On the 8th of February, the 5th team in the LCK standings, Jin Air Green Wings, clashed against the 6th, ROX Tigers. By making a comeback in game 1, JAG was able to secure the 1st win. But in game 2 and 3, ROX displayed aggressive plays and well-calculated macro through their midlaner, Lava. By defeating JAG, ROX secured the 5th place spot in the LCK leaderboards.
The player that stood out the most throughout the series was Lava. Every game, Lava cornered his enemies with aggressive plays and caught them off-guard. ROX's support player, Key, also played impressively, by allowing ROX to snowball by countering JAG's engages.
After the series, the two players who won the MVP title, Lava and Key, were invited for an interview with the OGN casters.
By defeating both KSV and JAG, you're now on a winning streak. How do you feel?
Lava: I'm happy that our team is now 5th in the standings. It's a bit disappointing that we won with a score of 2-1, but I'm still happy regardless.
What do you want to do during the upcoming holidays?
Key: During recent times, all we ever did was practice without rest. I want to sleep all day.
Lava: I feel the same way. I want to do nothing but sleep all day.
Today was your team's last match before the holidays. When will your break begin?
Lava: From now to tomorrow, I'll be on break. After that, I'll be practicing a bit more until the actual holiday, where we'll all be able to rest.
Today's match was very fierce. In game 1, despite taking every objective, you guys lost. After the game, what kind of conversations went back and forth between the players and the coaching staff?
Key: Even while dying, I knew that we had the advantage, macro-wise. But every time we made a mistake, the enemy mercilessly dove in. The game ended way too immediately.
What caused the improvement of ROX's macro management this season?
Lava: We constantly practiced. We also learned a lot of things by watching other teams.
In game 2, you displayed great performance on Zoe. Were you confident at the time of picking her?
Lava: Our scrim results with Zoe were really good. But then again, against KT, we struggled against them with Zoe - but we kept on practicing and used her today.
In game 2, it wasn't just Zoe that played great, Taric's ult usage was also on point.
Key: Was it? There were so many fights that I don't really remember...
The enemy team constantly tried to engage on you guys. Were you aware of that while playing?
Key: The things that I had to stay aware of were: Sejuani ultimates, Alistar, and Vladimir. If I lost track of any of the ones I mentioned, things could've gone really bad for us, so I stayed focused. If I was able to negate Vladimir's ultimate with mine, I knew that we would have the advantage in teamfights.
During teamfights, what kind of calls did you make playing Zoe?
Lava: While luring in the enemy team, I said that as long as Taric can make good usage of his ultimate, we can win.
In game 3, you guys picked a lot of champions with hard-engages. Why?
Key: During scrims, this type of team composition brought us the best results. Honestly speaking, I wasn't too confident in playing Rakan today, but our head coach told us, "since our scrim results with Rakan were great, I know that you can do well." He recommended me the champion, and I did great with him - enough to get me the MVP title. I'm thankful.
In game 3, you guys went overly aggressive and dove into the middle of the enemy team with Ryze's ultimate.
Lava: I remember. The plan was to shield then Zhonya's to buy time for my team to arrive - but the enemy team was a lot stronger than what I expected. So I died without being able to Zhonya's... Normally, when I ult with Ryze, the team is supposed to follow up, even if it meant burning Flash, but they didn't. (Laughs)
Key: I was going to follow, but he was out of the range of my E. (Laughs)
In game 3, Sangyoon dealt the least amount of damage. What did you guys tell him?
Key: ADCs nowadays pick hyper-carry champions for the late-game. Against those champions, Kalista isn't a great pick. Sangyoon himself doesn't like playing her, but it was an important pick for the team at the time. It's true that his damage dealt was low, but for engaging and/or securing Baron, Kalista is great. Sangyoon makes a lot of shotcalls when playing Kalista.
Late into game 3, Teddy scored a quadrakill and brought uncertainty to the outcome of the match. But after that teamfight, your team returned and focused the Nexus for the victory. Who made that call?
Key: There wasn't really a specific player that made that call. At the time, there were two methods of getting into their base and onto their Nexus: one, teleport in with Ryze's ultimate, and two, approach the Nexus after Ornn casts his ultimate. We took the safer route and used Ornn's ultimate. Afterward, the team focused the Nexus.
After the match, the head coach came over to Lava and seemed extremely happy. What did he say to you?
Lava: He told me that I played exceptionally well.
But he also came to see you with a smile on his face when you guys lost game 1.
Lava: He told us that since our macro management is better than the opposition's, we can win as long as we make no mistakes.
Recently, SeongHwan and Lindarang have been playing very confidently. Does it seem like that to you guys as well?
Key: On stage, SeongHwan secures a lot of first-bloods. Whenever he ganks, he gets a kill. Since the top-side of our team does so well, we [botlane] simply play with the mindset of, "since you guys are doing so well, we'll do our best to match that."
Any last words for the fans?
Lava: We'll do better to make better results. We'll make sure to make it to Worlds, so please cheer for us.
Key: Lunar New Year is coming up soon, so I hope everyone spends a great time with their family!
RELATED: ROX Sangyoon: "I also thought that our team was a strong candidate for relegation."
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