In the most shocking outcome of the young season, Dignitas QNTMPAY eliminated defending North American champion 100 Thieves from the 2022 LCS Lock In.
DIG had only won a single game in the LCS Lock In and narrowly qualified for the knockout stage and had to play their first two matches without starting jungler Kim "River" Dong-woo due to COVID-19 related travel delays, but in the quaterfinals, River looked like he had been playing with DIG for months as he led the charge alongside AD carry Toàn "Neo" Trần and was relentless in matching the bot lane pressure exerted by 100 Thieves.
After Dignitas QNTMPAY's big win in the quarterfinals of the 2022 LCS Lock In, River joined Inven Global to speak about the game plan against 100 Thieves and how he was able to mesh well with his teammates despite only two days of practice. DIG QNTMPAY operations manager Toby Kwon sat in as translator for the interview.
Congratulations on such a dominant win against the defending LCS champions. What was your game plan heading into today's series?
I kind of realized that 100 Thieves is always playing around the bottom side of the map, so I was shotcalling to make good plays around the bottom side. I think that actually helped us a lot in winning the games today.
Speaking of bot lane, Neo was heavily praised for his performance today. How do you think your bot lane did in the match today?
I just got here this weekend and didn't really have a lot of practice time with the rest of the team. I didn't really know much about our bot lane, to be honest, but at least as far as today goes I think both of them played super well. I feel like I can really trust him and that we can make a lot of plays on the bottom side of the map from now on. Obviously, it takes some time through practice, but overall, our bot lane is pretty good and we can build good synergy between our duo and the jungle.
You guys seemed to mesh so well in this series despite you only being here for a few days. What do you think made you and your teammates play off of each other so well today despite having very little practice together?
We've only practiced for two days, and as you guys know, I don't really speak English that well. We didn't really spend a lot of time together other than solo queue and scrims for two days, but since everybody knows that they know what to do during the game, we were able to show off a lot more today than we did yesterday.
Yesterday, we lost both of our games pretty hard against CLG and EG, but we realized our mistakes in those games and learned from them. It was kind of a big slap for us, so we stood back up and tried to just focus more on synergy and going with the flow.
Game 1 against 100 Thieves was close, but game 2 was very one-sided. Were there things you guys were able to pick up in the first win that helped you win the second game far more convincingly?
I feel like they tried to make a lot of cheesy plays on the bottom side of the map in the second game like trying to invade our jungle. However, I don't think their plan really came together because we caught up and started countering them pretty well. After that, I realized they were going to play from the bot side and that I could stop their strategy. We were able to turn things around from that point.
You faced off against Can "Closer" Çelik today, who is thought to be one of the strongest junglers in North America. Now that you've beaten him, what other LCS junglers would you like to test your mettle against?
We played EG yesterday and I've always thought Inspired was a good jungler, so I'm really looking forward to playing against Inspired again.
What do you think makes people underestimate Dignitas QNTMPAY, and do you think you were able to change some of their minds with this win?
When I started practicing with the rest of the team for the past couple of days, my playstyle was a little different from the team's playstyle, so I was really worried. However, today, I tried to shotcall and everyone wanted to play around me. I think overall the other players followed my calls and it worked out pretty well, so I think from now on, we can just working on developing synergy between the team and myself. I think it's going to be a good season this year.
Thanks for the interview, River, and thank you for translating, Toby. River, is there anything you want to say to the DIG fans after this big win?
I just want to say to all of the fans that a lot of people probably thought we weren't going to win today against 100 Thieves, but we were able to turn it around and get the 2-0. Hopefully, all the fans and all of the people that realized we're not the weakest team know now that we can turn over any team. We know that we're not in the bottom tier. I want people to keep cheering for me and for all of us.