*All images via DWG KIA/Screenshot grabs from the Zoom press conference
On April 10, DWG KIA defeated Gen.G in the finals of the 2021 League of Legends Champions Korea Spring Split. With a clean 3-0 sweep, DWG KIA won their fourth consecutive title following the 2020 LCK Summer Split, 2020 World Championship, and 2020 KeSPA Cup. After the finals and brief celebration, the members of DWG KIA gathered for a press conference on Zoom.
ShowMaker: You’re watching the LPL right after you win the finals? You’re a monster, you know that?
Moderator: Who’s watching the LPL?
ShowMaker: Canyon is. He’s analysing the junglers.
Ghost: It’s hot in here. AC please. ‘Ice Age’ [One Piece reference - Ed]
Khan: My seat is right beside the AC, friend.
Ghost: You’re now allowed to get a cold.
Khan: [Laughter] It feels to be a part of the All-LCK first team and receive Finals MVP. [To Ghost] You still have a lot of opportunities. This is my last chance. Ah, this water tastes good.
Moderator: It must suck to not be able to properly celebrate.
Khan: Of course. We can’t have our victory dinner. We’re very strict when it comes to following COVID regulations. We’re not allowed to have gatherings over five people.
DWG KIA, congratulations on the championship victory. You’re the first team to win the LCK championship after franchising has been implemented. How do you all feel?
Khan: It’s a monumental victory for sure, and it feels really good that I etched my name in LoL Esports history. I hope that tonight will be remembered for a long time. I’m grateful.
Canyon: I thought that this series would be a lot closer, but I’m glad that it ended in a 3-0 victory. I’ll need to practice and improve for MSI.
ShowMaker: I’m ecstatic, but it still feels pretty surreal. I want to win MSI and relive the excitement of victory.
Ghost: Due to the marksman meta changing quite a bit throughout the split, I struggled throughout the split. I’m very happy that we eventually won the split, and I want to continue winning.
BeryL: This is our first time becoming Spring split champions, and I feel the timing of it all is on point. I’ll make sure to put on a great performance at MSI in May as well.
kkOma: I like the word, ‘first’ a lot. It feels great to be a part of DWG KIA’s first Spring championship victory, and feels even greater to do it with incredibly gifted players. I want to go to MSI and also take DWG KIA’s first MSI victory.
PoohManDu: It feels great to win the Spring split and go to MSI. I’ll make sure to do well at MSI as well.
(To kkOma) Tonight’s victory marks your 7th championship victory.
kkOma: Isn’t it my 8th time? I’m confused as well. (Laughter) I’m not sure, but I know it’s more than 7. To my knowledge, I think it’s my 9th.
BeryL: When Faker won the split in 2020 without kkOma on his team, it was his 9th championship victory, so tonight’s victory should be your 9th victory.
kkOma: I think that’s how it is as well. It’s not that important (laughter).
Your victories were only when you were on T1. That changed this year with DWG KIA.
kkOma: It’s incredibly hard for players to continue doing well after winning the championship once. Everyone performed very well. I want to give all the credit to the players and want to thank them for spoon-feeding me a championship victory.
(To PoohManDu) You’ve won a lot of championships alongside kkOma. From a coach’s perspective, what kind of a team is DWG KIA?
PoohManDu: Not only are the players very gifted, they also work very hard. They play the game a lot, and watch a ton of replays, so I’m actually the one learning from the players during the feedback sessions. They’re helping me grow.
(To BeryL) In the broadcast interview earlier, when ShowMaker talked about how Canyon should receive the Finals MVP, everyone nodded but you. Did you have another player in mind?
BeryL: In all honesty, I was literally thinking of something else. (Laughter) Everyone was looking at me, so I was like, “What’s going on?”
So it’s not because you dislike Canyon or anything; your mind was on something else.
BeryL: That’s right. I love all my teammates.
(To ShowMaker) What are your thoughts on Khan being named the Finals MVP?
ShowMaker: I personally think it was wrong. I think Canyon should’ve received it (laughter).
Canyon looks a bit uncomfortable. How do you feel about Khan being named the Finals MVP?
Canyon: MVP’s important, but what really matters is winning, so it doesn’t really matter. Khan promised that he’d divide up the MVP prize money as well, so it’s okay. I want to receive all the MVP awards throughout my career, but… I can’t guarantee that I’ll play as well as Khan when I’m his age. It’s not an easy feat.
Does this mean that Khan will be splitting the 5,000,000 KRW prize money?
Khan: I promised that I’ll split it. I’m still left with 1,000,000 KRW after, so it’s good.
Was it the team’s decision?
Khan: No. I’m happy that I was named MVP, and it’s all due to my teammates, so I’m more than glad to share the prize money.
Is there no money being shared for the coaching staff?
Khan: Nope (laughter).
Now that you’re heading to MSI, is there a team/bot laner you want to play against?
Ghost: I want to play against Nuguri and FPX. In terms of bot laners, Viper’s playing really well in the LPL, so I want to play against him.
(To kkOma) I think there’s a lot to talk about in game 2. When the team was behind early on, were you worried? What’s your overall impression of game 2?
kkOma: We were behind, but I was thinking about what we could do in the situations that we were in, as well as what we needed to do better. My mind was focused more on game 3. We were very greedy, so I was watching until the very end on how we need to play the next game, as well as how we could win game 2 as well.
How did you feel when the team came back from a deficit to take the lead?
kkOma: I wasn’t particularly thrilled; as I said, I was focused on how we need to draft in game 3.
During the finals media day, you said that you’ll be able to do anything for the players if the team wins. Have you prepared any gifts for them?
kkOma: I feel that this can’t be result based. The players told me that they don’t really need anything. (Laughter) All jokes aside, if the players want me to do something for them, I’ll wholeheartedly do it.
Is there any player that wants a wish granted by kkOma?
Khan: I’m satisfied with the victory.
Players (in unison): We all want long vacations!
kkOma: I’ll say this right now. I’ll make sure everyone gets as many off days as possible.
Let’s talk about the Sion vs Ornn matchup. In game 1, you built Frostfire Gauntlet into Bramble Vest, but in game 3, you built Frostfire Gauntlet into Stoneplate. Can you tell us more about your itemization choices?
Khan: In terms of game 3, the enemy jungler came top to release the Rift Herald and gained a lot of gold. In that situation, I thought about the item that’ll make me the tankiest, and I chose Aegis of the Legion. In the end, I think the enemy jungler forced me to build that item. Also, I want to take this time to ask Ghost to turn off the AC...
There’s nothing harder than to watch the enemy laner scale faster. What are some things that you were wary of when playing against Ruler?
Ghost: I was in a huge deficit against him in game 2, so although I was struggling, we constantly talked about how we can come back from it. We talked about how we can kill him if we can make him burn his flash, and we made it happen. I think that’s what we talked about the most.
After that one teamfight in game 2, only the bot laners survived. Can you tell us what the team talked about during then?
Ghost: It was a fun little situation, but I didn’t really get a good look at Tristana. My teammates told me to run, so I did, but then I realized that Tristana was really low. I think I could’ve chased her down, so our team’s calls… is a little disappointing (laughter).
Game 2 was difficult. What was your intention during the draft?
kkOma: For Renekton, since ShowMaker could play any champion and our top-mid champion pool was wide, I intended swapping the champions. The composition was focused towards mid-jungle priority. There were some unexpected situations, but I think the players did well.
Your comment at the end of game 2 was memorable. What went through your mind?
Khan: Game 2 was one of my worst performances ever as a pro player. But we won. I wanted to express my gratitude towards my teammates. I even got the finals MVP at the end. I’m benefitting so much because of my great teammates. I thought how I would be able to repay them, and my conclusion is that I should play better so they could play more comfortably. I’ll do my best so that I could do well until the end.
There was some trashtalk before the finals. What did you think after hearing what Rascal said?
Khan: There are people who are good at trashtalk and people that aren’t. When I heard what Rascal said, I thought he was cute. I’m an expert in that area.
(To BeryL) In game 3, you greeted Ruler by using Exhaust on him as soon as you met him. What effect did that have on the game?
BeryL: After winning game 2, I thought they would feel pressured, so I shouted “Who wants to invade?” as soon as the game started. No one responded, so I just ran in alone. Ruler was just standing there, so I used Q and used Exhaust on him, and Ruler jumped away. He wasn’t able to touch the waves until the third, so I think it was quite effective.
(To Khan) You said that you were thinking about retiring, but you joined DWG KIA because kkOma persuaded you. You’ve won the championship and was voted as the Finals MVP. Are you happy that you’ve postponed your retirement?
Khan: Of course. As I said in the interview after the finals, I’m thankful to the coaching staff, our CEO, and players, everyone for letting me have such a great chance near the end of my career. There’s still more left on our schedule, so I’ll make sure that I keep my form to the end — I think I would need to show even better performance than now.
How was playing against Ruler in game 2?
Ghost: I made a mistake in trading early in that game, so the item difference gap was really big. It was really hard. Ruler is a player who I think is a very good player. I just worried about how I could do well in that situation.
Ruler was voted as the bot laner of the All-LCK First Team. Didn’t you want to be included in the first team?
Ghost: It’s a great honor if I get it, but my first priority is winning the championship. Getting voted on the first team is something on the side. If I were to pick one, I’d pick winning the championship all the time.
(To ShowMaker) There was a period where you struggled after losing. How did you overcome that?
ShowMaker: As a professional player, I am obliged to overcome it.
How’s your wrist? Can we look forward to your performance at MSI?
ShowMaker: It’s a lot better now and there’s no inconvenience in daily life. I’ll do well at the MSI.
Who is kkOma’s finals MVP pick? Including the coaching staff.
kkOma: Do I have to choose only one? [Laughs] That’s a cruel question. I would pick… I’ll pick BeryL. Although he may look careless or blunt on the outside, he always thinks of all the situations. I think he’s completely different from how he appears. If I could pick multiple players… No, never mind. My MVP would be BeryL.
BeryL, what do you think about kkOma’s evaluation?
BeryL: I really live without thinking. I’m thankful that he picked me. [Laughs]
You’re headed to the MSI as the representatives of the LCK. Which teams or players do you want to meet there?
Khan: Since FPX has a chance to make it, I wish they reach the MSI. I was there last year and while I was there, my teammates helped me a lot so I miss them. I hope they do well in the LPL and lose to us in the MSI.
Canyon: I also want to meet FPX. Nuguri is there. Nuguri cheered for me before the finals, so I think that’s why our finals went well. I’d like to meet them and have an exciting match.
ShowMaker: I also want to meet FPX.
Ghost: Me too.
BeryL: There aren’t any teams in particular that I want to meet.
When Riot announced that MSI will be held in Iceland, did you look it up?
BeryL: All that matters for me is if the wifi works properly, so I didn’t look it up.
How about you, PoohManDu? Who do you want to meet?
PoohManDu: I want to meet Hans Sama of Rogue.
kkOma: I didn’t think about any team that I want to meet at the MSI.
The LCK is grouped with the LCS, LJL, and LLA. How do you evaluate LCS?
kkOma: We didn’t know if we would win today, so MSI was something to worry about later. I didn’t think much about it. About the LCS, I think the LCS is somewhat weaker than the other major regions.
Khan and ShowMaker reacted promptly to Rascal’s Teleport. What’s your secret to having such good syerngy?
Khan: Looking back at that moment, we were pushing the first turret in top lane. The opponent could have teleported behind us and that was the most dangerous situation for us. We were thinking about what to beware of when we were pushing. The moment they teleported, we all checked it and said that we should kill Ornn first. Checking all variables in advance and talking about how we would react was very effective.
ShowMaker: Actually, I was just laning and teleported because they told me to. I don’t really remember. I think our team is really good. [Laughs] I was busy concentrating on laning.
Canyon is always so humble. You’ve been considered the best jungler in the world, and some evaluate you as the best jungler ever. Don’t you want to say that you’re the best?
Canyon: Not really. I just want our team results to be good.
How will you send your vacations? What are your plans?
kkOma: I want to give them the longest vacation possible. My plans for my vacation… Today’s my wife’s birthday, but I wasn’t able to do anything for her. I think I need to give her my 100% during my vacation.
PoohManDu: I think I’ll go back home and spend time with my family. And I’ll also be watching other leagues to see which teams make it to the MSI.
Khan: I can’t travel anywhere because of COVID-19. So I think I’ll enjoy my vacation at home, playing games or watching variety shows. But since we still have more tournaments to play in, I’ll just rest for 3-4 days and get back to LoL.
Canyon: I think I’ll be playing top lane in solo queue.
Are you going to play LoL during your vacation?
Canyon: There are TV shows that I’ve missed, so I’ll be watching them while I play solo queue… I kind of want to play top lane, so I want to try it out.
ShowMaker: I’ll be heading home immediately and rest the best I could without playing any LoL. There’s something I promised with the fans — I’ll play a horror game on stream and be terrified, and then have quality rest.
Ghost: I’ll be resting a bit to recover my exhausted self. After that, since we still have the MSI coming up, I’ll start preparing.
BeryL: I think I’ll go home, turn on my stream, and play a different game.
Last thank you to the fans that cheered for you during the spring split?
kkOma: I had said that if the fans cheer for DWG KIA until the end, I’ll make them smile. I’m happy that I was able to keep my promise. There are more competitions coming up, and if you keep cheering for us to the end, we’ll show great performances. Thank you.
BeryL: Thank you to the many fans that cheered for us. Thank you for sending us “drops” on Ghost’s and my birthday, for sending all our teammates “drops”. DWG KIA will keep showing good performances by doing our best. Thank you.
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