On Jan. 28, in the 2023 LCK Spring Split, the two undefeated teams of the LCK, T1 and Dplus KIA, faced each other. As the two favorites clashed, the match was full of excitement. T1 and Dplus KIA each took a game, but T1 was victorious in the end, as they pulled out Kalista support from their sleeve. After the win, head coach Bae “Bengi” Seong-woong and Lee “Gumayusi” Min-hyeong joined the media for a post-match interview.
How do you feel about today’s win?
Bengi: Since Dplus KIA is a good team, we prepared a lot. Although we lost the first game, I’m happy that we won by winning the following two games. There was a lot to take away from today’s game.
Gumayusi: I was mad because we lost game 1, but I’m happy that we won games 2 and 3. I think it was an interesting match since they’re a good team and the games were close.
You said there was much to take away from today’s game. What are they?
Bengi: Dplus KIA didn’t have any losses up to now, and they had a good flow. It’s very positive that we beat them and rose to 1st place. The games were close enough for anyone to win. We had a bit better concentration in those games, and since our performance was good, there was a lot to take away.
T1 has been playing ADC champions for the support role. As the bot laner, having Kalista as your support could be uncomfortable. How was it?
Gumayusi: The bot duo is one body. We don’t pick those champions simply because Keria wants to play it. We practice those champions together and decide they’re good. Kalista today, and Caitlyn support in the last game seemed good, so we all agreed that we should play it. Since we're the only team that can play Caitlyn or Kalista support, it’s a big advantage for us in the draft.
Do you think you proved the Kalista support pick? Is there more to show?
Gumayusi: We can pressure the opponent in the early game laning phase with Kalista support, but we got ganked by Graves at Lv. 2, so it wasn’t good enough. Still, we utilized Kalista’s ult well, and since we got a 2v2 kill as well, I think we showed about 50% of its ability.
Looking back at today’s game, some plays seemed impatient, such as the Baron steal, or dying in the opponent’s base. What did you lack in today’s game?
Bengi: The biggest mistake was the Baron steal. Our play lacked some details, such as marking the opponent champion. Since Dplus KIA is a good team, our plays were sometimes anxious.
Gumayusi: There were a few mistakes because we hurried too much. Dplus KIA is a great team, so they often take advantage of those mistakes.
Gumayusi said that Keria’s diverse ADC support picks are ones that only T1 can use. Keria has played Ashe, Caitlyn, and Kalista. As a bot laner, how do you evaluate Keria’s ability to play ADCs?
Gumayusi: Keria often plays other roles in solo queue, and he’s good at them, but there’s a difference in playing ADCs as a bot laner and as a support. He’s good at those champions, but I think he might not be that good if he plays them as a bot laner.
The first two games were Lucian-Nami vs. Zeri-Yuumi. It was the same matchup, but you changed runes and spells. What was the reason?
Gumayusi: In game 1, they picked Gnar and Taliyah. Since they have CCs, I chose Cleanse, but after losing game 1, I was slightly irritated. [Laughs] I wanted to pressure with more force in game 2, so I chose Ignite and Biscuits. I think it turned out alright.
T1 is going with nearly the same roster for three years. What more is left to improve?
Bengi: Making impatient plays was a flaw we showed in previous games as well. For us to consistently show top-notch performances, we need to fix that. I think it’ll be important to improve that before we have to play in big games.
Gumayusi: I think how hard we work individually is important. As a team, we shouldn’t get too excited. When we do, we get impatient and make mistakes. We need to be careful of that.
You beat Gen.G and Dplus KIA. Which teams are you looking out for the most in the remaining games?
Bengi: I would say Hanwha Life Esports, which is our next match. Although they aren’t having that good results, they’re great players. They can rise back up at any time.
Gumayusi: I also choose Hanwha Life Esports, and Liiv SANDBOX. I’m looking out for Hanwha Life Esports a bit more. As for Liiv SANDBOX, they have a good flow. I believe young players have good potential, and in the current state, it seems the young players of Liiv SANDBOX are about to take off.
(To Gumayusi) You’ve been more active on social media recently. Is there a reason?
Gumayusi: It’s nothing special. I just wanted to communicate more with the fans and tell them my stories.
Any last comments?
Gumayusi: We’re on a 4-game winning streak. [Laughs] I think we’ll be able to continue this good flow for a while. Going undefeated through the season again might be great, but that’s not important. Even if we don’t win all the games, I’ll work hard to make sure that we win the championship. Thank you to the fans who always cheer for us.
Bengi: I’d also like to thank the fans that cheer for us. I’d like to show good performances for you. We’ll work hard to show the best performance we can in the remaining season.