SK Telecom T1 AD Carry Bae “Bang” Jun-sik commented on the ever present debate on the “gap” between Korea and other regions.
SKT managed to keep its journey to its fourth world championship alive by defeating Misfits 3-2 on Sunday, earning a spot to the semifinals. In an interview with Fomos’ Kim “Kenzi” Yong-woo, Bang said the current meta might be helping to close whatever gap exists.
“The gap isn’t necessarily that large, but it’s closing all the same,” he said. “I think it’s even closer with the current meta.”
The debate about “the gap” reignited as Misfits became the first non-Korean team to take SKT to five games at worlds. The crux of Misfits’ success was in the bottom lane, as support player Lee “IgNar” Dong-geun went for unorthodox engage supports like Blitzcrank and Leona in Games 2 and 3, which Misfits won. Bang said he didn’t expect those picks to come out, and Blitzcrank in particular was tough to deal with.
“The pressure of the Blitzcrank of immense. We had vision issues as well after getting dove in the bottom lane and losing the turret after that,” he said. “We went for Taric in that game. It wasn’t like we could counter their picks as they took Blitzcrank. I didn’t expect the the pick.”
The bottom lane from SKT seemed to be struggling in particular, with Bang and Lee “Wolf” Jae-wan turning in a performance below their normal standard. Game 5 had a peculiar scene of neither team going for the popular Ardent Censer supports, opting for Tahm Kench and Thresh instead. Bang explained that it was an attempt to adapt their picks against Misfits’ bot lane.
“I didn’t expect the Blitzcrank, Leona, and Thresh picks,” he said. “We didn’t face them in scrims, and Ardent Censer was just that much more dominant. Also we couldn’t go for a Censer support as we were getting led by the nose by engaging close-ragned supports.”
SKT will play Royal Never Give Up in the semifinals, which is the team Bang said he hoped to play before RNG took out Fnatic in another quarterfinal.
“I want to have a fun match by playing against RNG in China,” he said. “I think they’ll make it to the semifinals based on how they did in the group stage.”