On Sep. 11 and 12, the South Korean national League of Legends team for the Hangzhou Asian Games had exhibition matches. The national team faced Vietnam on the first day and Chinese Taipei on the second day, sweeping both teams. After the match against Chinese Taipei, all of the national members joined the media for an interview.
How were the exhibition games?
Kim “kkOma” Jeong-gyun: It was the first time I played in an exhibition match with so much responsibility, so I was quite nervous and had a lot of thoughts. Now that we’re through with it, it was very meaningful as we gained valuable experience.
Choi “Zeus” Woo-je: It was good since we were able to know what we weren’t able to see in scrims.
Seo “Kanavi” Jin-hyeok: The opponent played better than I thought, and there were some regrets in our play as well. We’ll prepare much more before the Asian Games so that we can show a good performance.
Jeong “Chovy” Ji-hoon: The opponents brought diverse strategies, so it was a big help.
Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok: Thanks to my teammates who did their best in this match, we were able to show a good game. Also, I’m happy to see that so many people are interested in Asian Games esports.
Park “Ruler” Jae-hyuk: I wanted to have more chances to improve my game form, and this was a valuable chance. I believe we’ll be able to do better at the Asian Games through today’s experience.
Ryu “Keria” Min-seok: I’m happy that we were able to play through games we were ahead and games we weren’t. There’s not much time left, but I’ll do my best to get the best results.
Today’s performance was shakier than yesterday. The compositions also seemed unfavorable. What was the intention of the draft in game 2? What are you planning to improve? Why did you fight at the Rift Herald despite the fact that the bot laner didn’t join the fight?
kkOma: It’s the first time we’re playing in such a match, so it would be odd to play according to the original champion tiers. I don’t think this was a situation where we could show everything. We discussed many different compositions using Kai’Sa, Xayah, and many other champions as well. The exhibition matches were good since we were able to see many different comps that we could use for data.
Kanavi: We talked about going for the Rift Herald fight, so we did, but the result wasn’t good.
How did Wolf join as an analyst?
Lee “Wolf” Jae-wan: Since I was streaming, I gave a lot of thought when I was first asked to join as an analyst. I really wanted to help the national team in any way I could, so I accepted. Currently, I mainly discuss the draft or analyze opponent teams’ strengths and weaknesses.
What will your main focus be before the Asian Games?
kkOma: The players have small weaknesses and huge strengths, so I believe we’ll get good results if we improve our teamwork and synergy.
As the Asian Games is held in China, the crowd will be quite one-sided. KeSPA had players adapt to the environment, but the LoL team didn’t. What was the reason?
kkOma: It may vary by player, but we decided that as we wear headsets while we play, the crowd reactions have less effect compared to other games. Also, we also had experience playing in China, so we didn’t think it was necessary.
Faker: As a player, it’s important to adapt to the environment and prepare in advance, but I believe it’s more effective to find how to focus and concentrate in the game individually, so I’ve been thinking more about that.
It’s the first time Faker and Chovy are on the same team. How was it spending time together?
Chovy: Everyone has a lot of experience in living with the team, so there was no problem. Back in my team, I didn’t have anyone to play against when I wanted to practice the mid lane matchup, but since Faker is here, it’s been much easier to list up the champion tiers.
Faker: We’ve competed against each other for quite long, but we’ve become teammates now for this occasion. We’ve been helping each other and have gotten much closer now. To win the gold medal at the Asian Games, we need to help each other and look after each other, so we’ve been doing that.
China is one of the favorites. What do you think about them?
kkOma: Everyone probably thinks similarly — we and China are the favorites. Although we would need to adapt to the environment in Hangzhou, I believe our players are much better, so we can beat them.
Faker: It’s hard to decide how China would play or how their teamwork would be before we play against them. However, I heard that they started training together earlier, and they did win the previous Asian Games. They would be more advantageous in several areas. However, I believe we’re the better team, so winning the gold medal would depend on how hard we work.
Ruler: It’s difficult to predict how good they are, but I think our performance is still veiled as well. If I do everything that I can do, my teammates will do what they can do as well. In that case, I’m sure that we could win.
What was the most important moment in today’s match?
Kanavi: I’m not really satisfied with game 2 since there were many mistakes. The first game was all right. We were able to win game 2 since we captured the moment where they overextended.
Ruler: The draft was easy in game 1. In game 2, it’s difficult to say that we won because we were good.
Do you have any concerns about playing in Hangzhou?
kkOma: Starting from the stage, I’m worried about the small things like the chair or desk height, or adapting to the player dorms. My biggest concern is about the chair and desk. This could be very different when the players play. I’m also worried about the food, but as KeSPA said that they’ll help out, we’ll have to go and see. There are many concerns, but I’m trying to stay positive as there are things that can be improved.
You’ll be starting from the group stage as the team didn’t participate in “Road to Asian Games”. The group stage is in Bo1, and you could meet China in the quarterfinals or semifinals. What do you think about that?
kkOma: Whether it’s the quarters or semis or finals, we will eventually meet them. I simply think they’re a team that we need to beat, and I’m sure that we will beat them.
Kanavi and Zeus seem close. What clicks between you?
Kanavi: In my perspective, the synergy between the top laner and jungler is really important in LoL. I feel that the game often tilts toward one side due to the top-jungle fights. I’ve been trying to get closer to Zeus, but since it hasn’t been that long since we started playing together, we need to practice more.
Zeus: It’s much better than when we first started playing together, but at the same time, we have much more to improve.
What’s your goal heading to the Asian Games?
Faker: It’s the first time esports is a main event in the Asian Games, so it’s really meaningful. I’ll really do my best so that we can beat China and win the gold medal.
Keria: I’ll work hard and maintain a good condition to bring back good results.