The highly anticipated, long-awaited 2019 LCK Spring Finals is finally over.
On the 13th of April, at the Jamshil Sports Complex, SKT T1 once again raised the LCK trophy. Having displayed masterful plays and few to no mistakes, SKT was able to fend off and counter all of Griffin's unorthodox strategies to win the match with a dominating score of 3-0. It had been 2 years since SKT won last, and with this victory, they will once again stand at the top of the LCK and compete at the MSI.
The following is the press-interview of the SKT players and staff.
How do you feel about today's victory?
kkOma: We won because we worked harder, were more desperate, and most importantly, more skillful. I want to thank my players and coaches for their hard work.
Coach Zefa: I want to thank all my players for not having lost their focus during the series.
Khan: I want to begin by thanking my coaches and head coach. I also want to thank my teammates who have worked hard - every day - for this moment.
Clid: I'm very happy with the clean 3-0 victory. I want to thank my teammates and coaches for always having been by my side.
Faker: I expected today's match to be a very close one - but we won 3-0. I'm very happy with today's results, and as the Korean representatives of the 2019 MSI, we'll do our best to perform well at the tournament.
Teddy: I want to thank my coaches and teammates. Nice. Thank you.
Mata: All of us worked hard - the coaches, starting players, and even the subs. All of us worked side-by-side, and I think that's why we were able to take the victory today. I'll do my best to become the best bot lane alongside Teddy.
The enemy team played a number of surprise picks during the series. How did you react?
Zefa: Before the match even began, we were expecting Griffin to play non-ADC champions in the bot lane. We prepared for it, and it worked out.
kkOma: bbq Olivers in the challenger league played that composition when they were on blue-side. That's why we were able to prepare for it so well.
In game 3 of the series, you played Riven as a counter against Sword's Aatrox... and you were solo-killed by him. What went through your mind when you died?
Khan: Riven isn't Aatrox's counter. In addition, Griffin could've picked Sylus instead. Riven is a champion that can fight well against both of them, and that's the reason why we picked her. Although I was solo-killed, it didn't become a detriment to our team, so I didn't concern myself over it and continued to play the game at my own pace.
In game 1, right before destroying Griffin's Nexus, Teddy canceled Chovy's recall with his Ezreal ultimate. Whose idea was that?
Teddy: My top laner was chasing after Chovy, but ended up dying... I made an educated guess and fired the ultimate.
Clid, you seemed to have lost a lot of
Clid: My smites in game 1 definitely could've been better. However, after the game, my coach and teammates came to me and said 'all was well'. Thanks to them, it didn't affect my mentality.
Today, kkOma and Faker won their 7th LCK trophy. Last year, SKT heavily underperformed, so today's victory must've been sweeter than any other. How do you feel about it?
kkOma: The only player remaining from the last year's squad is Faker. Last year was my very first year as SKT's head coach, and I feel that I didn't set the right direction for my players at that time. I want to apologize to the coaches and players that worked under me last year. Due to my incompetence, the team atmosphere was terrible, and the players underperformed. This year, however, the atmosphere was good, and Faker was able to play comfortably without burden. I think that's why he started playing better.
This is my first win as a head coach, and the only thing that I can say is "thank you," to my players and coaches.
Faker: I'm satisfied with the results... but the match ended 3-0. Our victory could've been so much more satisfying had the match gone to a game 5. (Laughs) This is our 7th victory, and it doesn't compare to my very 1st. However, the victory was still very meaningful, as we achieved this victory after a long slump last year.
(To Zefa and Clid) How does it feel winning your first LCK trophy?
Zefa: We really did our best preparing, but it ended a lot easier than we thought. So it feels less as good as I thought I would feel. (Laughs) I did think it’s only the start; we did in spring, but there’s MSI, Rift Rivals, and Summer, and even Worlds. We won’t be satisfied with now and do better to show even better performance.
Clid: It’s my first championship in my pro gaming career and the first championship in Korea. I didn’t think we’ll win 3-0. I think the good results came from the confidence we gained and played through that confidence. I’m very satisfied.
(To Faker) On media day, you said that your performance wasn’t at 100%. How do you think you were today?
Faker: Actually, my performance wasn’t that bad during the playoffs. As for today, I still can’t say it was perfect; I think I can go higher. My teammates’ performance was really good, so I think that made me shine more.
As the head coach, how would you evaluate the team’s performance level?
kkOma: I can’t really say a specific value for the players’ performance. I’ve been saying this from the beginning of the season, these kids are players that have high potential. I want to maintain what they have and raise it more. I guess they are at about 70%. Since there’s MSI, and then Rift Rivals. There’s going to be summer split and then Worlds. I wish the players move like machines playing LoL. (Laughs) Then they might be at 100%.
You’re going to MSI. Any comments regarding the MSI?
Faker: Since someone asked me to pledge something if I win the LCK finals, I said that I’ll win the MSI, so I think I need to keep that pledge. We didn’t reach MSI last year; I’m happy that we’re going again.
kkOma: Korea wasn’t as good in international competitions last year; we’ll go there and regain the honor LCK had. Personally, I think Khan is the one that’s the most determined. We will bring back the champion trophy that belongs to us.
Now that the finals are over, can you share some specific strategies you prepared?
kkOma: The coaching staff prepared a lot more, but since we need to use it, later on, I don’t think we can share it. (Laughs) It’s regretful though because we weren’t able to show them off.
(To Mata) It’s your second consecutive championship. Comparing last year and this year, which championship made you happier?
Mata: (Laughs) Coincident or not, I met Griffin twice and won both times. I’m really happy now, but since I had more hard times last year in KT, and since it was a closer match in 3-2, I think I was happier last year. Still, I think there will be more to be happy about here in SKT.
(To Faker) You’ll meet Rookie, Doinb or Knight at the MSI. If you pick one to play against, who would you pick?
Faker: I’m confident in playing against any player. Last year, the mid laners of the LPL got high evaluations, but I think LCK will be more competitive this year.
The team should have a break now. How are you planning to rest?
kkOma: We were so busy this year that we weren’t even able to go to a workshop. We’ll be giving the players a break. We promised the players that we’ll go on a vacation/workshop abroad if we win the championship. The team office has already booked a place. We’ll probably
Although I said break, we’ll also be preparing for MSI as well. It may be more of a workshop than a vacation. (Laughs)
You told the top laners of the world to kneel before you last year. Anything like that for this year’s MSI?
Khan: I actually wanted to remain