The grand finals of the League of Legends World Championship 2019 is almost here. Mere hours separate players and fans from the epic clash between LEC's G2 Esports and LPL's FunPlus Phoenix in Paris. Today both teams gave a press conference, in the Eiffel Tower, and answered the burning questions of the press.
Below is the transcript of the press conference of G2 Esports.
To Caps: Your father has been at almost every event. He's always taking pictures etc. Can you talk about what it means for you to see him at all these events, always following you?
Caps: I'm really happy with the support from my family. Not only my dad. I actually have my mom, my cousin, another cousin and my aunt coming as well. Just having all the family around me, for example we were having breakfast today and they just come to say hi. It means a lot, and it's nice to not feel too separate from my family. When I first joined LEC... it's obviously in another country so you can feel like you're not close to your family. But my parents and my family to keep the family culture, I guess, and make sure we see eachother.
To Wunder: It seems like, in the previous years, you've had some of the 'home court curse'. How are you feeling right now, going into another match that's going to happen on home court?
Wunder: Playing in front of European fans is of course a very good feeling. It can kind of feel like you have the crowd in your back. But when I go into the game and I just play, I don't care too much about if the fans are cheering for the enemy team or if they're cheering for us. I think I just try to block it all off and play my own game. Of course, if you win, or even if you lose, having a lot of support and a lot of fans having your back is always good.
To Grabbz: Your opponents have made an impressive run throughout the bracket. What have you learned about them, and what should your team fear most going into the finals?
Grabbz: Nothing too surprising. I think everybody knows how FPX wants to play, but they're just really good at it. I think both teams look at the other team in the semifinal and think that the other team didn't play too well. So I think FPX didn't play too well, they will see us and think we didn't too well against SKT either. I think, again, in a tournament teams don't really get better. Both teams will know what to expect, it's just about execution. Maybe having the curveball in draft once or twice. But besides that nothing new will come out and I think we'll be prepared about what FPX wants to do in the game.
To Grabbz: Can you give a quick update on your player who is not here today, unfortunately?
Grabbz: Perkz didn't feel too wel today in the morning. It's nothing too serious, but we just thought about a precautionary measure not to bring him here, so he can rest. He will be fit for the final. Hopefully.
To Grabbz: How are you heading into this finals, the biggest finals in your history of being a coach?
Grabbz: We approach the game like any other. There is no difference. Of course the hype is bigger, even with a press conference before the game. But the to the guys, to us it doesn't matter. It's another opponent, respect them like anybody else. We've prepared for them like [for] anybody else, we'll see who wins. We're blocking out the noise, or try to. All that matters is that on stage we can perform. All the noise around it doesn't matter.
To Caps: You used to be called 'Baby Faker', but now you have defeated him twice, at MSI and here at Worlds. How do you feel about that, and do you consider yourself as a better midlaner than Faker?
Caps: I'm pretty happy that I got to play against Faker. Obviously it's the guy who I've always looked up to a lot. Getting to play him was really nice for me. I don't think I was too happy with my performance in the Semifinal, but we still did well and did really well with the team, so we ended up getting the win. I don't want to compare myself to Faker. Obviously he won Worlds so many times, and even to this day he still is one of the greatest midlaners.
I think you can't really compare to Faker unless you win Worlds a lot of times and can stay at that level for so long. I have a long way ahead of me if I want to even think about something like that, but I will try my best and see if I can at least get a beginning by winning Worlds this year.
To Grabbz and Promisq: A lot of fans are pretty hyped to see Promisq this tournament, for the possibility of getting a Worlds skin. Carlos has also teased about this. Is there a scenario where we will see Promisq play and if so, what would that scenario be?
Grabbz: All jokes aside, unless Carlos actually puts me in a closet and doesn't let me out, we're not gonna disrespect FPX in a way to say: "It's gonna be easy." We have to finish every game with respect and with focus. Unless I get taken away by eh.. Carlos' "special men" [Promisq] will get to play. Unless Mikyx of course has an unfortunate accident and his wrist breaks again. Then we're going to see him.
Promisq: Unfortunate "accident."
Grabbz to Promisq: Don't you dare to make jokes now. [To press] Again, we respect FPX a lot and I don't think we have the freedom of having fun and bringing in the sub, if we don't have to do it for a gameplay decision. I think the chances are low, I'm sorry.
To Jankos: This is now the third time at Worlds, and this is by far the best chance you've had at winning it. What would you describe as a key difference between the Jankos right now and, for example, the Jankos we saw on H2K in 2016?
Jankos: I think that the main difference between me right now and me back then is that I actually know how to play the game better. It felt like in 2016 and 2018, I was already satisfied with how far we went those years, in both H2K and G2. I didn't expect us to go as far as the Semifinals. Any time I won on stage I believed that we could win the whole thing, but before the tournament I didn't really expect it.
This time, though, it's different, as we came after winning [LEC] two times and MSI, so I knew that we had to perform. Week after week, I didn't want to go home just yet. It's the finals now and I didn't go home yet, and I think we can take the whole thing.
To Caps: This question is quite similar to the previous one. You attended the Worlds finals last year. In fact you're the only player in the two teams that's attending two finals consecutively. What is the difference between the Caps of the 2018 Worlds finals, and Caps in 2019 who is just about to play in this Worlds final?
Caps: I think, throughout my career, I got more confidence in myself and [in] my team. When I joined the LCS, "the West" didn't really have a good shot at doing anything internationally. We were not that strong, and it was considered to be a huge victory if we even made it out of Groups. But nowadays, as we beat some of the Eastern teams and get better and better, we get more confidence and want to go further and further.
I think last year MSI and Worlds, it was a time where we could believe in ourselves to be able to make it to the final and be able to win the World Championship. But I think now we don't just believe in it anymore, we expect it. We want to be the champions, we want to create a legacy for ourselves. I think this confidence is probably the biggest difference. The trust that we will be able to win on Sunday.
To Caps: You're playing against Doinb this final. If you look at his champion pool, sometimes he looks more like a toplaner than a midlaner. Is Wunder helping you in some match-ups? And what do you think about Doinb?
Caps: It's true, I think he plays a lot more like a toplaner than most midlaners. We have been playing some one on one's against Wunder, but overall it just means I have to adapt to different champions. I'm a player who likes to innovate and do new strategies, so I definitely have a few things prepared for Doinb. It's gonna be interesting to see what he has prepared as well.
Rating Doinb... I'm not sure where I would put him, since I never went up against him on stage. But I know that he's a really strong player. It looks like he's leading his team a lot. Basically, it seems like it revolves around him. They are making sure he can roam, and then they roam together. It for sure is really important that we don't let him run around on the map and just take all the game. I'll try my hardest to keep him in the midlane, challenge him to the one on one and see what happens.
To Caps: Last year you were in the press conference before the finals as well. What were you feeling before the press conference for last year's finals, and how do you think you've grown both mentally and emotionally since?
Caps: I'm not exactly sure how I felt last year. Obviously, I hoped we could take on Invictus Gaming. But as to my exact thoughts... I'm not sure. I think I was not necessarily playing with my emotions, but more thinking about preparation. It's probably the same I'm doing now. I'm pretty confident that we can win on Sunday. But at the same time most of my thoughts go towards how we'll win, instead of if we're gonna win or if I'm gonna play well and stuff like that. I focus more on how we'll make it happen.
To Mikyx: You and FPX both love to roam around the map. I believe you are #1 when it comes to roaming outside of botlane and I believe Caps is #1 when it comes to roaming outside midlane. Do you think this free-flowing style is the future of League of Legends?
Mikyx: Thanks for the question, first of all. Yeah, I think roaming is pretty underrated in League of Legends, I guess. I think a lot of teams just don't respect it enough, especially because there is not as much vision as there was before. It's probably going to be the future of League as well, because no one wanted to watch the boring 40 minute games with just a bunch of vision. I think it's more fun as well to go around the map and be throughout the whole map at all times.
To Grabbz: No team in the history of League of Legends has ever completed a Grand Slam. SKT nor RNG were able to make it. Can you compare yourselves to SKT and RNG, who nearly made Grand Slams and tell us what advantages you have? And what advantages do you have going into the finals this weekend?
Grabbz: It's always hard to compare yourself with a team from a different era. League moves so fast that every year it's a different game. I would not like to compare ourselves to legendary teams who probably were as close as us to actually get the Grand Slam. Also, this topic itself is not important for us right now. In the end, if we get it we'll be happy, but we're not sitting backstage saying: "Oh guys, this is our chance to do so." We just want Worlds and that's it. The big advantage, again, for G2, the entire year with these players is that basically everything can be played anywhere. FPX has Doinb in that sense, that he can do anything, but I have five players who can play anything.
So it's mostly just about collecting these ideas and making sure the draft is playable, which sometimes goes pretty well, sometimes not. It depends on the daily form. But I think we're a very creative team in draft and how we play the game. As Caps already said, it's more about shutting down Doinb's roams, and if we do that correctly I think we're gonna have have a pretty good shot. Afterwards we can compare ourselves to SKT and RNG of those years.
Storyteller by heart. If something is competitive, I am interested in it.