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LCK pros attend Rift Rivals with more comfortable mindset: “Honestly, the regional league is more important than this inter-regional competition.”

Mata and other LCK pros say Rift Rivals will be a chance to take it easy compared to the LCK.
KT Rolster's Mata (Cho Se-hyeong) is one of a handful of LCK players to say Rift Rivals will be of lesser importance for them. Photo courtesy of Riot Games.

In a series of interviews with League Championship Korea pros before their departure to Taiwan for Rift Rivals, a handful of players said they want to take it easy.

Daily eSports caught up with the teams before their flights took off to ask them a number of questions regarding their attendance in Rift Rivals, Riot Games’ inaugural series of mini tournaments pitting teams from different regions against each other. The Korean teams will play teams from China and Taiwan. Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok, Song “Smeb” Kyung-ho, and Cho “Mata” Se-hyeong have all said that they will compete with the intent to win — but they’ll do so with less stress than usual.

“Honestly, the regional league is more important than this inter-regional competition,” Mata said. “I’m a little worried about that but it is an event tournament, so I want to have some rest, take care of myself, and compete in the LCK again.”

Smeb added: “Honestly even without (Rift Rivals) we don’t have much time off. So I don’t have any strong thoughts on the matter, and the schedule doesn’t seem too tight so I do have a feeling that I want to take the time to rest and play comfortably.”

Smeb and Mata are members of KT Rolster, which enters Rift Rivals after losing its last two games in the LCK, first against rivals SK Telecom T1 and second against the ROX Tigers. It seems as if recovery will be on the minds on the team as it heads back into the second half of the LCK summer split.

When asked about what their thoughts on the fact that Korean teams won’t be facing each other due to the unique format, Go “Score” Dong-bin sheepishly said that it would probably increase the chances of a Korean team coming out as the victor, while Heo “Pawn” Won-seok said that it would be a good chance for Korean teams to scrim one another.

The only player to share disappointment was Lee “CuVee” Seong-jin, who said that he would have liked more diverse competition.

“It is kind of disappointing because I wanted to go up against everyone,” he said with a smile. “I don’t know what the others will say, though.”

Cover photo courtesy of Riot Games

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