Kongdoo Monster fought its way back into League Champion Korea after taking down ESC Ever 3-1 on Thursday in the winners bracket of the promotion tournament, making Kongdoo the first team to drop to Challenger and climb back into the LCK.
Head coach Chae Woo-Chul and AD Carry Seo “Ssol” Jin-Sol were invited to the post-match live interview with casters Lee “CloudTemplar” Hyun-Woo and Kim Dong-Jun, and Ssol explained the long journey back up.
“Earlier on, the teamwork wasn’t really good, and the players had a bad habit of playing separately,” he said. “We worked hard to work with each other and studied game management, which worked out for us. With better management we shine better individually, and we take that to play as a team better.”
It was also an emotional moment for head coach Chae, as he couldn’t hold the tears back earlier on in the interview, happy to finally be back in the regular season. Chae gave some insight to the “very rough four months” Kongdoo had and what they had to do to improve.
“The hardest part was building trust among the players,” he said. “We always aimed for making zero shot-calling mistakes. With roster changes and new players, we did better in scrims, and winning helped us a lot in building confidence.”
With the history Kongdoo previously had as Najin e-mFire, other pro players were at the arena to cheer for them, including members of the ROX Tigers such as jungler Han “Peanut” Wang-Ho and SK Telecom T1’s support Lee “Wolf’ Jae-Wan. Head coach Che took a moment to thank them and explained just how far their friendship ran with Kongdoo.
“The ROX players came over and said that they would give us some of the energy they had,” he said. “players like Wolf, (Cho “Watch” Jae-Gul), (Yu “Ggoong” Byung-Jun), and other players who were part of Najin always come to our games and cheer for us while giving feedback and buying food for our players.”
Chae also shared a personal moment he shared with CJ Entus’ head coach Park Jeong-Seok before their match earlier in the week, saying that “whoever makes it to winners finals should win and make a match with both teams smiling,” and that he “kept his promise,” so now it was CJ’s turn to fulfill their end by making it out of loser’s finals against ESC Ever.