KT Rolster defeats Jin Air Greenwings to maintain their hopes of escaping the promotion tournament. With Afreeca Freecs and Gen.G gathering crucial victories last week, KT Rolster found themselves in a situation where every win matters. Facing the last place team, they were able to close out the series with a hard-fought 2-0, where both teams showed off their teamfight prowess.
Riot Korea interviewed Hwang “Kingen” Seong-hoon and Go “Score” Dong-bin following the match.
After the long losing streak, you must be glad that you were able to find victory today. Tell us about the match today.
Kingen: Since we are in danger of relegation, we will make sure to try our best to win the rest of the series 2-0.
Score, just like Kingen said, the team is in danger of playing in the relegation tournament, but there are still enough chances to escape playing in it.
Score: To escape playing in relegation, today’s match was quite important, and since we were able to find victory, I feel quite relieved.
There was a moment caught on camera where your hands were seen shaking. Despite playing for so long, do you still get a bit nervous when playing in such high-pressure games?
Score: Though I played in LCK for such a long time, I think this is the period of my career where I get nervous in each match.
Kingen, you played Neeko top in both games. Despite the hotfix, it seems the champion is rising in priority. What do you think are the reasons for that?
Kingen: I believe if you go AD Neeko, there aren’t many champions that can match it in the sidelane, and if you hit your root using your E, you can chain that into Neeko’s ult to get a kill. There are many things about Neeko which I think are good.
In the first game, did you expect Ryze to be flexed to top lane [and send Ornn to the mid lane]?
Kingen: We talked with each other about the possibility of it happening before the game started.
When the swap happened, we saw that the Ornn was doing well against Zoe in the lane, while [KT’s] bot lane was struggling in the early game. Wasn’t there a lot of pressure on you in the top lane?
Kingen: I had the mindset of playing through the sidelane, to create pressure around the Baron area, but it wasn’t working out as well as I intended, which was quite rough for me, but then we got a kill in the bottom lane, which helped.
There was a moment where your opponent was able to steal the Baron away. At that moment, victory must have been difficult to imagine. Score, what strategies were there in response to that?
Score: Since the team was quite even in the mid-game, it was difficult to see who would win or lose. In fact, even at end of the game, we weren’t sure if we would be able to. However, we decided to send Neeko to the sidelane as many times as possible, in an attempt to win through her.
The kill on Ryze before Neeko’s backdoor brought quite a butterfly effect in game. That kill was gained with coordination from Shen. Did you plan it out or call for Shen?
Kingen: As soon as my E hit, I called for ult immediately, thinking this would be a kill.
And then we saw the backdoor continue. At the time, [Jin Air] sent Lucian to try and destroy the Nexus first. Were you certain you would be able to get the Nexus first?
Kingen: It was quite scary at the end, with Score yelling at me to lifesteal from the minions while Lucian was seemingly going to end the game first. But, I think Score’s calm and collected decision making allowed us to finish the game in our favor.
If we look back, we see that [Kingen’s] Neeko was quite low on HP. However, you managed to survive there.
Kingen: If you look at my health, if it wasn’t for my lifesteal, I would be dead. If you look at my movement, I was trying to auto the Nexus more. However, Score shouted at me to not go for the base there.
In the second game, you must have wished you could play the game more comfortably. What did you think Score?
Score: I don’t think about playing more comfortably since each game is important for us. I instead played with the mindset that I need to win each game no matter what.
In response to KT’s Yasuo-Gragas duo, Jin Air opted to pick Zed-Karthus. In the first game, Zed was banned, and when it was open in the second game, Jin Air decided to pick it. Since Zed-Karthus is quite a strong duo, you must have been worried going into the game.
Score: For Zed-Karthus, Bdd is also a good Zed player, and I am known as “Dongsus”, being renowned for my Karthus plays. Thanks to our experience with the champions, we were able to play well against them.
How did you plan your early jungle pathing?
Score: Since Karthus is quite proficient at invading, I knew he might attempt one, so I decided if we go even in jungle farm, it would go alright for us.
In the mid lane, we saw an amazing fight [by KT Rolster] with Neeko and the Yasuo-Gragas combo, you were able to give 4 kills to Yasuo. Was there any reason you decided not to back off?
Score: I initially thought that we lost the teamfight, but then Kingen TPd in and landed a good ult, which made Bdd go “ahhhhh”. After throwing the [Gragas] ult, we were able to find a good fight.
Your remaining series are quite important for you. How will you prepare for the matches going into them?
Score: I know a lot of people have lowered expectations for us, but despite that, we will do our best to show our team escape the promotion tournament.
Kingen: I have the same thoughts as Score. As well as that, I will try my best to show plays that are quite different for a rookie.