After the first glimpse of hope for North American and Team Liquid fans, Team Liquid’s support player Kim "Olleh" Joo-sung took the time to talk with us about the team morale after the first two days and the change of pace coming into the 3rd day of competition.
DrPuppet: So Olleh, what is going on with Team Liquid? I mean you did better today, had a winning lane matchup in the first game and you seemed more confident in general. But now in the game against Kingzone, you got counter-picked pretty hard with the Kalista Tahm Kench bot lane. So I want to talk about the game against RNG first, where you had the winning bot lane matchup, how much did it change for you and Doublelift?
Olleh: So after the first two days our team morale was very down, but after I took a break for one game, I was able to see a lot of the problems we have as a team. So I did like a coaching job before. So when I was playing on stage I was too focused on my play and less focused on team play. So after that, I could focus more on our team play for an example to see what we can do in-game, what we can sacrifice up to having a better pick and ban phase. So I was really confused at first since a lot of people played Soraka or a lot of different stuff, but I think our pick and ban phase is better now.
This is one of the things I actually wanted to talk about. Then one of the things I noticed is that Team Liquid continued to pick like you would draft in North America, which is very mid-game oriented. This worked out for you in North America, but when I talked to other player's here at MSI they mentioned we cannot undervalue lane matchups because the player’s levels at this event are extremely high, that you have to think about lane matchups a lot. Was this one of the reasons we saw the Caitlyn Morgana bot lane and the general change in the draft from Team Liquid today?
On the first day we played Tahm, on the second one, we played Braum and I thought myself why. Everybody was playing for the lane, why were we the only ones playing for mid game. So today I said we should maybe play a strong support and I was confident in Morgana against Rakan and we played that way.
And then you guys carried, right?
One of the things I was feeling while watching Team Liquid play, was that you weren't a bad team, but you weren't able to play to your strengths because you would get behind in the early game. Do you think this was the main problem for Team Liquid?
We played really well in scrims. We beat a lot of teams in scrims and were very confident. When we play on stage our communication is not the same. Despite every player already have played worlds before, as a team, we are new to the international stage. I think our biggest problem is that we are new as a team.
So do you think there are other issues outside in-game problems because if you are doing well in scrims, does it also mean you are very confident together as a team?
I talk more in scrims.
So are you being a little bit nervous while playing on stage?
I think so, actually I don't know for sure, I don't know.
Olleh why are you nervous at all?
I don't know, really. Maybe it is the pressure, I really have no idea. But as I said I was too tolerant and too focused on myself and now I look at the game as a team again.
So all you needed to feel more confident was to take a step back and look at the big picture, was this the reason you asked Joey to play one game?
I still have some questions about the last game, more so about the Kalista pick. Where do you think it came from? Since in that game the Kalista could simply out pressure Doublelift's Kog'ma which lead to them having pressure in all three lanes in the early game. Do you think this was the biggest problem against Kingzone or what was the biggest problem for you as a team?
Actually, I said we have to ban Kalista.
Yes, maybe you can check the mic check. As a team, we ended up deciding not to ban it, because everyone thought there were other more important priorities to ban. I just think Tahm Kench was a really good pick against Kog'ma and you can punish the movement very well. The Kalista was very good against Braum and you can easily dodge the Q spell. Then Tahm Kench beats Braum in the lane and Kalista beats Kog'ma in the lane when the W is on cooldown. It was a very hard lane for us to play.
Where do you think the Kalista pick came from, from a meta perspective? It feels that from day 1 to day 3 of the tournament picks have changed so much and we went from a siege oriented to a team fight oriented meta really fast, what do you think happened?
So if you take a look at this game and you look at our team, this is a team fight composition. While Kingzone composition just plays for macro. Ornn for an example is really good to punish Tahm Kench lack of mobility, but Kalista can save Tahm Kench and then Tahm Kench can save Kalista. So our engages will be useless so they will be able to play around the side lanes or when we are setting up the side lanes Tahm Kench can ult and respond to our movement. It is crazy. So when we tried to go mid and fight Tahm Kench and Kalista they would save each other, so we were like “what can we do?”
So after the draft, the team was standing there thinking how you could you possibly win this game and you didn't find a solution.
I think we were just focused on scaling better than to group as a five and fight. Since we could fight with the Kog'ma, so our call was let's farm, let's go late game. Their macro was just too good, we couldn't really turn the game around.
Any message to your fans Olleh?
Even though we lost today, I feel great because I believe our team is getting better. I can't promise you we will go 2:0 every day but I promise we will show a better performance.