The San Francisco Shock was slated to be the best team in the playoffs. After a loss to the Atlanta Reign, they are a rejuvenated squad, handily taking down the London Spitfire and now Los Angeles Gladiators. After their victory against the Gladiators, Hyo-bin "ChoiHyoBin" Choi spoke with Inven Global about the Shock's playoff dominance and his thoughts on the Hangzhou Spark.
After losing to Atlanta, what's going right for the Shock after beating the London Spitfire and LA Gladiators?
I don't think there's anything that's much different. In terms of myself, I feel like I've grown a lot in my game from the Atlanta match.
From growing since the Atlanta match, do you feel like you have a better understanding of the meta and how to use Sigma?
After our loss to Atlanta, I wanted to study and understand how Gator and other players used Sigma. I developed my own style just by watching those players and continue to improve now.
I think especially after our win against London, I was able to gain a lot more confidence in my Sigma play. I feel like I haven't shown my full strength with Sigma yet. I'm going to continue practicing him. Hopefully, my next opponent will bring the best out of me.
In your games against Spitfire and Gladiators, what do you think they've done wrong against your team?
I can't tell what they did wrong. What I can say is that we played really well and came to those games more prepared. We studied them heavily like how those teams played in certain situations, we knew how to play against it.
Do you feel like the team has a good grasp of the meta or are there things all of you need to improve on?
I don't think the meta is stable right now. Because of that, I feel like our team doesn't have a good understanding of it either. Either way, there's not many playoff games left so we have to practice really hard and continue to adapt in the next game.
Your next match is against Hangzhou and they looked really good against Atlanta. What does your team have to do to win against them?
Hangzhou is a pretty decent team but I believe we are a much stronger team. Sinatraa is way better than Bazzi, in terms of mechanical skill. They looked good in these playoffs but there's nothing to be scared about. In every match before we play our opponent, our mindset is to not be distracted of who our opponents are. Instead, we focus on ourselves and making sure we stick to our plans.
Assuming you win against Hangzhou on Saturday, would you rather play New York or Vancouver?
If we do beat Hangzhou, I'd rather play New York. It's not because of who's better or worse, I think it's a better story if it's us versus Vancouver in the grand finals.
One last thing, is there anything you want to say to Hangzhou before your match?
That team especially means a lot to me because my previous head coach and teammates play for Hangzhou. I would like to beat them very convincingly and show them where I am now is a much stronger team than theirs. I think we can beat them 4-0.