On March 22nd, Gen.G grabbed a head start on the race to avoid the 2019 Summer Promotions defeating Afreeca Freecs with a 2-0 match score. Afreeca led the first game with the help of Lee “Dread” Jin-hyeok, but Gen.G managed to turn the game around with an impossible Baron steal from Han “Peanut” Wang-ho. In game two, Park “Ruler” Jae-Hyuk stepped up to the occasion and dismantled the opposing ranks with his performance on Vayne.
Below is the press conference interview with Gen.G’s Song “Fly” Yong-jun after the team’s victory.
Congratulations on your win today. How do you feel?
Fly: Today was an important match that might potentially decide who goes to promotions, so I am really satisfied that we took down two birds with one stone, a series win and an extra point in the game score.
The match score was 2-0, but it was a very close series overall. Was it Gen.G’s game plan today to wait for the late game? Or did it just happen to be that way?
Fly: We didn’t really plan to go into the late game. Afreeca did really well in the early-game fights for vision and map objectives. We thought it would be better if we focused on not making mistakes rather than contesting their early game. We had confidence in our late game prowess.
Looking back at the 2019 Spring Split, there might be a sense of regret. Many predicted Gen.G to be placed in top four in the LCK rankings after its runner-up performance in the KeSPA Cup. As the captain of the team, did the organization’s poor performance throughout the split trouble you in particular?
Fly: 2019 has not been kind to me so far. But then again, I’ve had my share of tough periods before. I think this time, we’re in the process of overcoming these difficulties together and this makes it much easier for me to cope with it. In my personal opinion, our period of bad performance happened because we were overconfident coming into the split.
There was a period when you had to compete to be starting mid laner. This must have been a new experience for you. How did you feel about that?
Fly: To be honest, it hurt my pride a bit. I think every mid laner would have felt the same, giving up his spot to a laner who doesn’t usually play mid lane. At the same time, though, it was an interesting experience for me to watch Kim “Roach” Kang-hui play.
You drafted Orianna in game one. So far, you are the only player to have drafted Orianna in the 2019 LCK [spring split]. What was your thought process behind the Orianna pick?
Fly: I thought she is a champion that is really good in late-game teamfights, that’s all.
We have a question about your drafts. In game one, you picked a very passive champion, Orianna. Whereas in game two, you took away LeBlanc, a very aggressive champion. You drafted two champions who have polarizing playstyles.
Fly: Our coach recommended [LeBlanc]. He thought that Afreeca might be ready to counter us if we played the same way we did for game one or throughout the season.
Fly, you haven’t made a name for your LeBlanc this split. However, looking at your match history, you have a very healthy win rate on LeBlanc. Is there a reason why you haven’t been playing LeBlanc this split and instead have been drafting more defensive champions?
Fly: I’m always ready to play any champion. It’s just that I do what the coaches want me to. You see… I’ve lost a lot of influence on my team [laughs]
Are you saying that Gen.G’s coaches do not ask for their players’ opinions during drafts?
Fly: No, that’s not the case. I just feel more comfortable playing whatever champion the coaches think is good for the given game. When the coaching staff give me a choice, I do make the final decision, but these days I just sit back and follow their advice. As for LeBlanc, I’ve been practicing her for some time, and the opposition was probably not expecting me to play LeBlanc. Champions like [LeBlanc] are effective when the opponent does not expect the pick and is not prepared for it. So in that way, I guess [the pick] was a success.
Despite your remarkable performance today, Ruler was the player who took both the MVPs for today’s match. What is your opinion on this?
Fly: I really haven’t given it much thought. Now that I think of it, if [Ruler getting the MVP] makes him happy, I’m fine with that. Let him be happy and carry the games so I can sit back, relax, and get carried. [laughs] On second thought, I guess … It could have been nice if I were the MVP.
You have won a series that was crucial for Gen.G to avoid the Promotions. However, Gen.G is still not completely free from the prospect of going to the relegation tournament, and Gen.G has some tough matches ahead. What are your resolutions for the upcoming matches?
Fly: I think we’ll do well as long as we polish our early fights for vision.
Thank you for the interview. Do you have any final words ?
Fly: This was my first press conference of the spring split. It feels good to be here. I’ll work hard so I may get recognition for my performance, win games, and get MVP points. Also, to my teammates – I think we should do better. Including myself. [laughes]
[pauses] I’d like to add one more thing. I saw an Afreeca Freecs interview, where they said that they think Gen.G will be the team that will be going to the Promotions. Now I’d like to tell [Afreeca] – You’re looking pretty dangerous there yourself. Just sayin’.