On the 18th of March, ROX Tigers clashed against Kongdoo Monsters on the 40th day of the 2018 LCK Spring Split.
In game 1, KDM played around SSol and stayed relevant until the midgame. But they consistently made plays that harmed themselves more than benefit, and in the end, when KDM attempted to cut off recalling ROX players after Baron, they took the killing blow and dropped the game.
In the following game, ROX started strong from the very beginning. ROX had the lead in every lane, and SeongHwan's Skarner and Key's Thresh took full advantage of the situation to freely roam the map. KDM tried getting back into the game but were harmed through their attempts. ROX calmly dismantled KDM's defenses and widened the lead -- eventually leading ROX to take the victory.
After the series, the two MVP titlists of the match, Sangyoon and Key, were invited for an interview with a SPOTV caster.
I bet you became nervous when you saw SKT win their series today.
Sangyoon: Since we played terribly in game 1, I honestly thought that we'd have a good chance of losing today. Had SKT lost their series, we would've safely been 5th place. But since they won, I made a promise to myself to win no matter what... to be honest, I was a bit nervous.
Key: I made sure to pay attention to SKT's series, as the outcome of that match affects our chances of making playoffs. When SKT won, I thought, "we can't back away now. If we lose today, it's over." I think we won 2-0 because we had that mindset.
After winning game 1, your teammates made sour facial expressions... Who was the most serious about the situation?
Sangyoon: Our head coach. (Laughs) He didn't say anything too harsh, he said, "Just do what you guys do, do as you have prepared." He didn't show his emotions, but there was something about his aura...
I heard that when playing in Gangnam, the players who change their hairstyle often wins the MVP title. I heard that you styled your hair up today, was that to get the MVP title?
Sangyoon: No... my coach recommended me to style it, so I tried it.
Today, Sangyoon's parents came to the stadium. How does it feel playing in front of your parents?
Sangyoon: My parents usually don't come when I'm playing against top teams. I had a comfortable time playing in front of them today... I think they somehow know which games I'd win. They should come more often. (Laughs)
Key, you're known to be a very bright guy, but recently, you've looked very gloomy. Your fans are worried!
Key: I'm sorry for worrying them. I'll have to fix that.
Sangyoon: A beating stick is a medicine for that problem. He just needs a little beatdown. (Laughs)
Key: I shouldn't be gloomy during games...
Sangyoon: If the game doesn't go his way, Key tends to get gloomy.
Is there a specific moment that you remember from game 1?
Sangyoon: After being pushed around by our opponents, Lava had dealt a considerable amount of damage to KDM when they were attempting a three-man Baron. I came in and stopped them. When I chased and killed Caitlyn, I knew that we'd win.
KDM used the 0-3-2 split push strategy.
Key: We didn't expect them to... We played badly, while they played well. We'll have to go back home and receive feedback regarding it. We've fallen to that type of play way too much.
Sangyoon: I think KDM really prepared for today's match. We've also pulled off those types of play, but I feel like we've been pushed around way too much. We'll have to study it more.
In game 2, the enemy team picked Morgana to counter Thresh. What did you think of when the enemy picked that champion?
Key: Looking at their picks and bans, I knew that they were considering Morgana. After seeing the pick, I decided to not leash for the jungler to take the lane advantage that way. After that, I roamed, and I think that's how the game went in our favor. Morgana is a good pick, but I don't think she was the most optimal one for that game.
I think the trade in level 2 really swayed that game in your favor.
Key: When I landed my Q on Secret, the enemy team used Exhaust on me instead of Ezreal. After seeing that, I thought, "We can burn the enemies' summoner spell here and take the lead."
There were a lot of moments where you guys used the "Skarner ultimate into Thresh lantern" combo. Was it something that was planned ahead of time?
Key: The 1st time it happened -- was completely luck. But from the 2nd time, it was just good teamwork. There were also a lot of moments where SeongHwan died attempting that play, so we'll have to be more careful from now on. (Laughs)
On the 1st time that it happened, Skarner was initiated on by Sejuani.
Sangyoon: He wasn't aiming to make that play, he just threw it to save Skarner. (Laughs)
How about when you hooked Ornn in the botlane?
Key: That part, I did well.
Your next match is against KSV. If you win 2-0, you'll be placed 4th in the standings.
Sangyoon: We've won against KSV before. They also lost today, right? Our original goal was to place 5th, but we've raised it a little bit. We'll prepare well and win.
Any last words for the fans?
Key: The Spring Split is nearing its end. I want to thank all the fans that are cheering for us. We'll make playoffs, so please come at that time, too. Thank you.
* Sangyoon's father was invited to the interview*
You've watched your some win the MVP title! How do you rate his plays today?
Dad: It felt really, really good. In game 2, I knew that he'd win from the start.
What kind of a son is Sangyoon?
Dad: He has my genes, so he's both handsome and good with his words. There's not a single bad thing about him.
If there is one thing that you want Sangyoon to have?
Dad: I want him to take the caster's spot. (Laughs)