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ROX Tigers coach: “KT had more than a good chance of making it to the finals given their recent performance.”

ROX tigers mid laner Lindarang left Thursday's LCK match because of an apparent illness.
ROX tigers mid laner Lindarang left Thursday's League Champions Korea (LCK) match because of an apparent illness.

The ROX Tigers are gearing up to face KT Rolster on Saturday in the grand finals of League Champions Korea’s summer split. Many expected this to be the showdown between ROX and SK Telecom T1, but in an interview with Fomos’ Son Chang-sik, ROX head coach Jeong No-Chul said he wasn’t surprised KT as his opponent.

“I actually think more people thought a grand finals with KT was more likely,” he told Fomos. “KT had more than a good chance of making it to the finals, given their recent performance.”

Both KT and ROX have not been able to take the LCK championships despite making it to the finals multiple times. Most recently, ROX in particular was thwarted by SKT in the spring split. So with KT defeating SKT, the Tigers haven’t been in a better position to win the elusive championship that has repeatedly been denied to them. But Jeong didn’t dismiss KT.

“We always had some troubles facing KT, and the players mindful of that,” he said. “We’ll prepare like we do every match, but with the new patch in place, we are focusing on making sure we understand it.”

With both KT and ROX at the peak of their games, many head-to-head matchups are clamoring to grab the attention of viewers. The junglers of both teams are getting much of the attention, as KT’s Go “Score” Dong-Bin is being praised as the model jungler while ROX’s Han “Peanut” Wang-Ho has been enjoying the best season of his career. Yet, the head coach remained stoic toward all the fan hype.

“All the roles are made of world-class players, so I expect a close match,” he said. “Rather than focusing on a few roles, I think that the team that performs overall better will win.”

But Jeong did say that he thinks the ROX Tigers will win a “hard fought victory” ending in a 3-1 or 3-2. With the ROX Tigers having both success and failures in LCK’s playoffs, he said that “this time, (he hopes) that the whole team comes out smiling.”

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