On the 7th (KST), the final round of the LCK Regional Qualifiers between DAMWON Gaming and Kingzone DragonX was held. DAMWON came up victorious over Kingzone with a set score of 3-2, and secured a spot in the upcoming 2019 LoL World Championship. The following is an interview with DAMWON's top laner, Jang 'Nuguri' Ha-gwon.
You’ve finally made it to Worlds! How does it feel?
Nuguri: I still can’t believe it. For me, it was more of a dream than a goal. My goal was just to make it into the LCK playoffs, but now it really feels like I’m headed into Worlds. I’m very excited. I’ve never been overseas, but I’m headed to Europe! A place that costs a fortune just to get there! I feel really good.
You’ll be spending a long time in Europe, so is there anything you’d like to do while you’re there?
Nuguri: I want to visit the famous attractions around Europe. To be honest, I just want to wander the streets of Europe. The thought of just wandering around makes me excited.
You’re going to be going to the three countries with many attractions! From Germany, to Spain, and finally, Paris, France!
Nuguri: Really? I’m going to three different countries? WOW! This is amazing! So that’s how it is!
When you got the double kill 1 vs 2 in game 5, what was on your mind? Did you know that you were going to win?
Nuguri: To be honest, up to game 4, I was trying to play safe. But after game 4, I thought that the reason we lost was because I didn’t pressure Camille enough and let her scale. I believed that would be the case for game 5 as well, so I told myself to just play how I always do instead of playing defensively. In a way, it was a gamble that I took, but things worked out. I felt very excited. Even if the team won, I didn’t feel happy when I couldn’t play the way I wanted, but I feel good that I was able to showcase how I really am.
Who were the most excited players after DAMWON locked in their spot for Worlds?
Nuguri: I’d say Canyon and ShowMaker. They were always mumbling about how they want to win and go to Worlds.
Is there a team that you’d love to meet at Worlds?
Nuguri: I want to play against IG [if they make it to Worlds], especially against TheShy and Rookie. TheShy’s solo queue win rate is monstrous. People say that he’s a very aggressive player, but when I spectate his games, he’s an incredibly balanced player, but aggressive at the same time. I believe that the best top laners are aggressive top laners. I want to become more aggressive, so I want to face TheShy. If I lose, I learn something, and if I beat him, I’ll feel like I’m the best.
Is there a team that you don’t want to face? A team with a unique playstyle perhaps?
Nuguri: Funplus Phoenix. I believe they’re similar to Griffin, and their mid-jungle synergy is very good. We’re good at facing off against teams with what people call a standard playstyle, but they’re very good at being unpredictable. I think that we can get swept up in their unpredictability, so we have to be on our toes.
Which team do you think looks to be the strongest?
Nuguri: I’m curious about G2. They’re considered to be the top dog in Europe, but I wonder how they’re going to perform against us. However, I think that Griffin will play very well. Team Liquid is also good, and FPX from LPL are really good as well. I think the first seeds of each region will perform well.
How far do you see your team going up in the tournament?
Nuguri: I believe we still have a very long way to go. I at least want to get past the group stages. The goal is to beat G2 and IG. I want to move up in the tournament, to the point where we’ll be able to face both of those teams. If we overcome those two teams, I believe that we can bring the championship trophy home.
A lot of people may still not know too much about DAMWON, so let’s correct that conjecture. How would you describe DAMWON as a team?
Nuguri: We’re a very weak, yet a very strong team at the same time. On one side, we may look very weak. People may think we play unconventional picks, but that becomes our very strength. At the end of the day, we’re a team with a good mix of transparency and irregularity that gets the job done.
If you win the whole tournament, is there a small performance you’d like to put on for the fans in front of the camera?
Nuguri: I didn’t feel contempt with myself for my post-match interview. If I feel like I played well, I put on a fun interview. If I win Worlds, I want to do something in confidence. I won’t tell you what it is, but I do feel the need for it. I’m going to think more about this. In order to gain foreign fans, I’ll make a confident statement.
Lastly, any words to your fans?
Nuguri: We make up our lack of experience with spirit and vigor. We have enough talent to keep other teams on their toes. We may lack confidence and teamwork for now, but once we overcome those two things, you can expect great things from us. Thank you for your continued support, and we’ll make sure to do well at Worlds.
Any words to the teams that’ll be facing DAMWON at Worlds?
Nuguri: All of you better watch out.
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