Afreeca Freecs showed the world the world that their dominating performance in Spring Split was not a fluke. Afreeca started Summer Split strong by taking their first bo3 away from SK Telecom 1. In Game 1, Spirit styled on the enemy team with his signature aggressive Nocturne jungle. In Game 2, TusiN turned the losing game around Afreeca with Rakan support, the champion that the player made his name in in Afreeca.
After the match, OGN interviewed the MVP players, Spirit and TusiN.
First, could you please introduce yourselves to the fans?
Spirit: Hello, I am Spirit, the jungler for Afreeca Freecs.
TusiN: Hello, I am the support of the team, TusiN.
Spirit, after the game we overheard you saying “I’ve never seen TusiN play so hard in my life”. Can you elaborate on that?
Spirit: In Game 2, TusiN did a 5-man job. He was shotcalling so hard and in such a detailed manner. I told him “Hey, you carried all of us.
TusiN: I had been losing confidence recently, and I came to today’s match feeling nervous, which caused me to try harder than the usual; I think that had a good result.
Everyone is saying that this meta is the one for Afreeca Freecs, given the team’s creativity and the willingness to experiment with new things.
Spirit: The coaching staff of our team is extraordinary in this area (experimenting with new picks). So that means that us, the players, have an easier time at times of changes.
You were known for eccentric, off-meta picks, such as Lulu jungle and Tristina jungle. Now that the age of “anything goes” meta has arrived, won’t you say that this meta is truly suited for you?
Spirit: I wouldn’t call it an “anything goes” meta. I do tend to experiment with new picks, which I’d suggest to the coaching staff; if they think my suggestion is promising, they are really supportive of me trying my experiments out in professional matches.
Taliya has been constantly banned away. What’s your thought on Taliya jungle?
Spirit: They must have seen my Taliya in solo Q, they were continuing to ban her away. (Laughs) I think she’s a very good pick. Just play her like me!
TusiN, what’s your thought on the current meta as a support player? Isn’t it frustrating?
TusiN: These days, I don’t even feel that the ADC position is “ADC” anymore. Now we no longer have marksman, but instead, melee champions coming to the bot lane. It means that at the bot lane small trades happen all the time, champions keep rubbing into each other. I actually think this makes the game fun.
TusiN: All ADC players are suddenly playing champions they are not used to, I don’t expect anyone to suddenly do well. Given that, I don’t think our team’s ADCs are falling behind too much. It means that I have an easier time.
Spirit; the meta is so fast-paced, with a lot of early game engages and Level 2 ganks. It may be that champions like Nocturne, who only reach their full potential at level 6, are left a little hanging. What’s your take on this analysis?
Spirit: Yeah, I’ll agree that Nocturne is left a little hanging at the moment.
Your winrate isn’t that high on Nocturne…
Spirit: Nocturne actually used to be one of my favorite picks. However because his skill set demands you fly into the enemy flanks, I’d always throw on Nocturne. After I came to Afreeca, the coaching staff gave me a lot of feedback and managed to fix my playstyle on him. I think I can play Nocturne more reliably now.
TusiN, don’t you still get nervous when Spirit locks in Nocturne?
TusiN: Yeah, that’s why I also lock in Shen with him.
In Game 2, there was a moment when SKT Bang and Faker were continuing to lane swap.
Spirit: I was actually thankful of SKT lane swapping. Internally in our team we’ve also practiced and prepared for a situation like this, so we weren’t thrown off our guard.
Afreeca Freecs is known for operating a 10-man roster. That 10-man roster will be so helpful adapting to a fast-changing meta.
Spirit: Definitely! The other 5 members of the team who haven’t played today are the hidden MVPs of today’s match.
Kiin has been picked to represent Korea in Asian Games. He showed amazing performance on Aatrox today.
TusiN: Today, there was a lot of movement in the top and mid lanes and our team were falling behind. I told Kiin, hey, it’s only you now. If you somehow make the lane phase work, I’ll make sure I carry us in the teamfight.