SKT has defeated Kingzone DragonX to proceed to the 2019 LCK Spring finals. Today’s match was expected to be close, with both teams having shown dominant performances in the regular season. However, Kingzone was unable to challenge SKT fully, with SKT taking the series in a grueling 3-0, with the first two games going over 40 minutes. This will be SKT’s first final since 2017 Summer, where they will face Griffin at Jamsil Arena.
Riot Korea interviewed the starting roster of SKT following the match.
It must be amazing to have won this series with a 3-0. Can you tell us about that Faker?
Faker: Recently, Kingzone had a lot of momentum so we were, while confident, a bit pressured going into this match. However, I am satisfied that we managed to win this series with a 3-0.
Did any of your teammates predict a 3-0?
Faker: Before the match, I told my teammates “let’s win this with a 3-0”, as a way of encouraging them. I am glad that my prediction became a reality.
Teddy, you managed to claim MVP for both game 1 and 2. People from the community chimed in that this was thanks to your experience in escaping hell [relegations].
Teddy: Well, it was less stressful than relegations, so I think it worked out well for me.
Your synergy with Mata shined throughout the match. Mata, are you satisfied with today’s performance?
Mata: Personally, I feel that we managed to win the bottom lane match up all series long, so I am very happy about that.
Clid, it must have been worrying for you with Cuzz’s great recent performances.
Clid: Honestly, while I can’t say I was not worried, due to all the momentum, we decided to play the way we usually do.
Khan, Kingzone has been on an upswing recently. You must have prepared quite a lot coming into this series.
Khan: Compared to our opponent, we had more time to ready ourselves for today’s match. Also, since we expected Kingzone to be our opponent today, it worked out well for us in preparations.
It has been said that victory follows you along, from the fact that Kingzone was able to claim victory when you were in the team, and SKT is finding victory now that you joined. Do you agree with that?
Khan: I think that’s thanks to my teammates being so good in the teams I join. However, I also believe that I have some part in those successes.
Teddy, you glanced over when Khan made that statement. Do you agree with it?
Teddy: Yes, I do.
In the first two sets, [SKT] was behind early on, but the team as a whole managed to close those deficits and comeback. Can you tell us how it happened?
Khan: I’m not quite sure exactly since I can’t recall the finer details, but in the second game, we knew that we would struggle in the early game, but that we would be able to find good results in the late game. In the first game, we were a bit behind early on, and since our opponent was a good team, we made sure to keep our focus until the end. We also have tons of experience in Bo5 settings, with our coaching staff, Faker and Mata.
In the first game, Teddy managed to steal Baron. Teddy, can you tell us what the team’s plan was during that moment?
Teddy: When we saw the enemy carries hitting the Baron, we were planning on going for a fight there, 2v4, but then, since Varus with Q-W deals more damage than the enemy Smite, I thought I could steal it, which I did.
Khan, there was an incident in which you would force yourself to stare at a photo of Tarzan. Do you still do that?
Khan goes mad over a photo of Tarzan:
"Just looking at his face makes me angry! Damn it, that cheeky face. That Evelynn (Jumps in his seat) Evelynn makes pisses me off. I'm still angry. Evelynn, Evelynn, I'm going crazy. That Evelynn, I'm losing my mind"https://t.co/aWAiwEryQH
— Ashley Kang 🇰🇷 (@AshleyKang) March 10, 2019
Khan: For now, I am planning on abandoning those feelings and meeting him again with a new mindset.
Clid, you went against different junglers throughout the series, such as Vi and Camille. Can you tell us what it was like?
Clid: I don’t think they were difficult to play against, and I thought the champions weren’t that unexpected so I think I played without too much fuss.
Your third game was quite exceptional. Were you satisfied with your performance in that game?
Clid: I think I am satisfied since we managed to win.
With Lee Sin being constantly banned and Jarvan IV taken by your opponents, was Kha’zix a planned pick?
Clid: Yes, thanks to our long period of preparation, we were ready for such situations.
If you manage to claim victory in the finals, you will have claimed the title of Royal Roader, since this is your first LCK split.
Clid: Because this is a new challenge for me, after my time in China, I can’t help but want that title and will try my best in the finals.
Faker, as the team captain, you have lead the team well this split. Does this [finals] have more pressure than any other?
Faker: Since finals aren’t a common opportunity, it’s a more meaningful stage than this round of playoffs. So, we will prepare hard with the time we have.
Your rivalry against PawN has brought quite a bit of attention. How was the matchup today?
Faker: Since our record against Kingzone has been favorable for us this split, instead of focusing on just the mid lane, we looked at the team overall.
You will be facing Griffin in the finals, who you don’t have the best record against. Are there any worries going into the match?
Faker: Well honestly, I am confident whenever I play in the finals, and while Chovy played well this split, I think I can beat him.
Your confidence isn’t misplaced since you have won every LCK finals except one, where you lost to Kingzone in 2017 Summer [Longzhu Gaming rebranded to Kingzone DragonX at end of 2017, after Summer split]. However, you managed to beat Kingzone just now, so you should be more confident than ever.
Faker: Ah, yes.
Teddy, was the Varus and Braum bottom lane prepared beforehand?
Teddy: After trying out all sorts of duos, we decided to play Varus-Braum because we wanted to, and it worked out great for us.
With your well-known role in the longest LCK game in history, you lived up to your reputation with your unwavering focus. Can you give us any tips?
Teddy: As the game dragged on, I get more confident and want to try and carry.
In streams, you are known to be mischievous and chatty, but in a competitive setting, we see that you are quieter and serious.
Teddy: In the gaming house, that Teddy is one that has let go of everything, while the Teddy playing in competitive games tries to be more serious.
You are also known for using ‘darling’ to address people. Can you tell us which one of your teammates is your darling?
Teddy: It’s obviously my support, Mata.
We will be talking with Teddy’s official darling, Mata. Mata, you are once again playing in the finals against Griffin. Can you tell us how you feel?
Mata: Personally, while I played for a long time, I have not reached many finals in my career. Since I have a good experience playing against Griffin with KT Rolster, I will try and use that experience to our advantage and bring victory.
In the second game, we saw you defending the last nexus tower with Braum’s shield. Did you know how much HP was left before you stopped it?
Mata: I wasn’t sure exactly, but it was basically 1 HP at that point, that I defended that tower with the mindset of doing it no matter what.
There was 9 HP left in that tower, which coincidentally was a number you are already associated with.
Were you certain you could defend that?
Mata: I wasn’t, but I tried with the mindset that if I fail, the game would be over.
You will be facing Griffin once more. Since you won against them once, will this time be easier?
Mata: I won’t say easier, but since my teammates are doing well, and we have momentum while Griffin doesn’t, I think we can do well.
Any last words to the fans?
Faker: I am satisfied that we managed to win this series with a 3-0, which I think is thanks to the support of our fans today. In our next match in the finals, we would really like to beat Griffin.
We will see you next time at Jamsil Arena. Thank you for the interview!