On July 8, Hanwha Life Esports took down kt Rolster 2-1 in the 2021 LCK Summer Split. With the win, Hanwha Life Esports concluded the first round with a 3-game winning streak. In the match, it was Jeong “Chovy” Ji-hoon all the way. The pentakill in game 3 was worthy of being the highlight of the year. After the match, Hanwha Life Esports head coach Son “Kezman” Dae-young joined the media room and talked about the team's first round.
Congratulations on the 3-game winning streak. How do you feel finishing round 1?
Thank you. One of the reasons we didn’t perform well early in the season was that the games came back to LoL Park. As much as we have a lot of rookies, I think we all got confused a bit. Another problem was that we had divided opinions in the draft. That all clustered together and we had a bad start. As we moved on in the season, the players and coaches worked hard to fill in for what I lacked, so we were able to do better.
You would have tried to locate and solve the problems from the beginning of the season to now. What did you try to change the most?
I thought of ways to change the team atmosphere the most. Even when we were on a losing streak, I tried to keep the mood up so that the players wouldn’t feel too depressed. Another thing was that we tried to keep the draft similar between scrims and official games.
Are the starting members now fixed with the top and jungle?
I can’t say that it’s fixed. I always think that all seven members are the main members and that the starting roster can shift any time. It’s true that DuDu is in a good form now. I always try to start the players in a good form at the time.
Your goal was to reach Worlds. How do you think Round 2 will go?
When we were on a losing streak and the team atmosphere was bad, I told the players that their abilities are way better than they think. I thought that I wasn’t able to bring out their potential enough, so I was really sorry to the fans. Now, the team atmosphere is much better and the players’ have more confidence. I feel that we could beat any team in the second round. I expect Round 2 to be much brighter.
You need to end up high in the standings to have an easier playoff. How high do you think you can get?
When we were on a losing streak, the first thought that came to mind was that we just needed to make the playoffs. Things can change at any time when the format is Bo5. I thought that us shaking early in the season is better than being shaky late.
Your next match is DWG KIA who’s back on their feet. What would be needed to beat them?
DWG KIA is a very smart team, but I do think that we have an edge if we were to clash head to head. It’s going to be difficult as much as they are smart. We need to make a lead big enough that we could push them down even if the game goes to macro.
You’ll be meeting the teams once more in the second round. Which match do you think is the most important?
We need to beat the teams under us no matter what, and the point where our rank can change is against the teams above us.
Over your career as a head coach, there always were times you were in pinches. How did you overcome those moments?
I don’t think I did much. I tried to do whatever I could do. If there were things that could change the bad atmosphere, I did it.
Which match was the most regretful in Round 1?
The match against Gen.G was the most regretful. We needed to win that match, but we lost. From that point, the players were down. If we won that match, the flow would have been much different.
Any last comments?
I feel very responsible with the Hanwha Life Esports team. My goal is to have this team finish high in the standings. I’ll make sure that this team can reach higher places.