On July 7th (KST), in the 2019 Rift Rivals finals, LCK defeated LPL 3-1 and claimed their first Rift Rivals Championship. DAMWON Gaming carried out a major role by winning the last game against JD Gaming. After the match, head coach Kim "Micro" Mok-gyeong and bot laner Shin "Nuclear" Jeong-hyeon talked to the press and expressed how they felt.
It’s the first Rift Rivals championship for the LCK. How do you feel?
Micro: It was really meaningful for us because it was the first international tournament for us. It was even more meaningful because LCK won as one team.
Nuclear: It was the first international tournament for DAMWON Gaming. I was able to compete here with awesome teammates and coaching staff. If we get to Worlds, I’d like to deliver better performance.
How did you feel competing in your first international competition?
Micro: We had the least experience. I was a bit worried in thought that we've got to an international tournament too early. So I wanted to contribute to the LCK even if it meant we were giving up the regular season; I feel good that we had good results.
The early game against JDG wasn’t that good. How were the comms like?
Micro: During scrims, we went through a lot of situations like today. I’ve seen my players not being able to concentrate in the early game, but the atmosphere between the players wasn’t bad. They had confidence in winning at the end since we had all the picks we wanted.
If DWG lost and it went to Game 5, which team would have played?
Micro: We actually didn’t think up to Game 5. Our team had the choice to choose which team gets to play the fifth game, and I think most likely Kingzone would have played. SKT had too much pressure on their shoulders and Kingzone’s performance was really good today, so it most likely would have been Kingzone.
It was visible that there was a prowess gap between the LPL and LCK. What do you think the biggest difference was?
Micro: I don’t think there was that big of a difference. The LPL teams are good at fighting and snowballing. LCK often aims for the late game, but the Korean teams absorbed some of the LPL styles. I feel that there’s not much difference between the two leagues. What’s important is how to play the macro game according to the picks & bans.
Which player was the most impressive during this Rift Rivals?
Nuclear: Doinb was the most impressive. He prepared the most unique pick. We marveled at his games and learned a lot.
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