SKT has defeated Hanwha Life Esports, maintaining SKT’s hope for a top 2 finish alive. Hanwha Life showed an extensive level of preparation for their match against SKT, claiming victory for the first game with an unexpected Jinx counter against Vayne. However, SKT quickly recovered, methodically dismantling Hanwha Life from start to finish to conclude the series 2-1.
Riot Korea interviewed Kim “Khan” Dong-ha and Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok following the match.
Yesterday, you fell back down to third place [after Sandbox’s victory over KT Rolster]. Was there any pressure on the team and how did you prepare coming into this series?
Khan: Outside of knowing today’s match was an important one, we prepared as we did for all our games. We practiced by focusing on our strengths and reducing our mistakes ingame.
Besides the first game, where your laning phase did not go as planned, were you satisfied with your performance in the next two games?
Khan: Ahh, yes.
Faker, there were moments of struggle in the first game which could have lead to some discussions between your teammates. What kind of feedbacks were there?
Faker: Our team didn’t have priority in the game, meaning our bot lane was struggling throughout the game. For the second and third game, we gave a lot of feedback and adapted.
Ryze was first picked for SKT in the second game’s pick and ban. Was it planned to be played in the top lane?
Khan: Well there were thoughts that it was finally my turn to play Ryze, and with that much faith in me, I felt I had to deliver.
Your[Khan’s] synergy with [Clid’s] Lee Sin was quite notable. Clid stood still to stay hidden from Rek’Sai’s Tremor Sense before ward hopping and flash-kicking. Your acting skills were also quite impressive. What kind of talks were going on between you and Clid?
Khan: I didn’t know that Rek’Sai had no flash, so I got scared and flashed early. After we got the kills, I got asked on why I flashed, and after being told that Rek’Sai had no spell, I said I will pay closer attention in the future.
Who planned the 2v2 in the top lane?
Khan: It started from the fact that I was trading well against Vladimir since it naturally favors Ryze. I then got told by Clid that Rek’Sai might be heading top, which cumulated into advantages in the top lane.
At the end of the second game, SKT did a five-man fountain dive. Was it a sort of a ceremony?
Khan: I thought that the Nexus was going down no matter what, So, I decided to go for a fountain dive because I wanted to pad up our team’s KDA.
Your LeBlanc in the third game was amazing, and your match history with the champion speaks for itself. Do you personally favor LeBlanc as a pick?
Faker: Well, Clid likes LeBlanc a lot [in the mid lane].
So, was LeBlanc a pick for Clid?
Faker: No, nothing like that. When I play champions that Clid dislikes, he tends to be a bit quieter [in coms].
After the first game, your draft has changed quite radically. Was this from the player’s feedback, or was it set up by the coaches?
Faker: The players gave their voice on what kind of picks to play, but the coaches researched and planned the pick and ban late into the night. I think that culminated to the great draft we saw today.
We were able to see Yasuo-Gragas from Hanwha Life. There were thoughts that it would lead to pressure in the mid lane. After the pick and ban, was there any discussion regarding that?
Faker: Yasuo-Gragas as a duo can easily take priority in the mid lane. However, I am quite knowledgable in countering it, so it wasn’t that threatening.
Can you tell us, if possible, just one tip in countering it?
Faker: Just don’t die.
In the river, we saw bonO and Lava following you when you managed to dodge all the skills [from Gragas]. Were you confident you will not be hit?
Faker: Well I played it out by believing in my reaction speed [crowd cheers], I think my distance from Gragas was far enough for me to easily react.
We saw Faker engaging your opponent in a 1v3 while the team was pushing the mid lane. Khan, did you believe in Faker while making those plays?
Khan: There is a very slight gap between trolling and highlight plays. However, Faker is a player quite capable of keeping it close. So, even in a 1v3 situation, we as a team all believed in Faker to pull through.
Your next series is quite a difficult opponent, going against Sandbox Gaming. How will you prepare against them?
Faker: In the first round, we were beaten by Sandbox Gaming. Now, in the second round, we are heading into this knowing the importance of this series, as it could confirm second place finish for us in the regular season. If we lose this, it could make it quite difficult to reach top 2, so we will prepare hard to claim victory in the next match.
There is fierce competition for second and third place right now. In the coms, there was a moment where you angrily shouted “NICE”. Will be able to see ‘Mad Khan’ once more?
Khan: In our series against Sandbox Gaming, I will keep in mind to play more calmly while showing good performance.