With the three representatives of League Champions Korea headed to San Francisco for the group stages of the League of Legends World Championship, some of the players shared their goals and thoughts about the upcoming event with various Korean media outlets.
For some, like SK Telecom T1’s Lee “Faker” Sang-Hyeok, the world championships is something of an older hat, now marking his third journey towards world dominance. In an interview with OSEN’s Ko Yong-Joon, he showed the confidence of a champion.
“Everyone knows that our goal isn’t making it out of groups,” he told OSEN. “There isn’t any particular team that I’m concerned about in our group. They’re all similar. What’s important is our own game play. I’m looking forward to playing against the strong teams that will make it beyond the top 8. We will go to at least to the semifinals.”
For others, this is just another excursion to prove themselves. SKT’s starting Jungler Kang “Blank” Sun-Gu was under some heavy criticism for his lackluster performance during the regular season, and in an interview with Daily eSports’ Lee Yun-Ji said he hopes to win back the crowd.
“My practice games were pretty good,” he said. “I’ll show various sides of myself at the world championships. My ultimate goal is to win and play without regret every game.”
Samsung Galaxy’s AD Carry Park “Ruler” Jae-Hyeok also echoed some of Blank’s sentiment with his first journey to global dominance. He seemed more interested in making a statement than winning the tournament outright, writes Daily eSports’ Lee Si-Woo.
“I want my name to be known with this world championship tournament,” he said. “I will work hard to also be added into the top five players.”
There are some players who are going in with their health most in mind, which would undoubtedly produce results in a foreign country. Samsung’s Lee “Crown” Min-Ho has wrestled with his insomnia recently, and during an interview Daily eSports, he still seemed focused on it.
“As long as I can sleep enough and maintain my health, I’m confident that I can win against anyone,” he said. “I will do my best each game.”
The ROX Tigers’ Lee “Kuro” Seo-Haeng is another whose health caught the attention of fans and pros alike, with a tweet of a picture of his arm connected to an IV. He assured fans that it wasn’t anything serious in an interview with Daily eSports.
“It wasn’t injury related,” he said. “It was a bad combination of a cold and sinusitis, so I went to a hospital. My goal for this tournament is definitely winning it.”
Finally, there are those who weren’t really concerned with the heightened tension and were able to joke around. Samsung’s favorite eater Lee “CuVee” Seong-Jin was certainly more happy go lucky than some of his fellow Korean players, commenting ESPN’s recent rankings of the top five players at each position in an interview with Daily eSports.
“I didn’t think too much about the rankings so I watched it for fun,” he said. “I think the real rankings will be shown with performances at the tournament. It’s my first time to America, so I don’t know what foods are famous there. I plan to eat a lot of meat during my stay.”
The Tigers’ Kim “PraY” Jong-In also commented on ESPN’s list, or more the fact that he was missing in the AD Carry one. He didn’t seemed too bothered by that fact, and during an interview with Daily eSports, he was more excited for his teammates that did make the cut.
“I always seem to be missing in significant rankings,” he said. “I didn’t really expect myself to be in it. Last year, none of our team made it into (that kind of ranking). It hurts my heart personally, but I’m happy for my teammates that we’re placed in the top five. We were able to win the 2016 LCK summer split because we grew as a team. We have a real chance in winning the world championships too.”