2018 World Championship is probably one of the most exciting year full of upsets. In group A, after a very shaky beginning with only a victory against the Vietnamese Phong Vũ Buffalo in the first round, Afreeca Freecs qualified as Seed 1 with a clean 3-0 during the second round of the group stage. Korizon talked with their ADC Ha “Kramer” Jong-Hun after their qualification to the quarterfinals. The interview has been lead in Korean then translated.
Congratulations for your qualification to the next round as seed 1!
Kramer: As it was very unlikely to happen, we thought that being seed 1 was practically impossible. But we actually did it and I am very happy about it.
Before talking about the series and your team, I would like to know how you felt when Gen.G got eliminated.
Kramer: I just thought in my head, “ah…we are also leaving like this…it’s over for Korea…” But I tried hard to recover my mindset during breaks.
It must have been a hard time indeed. How did your team react after the first round with a 1-2 score?
Kramer: As you can guess, the general atmosphere was not that good. There was mistrust between the players but also some negative comments but we still tried to pull ourselves together. That’s why we are even more delighted by this final result.
When things are not going well, who is the most cheerful in the team?
Kramer: I think I am the most positive one. I keep saying things like “it’s not over yet, don’t worry too much!”
I see. Talking about you, you used to play with Flash in Wolves 2015. What was your reaction after the group draw?
Kramer: “I have to win against them” (Laughs). When I play against Afreeca Freecs players on solo queue ladder, I don’t want to lose. I try hard even more. I had the same reaction after the draw. I really didn’t want to lose to them.
How did you greet SwordArt when you met him this time?
Kramer: We always smile at each other. Even now I wished him good luck against G2 because G2 are playing well! [The interview happened just before the tie breaker between Flash Wolves and G2. Ed] I hope they will qualify to the next round.
Now you will face one of the second seed of the other groups. Who do you want to play against?
Kramer: All the remaining teams are pretty strong so it’s going to be tough whoever we play. Thus I don’t have any preference in particular. I just want to avoid the Korean team.
What about a particular botlane? Is there an ADC you want to beat?
Kramer: Uzi of course!
You are already a great player but not yet as recognized as Uzi from LPL or Rekkles from EU. How do you want people to remember you?
Kramer: I want people to see me solid as a rock rather than a carry. Someone in the team you can always rely on.
Korea is no longer considered as the best region this year. Do you agree and what do you think have changed from the other seasons?
Kramer: I personally think Korea was ahead of the world 3 years ago, concerning the meta or even the plays as a team. The gap is now closing. Regardless of the game, after a while everybody reaches the same point. I think all the regions have reached it now.
How could Korea become the best again?
Kramer: Considering that all the regions are on the same level now, creativity is going to make the difference. If we are all making the same effort, I think being innovative and being able to seize the right moment will be the key to success.
LCK usually have a more macro game style but now the tendency is to play more aggressively. Which style does fit you better?
Kramer: I’d rather play the macro game style. But even it’s more centered on the macro game, you have to team fight. Considering our last game against G2, every team fight had a reason to be. So in the end, if you want to play a macro game, you have to fight anyway.
Which game from the group stage do you remember the most?
Kramer: When I met Heimerdinger. It was really annoying. I didn’t know how to play. We knew it was a possible pick for G2 but we thought we could counter it with our picks. We made a lot of mistakes and we couldn’t kill him.
He is indeed an annoying champion! Well, thank you for the interview Kramer, do you have any last words to the fans?
Kramer: We finished first of the group today starting with the risk of being eliminated as fast as the light. Thank you for always worrying for us, coming to the venue and cheering for us. We will reduce the number of mistakes on stage and show you perfect plays. Thank you!
When was the hardest moment during this group stage?
« Dinger. We knew it was a possible pick for G2 but we had no idea how to deal against it »
Kramer – @Freecs_LoL
— Hajin @Worlds2018 (@HajinsunTV) October 15, 2018