SK Telecom T1 has defeated Griffin in the finals of 2019 LCK Summer split to secure their 8th LCK championship. A rematch of last split’s Finals, it seemed to be a repeat of Spring finals as SKT swiftly took away the first two games. However, Griffin managed to come back with a composition designed around shutting down SKT’s top side, preventing another sweep by SKT. In the end, SKT would not be denied their second title of the season, as they exploited Griffin’s mistakes to close out the series 3-1 to secure their championship.
Caster Jun interviewed SK Telecom T1’s players and coaching staffs following the match.
One of the most epic LCK split, and a team to match it. SK Telecom T1 has managed to not only win two LCK championship in a row but secured their 8th domestic title. An amazing achievement, and we will be meeting the players that made this happen.
But first, we will be meeting with SKT’s Head Coach. kkOma! You were interviewed by me on this same stage last split. At the time, I saw that your legs were shaking a lot. How are you feeling right now?
kkOma: Our performance earlier on in Summer split wasn’t that great, and because of that the team environment, players, coaching staffs, front office all suffered as a result. The fact that we were able to overcome this to win the split, in the end, is just amazing and I’m so proud of all of us.
This is your second championship this season, and it really wasn’t looking good for SKT at the start. The team fell all the way down to 9th place, and let’s not mention the fall off in the ESPN power ranking! However, having won your second LCK championship as Head Coach of SKT, you must be feeling a bit more laid-back now. I’m not sensing the same level of happiness I saw from you in Spring! You’re not as emotional and you don’t have shaky legs!
kkOma: I think the time has come for our fans to place their faith in us. [Crowd cheers] Because everyone on the team was doing well, I had the confidence to climb all the way to the finals, even when we were at a deficit early on this split. In fact, I think some of the fans, as well as people around us, lost faith in us at one point.
[Addressing crowd] Oh? Did you hear that? He’s saying that the fans have lost faith in the team! Everyone, when SKT lost 5 matches in a row this split, did you disavow SKT, putting them down as doomed?
[Crowd answers back with a resounding “NO!”]
When SKT was near the bottom in ESPN power rankings, did you put them down as finished, losing your faith in the team?
[Crowd once again answers back with “NO!”]
The fans are saying NO!
kkOma: In Spring split, it was my legs shaking, and it seems this time it’s my head getting dizzy. I think it was one of the officials.
Which one? Was it the general manager, Oh Kyung-sik [Part of SKT’s front office]?
kkOma: No, he treated us very well.
[Ignoring] He didn’t believe in his own team! Where is he? Where are you! Why did you not believe in your own team? Are you talking about your general manager?
kkOma: Our front office always believed in us…
So, who was it? Perhaps it was one of the casters? Kim Dong-jun? Lee Hyun-woo[CloudTemplar]?
kkOma: I think misspoke. I am always grateful for our fan’s support, and we will always do our best to reach this stage once more.
Are you still wearing the couple’s ring?
kkOma: Yes, I am.
Oh? Is it the same one from the previous split?
It’s not a different ring?
And your love has not changed?
[To the audience] Do you all remember, he mentioned something he was planning on doing after the World Championship? [To kkOma] Do you have anything else to say regarding that?
kkOma: Well my marriage is set to take place in December, as I mentioned before.
kkOma: Yes. I am regretful that I wasn’t able to propose or do much at all since I was so busy.
It seems you have something you want to say.
kkOma: No, no I mean…
No, there is something you clearly want to say? “You managed to find a catch like me and didn’t propose?”
kkOma: Due to urgent need to interview the players, I think we should close this out quickly.
Ah yes, of course. But you won’t be able to sidestep this so easily next time!
kkOma: I would like to thank our general manager Oh Kyung-sik, team manager Song Jong-ho and manager Moon Kyung-nam. I am also grateful to the coaching staffs, who went through a rough time during the split, as well as the players who worked tirelessly to make this happen. Finally, to Ji-soo who is always along my side, thank you and I love you!
You forgot about the fans, the fans who believed in you!
kkOma: I’m also grateful for the endless amount of support from the fans. Thank you!
Khan, we were able to some massive plays from you in the last game. How are you feeling right now?
Khan: With this being my fourth LCK championship, for every title I win, I feel like I gain more recognition as a professional player. I think this split, in particular, has been quite a meaningful one for me.
In the third game, how did you feel when you recorded six deaths in the third game, where you were getting beaten by Doran? A player that has debuted around a month ago, and by your own word, an infant!
Khan: At first when I got dived in the top lane, I was shocked. I didn’t know what to do, and I wasn’t sure if this was heaven or hell. But when we closed out the fourth game and secured our championship, I came to the realization that this truly was heaven.
Nice! I believe there is no other active top laner that has won four LCK Championship?
Khan: Yes, I believe so.
And I believe one of those championships is one where you actually stopped SKT’s path to yet another LCK title? Having been quite a thorn on SKT’s side, they finally opted to get you as their new top laner. Come to think of it, you didn’t cry in the Spring split, and it seems you are not planning on showing any tears this time as well. Just when are you planning on crying anyways?
Khan: Ever since I came back to the LCK in 2017 Summer, where I won my first championship, I don’t recall having cried tears of joy after that split. However, I definitely cried out of anger many times, and if we lost the finals today, then I would have cried a lot. Luckily, there weren’t that many reasons to show tears this season.
But if you were to win the World Championship, where Faker had shown tears when he had lost the finals, moving the hearts of millions who witnessed it?
Khan: If I managed to win in the Worlds finals, even if I am not in the mood to cry, I promise I will punch my own eyes to produce tears.
We will be meeting with Clid. But first, we can see that the LCK trophy is being engraved with the name of Summer split champion.
Now, Clid. This player truly is SKT’s treasure. Everyone, do you agree!
[Crowd replies back “Yes!”]
You were amazing today, but first, any words?
Clid: We were able to win both Spring and Summer splits, and during that process, I was getting called SKT’s treasure. I believe this is thanks to the support my teammates gave me.
You faced off against the “King of the Jungle”, Tarzan. It was a matchup that garnered tons of interest and hype going into the finals. You were able to win in the end though, with a score of 3-1. From your perspective, how do you think you fared?
Clid: Honestly, it could have been a 3-0 by us, but due to my mistakes, the game was turned over to our opponent’s favor. Going into the fourth game, we were determined to maintain our concentration, and we were able to win in the end.
You were able to win most of the smite fights in today’s match, except for just one. You have lost, not to Tarzan, but to your own teammate Effort. Listening to the coms from the first game, you exclaimed: “wait, how did you get that?”. How did you lose it to Effort, despite using smite? What happened?
Clid: It was a very chaotic situation, and we were just doing our best to make it work when Effort was fortunate enough to steal it away to secure our victory.
Then you should have responded with praise, instead of questioning him! He could have felt bad about it?
Clid: No, no I definitely did not mean it that way!
Ah, is that so?
Clid: It was, of course, my dear Effort showing up today.
Now, there are more important matches coming for you in the future. The jungle role will remain crucial during it all for SKT. Do you have any words for the fans?
Clid: While we were able to win both LCK splits, we have yet to find success internationally. In this year’s World Championship, we will do our best to win it. Thank you.
And now, we will be meeting with SK Telecom…
[Crowd erupt into massive applause]
Faker! First of all, could you address the fans?
Faker: It has been a while since I saw a full stadium. I am grateful to the audience that came over to fill up space. When we first came to the venue, a thought struck me that I should show a performance that the fans will appreciate, and I am glad that we were able to win the championship.
In the first game, when you were able to push away most of Griffin, your decision to go for the mid lane instead of Baron, just, wow… You were able to end the game from that play! How did you think of that?
Faker: It is very well known that our support, Effort, like taking down the nexus. It’s something I share my like with. When the rest of my teammate called to go for Baron, I told them to go for mid lane instead, and we were able to win the game off of that.
In a previous game, when the team called to hit the turret, and Effort cut in and told the team to do something else. If Effort were to tell the team to do the Baron instead in Game 1, what would happen?
Faker: That would never happen.
Out of a score of ten, where you place today’s finals?
Faker: Since we performed well today, I would give a 9.1 out of 10.
Now, there is the World Championship remaining.
Faker: For Worlds, we will need to perform to a 10 out 10 level. While we were able to win multiple championships, World Championship is our true goal and we will prepare hard to show good results.
Last split, you mentioned Doublelift as one of the players you wanted to meet in MSI, and he was able to respond back in his own Finals interview, claiming he had a date with you planned. He may be listening to you right now! Who would you like to meet in this year’s World Championship, a player or team you dearly want to face off against?
Faker: I think we will have to find our revenge against G2.
Faker: When we played against G2 in the Semifinals, we were defeated after a close match, so I want to meet them once more.
And a player you want to meet here, Caps, or perhaps it is Perkz? Any words?
Faker: I just want to meet G2.
And again, a round of applause for Faker! Teddy. You have lived up to your title as the Nexus of SKT. Do you have any words?
Teddy: I was disheartened after such a bad start this split, but thanks to my teammates playing so well, we were able to win another LCK Championship.
During the match you were making a lot of aggressive plays, constantly moving forward. Is there one you particularly remember?
Teddy: I remember making a lot of forwarding movements in the first game, so that game was the most memorable for me.
Can you tell us your experience of playing against Viper and Lehends in today’s match? They must not have been easy adversaries.
Teddy: Both Viper and Lehends are great players, but they are not quite good as Effort and I. Also, because the rest of the team was also good, our bottom lane was able to play comfortably.
After such a difficult time in Jin Air, you were able to win two LCK Championship in a row with SKT. Now, you have a month-long battle ahead of you in Europe. Teddy, SK Telecom’s nexus, SK Telecom’s heart, will you prove yourself to be a General that brings the rest of the world to their knees?
Teddy: In my last international tournament, MSI, I did not show a satisfactory level of performance. In this year’s World Championship I will do my best in order to show better results.
Mata, looking at Effort play today, likely having taught him a lot about the game, how did you feel when you saw his exuberant expression after the series?
Mata: He is a great player that plays well at an individual level. I believe one day he will rise to be the heart of SKT.
Can you say just one more praise for Effort?
Mata: Effort was just the best. Really!
Effort, having won your first LCK Championship as the starting support player, how do you feel?
Effort: After two years of competing as a professional player, I was able to compete in my first ever Finals. My teammates taking such good care of me allowed me to play without any pressure.
So there weren’t any players that weren’t listening, or focused on increasing their total amount of damage ingame?
Effort: Yes, since it was such an important match, everyone was focused on ending the game.
And thanks to that you were able to play without any worry?
Effort: Yes, I was very satisfied.
During the series, at what point did you think “yes, I have won”?
Effort: The thought that we won the LCK Finals did not come into my mind until we blew up our opponent’s nexus in the fourth game.
Is it actually possible to not think of it?
Effort: Yes, since a game of League of Legends continues until one of the nexus blows up, it’s essential that we focus on the nexus.
Ah, so that is why you get annoyed if your teammates are focused on increasing their number on the damage chart.
Effort: Yes. After all, this game is about destroying the nexus.
The World Championship. Of course, you have already gained a direct seed. Teddy already mentioned the regret he felt from MSI. Would you like to say something as well?
Effort: Thanks to the support from my teammate, we were able to win the Summer split. Going into Worlds, I will make sure to prepare hard in order to show that I can also carry.
Mata, I believe this is your third consecutive LCK Championship in recent times?
Mata: Yes, I have won three times against Griffin now. While I wasn’t able to make an appearance in many games this split, I was doing my best to contribute to our team’s success from my position as a substitute. Going into this year’s Worlds, unless Effort is out due to health issues, it might be difficult to start over him. However, I will still put in the effort in hopes of being part of the Worlds roster, and possibly take over as the starting support player once more!
Haru! A word from you as well! Due to time restraints, Haru will be our last player to be interviewed. I apologize to the rest of the players. Haru, you are also competing for the starting in the jungle position. Just because it’s Clid doesn’t mean it’s confirmed yet.
Haru: I did not give up yet and I am still trying my best. I am always putting in the most effort I could and I’m always prepared. If something were to happen to Clid, I will be readily available.
And this statement also applies to the rest of the players as well?
Haru: Yes it does.
We will be finishing off our interview with kkOma! kkOma, you will be returning to the World Championship once more. Last year you were forced to watch the tournament from home. Now, you will be in the center of it all. With the eyes of many fans on you right now, could you express your determination going into Worlds?
kkOma: The biggest thing that I have been emphasizing to the players is that if we fail to win Worlds once more, it will have been 3 years since we last won Worlds. It is my wish to see our team once again lift the Summoner’s Cup and prove once more that the best region in the world is LCK, and SKT is the best among them all.
Everyone, once again please applaud the winners of 2019 LCK Summer split, SK Telecom T1!
— Ashley Kang #LCK (@AshleyKang) August 31, 2019