With 5 days to go for the 2019 LCK Summer Split finals, Griffin, who ended up 1st in the regular season, and SK Telecom T1, who reached the finals by taking teams down one by one, met up for a media day.
SKT had a bad start early in the season, falling in a 5-game losing streak, and tumbling down to 9th place. However, following their losing streak, they became nearly unstoppable. At the start of the postseason, SKT took down Afreeca Freecs, SANDBOX Gaming, and DAMWON Gaming to reach the finals, and secure a spot at the 2019 LoL World Championship.
With their current flow, head coach Kim "kkOma" Jeong-kyun, top laner Kim "Khan" Dong-ha, and captain Lee "Faker" Sang-hyeok answered questions with confidence. Let's have a look at what the members of SKT T1 have in mind going into the finals.
How will you be aiming to play in the finals?
kkOma: We struggled a lot getting here; we’ll be cautious until the end and I’ll do my best to win the championship.
Faker: It wasn’t easy getting to the finals this summer. I’ll make sure we get good results at the finals.
Khan: There were a lot of ups and downs during the summer, but we proved that we have the strength to get here. I’d like to add another LCK championship to my career.
In terms of making the finals more interesting, what score do you predict?
kkOma: Currently, I think we’ll win 3-1.
Faker: We’ll never know until we play, but I think 3-1 or 3-2 if we prepare well.
(To kkOma) You predicted 3-1. What’s the reason?
kkOma: If Griffin prepared a joker pick or a very unique strategy, I think we may give up a set. After we see it, we would be able to deal with it and come back 3-1.
What do you think the strengths of your opponent are?
kkOma: Griffin’s strength is that all lanes are balanced well. The five players move as one according to their composition. However, we’re stronger in laning and macro; I believe we’ll win. We won’t be careless though. Even if we won 3-0 in both playoffs and semis, if we’re careless, we can always lose 0-3. We’ll be preparing earnestly.
Both teams have qualified for Worlds. Do you think it will affect the finals?
kkOma: What has the most motivation is that things being written in our career. Going straight to Worlds is good, but adding another championship to the career is a big motivation. It’s not easy to get up here. You don’t have to worry that preparation for the finals might lack because we’ve already qualified for Worlds. When we won the championship in spring, it was our 7th. It was like lucky 7, but now I’d like to have that number 8.
Faker has been to many finals. What does this finals, in particular, mean to you?
Faker: I’m aiming for the 8th LCK championship. Although this time, it’s not directly related to Worlds, but being in the finals is always a precious experience to me. I feel no different from the spring finals.
What are Griffin’s strengths?
Faker: They’re a team that has good basic fundamentals. They think a lot about team play, so rather than one person, I’ll need to look out for all five players with their movements as a team.
Faker’s performance was amazing in the playoffs. Do you feel it yourself? Can we expect the same in the finals?
Faker: The results were good, but there still were regrets. In the short time we have left, I’ll prepare a lot. Many people tell me that my performance during the postseason was amazing; I’m very thankful, but I feel that I still have areas to improve in.
At what percent is SKT’s synergy at?
kkOma: I think about 70-80%. We need to maintain and improve more.
Which lane and which game do you think is the most important?
kkOma: All lanes are important, but I think the lane that has the most leverage is the mid-jungle. I think we’re stronger in that matter, and even if they trip, other lanes will do well. In terms of which game; I don’t prioritize any game over another. Even if we were to lose a game, we just need to win the other games. Even if we lose twice, we’ll win three times for the win.
Faker has played many seasons with many different teammates. How are your teammates this season?
Faker: I’d like to give this season’s teammates an 8 out of 10, because we were shaky for a while. To get 10 out of 10, we need to win everything, but we missed one. Obviously, I’m rating this just for fun. We all worked hard to get here. If we do as we did for the remaining year, it’ll go well.
Faker says 8. What do you think, Khan?
Khan: I also thought 8 because we didn’t win MSI. Still, we won Spring, and now we have two big things remaining. For now, I agree with the 8.
What is the main point to watch in the finals?
kkOma: Many people should be curious about what we’re to do with Yuumi. Keeping that in mind for Game 1 would be fun. Griffin has been 2nd in two straight finals; we’ll let them keep their ‘runner-up’ title.
Do you pledge to do anything if you win the championship?
kkOma: After winning Spring, we did what I pledged to do, but the results in MSI weren’t that good. I’ll talk about it when it comes to mind; for now, I’ll say that I’ll do whatever the players want.