The sixth MSI of Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok has begun. On May 10, T1 swept MAD Lions very quickly in the best-of-five series to advance to the winner’s bracket. Although the start was shaky for T1, as the games went on, their performance sharpened. Game 3 was one of the fastest games — T1 destroyed MAD Lions Nexus in 16 minutes and 50 seconds. T1 will face Gen.G in the second round. After the match, Faker joined Inven for an interview.
It’s your sixth MSI. What’s different about this MSI compared to the previous ones?
The previous MSIs featured one team per region, and there was some pressure. Now, I have a lot of experience on the international stage, so I feel less pressure. Also, to me, playing with teams from other regions is now very interesting.
As the MSI format changed, all the games are in the best-of series format. How is it as a player playing in it?
Since there are more best-of games to play, it could be a bit more tiring than when we played single games. But we can’t always experience so many best-of games, so it’s fun to play it, and I believe it helps us improve.
While you set up for the game today, all the coaching staff gathered around Oner. What happened?
The arena was a bit cold, and the table was cold as well. I think they were there to solve that issue.
Was your table okay?
I felt that the table was colder than usual, but I don’t touch the table directly when I play. On the other hand, Oner’s posture touches the table, so that was slightly an issue.
What do the players think while setting up equipment for the game?
Before the match, there’s a bit of nervousness, and we aren’t even warmed up. We warm up our hands as much as possible and try to get rid of the nervousness.
Compared to the early days of Faker, is it different in that mind control process?
I’m calmer than those days, and I try to enjoy it.
Today’s T1 seemed much more aggressive than usual. Did you have a specific strategy for MAD Lions?
Rather than us being aggressive, their style was very aggressive, and we just reacted to their plays, so it could have seemed like that. We always try to make the best plays possible, but I don’t think it’s playing aggressively.
It seemed that T1’s performance got better as the games went on. Is it because the nervousness was relieved?
It’s true that the nervousness went away, and we got a good flow, so our performance improved. However, there were games we were ahead from the beginning, and things clicked well, so we had a good result today.
Game 3 ended in 16 minutes and 50 seconds.
When a game ends that early, the losing side’s stance is important. I think the game was short since they played extremely aggressively.
According to Gumayusi, game 3’s early game strategy was prepared. Did it go as you thought?
We did benefit, but it wasn’t that big of a benefit, so I thought we should be cautious. We always have an open mind, thinking of several strategies, so we can use them at any time.
You played Nautilus mid in game 1.
Nautilus is a very interesting champion, so it was fun to play. The process of turning around an unfavorable game was really fun too. Caps played it first, and we’ve been trying it out from several perspectives.
Do you think you were able to turn the game around because of the Nautilus pick? You were selected as the POG for game 1.
I think I played well.
You have several milestones, and you added another. You are the first player to play 200 international games.
It’s an honor to be able to play 200 international games. I’m grateful that I could have so much experience.
Your next opponent is Gen.G, and it’s a chance for you to have revenge for the spring split finals.
The finals in the spring were regretful, and we didn’t prepare enough. This time, I believe we can win. I wanted to have revenge on Gen.G, and we have the chance earlier than I thought. I’m happy that we have a chance and I’m looking forward to the match.
Lastly, how is your mindset aiming for your 3rd MSI championship?
I'm approaching MSI with less pressure than ever before. Instead, I'm going to prepare as much as I can to make sure we have a good result.