The fun-loving KT Rolster coach, Lee Ji-hoon, gave amusing insight into the behind-the-scenes conversations between the League Champions Korea head coaches at Rift Rivals.
In a video interview with SpoTV, he said the teams have been joking that if the LCK doesn’t win its Rift Rivals tournament against the Chinese and Taiwanese regions, they will have to atone in a rather drastic way — though he doesn’t see that happening.
“We’re joking that if the LCK comes in second or third place, we’ll have to swim our way back to Korea, but that’ll never come to pass, so I hope the fans continue to watch comfortably,” he said, laughing.
KT joins the Rift Rivals tournaments on a slight back foot after consecutive defeats to SK Telecom T1 and the ROX Tigers in the LCK summer split. Lee admitted that it gives the team “a heavy heart” to come to Taiwan after such a performance, but he also said the team is quite excited to take part in the “first international tournament after they have come together as a team.”
Lee pulled the curtain back even further as he disclosed what kind of conversations are happening between the head coaches. In the midst of good discussion and preparation for a Korean victory for Rift Rivals, the teams have been saying that they put a lot of faith in their colleagues for success.
“We’re talking with each other as head coaches, but we’re just passing the buck right now,” he said, smiling. “SKT said that they’re excited to be on the same side as Samsung and MVP, but we also think we shouldn’t lose to a foreign team so we’re having good discussions and preparing.”
Interestingly, the team also has three members who played in the Chinese league at different points in their careers: Heo “Pawn” Won-seok, Cho “Mata” Se-hyeong, and Kim “Deft” Hyuk-kyu. Lee said he expected the LPL veterans to be “key players” in their matches against Chinese teams, given their history.
When the interview drifted to the latest addition to the team, Kim “Ssun” Tae-yang in the mid lane, Lee said the team came across him through tryouts, and he expects great things.
“(Ssun) isn’t a very well known player, but we found a rookie through tryouts, and since he has a lot of confidence, I am expecting him to act as a joker card,” he said. “I hope the fans continue to look forward to what happens.”