I was really excited when we managed to kill every single opponent in our last fight near the bottom lane during game 3. Besides game 3, we underperformed in games 1 and 2, so that's why we had a tough time. I think game 1 was really competitive and in case of game 2, the opponent actually dominated us in the early to mid game. We were able to turn the tables because we didn't lose our focus.
Winning 3:0 might have been unexpected since Kingzone's was on quite a positive momentum recently.
kkOma: Still I thought that my team was better. Also, I was full of confidence.
Mata: Although I didn't expect a 3:0, I performed confidently thinking that we could win this game 3:0.
Now awaits the Finals against Griffin. What are your expectations on that series?
kkOma: Of course I'm confident of winning the trophy. I can't wait to face them. We'll have to do a lot of preparation, but I'm confident since we're on quite a positive atmosphere at the moment. Although there were some mistakes during today's match, I'm actually becoming more confident by the moment since I was able to see my players on a high percentage of improving more. The coaching staff is putting in a lot of effort and so do our players. I also want to make my revenge for our loss during the regular split.
Mata: Personally, I believe that the bottom
Kingzone DragonX showed a lot of changes during the series. They picked Vi in the jungle during game 1. However, you guys perfectly countered their strategy. How did you prepare?
kkOma: I can't talk about the details on our tactics since there's still the Finals left. Well, since we had a lot of time to practice, our preparations on possible variables inside the game were pretty well done. Vi has clear pros and cons; I'm pretty sure that our players know that as well. After watching the Playoffs Round 1, I knew that Kingzone was on positive momentum. However, they also made some mistakes and I was able to see their weaknesses. That's why I was able to prepare for this match rather easily.
Mata: Since we practiced a lot, I wasn't that surprised to see the Vi jungle pick. Personally, I don't think she's a good pick. We played more comfortably because Vi was used.
Faker's performance was also remarkable today. A lot of people say that he has recovered his performance. What are your thoughts?
kkOma: I receive this question often. Since I think that each lane needs to be capable of carrying a game, I don't like a certain lane single-handedly carrying a game. As you can see, Faker did recover a lot of his performance. His strength is that he performs even better in important matches. That's why I'm counting on him a lot.
Mata: Faker is a player that focuses on simply winning rather than caring about his opponent. For sure, his performance has improved a lot but I still don't think he has recovered all of his past performance. He's steadily performing better so I believe that he'll be capable of super carrying the Finals.
Any last words?
kkOma: I showed my confidence a lot this split. That's why I'm trying to keep my words. I thank all of our fans for their support.
Mata: Now we have one single match left; the Finals. And, I really want to win. The fans' expectations have grown since I moved to SKT. They're supporting me a lot and at the same time some worry. Those interests are helping me a lot and I have much more to learn as well. Now is the start. I'll have to focus only on the game from now on. I want to thank all my fans for their support! I'll see you at the Spring Finals.