On the 19th, at the Seoul OGN eStadium, the 2nd day of the 2018 LCK Summer Promotions took place. The series was a winner's match between Griffin and MVP, and with a score of 3-1, Griffin successfully acquired their spot in the LCK. At a press interview after the match, the team's support player who showed consistent performance in all three winning matches, Lehends, and the team's head coach, cvMax, claimed that they will "continue to improve until we meet everyone's expectations." Coach cvMax also explained why they often opted into picking aggressive team compositions.
The following is the interview with both Lehends and head coach cvMax.
You made it in! How do you feel?
cvMax: I'm extremely happy. But to be honest, this is just the beginning for us... rather than just feeling happy, my head is packed with thoughts on how we'll come to achieve our future goals.
Lehends: It's been a while since I've played in a promotions match. I was very nervous while playing today, and I really wanted to win today. I want to thank my teammates and the coaching staff for having believed in me.
(To cvMax) You went back to being a streamer -- right before once again joining the competitive scene.
cvMax: I was always confident in my ability to read and analyze the game. However, with time, I felt that my mechanics were deteriorating. Then one day, I thought that "it would be great to have other players as my hands and feet." From there, I quit streaming and came back to the esports scene.
Why did you guys repeatedly pick Kai'Sa?
Lehends: I don't think there are too many ADC players who are actually above Viper in terms of skill. And to be honest, we often practiced the scenario of giving Kai'Sa over to the enemy team and finding ways to counter it during scrims. But after witnessing the Spring Finals, we steered more towards taking the pick ourselves.
cvMax: We came in today with a pick and ban strategy of handing Kai'Sa over to the enemy team and cornering them with a special composition that we had prepared beforehand. During the actual match, however, we constantly attempted to bait them, trying to force the enemy team into picking Kai'Sa... but they didn't.
Which LCK team do you want to play against the most?
Lehends: I really want to take a game off of Kingzone DragonX. They're the best team, so I want to win against them, no matter what it takes. In addition, I want to lane against the KSV botlane duo. They're actually good friends of mine, and they're also very good.
cvMax: I honestly just want to play against every team. And although I'm excited to play against every "top" team in the league, none of them really comes close to just how much I want to play against KZ.
It had been a good while since you guys lost a game.
cvMax: Watching the process of my team being broken apart in game 1 was definitely heartbreaking. But strangely, I became more clear-minded when our Nexus blew up. The feedback that I needed to give the players popped right into my head. That's how I was able to enter the booth right away for quick feedback.
Are you pressured by the fans' high expectations of you and your team?
cvMax: I can definitely tell that they have high expectations of us. But in a way, we're a brand new team -- we're basically the youngest in the pack, so we should be receiving compliments for having come this far. Once in a while, we received harsh criticism from some fans, but that criticism whipped us into shape and gave us the mindset that "we shouldn't disappoint anyone."
What led you guys to picking Talon?
cvMax: Both 'Rather' and I had similar opinions regarding that champion, despite not having discussed with him prior to the match. I truly believed that Talon has everything that a midlane champion needs. As long as you don't fall face flat during the laning phase, Talon is a champion that can always do well in any given situation. Unlike the other assassin champions that lose a significant chunk of their effectiveness when having screwed up during the laning phase, Talon can still hold his own.
Griffin often opts into playing aggressive team compositions.
cvMax: In regards to 'picks and bans', I make sure to quadrate the opinions and mindset of both the players and coaches a few days before a tournament match. We create a number of pick and ban strategies during the process and put it to use during the match. I guess you can say that it's kind of similar to "programming." And during that process, our aggressive tendencies are seasoned in.
And personally speaking, I think it's much better to lose after having been in the lead than to win a match by simply capitalizing on an enemies' mistake. Having this mindset, it naturally made us prefer a more aggressive style of play and 'picks and bans'.
What must you and your team refine before entering LCK Summer?
cvMax: I'd really like for my players to more accurately pull off the initial plan that we form during picks and bans. I think it's essential to establish such a system.
(To Lehends) It has been a long time since you've played on the LCK stage. It must've felt amazing.
Lehends: Today was a very difficult day. I was also very stressed at myself for having played badly. I now have new homework that I'll need to work on -- something I found out by playing today.
Any last words?
Lehends: I'm really thankful for all the fans that are cheering for us. A lot of you guys have high expectations of us, but personally, it doesn't feel like a burden or a form of pressure. I'll do my best to improve.
cvMax: The pace of our improvement is very fast, and we're still improving. And because of that, you may notice novice mistakes that we make here and there, but please understand that we're still a growing team. You guys have shown massive interest in our team, so we'll do our best to continue to improve and become an amazing team.