Lava and Sangyoon on HLE’s new mega-corporate sponsor: “[Our new team bus] has a fridge, a TV, we can even lie down in the bus.”

Image Source: OGN/Twitch

Hanwha Life Esports recovered from their loss on the first day by defeating BBQ Olivers. In Game 1, HLE picked Taliyah and locked her for mid-lane instead of jungle, using her superior mobility to contest objectives and take the game away. In Game 2, HLE continued to draft a global team composition with Ryze-Tahm Kench-Nocturne, using it to shut down BBQ’s Karthus-Nunu comp and dominate the map.

After the match, OGN interviewed the two MVP players, Lava and Sangyoon, discussing subjects such as the 8.11 meta, new champion Pyke and the players’ impression on the team’s new sponsor Hanwha Life Insurance.


Say hello to Lava and Sangyoon, your MVP players today!

Lava and Sangyoon, you both have your mothers in the audience today. Any word you’d like to say to the parents in the audience?

Lava: I always feel a little shy so I tell my parents not to come and watch my games. However in the first game they’ve come we won the game, maybe I’ll ask them to come more often from now on.

Sangyoon: My parents only come to watch when it looks like a game that we’ll win. They have a good knack for which games we’ll win and which ones we’ll lose.

It’s heartwarming to see your parents supporting you guys!

Now we have to talk about the big change that has happened between this split and the last. You’ve been acquired by Hanwha Life Insurance, and wear the HLE uniform proudly. The team arrived at the Stadium today in the big, customized HLE bus.

Lava: It has a fridge, a TV, we can even lie down in the bus.

Sangyoon: It’s pretty sweet!

Can certainly imagine that the change within the team will be noticeable, now that you are supported by such a big company. What have been some other changes that made you really appreciate the financial support that’s now coming through?

Sangyoon: They’ve installed an air purifier on every floor, every room.

Lava: After we lost to Griffin, the company shouted some beef to cheer us up. No more pork for us; now it’s all about that beef. (Note: Beef is very expensive in Korea and is reserved for special occasions, while pork is a more common, cheaper option)

Sangyoon: The CEO jokingly said; “what’s pork, isn’t beef the only kind of meat out there?”


Lava, in Game 1 you guys took away Taliyah; but instead of playing Jungle Taliyah, you decided to play her at mid. What was your thought process behind this?

Lava: We locked in Taliyah because she was available. The decision to put her to mid-laner was almost an afterthought.

Sangyoon: I think the opponent team thought that SeongHwan could not play Taliyah jungle well and decided to leave her open because of this. However, Lava has played Taliyah very often and has proven himself on Taliyah again and again. So that helped us with the draft.

The word of the street is that mid lane Taliyah isn’t good, and jungle Taliyah is just a better option.

Lava: Some of her past assets, such as her wave clearing ability, have been nerfed and she does have a tough time against most mid champions out there during the lane phase. However her main advantage, her roaming ability, is still there, and she’s just as a threat as before in the late game.


Pyke made a first appearance in LCK. You guys seemed to be handling him well, is it because you’ve specifically practiced against him or were you just prepared against him?

Sangyoon: We’ve actually haven’t had that much practice against Pyke, so we banned him away. However none of the other teams seemed to be banning him away, so we thought we’d open him for a change, and felt like he was do-able. As long as we drafted a tank support to go against Pyke, I think it’s an option to let the opponent play Pyke.

Lava, what’s your thought on Pyke as a mid-laner? Isn’t it tricky to have a roaming assassin in the opponent team?

Lava: I don’t think Pyke is too threatening as a mid-laner as he is still a support champion.

Sangyoon, in the last games you’ve played Ryze and shown good performance.

Sangyoon: Ryze is good! When the meta changed, I had practiced on nothing but Vladimir. Howe,ver when I pulled out Vlad, everything was hard, from laning to late game. Today, I thought I’d try Ryze for a change and the games were running much more smoothly.

Lava: Sangyoon has been practicing so hard on Vladimir, I think he’s a better Vlad player than me now. But Ryze, I think I am better. He needs to practice his Ryze more. (Laughs)

Sangyoon: That’s a cool thing about mages. For example, if I were to be playing against a marksman, I would not be able to go against Camille; but when I play a mage, I can have a decent 1:1 with even a Camille. I think I am actually better with mages. Going to play AP for the rest of my life. (Laughs)

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