G2 Esports defeated Team Vitality on Saturday to give the team a four series win streak in the European League of Legends Championship Series (EU LCS). Following the match, jungler Kim “Trick” Gang-yun spoke to Slingshot’s Kelsey Moser about tank junglers, drake priority, and G2’s turnaround.
Note: This interview was conducted in English. Slight changes were made to grammar for readability.
Kelsey Moser: You have been saying this meta is good for you because of tank junglers…
Kim “Trick” Gangyun: Yeah, I like tank jungler because I prefer tank better than Kha’Zix or Lee Sin.
KM: Is there something particular about tank junglers that you like to play?
KG: Tank jungler can easily make play, and risk is really low. So I like this point.
KM: Also, does the early pathing of tank junglers tend to be more farm-heavy?
KG: I think tank jungler early game before six — I think every jungler looks for camps, but can also set up for ganking.
KM: There are lot of top and jungle picks that you can flex right now. How does that impact your draft and when you pick your jungler?
KG: I think blue side, it doesn’t matter, but purple side you can flex pick easily. I think it’s really impactful.
KM: In the first two games, Team Vitality really liked the Maokai pick. Do you think this pick is really strong as jungle?
KG: Personally, I don’t like Maokai jungle because people people really like tanks so much, but tanks so-so, I think. I think (facing) Maokai jungle is good for us because we didn’t practice against Maokai jungle, and Djoko’s early game playing was really good.
KM: Vitality emphasize their top and jungle playing together and ganking a lot. How do you prepare to play against this kind of team?
KG: I think in EU, a lot of teams have good top-jungle synergy, so we practice a lot this strategy. If you can cover top, you can easily play against it.
KM: I talked to Perkz a little bit this week, and he said that he thinks the Cho’Gath pick is better top, but do you agree it is better top than jungle?
KG: I agree with Cho’Gath top, but firstly I like Cho’Gath jungle, so I want to pick Cho’Gath jungle.
KM: When you pick Cho’Gath jungle, is there something special you have to do with other picks?
KG: I think Cho’Gath is a powerful pick, so if you have Ashe or Varus, you can make plays. Or Thresh/Kalista like this will do good.
KM: In the first game, your team had Renekton and Taliyah, but the enemy team had more of a scaling team fight comp. In the next two games, you changed your draft to have more of this kind of comp as well. What do you think went wrong in Game 1?
KG: In Game 1, if we team fight, we lose against them, and we can’t go side lane because they have a Tahm Kench, so they can easily catch our side lanes. So I think pick-ban was really a problem in the first game.
KM: In the last game, they had kind of a similar situation where they had Kennen and Jayce, and you had the Tahm Kench. Did you know what their idea was behind the draft or did it surprise you?
KG: Oh yeah, 100 percent we knew what they would pick. After the first game, we talked about our purpose in the draft, and we prepared for last game. We have a Tahm Kench, and Gnar can pressure against Kennen if we have a Tahm Kench, so we can easily play this.
KM: I think it was the second game where you went for Rift Herald over Infernal Drake. I have heard a lot of teams say Infernal Drake is better than Rift Herald.
KG: I think equality is the same. It depends on team comp, I think.
KM: Is there an example of a case where you think Rift Herald is better than Infernal Drake?
KG: I think if early game you have a pressure team comp, I think Rift Herald is better. I think now is tank meta, so you don’t need — I think Infernal Drake is still good, but in tank meta I think it’s only just “good.”
KM: Your team is doing a lot better since Rift Rivals. Do you think the meta change is a big part of this or are there other factors?
KG: No, after Rift Rivals, we talked so much about our team situation. I think this is why we improve a lot and we can easily play as a team.
KM: Some commentators were specifically pointing to you as having some trouble adapting after MSI. Do you agree with that?
KG: Personally, I think no.
KM: So it was just team-related then?
KG: Yeah, I think last year’s summer split or this year’s spring split, we played for jungler, but this split, we didn’t for me, so after Rift Rivals, we talked about this thing, and we play for jungler now, so I can easily play.
KM: I assume then your goal is still the same: to win EU LCS and go to Worlds?
KG: Yeah, yeah, yeah, win LCS. I heard no one has four straight wins in LCS or LCK, so I wanted to make the record.
Cover photo courtesy of Riot Games