iG Rookie on winning the 2018 World Championship: “I don’t know why I cried. I haven’t known what a victory feel like until now.”

Duke, you have now held up championship cup for the second time. How does it feel?

Duke: I’m happy that I’ll now get to be the owner of two World Championship skins. I am also happy for having won in two different teams.

Coach Kim, in the previous interview you had predicted a 3-2 victory against Fnatic. What changed since then?

Kim: We expected a 3-2 match score based on our scrims during the semifinals. We didn’t have as good scrim results as Fnatic. Also, we lost to Fnatic twice in the semifinals. Therefore, I had expected today to be a very close match.

We studied Fnatic’s games and attempted to find a strategy against them. For example, we noticed that Bwipo always had good performance on Victor. During the drafting stage, we wanted to eliminate champions that the players of Fnatic.

Also, we studied the bot lane of Fnatic. They would always use their ult early during the lane phase and push the lane fast. So we tried to counter these strategies too.

Rookie, after the semifinals you said that you are refraining from sharing your thoughts until you win Worlds. Now that you have, can you share with us what your thoughts are?

Rookie: It feels weird that my first LPL victory would end up being a Worlds victory. I didn’t give out any resolutions at the semifinals because – Whenever I said that I’d win I felt that I was ignoring the opponent. Instead, I decided to go into the match with a mindset that we are both challengers┬ácoming into the day and I believe that this has given us good results. I think we won this time because of this mindset.

As of my current feelings…It’s been a difficult last three, four years. I didn’t win any titles, and I wasn’t able to show anything to the world despite all the expectations put on my shoulders, and I was always regretful. I never showed good performance on big stages or the finals, so I was sorry to my teammates.

I guess I feel happy, but I’m not sure. Maybe the victory hasn’t settled in just yet. It feels very bittersweet at the moment.

Ning, you had a good performance against Broxah even when he played Lee Sin, a champion he is known for. How did you prepare against Broxah?

Ning: I know Broxah is good at Lee Sin, but I’m just as good on Lee Sin. I didn’t make any specific preparations. He always picked Lee Sin first, which meant that I could pick a champion that I could counter him with. As of Game 3…I just played well.

Are you looking forward to any financial incentives from the company after today’s victory?

Kim: I haven’t heard of any bonus. I wish there are some.

Rookie, in the interview yesterday you mentioned your parents. How do you intend to spend the time with the family?

Rookie: There are so many interviews and events that the team is locked down to. So I won’t get to see my parents for a while. I’m joking. Today is a joyful day. My parents will be happy, and when I see that they are happy I am happy and proud.

iG, what champions do you want for your Worlds skin?

Ning: Camille.

Baolan: Personally, Rakan. Whoever designed that champion is a genius.

JackieLove: Can I pick a champion that I haven’t played at Worlds? No? I was gonna say Draven, but I’ll go with Kai’Sa.

Rookie: You guys say it first.

TheShy: Aatrox or Fiora.

Duke: I’m still thinking, but I am leaning towards Irelia.

Rookie: [sigh] If Duke goes for Irelia, that leaves me Akali or LeBlanc. Whoever is the most popular champion; I need to think about it a bit more.

Rookie, during your entire career you have been compared to Faker. You have now won Worlds. Faker is in the position of chasing you. What would you like to say to Faker as you go into 2019?

Rookie: I still have a lot to go before I catch up with Faker. I’m not even at the same level as Faker. I’m not still the best mid-laner in the world, even though fans might differ. To Faker – I’m watching your matches and solo Q games a lot, so keep playing amazingly so I may enjoy your plays a bit more.

JackieLove, in prior interviews you mentioned your team had mentality issues. How did you guys address this issue between Group Stages and the final?

JackieLove: During the Group Stages, everything went too smoothly and we were not prepared accordingly. Then we lost two games against Fnatic and our mentality took a big hit. However, after that, the player managed to come back from this slump and once again became mentally prepared. In the finals, we were a stronger team than ever.

Rookie, after you won Worlds you teared up. What was the meaning of your tears? What was going through your head at the time?

Rookie: I don’t know why I cried. I’ve been playing as a professional for quite some time. I was always in the shadow of the others, I was never in the spotlight. I was always in that kind of a team, that kind of a player. Then today, when I finally won Worlds…I was filled with emotions. I’m not sure why I cried. I’ve cried twice before, always in the moment of defeat. I haven’t known what a victory feel like until now. It’s very difficult to describe what was feeling at that moment.

Rookie, you have been touted as the best mid laner attending Worlds, and today you’ve proven yourself to be so. Was there any mid laner during the tournament that was especially memorable to play against?

Rookie: I’m proud to have been able to prove myself. There weren’t any players that I had a difficult time playing against. I was looking forward to Caps, but unfortunately, I don’t think he had a good performance during the finals stage. The player that I would like to go against is Faker. His performances in big stages are so stunning. I’d like to lane against Faker in a big stage one day.

Ning, people didn’t discuss you as much as other players in iG. Today you have shown spectacular performance and even won the MVP.

Ning: A lot of people underestimated me, as the spotlight has gone to the other players in my team. I’m ok with it. Today, I surprised everyone.

TheShy, many in the West call you the best top laner in the world. Is there any top laner in the world in any region that you consider as a rival?

TheShy: I’ve been thinking about this. I don’t think there is any top laner that can beat me around the laning phase.

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