AD carry No “Arrow” Dong-hyeon was the crown jewel of a Phoenix1 lineup that pushed its way to an unlikely third place finish in the North American League Championship Series spring split. The summer has been far more of a struggle for P1 and Arrow, who sit in eighth place with a 4-12 record. After an upset 2-1 win against Counter Logic Gaming, Slingshot’s Emily Rand sat down with Arrow to discuss the team, the current AD carry meta, and how he thinks his old team KT Rolster will fare in the League Champions Korea playoffs.
Emily Rand: It’s been a tough season but your team had a good win today. How are you feeling?
Noh “Arrow” Dong-hyeon: It just feels really good because we lost the first game and losing is always hard. Second game and third game we won hard, so it feels really good.
ER: Before Game 1 against CLG I noticed that your team was really loose and happy in the booth. You looked like you were having a lot of fun. How important is a good atmosphere before a match to your team?
NDH: I think it just depends on the person, actually. If you feel nervous onstage and if you talk about normal stuff, life or fun things, it’s good. But maybe for another person on the team, talking about the game is better for him.
ER: You’ve been playing League of Legends for a long time now. Do you ever get nervous onstage at all?
NDH: Onstage, I am nervous every time. A little bit.
ER: Were you at all surprised that CLG didn’t take away the Kalista in this series? She seemed to be a really strong pick for you specifically.
NDH: Yeah, I guess Kalista is better but it’s also tradeable. Taking Maokai and giving Kalista is almost a 1:1 trade, and against Kalista they can use a Jhin or Tristana. I think it just depends on the game and bans.
ER: What do you think are the best AD carries right now?
NDH: I like Kalista, and I do think she’s the best AD carry right now except Caitlyn. If Caitlyn isn’t banned, I think Kalista is the most important pick.
ER: Your roster has had a lot of substitutions this split. Has that been difficult for you at all and does it require you to change your play style depending on what lineup Phoenix1 is fielding?
NDH: The roster changes, as an AD carry, an AD carry doesn’t have as much of an effect in game early. He’s just in the bot lane. Even when mid, jungle, or top are more important than the AD carry early. The AD carry is more important later. On our team with so many roster changes, it’s still kind of hard to communicate. Especially with the newer players, but it’s not bad.
ER: How has it been playing with Xpecial (Alex Chu) compared to other supports you’ve played with recently?
NDH: Xpecial is the same as me. He wants to control the game more than fight. When people say that more kills is a good game, that’s not correct. A low kill game is a better game, and if you control the game, you’ll go for not as many kills and more objectives. I think Xpecial is like that, the same as me.
ER: I know you keep up with a few of your old teammates or coaches in the KT Rolster organization. The last time they won the Korean title was when you were on the team with the KT Arrows. Is this finally the summer that Score (Go Dong-bin) gets his championship? Do you think KT can win?
NDH: Ahhhhh. (laughs) KT can do pretty well in the early game but sometimes — late game there are some mistakes. They just lose sometimes. KT is still a really strong team, they just need to delete those mistakes and only leave the good plays. I hope they win but — I hope they win summer, but more than that I hope they can win at worlds. If you win summer and then win Worlds, both of them, it’s really good, but losing summer and winning Worlds would still be better.
Cover photo courtesy of Riot Games