On the 12th, Team Liquid took down DAMWON Gaming in day 1 of the group stages in the 2019 LoL World Championship. In a group where many predict that there’s no real favorites to move onto the next round of the tournament, Team Liquid proved that with their victory over DAMWON, NA isn’t a region to be overlooked.
Bang, Inven Global’s special correspondent had a chance to chat with the top laner for TL, Jung ‘Impact’ Eon-yeong backstage, and talked about the victory.
Congratulations on your victory. How do you feel?
We didn’t have the cleanest victory, but we fought well and won, so I think we’ve put on a good performance.
When you mention good performance, are you talking about your own performance? Or your team in general?
Our macro was pretty good, and honestly, I carried that game.
How did you prepare for your match against DAMWON? They made it from the play-in stages, so did you watch their games? Also, Nuguri showed proficiency on Vladimir, but you left it open, so what happened?
I knew I would play well against Vladimir. Since Vladimir has a weak early game, I told the team to leave it open and will deal with him on my own. I’ve prepared many champions that are good against him 1 vs 1, but they banned Kled, so I was like “Oh, no. they banned Kled. What do I do now?” Then I thought that Aatrox would do well into Vladimir, so I played him. I’ve also prepared other champions, but since Aatrox was a good fit into our team comp, it turned out well.
You’ve even solo killed him and had a fantastic performance. Were you expecting to solo kill him? How’d that come to be?
To be honest, I was just in the tribush, and when he walked up to it, I was like “Is this guy crazy?” I thought he’d be coming around the bush, but since it was Nuguri, I just took the fight to him. Frankly speaking, I didn’t even know it was a solo kill. I thought my team got assists from it, so I was a little annoyed that it wasn’t a solo kill.
You’ve defeated DAMWON today, but in my opinion, it’s one of the groups that’s really hard to predict which team will move onto the next rounds of the tournament. How will your preparation look like for your next game?
What I’ve learned from watching the games is that every team does well from early to mid game. I think all teams will do well into each other. It’s not like SKT, where they’ll just snowball the game right from the get-go. While we were watching the games, I thought that as long as we teamfight and macro well, we can definitely win. While we focus on those aspects, we should never lose lane.
Last year, Team Liquid didn’t exactly have the best international performance. However, this year, not only are you guys consecutive LCS champions, and also at MSI, you guys came in 2nd place. Your team is constantly improving, so what’s the biggest influence in such a process?
For me, last year’s Worlds had a great impact on me. I thought to myself, “I can go 50/50 in lane, but can I not make plays?” I also thought that I couldn’t carry games, so I became more proactive, and I tried to make plays whenever I felt like it. While I’ve died and got solo killed numerous times in scrims, I also learned a lot in the process and figured out what to do. Since then, I’ve pushed myself to become better, and the result is what it was like today.
How would you rate NA as a region? You can talk about your team, or NA, as a region.
We’ll see how things go. Since we’re only in round 1, it’s hard to tell, but we can definitely take wins off any region. Every team is beatable, but I think NA teams are losing due to the lack of focus in the mid-late game. Or from drafts, whether it’s a flex pick or mastery over certain champions. While lack of teamwork can exist in certain teams, I don’t think it’s usually about that at all. NA has their own strengths.
What are some of NA’s strengths?
We’re good at grouping as 5.
Really? It’s different from how I see it, but okay (laughter). Lastly, can you say something to your fans?
We’ve had a good start to this tournament, so I think that’s good. I hope to ride this momentum to continue to produce great results.