On August 5th (KST), Kingzone DragonX defeated SANDBOX Gaming to head on to face DAMWON Gaming in the LCK Regional Qualifiers for the 2019 LoL World Championship. Kim “Deft” Hyuk-kyu delivered spectacular performance, worthy of his nickname ‘damage dealing machine’, and contributed to his team’s victory.
After the match, Deft spared a moment for an interview.
How do you feel about winning today to reach the finals of the regional qualifiers?
Since we weren’t able to reach the playoffs in the summer, we had a long time to prepare for the gauntlet. It feels as if our hard work is getting repaid, so I’m happy.
What did you prepare in the long break?
I felt that my individual performance was lacking, so I practiced a lot of solo queue.
Did the long break affect your match performance?
I was worried a bit. When we played the first game against Afreeca, it did feel like we hadn’t played for long.
What did you focus on playing against SANDBOX?
It seemed that SANDBOX was strong when their upper half had picks with initiative, so we had that in mind during the draft. All of our lanes did well today, so the game went easier than expected.
Kingzone’s performance was quite different before and after Rift Rivals. You seem to have recovered now. How would you evaluate yourself now?
Then and now, always, there are many mistakes. I always think we still have far to go.
What lacked today?
Even in our games that we won today, I often went crazy. (Laughs) There were many calls, but I tried to make plays that I wanted to make. I think I need to be calm. In Game 2, there were several situations where we should have won but didn’t. We need to improve our concentration during teamfights.
Ezreal was nerfed, but he often appears in the LCK. What do you think of Ezreal?
After the laning phase, it’s not that different. I think he’s still viable according to the opponent composition.
Your next match is against DAMWON Gaming. Their upper half is also very strong. Do you see them similar to SANDBOX?
We don’t have much time to prepare as the match is on Saturday, but if we can do what we’re capable of, we’ll be able to win.
Rascal said that after seeing SK Telecom T1 take down the teams one by one from the bottom, he felt that Kingzone can do the same. Were you also affected by their performance?
Not that much, but I can’t say that I wasn’t affected at all.
Karma is a pick that can be swapped to 4 different positions. What do you think about Karma in the current meta?
Karma is strong whichever lane she goes to. If the composition is right, she’s a very good pick. That’s why we banned her in the last two games. I think the fact that Karma is viable wherever she goes is completely broken. I just wish she’s nerfed so that she can’t be used as an ADC. (Laughs)
The Garen-Yuumi bot lane is popular in the EU. What do you think of that comp?
Garen-Yuumi can appear according to the situation, but I think there’s a certain counter to that. I don’t think it can appear in the LCK.
There’s a certain counter?
I can’t say. (Laughs)
You have one more match to win to get to Worlds. Any resolutions?
Before we started playing in the Regionals, we weren’t certain of our prowess. Now that we’ve defeated Afreeca and SANDBOX, we know that we’re strong. I really wanted to get to Worlds, and we have just one more match to win. I’d really like to win it and go to Worlds.
Which player are you looking out for the most?
I would have to say Nuguri. He’s a player that can really carry if he gets his hands on a champion that is capable of carrying.
Any last comments?
I wasn’t very conscious in my pro career about the criticism, but this time, I became aware a bit. It was a hard time. There were people who still stood beside me to cheer me on and support me, so I was able to overcome the criticism. I’d like to keep winning to repay them.
Any specific goals if you reach Worlds?
I was always eliminated in the quarterfinals. I’d like to get past that. (Laughs)