HLE Viper: "The more we prepare for the playoffs, the more it feels that we’re improving."


In the 2023 LCK Spring Split playoffs, Hanwha Life Esports defeated Dplus KIA 3-1 and advanced to the second round. Despite the unfavorable predictions, Hanwha Life Esports were able to pull through to collect three wins first. They will face Gen.G in the next round. After their win, bot laner Park “Viper” Do-hyeon joined Inven for an interview. 



All of the LCK casters and analysts predicted Dplus KIA to win, but you won. How do you feel?


When we met Dplus KIA during the regular season, we lost helplessly, but I thought we had a chance in those games as well, so I knew we had a chance to win. I’m not too surprised that we won. I predicted we’d win 3-1 before the match, and we did.


Did your teammates also have the same thoughts?


We didn’t really talk about it. We just spoke about how we should play. Still, we were all confident.


The winning plans were rather limited for Hanwha Life Esports during the regular season. Did you find more ways?


What we showed today was what we practiced over the season. It wasn’t a new style at all. It’s just that there were complex situations where things didn’t go as planned.


Hanwha Life Esports seems to be living up to the nickname, ‘big game hunter’. Are there any players that are different now that you’re in the playoffs?


We have great communication in-game. Kingen and Zeka always did well, and they prove themselves when they have the chance. I don’t think they perform better in bigger matches — they’re simply great players.


You had a big win from the first dragon in game 1. How were the shotcalls?


When I returned to the lane, I realized that the opponent was working the dragon. I thought we had the upper hand in teamfights, and they didn’t react properly, so we were able to have a big win. Wukong is usually slow when working the dragon, and Varus is slow in taking down turrets. Those were the keys to our opening.


Lucian-Sona vs. Draven-Nami appeared before as well. What was the matchup you wanted?


Draven is good when he gets kills. He isn’t that good when the KDA is 0/0/0. I didn’t think they would pull out a composition where all lanes are extremely strong. We had a few chances to turn the game around during the laning phase or in teamfights, but we missed out and lost.


What did you discuss after game 2?


Since we had side selection in the next game, we talked about how we could play on the blue side to gain priority.


In game 3, you turned the game around by cutting off Deft, who scaled well. What did you talk about then?


Throughout the series, it felt like Canyon was lurking behind the bot lane. After the bot lane matchup, we talked about how we could turn it around in teamfights. We were able to cut Deft off well since Zeka went at him. We had better positioning in the last teamfight, so we were able to win.


Your next match will be against Gen.G. How do you think it’ll go?


It won’t be easy, and I believe it will be a long game. Like today, I believe the team who maintains their concentration to the end will win.


How do you think the matchup against rookie bot laner Peyz will go?


Gen.G often drafts a bot duo that is strong in the late game. I can’t really predict how it’ll go. Whoever is in better condition will gain priority. The Lucian vs. Zeri matchup usually didn’t go by how the players’ conditions are, but I think it’ll be that way in the second round of the playoffs.


Fans are looking forward to you facing Chovy as well. How does it feel to meet as enemies?


It’s the first time I’m meeting him in the LCK playoffs. Honestly, I think our team is better, so I’ll face him well.


Any last comments?


The more we prepare for the playoffs, the more it feels that we’re improving. We’ll do well in our next match too. Please cheer for us until the end.

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