On the 9th of April, Riot Korea held a press conference leading up to the 2019 LCK spring split finals. The two LCK finalists, Griffin and SK Telecom T1, sat down at LoL Park to express their thoughts and resolutions leading up to the final.
The following is part two of the press conference with Griffin and SKT. Part one can be found here.
cvMax, at the beginning of the split you said in an interview that you plan to increase the overall quality of performance in the LCK. Now that the spring split is drawing to a close, are you satisfied with the result? Do you believe that you have achieved this goal?
cvMax: I believe that all the teams in the LCK are brothers. Last year, we learnt a lot from the other LCK teams. We absorbed the lessons we took from the LCK and created the Griffin style that you see now. Because our playstyle is condensed knowledge from the LCK, if we show good performance would that not be a good influence for league overall? I do think the quality of the LCK has improved.
Faker, it does seem that your performance is on an upward trend. What is the reason behind it?
Faker: I’m grateful that people have been telling me my form has increased. However, I think my performance is just inconsistent and has been dependent on the meta changes. I think I’ll have to work hard to increase my performance. I don’t think my performance is great compared to my old days. I think I’m currently at 70% to 80%. I think I can increase my current performance by an extra 30% to 40% by the finals.
Viper and Faker, if you win the finals, you will be progressing to MSI. Do you also have some resolutions around this?
Faker: We were not able to go to MSI last year. Also, the LCK was not able to win MSI. As a member of this region, I am regretful, so I would like to make it right. Also, last year was the first time for SKT as a team failed to make it to the international events. Because of this, I want to go to international events even more.
Viper: Last year, we lost the LCK finals and were not able to qualify for the Worlds as a result. I was extremely regretful about that. Now, a good opportunity has once again been offered to us. I’d like to grab this opportunity and represent the LCK well at MSI.
We’d like to ask the coaches of each team, do you have any player in your team that you are relying on or a player that really has to make a difference in the finals?
kkOma: I usually don’t point my finger to a particular lane, but because this is a big stage, I’d like our mid and jungle to really step up. Faker, in particular, is a player who performs better the bigger a stage it is. So I have high hopes on Faker.
cvMax: Every single lane in SKT is powerful. If we fall behind even in one lane, we start leaking as a team, the snowball will start and the whole game will crumble. Therefore, no single lane is allowed to underperform. Every lane has to do well if we are to defeat SKT.
SKT has won the second round of playoffs with a 3-0 match score and will have a few tricks left in their sleeves. As for Griffin, the team had two weeks of preparation leading up to the match. Both teams might bring pocket strategies to the table.
cvMax: Define a “pocket strategy”. Everyone will have a different idea of what a pocket pick, a surprise pick is. There is nothing in League of Legends that can truly be unpredictable. I think the match will be more normal than you think. We will pursue the same thing we always have – To do our very best to win the game within our capacity.
kkOma: The coaching staff is researching to find new pocket picks. Our players also have a large champion pool. I think it’s very possible to see a pocket pick from our side.
Hecarim top has been making frequent appearances in other regions. cvMax – You were known as a Hecarim main back in the day – will you be a bad influence on Sword and make him play Hecarim?
cvMax: Right now, I don’t think Hecarim is a bad pick at all. Hecarim is a good pick. Disregarding my personal attachment to the champion, I do believe that he can be a good pick if the variables within the game align. I’d like to draft him if there is an opportunity.
In other leagues, teams have been utilizing a non-marksman bot lane. Comparatively, the LCK has always rated the traditional marksman champions highly and drafted them often. What are your thoughts on this, heading into the match?
cvMax: Our AD carry, Viper, has always been known for his champion pool. He would often utilize non-marksman champions. We are always open to utilizing non-marksman champions at the bot lane as long as it helps us win. If an AD carry is more suited for the given situation, we will use an AD carry. It will be a situation-dependent thing.
Viper: I only watch the LCK and the LPL, and I am not familiar with this trend in other regions. In the LPL, Kai’Sa and Vayne are prioritized and frequently utilized in the bot lane. The way that LPL uses these two champions has been piquing my interest; I have been taking inspiration on how I would use these champions. Of course, it will be possible for us to fall back to a different type of composition. We are open to all possibilities.
Faker: Our AD carry, Teddy, has used non-marksman champions often. I also am positive about us keeping our options open as a team. I think it will be very possible for such a draft to make an appearance as long as the situation is correct.
This is a question for cvMax. It seems that Griffin performs well when they are in the lead, but the team has rarely proven able to overcome a difficult situation. Do you think the players can show a better performance this time, even when a game is going badly?
cvMax: Yes. First of all, all the players inherently had this characteristic in them. Now, they have been trained to approach a situation rationally and try their best in a given situation both internally and externally. I think the players will give their best effort even when they are behind in a game.
We’d like to ask the coaches would you like to make any pledges for when you win the LCK finals?
cvMax: I’d like to make two pledges, actually. A serious one, and a comical one.
First, I pledge to make my best effort to prepare for the next international team so we may do justice to all the teams we have beaten on the way to the top. Second, as you are aware, I used to be a streamer. If we win, I think I’ll do a stream to express my joy.
kkOma: If our schedule allows, and if the management allows us to, I’d like to send the players on a holiday. An overseas holiday
The playoffs match between Kingzone DragonX and SKT was a very fierce, high-quality series. You must have watched the match yourself. What were your thoughts after watching the match?
Viper: I thought…League games never quite unfold according to expectations. There are so many possible variables. If one does not maintain concentration until the final moment, we could also falter as they did. We have faltered before, indeed.
I was filled with many thoughts. Even when it’s a game that we can easily win, if we become loose or let complacency creep upon us, we are in danger. As I watched that match, I was reminded that we have to prepare hard, prepare well [for the finals]
Sword: When I watched the match, my impression was that Kingzone was ahead, then gave up the lead. It almost seemed that they tilted as a team after the second game, then almost gave the third game up. Watching that, I was reminded of the fourth game of that finals – the 2018 spring split finals against KT Rolster. It reminded me to look back to our own mental fortitude, to reflect on this, to become more solid as a team.
Part one of the press conference can be found here