On the 7th, Clutch Gaming took down Royal Youth in the second match of the play-in knockout stage of the play-in knockout stages. With their decisive 3-0 victory over the Turkish squad, the 3rd seed LCS team became the 2nd team to make it into the group stages.
Clutch Gaming’s top laner, Huni, and jungler, Lira, joined Laure Valée and the LCK broadcast respectively in the post-game interviews to share their thoughts about the match and the group stages.
**The following interview was conducted in the official Riot Games English Broadcast
Congratulations for making it into the group stages. Before the match, you said that you were expecting a closer series, so were they underperforming, or were you playing better than expected?
I think we were definitely playing better. We didn’t expect the series to be 3-0 victory. They’re a good team, and they know what to do to win the game. We actually played against them in scrims, but we lost a lot against them. However, we were confident in ourselves, I think we’ve definitely gotten better compared to last week.
Do you think they made a mistake by letting you play Rumble?
I think so. As you all know, I’m pretty much undefeated on Rumble, unless they prepare and strategize to shut my Rumble down. Right now, it’s one of my most comfortable picks.
Could you explain how the draft went down in game 3? You guys picked both Lucian and Ezreal, and although everyone knows that you can play Lucian top, you ultimately decided to play Ezreal. It’s not the best lane matchup into Jayce, so could you explain why you went with Ezreal?
In the current meta, while early game priority is all about the jungle influence it doesn’t matter if you have priority in the top lane during mid game. After 15 minutes, Ezreal suddenly comes online and becomes a really strong champion. It scales well, and it’s actually one of the strongest mid-game champions in the game. If I’m playing a champion like that, I knew I was going to win.
Speaking of the current meta, there has been 78 unique champions either picked or banned. What is your take on the current meta right now, as to your take on it before Worlds started?
I actually didn’t expect this much diversity. I played Ezreal top, and in the bot lane, players are picking non-ADC champions, such as Heimerdinger and Fiddlesticks. It’s crazy how unpredictable the meta is at the moment, so I think that we’ll see some big upsets from the underdogs of this tournament.
Looking forward, you could end up in group C, which will mean that you’ll meet your former teams, I know you’re looking forward to your revenge match.
It’s going to be super fun to play against my former teammates, Faker and Rekkles. I’m especially looking forward to getting my revenge against Khan, because the last time I played against him, I lost. No matter how the results turn out, it’s going to be fun.
Do you think you can instalock Fiora and just stomp him?
I think it really depends on the matchup. I was actually really happy that Riot decided to buff Fiora, because it now means that a good matchup for Fiora will mean that I’ll be smurfing the whole game. This buff means that top lane becomes more relevant, but I still think Ezreal top is stronger.
I know that there’s a lot of jokes and memes about NA teams in groups, so can you send some words of positivity to the NA fans?
Today, NA beat KR, because we 3-0’d our opponents, while DAMWON 3-1’d theirs. NA 3rd seed is better than KR 3rd seed.
**The following interview was conducted in the official LCK Korea Broadcast
Congratulations on your victory today. How do you feel?
The games were much easier than we anticipated, and we proved that we’re a team worthy of being in groups. The real tournament begins now, so we won’t lose focus and aim for higher heights.
You’ve focused on the enemy jungler. What was your thought process behind it?
He’s a great mechanical player, but he doesn’t think about his jungle pathing too much. If I had the pick I wanted, I knew I can lead the game at my own pace. I’m grateful to the coaching staff for giving me what I want.
Huni’s signature Rumble was open two games in a row. What was his reaction?
In my opinion, we pretend that Huni’s Rumble doesn’t exist in our drafts. We didn’t even know it was open, and when we did, we were all shocked. We joked that they were disrespecting us, so we picked it and won. If Huni gets his Rumble, everyone on the team has an easier time in-game. I’m pretty sure that from now on, it’ll be permabanned against us.
You’re finally in groups. Which group do you want to be seeded into?
Although I want to go to group D, I heard that we can only be seeded into group B or C. Huni wanted to go to group C to duke it out against SKT and Fnatic, so I hope we go to war with them and end up advancing. We’ll look good if we make it out of a tougher group, and while people may call us the underdogs, I think we have a great shot, even if we end up in group C.
A lot of Korean fans say that you have a great voice. Can you say something to your fans back home?
I’ve been playing professionally for a while, and it saddens me to see that my name is pronounced the same way as the acronym for ‘Rift Rivals’ in Korean. I was even contemplating on whether or not to change my name. Right now, I want the name to be remembered as Clutch Gaming’s jungler, Lira. I’ll make sure to put on a great performance.
Caster Jun is watching this interview right now. Any words for him?
Back when I was in LCK, when he welcomed me with kind words, it really touched my heart. To this day, I still remember him genuinely caring for me, so I respect him a lot. I really wanted to play in the games that he casts, so today, I was glad and nervous at the same time. I hope that today won’t be the last time where he’s casting my games. Much respect, Caster Jun.
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