DAMWON Gaming continues to dominate the 2019 LCK summer split. On 26th of July KST, DAMWON Gaming defeated SANDBOX Gaming and reclaimed the first place in the summer split standings. The team’s aggressive, skirmish-oriented playstyle and skill level of the individual laners have drawn comparisons between DAMWON Gaming and Invictus Gaming, the defending 2018 World Champions.
After the match against SANDBOX Gaming, Ashley Kang sat down with Cho “BeryL” Geon-hee, the support of DAMWON Gaming. With Ashley, Beryl discussed how 2019 Rift Rivals was the turning point for the team, his respect for MadLife and Mata, and Damwon’s chances of going to 2019 World Championships.
DAMWON Gaming has reclaimed its first place in the LCK standings. How are you feeling?
Beryl: We had a schedule straight from hell [playing against top teams such as Griffin and Kingzone DragonX] but we seemed to have crossed “the river of death” reasonably unscratched, so I am happy. I’m still a bit dazed about it.
We didn’t get to see you play Alistar today. You impressed the fans around the world with your Alistar performance at 2019 Rift Rivals. Is Alistar your pocket pick that you are ready to pull out again at any given moment?
Beryl: I think that Alistar is difficult to blind pick, there are too many good supports out there at the moment. However, Alistar is a pick that I can lock in any time depending on our own composition and the opponent team’s bot lane.
Speaking of Rift Rivals, I wonder if 2019 Rift Rivals was a turning point for the team. DAMWON Gaming’s performance has been on point the last few weeks, ever since the team played at Rift Rivals.
Beryl: I do think that Rift Rivals was a big turning point for us. I think it’s been a good influence on the other teammates, too. We just performed at Rift Rivals as we did in the LCK, so it wasn’t like we learnt anything new at the tournament. But we took a lot of confidence out of Rift Rivals.
Damwon is being compared to Invictus Gaming, due to its aggressive playstyle and its readiness to engage in skirmishes. What are your thoughts on such a comparison?
Beryl: iG did win the worlds last year. If you win worlds, you are the number one team in the world for the rest of the year. It’s truly an honor to compared to such a team.
DAMWON Gaming is a new addition to the LCK and international audience are only just becoming aware of its presence. Nuguri and ShowMaker have been under a lot of spotlights as of late. People still aren’t as familiar with you, however. Can you tell us more about who you are as a player?
Beryl: I’ve been playing League of Legends going all the way back to Season 2. I used to autofill and play any lane. Then I really got obsessed with Draven and became a Draven AD carry main, which pushed me into the AD carry role.
Even when I played the AD carry, I used to play support a lot. I was pretty ok at support, too. Anyway, I began playing professionally and played as an AD carry for a split. Then I thought I couldn’t compete with top tier AD carries out there. So I switched to a support player. I think it was successful, the change. I have no regrets about switching to support, I like this position.
MadLife, on the LCK analyst desk, praises you often about your performance. I wonder if you are aware of this.
Beryl: So I didn’t know about this, right. I used to big be a fan of MadLife, too. I started out playing league as an AD carry. I’d see MadLife at matches or watch his performance at the solo queue, and he would be crazy good. Especially when going bot lane with him and he played a grab champion like Thresh, while I played AD carry.
So you have played with MadLife at the solo queue?
Beryl: Yeah, I loved having MadLife as a support in the solo queue. Whenever I get teamed with him, I’d think, ok — As long as I do my job, we’ll win this game.
Have you ever got to talk to MadLife? While you are waiting for a match?
Beryl: Not really, I never bumped into him. But he was the best support for the first generation of League of Legends. I’d like to meet him someday.
There have been so many great support players in the history of the LCK. Is there any particular support player you look up to?
Beryl: It depends on the generation, right. In the first generation of League, it’s MadLife. In the current generation, I think Mata is the best support player out there.
With DAMWON Gaming sitting safely on the playoffs range in the LCK standings, “Damwon going to Worlds” is becoming a valid discussion. What are your expectations of Damwon’s chance of going to Worlds?
Beryl: To be honest, from here, we have an easier schedule compared to other teams. As long as we turn up in our own performance and don’t make mistakes, I believe we can beat most teams … except for maybe SK Telecom T1 and Gen.G.
I think SKT is pretty scary right now. Even if we end the regular split in the first place if SKT keeps climbing like this and climb up the playoffs … I think there is a high chance we might see SKT in the finals.
Is there any player that you’d like to face, internationally?
Beryl: I really want to play against CoreJJ someday. He’s the OG, the player that also switched from AD carry to support [like me]. I had a look at the LCS recently and CoreJJ had most MVP points as a support player. So he’s one player I’d like to play against.
Is there any other team that could threaten you in the playoffs, other than SKT? It’s so competitive, any team could go to the playoffs.
Beryl: Kingzone or Griffin. The playoffs competition is so fierce right now. There is no easy team at the moment. We will have to be on our guards no matter who comes to the playoffs.
If DAMWON Gaming is to continue its top place for the remainder of the split and the playoffs, what’s one thing the team has to do?
Beryl: We have to get our teamwork working. Also, we need to reduce individual level mistakes. If we do these things, we might be close to perfection in terms of our performance. We might even be able to aim for the first place in the summer split.