On the 4th (KST), Afreeca Freecs defeated DragonX 3-0 to head to the finals of the 2019 League of Legends KeSPA Cup. Lee “Spirit” Da-yoon, who was always subbed in and out with Lee “Dread” Jin-hyeok, played all three games in today’s semifinals and put on a fantastic performance. The head coach, iloveoov, and Spirit shared their thoughts on the new Afreeca roster.
Thoughts on the victory?
Iloveoov: The players need to ride the momentum to continue to practice proficiently. I’m really happy that today’s victory is that aforementioned momentum, and if we continue to perform as well as we did today, we’ll continue to change for the better.
Spirit: I’m really glad that while we’re preparing for the 2020 season, we were able to win and receive a confidence boost. We’ll give it our all until the finals.
What was the main focus on today’s match?
Iloveoov: It was important to not only hone our gameplay to perfection, but also to predict the enemy’s movements. In games, Spirit’s job is to lead and remind the team in that aspect, and he was especially good at that today.
Spirit: Wow, I’m suddenly put on the spot (laughter). It was a job that was given to me by the head coach, and I only played with that job in my mind. I think he praised me just now because it showed off really well in the game. DRX is a team that’s young, ambitious, and aggressive. We played with the mindset of playing with a calm mindset, no matter how aggressive they are, and I think that reflected well into victory.
While rebuilding the roster, the team acquired many veteran players.
Iloveoov: No one knows how a new roster will turn out. What’s important is how players will synergize with each other in a team, and I believe that having big names has nothing to do with it. What’s important is the player’s personal determination. I had many different conversations with the players, and I learned that the players are very motivated. My job is to keep them motivated, and if the players continue to perform the way they did today, they’ll not only enjoy themselves, but continue to stay motivated.
Rookies and veterans all have their strengths and weaknesses. It’s important to bring forth their strengths. Although it’s inevitable that the players’ weaknesses will surface, it thankfully hasn’t so far, and their strengths are being utilized well.
Spirit: Older players and former teammates joined the team. To put it shortly, we’re a team full of old people (laughter). I’m personally satisfied that I have a lot of people to talk to. Last year, I suddenly became the oldest player on the team, so I was a bit flustered. It turns out, being the oldest in the team is very hard. I’m glad that this year, I don’t have the same title and am able to play the game.
You now face your former student, FanTaSy, and a former Afreeca player, Summit, as coach and player respectively on SANDBOX in the finals.
Iloveoov: I just hope that they give it their absolute best. The finals are going to be close. We feel that they’re tough opponents, and I’m sure they feel the same. It’s important for both the players and the coaching staff to work their hardest in their roles.
What kind of a team is SANDBOX Gaming?
Spirit: We’re very similar. They’re fundamentally very strong, and they highly value those fundamentals. OnFleek is an incredible player, and I’m learning a lot from his replays. I believe that if I am to play against him tomorrow, the focus will be on how well I can keep him locked down.
In game 3, can you share your thoughts on the enemy keeping you in check during the early game?
Spirit: I had an opportunity to successfully gank top and kill Aatrox, but Kiin made a mistake, and I fell behind. Even though Kiin made a mistake, he carried the game on his own, so I’m satisfied with it.
Some fans think that Kiin plays better when Spirit is playing with him.
Spirit: I do love Kiin a lot (laughter). However, it’s not like I’m putting in extra care in his lane just because it’s Kiin. It’s not that much different when Dread’s playing, so I think I was just lucky. I personally think that Dread’s a better jungler than I am. Our starting roster hasn’t been finalized, so I think we need to stay on our toes against SANDBOX.
Any final words for this interview?
Iloveoov: We’ll make sure to play well tomorrow as well.
Spirit: I didn’t feel too well today, but I’m grateful that my teammates played so well today.
Striving for perfection to achieve excellence in esports