KT Hirai on the team's performance and the criticism towards him


On July 23, in the 2021 League of Legends Champions Korea Summer Split, kt Rolster swept Hanwha Life Esports and kept their hopes up for the playoffs. It was their fifth win of the season. After the match, Kang “Hirai” Dong-hoon joined Inven to talk about the season and the criticism towards him.



You beat Hanwha Life Esports 2-0 today. How do you feel?


It’s been a while since we won. We’re in the process of regaining our players’ confidence, and it’s a relief that we won today.


While preparing for today’s match, what did you focus on?


I thought there could be changes in their lineup, so the draft went on within my predictions. I think things went well as thought. The matches we lost that we should have won in the first round affected the players’ mentalities. It was important to get rid of that. I tried to help the players regain confidence and focused on balancing the team. After we found the balance, the results got better.


What was the reason that you were able to win 2-0 today? Especially, you didn’t seem to lose in big fights. What do you think the reason was that you didn’t lose the important battles?


I asked the players to communicate a lot so that they could trust each other more. The plays became more flexible and that showed in the fights.


Today, 5kid started in bot lane. Could you explain about him getting called up and starting today?


The most important thing was the performance. Noah’s recent performance wasn’t that good, so we decided to give him some time. During the first round, 5kid needed time to prepare. We always scrimmed together so I kept track of the players’ forms, and 5kid was in a good form. Although he’s not at his best, he’s improving every day.


Irelia kept appearing in today’s match and the skirmishes went around her. What do you think of Irelia?


Irelia is quite high-up in the current meta’s tier list, but it relies much on the player’s mechanics. It’s heaven and hell depending on the player. I think my players did well today.


The synergy between Doran and Dove is great. Are the two players close? Why do you think the synergy is so good?


They get along extremely well. As shown in the broadcast interview, they always have light, friendly banters going on. That helps maintain a good atmosphere. In-game-wise, they give very detailed feedback and communicate much about their individual plays. 


The performance of kt Rolster is always very good, but the results don’t follow. What do you think the reason is?


There were games that we could have won, but we hurried too much. The thoughts that ‘we needed to win’, or ‘having to play well’ weighed us down. That caused us to be too impatient in a team game which led to bad decisions. We talked a lot about how we could improve that part.


There is also criticism towards your coaching. What do you think?


I think I need to accept it according to the results. Personally, I hope the fans keep their eyes on us since the players are continuing to improve and there are many things that are getting better in the process.


Any last comments?


I’m thankful to the players and the coaching staff for following me well. I’d like to say let’s work harder for a while more. Thank you to the fans and the organization for their support. These are players that can improve drastically at any time. Even if they are shaky, please encourage them so that they can do better.


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