ESC Ever stopped the Afreeca Freecs’ forward momentum with a back and forth 2-1 victory on Wednesday. With its second win against the Freecs, Ever is now one step further away from being relegated. Ever’s strong suit seems to be the pick and ban phase, and in a post-match interview with casters Jeon Yong-Jun, Lee “CloudTemplar” Hyun-Woo, and Kim Dong-Jun, Ever’s coach Cho Gye-Hyeon said he was a large part of that strategy.
“(Kim “KeY” Han-Gi) is the architect of level 1 plays,” he said in a live phone interview. “I do play some part by discussing our strategy with him. I’m more involved in the pick and ban phase. I try to think how the flow of each game should go and which picks or bans will confuse our opponents the most.”
Ever had some trouble facing in Game 2 in particular as the Freecs played a very aggressive style that didn’t allow Ever to breathe. Coach Cho said in response that it’s not strange that Ever is having so much difficulty in its first season.
“I think after the KeSPA cup and IEM Cologne we have the image of a strong pick and ban phase,” he said. “But as we played in League Champions Korea, we learned that so was everyone else, which gave us a lot of trouble earlier on.”
There were some massive throws from both teams over the course of three games, so caster Jun asked how the coaching staff felt when witnessing a large misplay. Ever’s coach’s reply was very interesting.
“We used to be more affected by those types of large misplays,” he said, shifting to a joking tone. “But since we throw so often in the LCK, we got used to it. We just think ‘Oh yeah, we’re a throwing team,’ and prepare for the next game.”
In Game 3 Ever pulled out a Shen in the top lane and a Taric as a support, making clutch plays using the two champion’s ults. In the pick and ban phase the final decision wasn’t set in stone, but Taric seemed to have won out due to a strategic choice.
“We weren’t sure if we were going for Alistar or Taric,” he said. “In cases like these we leave the decisions to the players. I thought that if the Freecs were planning to play aggressive again, we could clean them up with a good counter attack using Taric’s area of effect invulnerability ultimate.”
Now being a little further from relegation, coach Cho said that the current goal is to play catch up with the rest of the LCK.
“We never got to win games back to back after we qualified for the LCK,” he said. “We want to go for a more consistent game play style, so we want to play one game at a time.”