On Jan. 12, the media day for the 2023 LCK Spring Split was held. Players and head coaches from each team joined the media to speak about their expectations and resolutions for the upcoming season. Most players predicted that Dplus KIA had the best chance of winning the championship. The following is a full translation of Media Day.
What are your goals for 2023?
Edgar: Since UmTi returned, things are well. I believe we’ll be able to show better performances this year. I hope the players have fun and stay healthy.
UmTi: I’ll work hard with the initial mindset, thinking of how it was fun to just play on stage.
Acorn: I want to show good performances on international stages. I hope it’s a year that both us and the fans could be happy.
ShowMaker: Last year, the finals slipped through our fingers. This time, I’ll work hard so that we could reach the finals and win the MSI as well.
Micro: Last year, DRX had great results. Our goal is to keep improving from the spring season so that we can reach Worlds.
Rascal: I’ll be satisfied if I could be a solid player and do my role well. As a team, I would be happy if we reach Worlds.
Score: The rules of the LCK and international tournaments chagned a lot. We need to adapt well to the changes. My goal is to have fun starting from the spring season.
Peanut: My goal was always to show a good performance consistently, but recently, after being sick, I felt being healty is the most important. I know that the expectations for us declined a bit due to the roster changes, but we’ll work hard as a team to get better results.
DanDy: We weren’t able to make the fans happy last year, but this year, I’ll work hard to show a good performance so that they can smile a lot.
Clid: I want to be a great captain in the team, and win the championship.
cvMax: We’re building teamwork as we have five new members. The goal for this year is to get close as a team. In the spring season, we’ll reach teh playoffs, and we’ll aim for Worlds in the summer.
YoungJae: I was the substitute jungler up to now, but I’ll be the starter this year. I want to show that I’m improving constantly.
Hirai: The most important part is to keep the players healthy. The players have been doing well according to the direction, I think we’ll be able to get good results by summer. My goal is to reach Worlds and show a good performance.
Lehends: My goal for the team is to reach Worlds, and personally, I want to make Aiming the best bot laner in the world.
Ryu: My goal is to reach the playoffs in the spring. As for the year, I want to make a team that keeps improving so that we could become a team that can beat any team.
Burdol: My goal for the spring is reaching the playoffs as well. I want to show diversity in my performance in the top lane.
Irean: We’re taking a new challenge this year, with the players we’ve been raising. Our goal is to become a team that’s better than last week. That way, we could reach the playoffs and more. Our goal for the year is to become a team that’s interesting and worth cheering for.
Sylvie: Since all five of us were called up this year, we’ll play with a learning mindset. At the same time, we’ll play fun and show interesting games.
Bengi: We went to all of the finals last year, but we lost three times. That was very regretful, so this year’s goal is to not regret.
Faker: My goal is to do my best and improve based on what I learned last year.
Besides your own team, which team do you think will win the championship?
Clid: I picked Dplus KIA, and I picked them because they seem good.
YoungJae: I also picked Dplus KIA. The other junglers are good too, but Canyon is really good, so I think it’ll be them.
Lehends: I picked Dplus KIA because they have good players.
Burdol: I picked Dplus KIA too. I played there last year, and I learned a lot. Playing scrims this year, I saw their performance during scrims this year, and they were really good.
Sylvie: I picked T1. They have the same roster as last year and the year before, so they’ll keep doing well consistently.
Faker: I picked Gen.G. I think they’ll win.
Peanut: I picked T1. They reached the finals in all competitions last year. The process was good, but since they have no member changes, I picked them.
Rascal: I picked Dplus KIA. They have the top players, and I respect their coaching staff, so I picked them.
ShowMaker: I said T1. They have no member changes, and they were good in scrims.
UmTi: It was T1 for me. The balance among the players is good, and they don’t have any member changes for three years.
(To Bengi) T1 is a team with great mentality. How do you have such good mentality?
Bengi: Our strong mentality is based on confidence from practice. My goal is to help the players maintain a strong mentality on top-tier stages as well.
(To ShowMaker) Most of the teams predicted that Dplus KIA would win. Why do you think they picked you? What are ‘23 Dplus KIA’s strengths?
ShowMaker: Our team has very strong laning, so I believe they picked us because we did well aggressively during scrims. I think ‘23 Dplus KIA’s biggest strength is our teamfight ability.
(To Bengi) Up to now, T1 wasn’t able to reach Worlds when it was held in Korea. Are you confident in reaching Worlds this year?
Bengi: This time, I think it’s our chance to get to Worlds. One reason is that there are four tickets to Worlds, but more than anything, I have faith in our players’ ability, so we can reach Worlds this year.
(To Acorn) You were a coach in China, but it’s your first time in Korea. How will you lead the team?
Acorn: I think all our players can do any role they’re given. Even if the meta changes during the season, the players can adapt to any composition. I want to build a team that can always do that and show good performances in competitions.
(To Sylvie) You won the championship in CL and moved up to LCK. Any words to the other teams?
Sylvie: I’ll prove myself by becoming the best jungler this season.
(To Edgar) Last spring, Fredit BRION had a great miracle run. Do you think you can do it again this year? Which player do you think will do well?
Edgar: We got really lucky last year, so we made the playoffs. When we first started scrims this year, I thought we’d lose all of them. [Laughs] But as we practiced, the results got better and better. The players have been doing well as a team, so I don’t think it’ll be that bad.
I think Morgan will do well. He’s changed a lot since a year and a half ago. He makes more shotcalls now, so I’m looking forward to his performance.
(To DanDy) You were one of the championship members in Samsung Galaxy that won Worlds in Korea. Worlds is coming back to Korea this year. How do you think it’ll go? As a great jungler yourself, what are your thoughts on Clid?
DanDy: It’s been such a long time since I won Worlds, so it’s completely different. I just think it’ll be awesome if we can win Worlds this year. As for Clid, I thought he would be more of an aggressive player since he played in the LPL for a long time, but he’s a very smart player. He’s very well-rounded, so I’m looking forward to his performance.
(To cvMax) You joined the team early. What was your main focus while forming the roster?
cvMax: I tried to make a team that can grow over two years. I’ve been focusing on the direction - find where and when to fight, and fight there. YoungJae’s pathing is great, so I’m looking forward to his performance.
(To Rascal) There seem to be a lot of changes in the top lane this year. How’s the meta? What’s your strength in the current meta?
Rascal: K’Sante was released and Jayce was buffed. Besides that, I think it’s similar to the Worlds meta. My strength is that I play all of those champions quite well. Since I’m confident in making plays, I think I can show that a lot during the season.
(To UmTi) You had left Fredit BRION, but rejoined them. What happened?
UmTi: At first, I wanted to join a team abroad, but it didn’t work out well. I asked to return, but the rosters were filled in. There wasn’t much that I could do, but fortunately, Edgar called me back, so I returned.
(To Faker) It’s been 10 years since your debut, and you’re still at the top. What motivates you?
Faker: Passion is the most important, so I always worked hard with passion. That’s probably why I was able to maintain my performance.
(To Score) You used to play with Ryu, and he has become a head coach now. Any words to him?
Score: We were teammates, and it was interesting that he has become a head coach. There will be hard times, so I hope he overcomes the obstacles well. Fighting!
Ryu: It’s interesting that we’ve met as head coaches now. I hope he goes easy on me. [Laughs] Since he’s doing so well.
(To Faker) You picked Gen.G last year in the predictions. What are Gen.G’s strengths? What are T1’s strengths?
Faker: Gen.G’s roster didn’t change much from last year, so I thought they have the best chance to win besides us. T1’s strength is that since we don’t have any changes in the roster, we have an advantage in the spring, but it depends on how hard we work.
(To Irean) What are NS RedForce’s strengths?
Irean: As all the players were called up from CL, our biggest strength is teamwork and that we don’t have any hesitations in giving and accepting feedback to improve. Since we have good motivation, everyone will work hard. As for our weaknesses, we’re simply not as good, so we’ll have to work hard to improve. Although our individual performances might not be as good, our teamwork and macro is alright. The scrims have been going well and I believe we could feature interesting games.
(To Lehends) Viper is back in Korea. What are your thoughts on him? What do you think will be the biggest obstacle in making Aiming the best bot laner?
Lehends: Since Viper is a player who won Worlds, he’s a great player. The biggest obstacles to making Aiming the best bot laner are Viper and Ruler.
(To Burdol) How do you think the top lane meta would be? It’s been a while since you were the starter. What are your resolutions?
Burdol: The top lane has more influnce over the game now. I was in a great team last year, but the results werent’ that good. Looking back, there were many regrets, so I want to improve that and work hard to show good performances in Liiv SANDBOX. I want to become a versatile top laner.
(To Lehends) Many people are saying that the bot lane has to play hyper-carries. How are you planning to aid Aiming? Will you play Singed again this year?
Lehends: There are all kinds of supports appearing in the meta. It’s not one that I really like. As for Singed, [Laughs] I will play him at least once against Gen.G.
(To Peanut) Do you have an answer to Lehends’ Singed? Gen.G’s bot duo has changed now. How has your role changed?
Peanut: We’re ready to gobble up that Singed. Since Lehends and Ruler were so good in 2022, our new bot duo would feel pressured, but Peyz and Delight are really good. Especially, Peyz is a rookie, and seeing him play, I would be always happy with a rookie if they’re this good. I have high expectations for him. With some time, they’ll become great players. The top side should earn some time for them, and as the season goes, we’ll get good results.
(To Score) You picked Peyz in Ruler’s spot. What made you call up Peyz?
Score: Since Ruler was on the team for so long, and he’s a player that’s almost impossible to replace, but Peyz has been doing so well. I called him up because of his potential and that he kept doing well.
(To ShowMaker) What are your thoughts on K’Sante? How’s the balance in the game?
ShowMaker: K’Sante was nerfed a bit, and since people know how to play against him, he’s not that broken. The mid lane is alright since items like Archangel and Rod of Ages were buffed.
(To Faker) You contributed in making LCK the best league in the world again by defeating the LPL teams. How do you think it’ll be this year?
Faker: I’ve always thought that the LCK was better than the LPL. Last year, that just showed through results in the tournament. This year, we have a better chance to win the championship, but it depends on how hard we work.
(To ShowMaker and Faker) Last year, you each played Kassadin once. What are your thoughts on Kassadin in the current meta? Any champions we should keep an eye on?
ShowMaker: Kassadin’s E changed, and he goes well with Rod of Ages and Archangel. He can appear in certain situations. Right now, I’ve been playing many different champions in scrims, but I don’t think the picks will be that diverse in the season.
Faker: It’s still early in the season, so I’m not sure which champion would appear often. Since Rod of Ages and Archangel changed, I’ve been looking at the champions that are affected by those items.
(To Clid) You’ve returned to the LCK now. What do you think is different between the LCK and LPL?
Clid: The LPL does fight more, but they play smart when they have to. I think LCK is very good as well.
(To cvMax) There are many fans looking forward to your team. Any words to them?
cvMax: The fans’ attention is the most important in this industry. I know that, so I’m very grateful. I will make a team that can show good and fun performances so that the fans can enjoy cheering for us.