DAMWON Gaming has defeated Hanwha Life Esports in a close 2-1 series. Hanwha Life persevered throughout the series, coming back from a loss in the first game. However, it was not meant to be, with DAMWON Gaming able to push their advantage to close out the series in their favor.
Riot Korea interviewed Son “Punch” Min-hyuk and Lee “Flame” Ho-jong following the match.
DAMWON Gaming is closer to securing their playoffs spot. Punch, you must have been quite determined to win this series.
Punch: Recently, my performance wasn’t up to expectation, so in order to redeem myself I prepared hard for today.
Flame, you were subbed in to play the last game of the series. The pressure must have been high for you to lead the team to victory.
Flame: Since today’s match was a very important one, I accepted the possibility of me not playing today. However, I was able to play in the third game; I am glad I was given the chance.
Punch, you are well known for your Lee Sin. However, Gragas was picked in the first game for you to play. What was the reasoning behind the pick?
Punch: While considering which champion to pick, I remembered Cuzz’s Gragas from earlier today. Inspired, I decided to pick it, hoping I would be able to play as he did.
Gragas seems to be rising in priority among players. Can you tell us why?
Punch: I don’t believe jungle Gragas is particularly strong. All the champions are so and so in the jungler role. However, maybe Gragas looks strong thanks to the players piloting it so well.
There was a moment where [Punch’s] bodyslam was quite impactful. Your opponent engaged quite aggressively at the start, how did you come to the decision of countering it?
Punch: We were going “what should we, what should we do” when I saw an angle [for a bodyslam]. I think we were quite lucky, as we could have lost that fight.
Were you practicing Gragas a lot recently?
Punch: Yes, I started practicing Gragas a lot more recently.
There was a moment in the second game, where the Baron was stolen by your opponent at 1 HP.
Punch: Someone told me that Baron was stolen at 1 HP. I was dumbstruck how it could have gotten stolen like that. It felt somewhat unfair even.
Flame, you made your appearance in the third game. You might have been pressured in the 1v1 matchup at top lane. Were there any talks from your teammates?
Flame: While there was some pressure for the matchup, I didn’t feel the same for the overall series. To my teammates I didn’t really say much, just “let’s not do that” and “if we do this, we can win”, so nothing major. I think the game worked out as we planned.
Flame in the third game you played amazingly on Vladimir. In the Baron fight, you were able to flank from below. Weren’t you worried about engaging the enemy team alone?
Flame: While I was supposed to struggle during the early game, with factors like support Shen from HLE, it worked out really well for me in the laning phase, despite being in a losing matchup. Because of that, I thought the game was won for us.
Punch, you played with both Nuguri and Flame. Both must have their own unique strengths, so can you name one for each player?
Punch: That’s a question that was asked to me many times before, but to answer simply, both players are good, handsome, and top laners that I like playing with.
Your next series will be against Griffin. With Griffin having recently suffered its first loss [of the split], the match-up no longer seems like such a grim prospect. How will you prepare for that match?
Punch: I think the match against Griffin is the most important one since we never managed to beat them back in our Challengers Korea days. So, I will prepare hard for them.
Flame: The last time we lost against Griffin, I wasn’t here. This time, I’m here. [Crowd cheers] Why are you making me nervous? Was that too strong of a statement…
No, no it wasn’t. Flame, to conclude the interview, can you tell us how you maintain your form for so long?
Flame: I think in League, whoever is good, continues to be good.
So, since you have performed well for such a long time, do you think you will continue to show good performance?
Flame: I will try harder.
Thank you for the interview!