On 12 September, Round 1 of the Regional Qualifier was held. Gen.G and SK Telecom 1, the two former World Champions, collided in a deciding match where only one team will stay in the Regional Qualifier and continue the dream of qualifying for 2018 World Championship.
SKT stepped up to the game, playing Untara for the first time in the split and going toe-to-toe with the defending World Champions. Despite this, Gen.G managed to win the match in a close 3-2 match score and progressed to the next stage of Regional Qualifier.
It was a grueling 5 Games, but they did it. Gen.G, the defending World Champions, win the day and make a first step on the gauntlet run for #Worlds2018! Congratulations on the #GenGWIN@Gen_G_LOL #LCK #WeAreGenG pic.twitter.com/ZYnodKgE2j
— Ashley Kang 애쉴리깡 (@AshleyKang) September 12, 2018
Despite the fact that no MVPs were awarded for that day, Crown was the people’s favorite as the MVP of the match. Crown subbed in for Fly in Game 2 and showed stellar performance despite returning to the booth after a hiatus. Crown gaining lane dominance as Ryze in Game 4 and countering Faker’s Akali in Game 5 were some of the highlights of the best-of-5 match.
Today was a crucial match for Gen.G, as they continue to hold onto a hope to progress to the next round of Regional Qualifier and qualify for Worlds. How are you feeling at the moment?
Crown: I’ve mentioned it in the post-match interview, I am very happy – For now, all I can think about is taking some rest.
Hey, thank you for agreeing to the interview even though it would have been a gruelling 5 games.
Crown: That’s not a problem at all!
Today’s game was also a rematch of World Championship 2017.
Crown: I would be lying if I said I wasn’t thinking about the (existing history). Yes, was on my mind. I was also looking back to the fact that SKT eliminated Gen.G (At that time, KSV) during the Spring Split Playoffs; that was on my mind too.
Were you worried about the previous history with SKT?
Crown: I wasn’t worried, it was more like…I was amused. It’s strange to think that all three teams that have qualified to Worlds last year are now all fighting in the Regional Qualifier; it’s just something I’ve found interesting. It was also amusing to think that we’ve somehow met SKT at the beginning of the Regional Qualifier.
Crown, you’ve subbed in for the first time in a significant period. Despite the hiatus, you’ve shown very good performance today.
Crown: Thank you so much.
Crown: I’m not sure; even now, I try not to think too much into whether I had a good or bad performance. There’s no use thinking about these things. I think I’ve just entered the booth with a calm space of mind, and the luck somehow followed me.
One down, two to go! After a long match against SKT, we are going to the next round! Thank you for the support and see you on Friday!
— Gen.G LOL (@Gen_G_LOL) September 12, 2018
You subbed in for Fly at Game 2. Did the coaching staff have any specific expectation or request for you as you were requested to sub in?
Crown: There wasn’t a specific request, the coach just told me to not to stress. Was it yesterday…when we were having dinner, perhaps. The coach told me that I should expect to sub in as long as Gen.G doesn’t win the match 3-0. From there, I knew what’s coming and been trying to come into today a cool head.
You’ve shown consistently good performance throughout the match, but you were especially outstanding on Ryze at Game 4. It seemed that Faker picked Vel’koz to counter Ryze, but you’ve made more impact on the map throughout the game.
Crown: Vel’koz does tend to have a favorable match-up against Ryze. There are certain things that Vel’koz does better than Ryze; if you utilize that advantage well, Vel’koz will win. However, Ryze also has certain assets that Vel’koz doesn’t have, in which case Ryze can overturn the unfavorable match-up. I think I’ve simply played on (these advantages) well, and that’s why I’ve come out as the victor.
What advantages would Vel’koz have against Ryze?
Crown: That is a secret!
Next, you’ll be going against Griffin who have recently suffered a loss against KT Rolster but is still considered a strong contender in Regional Qualifier.
Crown: They are a powerful team. I am aware they are practising hard after having LCK taken out of their grasps. I just hope that it will be an enjoyable match.
Gen.G’s ultimate goal will be to qualify to World Championship and to do this, you must also go past Kingzone DragonX. Have you also been thinking about this at all?
Crown: Not really. I’m not even thinking about the tomorrow’s match. For now, all I’m thinking about is just taking a big rest.
Again, thank you taking time to share your thoughts after the long and difficult match. Do you have any last words?
Crown: First of all, thank you for cheering for us. I hope you enjoy our next match too.
Could you also say a word of thanks to the English-speaking fans out there?
GEN Crown thanks the international fans for @GenG Esports after the team's 3-2 victory against SKT.
— Ashley Kang 애쉴리깡 (@AshleyKang) September 14, 2018