Hanwha Life Esports has won the team’s final match of the split with a satisfying 2-0 match score. How do you feel?
Coach OnAir: Despite the victory, I can’t really say that I’m happy. There were some positive sides, however. [SoHwan and Moojin], two players that haven’t had the chance to play got some playtime and each won an MVP. It’s promising, we can look upwards when we go into the summer split.
How about you, Moojin? How do you feel about today’s win?
Moojin: I lost my debut match in the LCK, but today I’ve won. It feels good, and since I showed the audience my potential before the split ended, I think it was a fruitful season if you look back. It gives me the motivation to do better in the summer split.
OnAir, you said that this season will be better than previous seasons, having two 6th place finishes in the past three seasons including your time at ROX Tigers. Finishing 6th once again, you must be disappointed. Do you think that there is a special reason for your 6th place finish?
OnAir: I think we had issues around the individual players feeling pressure on the big stage. Out of our entire 10-man roster, only Moojin has had experience with going to the finals or playing in a major event. I also think that our performance during the beginning of the split was okay, but I missed out on some key points on patch 9.5 and that hurt us.
Looking back at your spring split, I think your 4 game losing streak was really painful.
OnAir: I can’t help but think that if we won just one of the four games that we had lost… maybe we would have had better momentum. Then again, I think pressure really affected the players and myself.
Moojin, you haven’t played in an LCK match since the match against SANDBOX Gaming in January. Can we ask why?
Moojin: I think I failed to maintain match sharpness and made a lot of mistakes during scrims. I have nothing more to say.
OnAir, you surprised a lot a people with your starting lineup tonight, by bringing out both Moojin and SoHwan. What was your reasoning behind your starting roster?
OnAir: Moojin didn’t play many games during the spring split since he came from a foreign region and needed time to get used to the LCK style and tempo. A new patch also meant a new meta, which made him need more time. Moojin played today, however, because we are already preparing for the summer split. Moojin could have been disappointed with the number of games he played in spring split, but I believe that today’s win will help him prepare and start more games for us in the summer.
How did you prepare for today’s match? You really put KT in a tight spot today.
OnAir: Honestly, I think we weren’t in a spot to worry about other teams. We just prepared what we could do and focused on what draft worked best for Moojin and SoHwan. They weren’t always that good on aggressive champions, so I told them to give the audience their best today, and they did.
Moojin, you were a top-tier jungler in the LMS. What do you think is the difference between the LCK and the LMS?
Moojin: I think practice hours are similar, maybe LCK does practice harder than the LMS. I think the playstyle of both leagues is similar too, snowballing around the bot lane. In terms of macro, I think LMS is a bit weaker in the side lane pushes. Overall, I’d say that my experience has been similar because Flash Wolves in particular scrims against Korean or Chinese teams often and has somewhat adopted their playstyle.
You said that you are now ready to play. What do you mean by that?
Moojin: The first time I played on stage in the LCK – It was against SANDBOX Gaming – I was really nervous and my mind went blank. For this game, I was determined that I would find a solid mindset and be well prepared for the match. And I have shown good performance today so I think I can also play future games with calm and confidence. I was so nervous for my first game.
OnAir, you say that you particularly regret Hanwha’s performance during the 9.5 patch.
OnAir: Even when a team has a 10-man roster, only five players at a given time plays on the stage so the benefits of the 10-man roster might not be noticeable for someone outside the team. Internally, however, it is a big help to the team.
All teams in the LCK have a similar amount of practice time. A team that has a 10-man roster, however, can get that extra internal scrim time or tailor scrims specifically to the needs of the team. When we are scrimming against another team, we cannot completely control the draft. For example, let’s say that we are trying to practice against an AD carry Draven pick. When we are scrimming against an external team, we cannot force them to play Draven. However, in a 10-man team, we can decide to run internal scrims with an AD carry Draven. There are advantages like this.
I believe that our 10-man roster is what allowed us to gain an early lead and adjust to the patch quickly during the beginning of the spring split.
Thank you for the interview. OnAir, Moojin, do you have any final words?
OnAir: It’s regretful that we have finished yet another split in 6th place. However, 2019 isn’t over yet. The entire team will prepare hard and let everyone judge us better during the summer split. Thank you to the fans, the organization, for supporting us throughout the split. The team, the coaching staff, we’ve all worked hard. In the next split, we will certainly rise to the higher place.
Moojin: Even during the time I was benched, there were many fans who waited for me and who sent support to me in many ways, so I would like to thank them. It was because of their words of support that I did not break down and instead found my resolution to play on stage once again. I’ve finished the split on a good note, by winning today’s match. I’d like to maintain this form and show even better performance in the summer split. We will aspire upwards, we will find our victory.