SK Telecom T1 mid laner Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok said that he thought the team was going to fall in the quarterfinals of the League of Legends World Championship to Misfits due to some issues in the mid and bottom lanes.
With an unexpectedly close 3-2 victory against Misfits on Friday, SKT kept its hope for a fourth world title alive. In a video interview with Fomos’ Park Sang-jin, Faker admitted that at the end of Game 3, even he thought this was going to be the end.
“I thought that maybe it was our time to lose as we’re not as desperate as we once were,” he said. “But I’m still thankful that we managed to win the match by a small margin.”
When asked what he thought the reasons behind the losses were, he said “I think the reason we lost Games 2 and 3 was due to our mid and bot lane didn’t move more proactively around the map. We then decided to go for more early game champions as a result so it all worked out.”
Although Game 1 went decidedly into SKT’s favor, Game 2 put the shoe on the other foot, and Misfits put SKT’s backs against the wall after they took Game 3. Game 4 almost looked like Misfits was going to close SKT out, but SKT successfully stalled until the late game, scaling hard with Ryze and Tristana to take the game. The deciding game was just as close, featuring Tristan “PowerOfEvil” Schrage as Syndra. But SKT managed to take one fight at the right time to proceed.
“Today’s games were quite close so I didn’t think that we were going to win until the very last team fight (in the last game),” faker said. “I felt more like we bought time until the semifinals, rather than being happy that we won.”
The most popular narrative for SKT is that the three time champion in finally starting to slow down, but that the best player in the world has yet to do so. Faker’s carrying performances as Ryze and Taliyah proved once again why he’s still considered the best player in the world, and he managed to salvage the match through sheer ability.
As the next worlds stage will move from Guangzhou to Shanghai for the semifinals, Faker was asked if the travel schedule along with the scrims and practice takes a toll on him. Faker didn’t seem to mind, but another player does.
“I like riding planes so I don’t mind, but Huni (Heo Seung-hoon) is afraid of flying, so he might be worried about travel,” he said with a smile.
Another popular scene that came from Thursday’s quarterfinals match was when the top laner for Samsung Galaxy Lee “CuVee” Seong-jin was seen eating a banana between games. Faker said he too is jumping on the banana hype train.
“I also had a banana before the first game, and I think the other players are doing so because sugar is good for the brain,” he said.