Afreeca Freecs coach: “We won’t be able to tell which teams will avoid relegations, or we will see some teams collapse in the early stages of the split. I expect many upsets to occur.”

With the up LCK Summer split coming up, Daily eSports’ Nam Yun-Sung conducted a series of interviews with five teams trying to knock SK Telecom T1 from the top of League of Legends Champions Korea.

The Jin Air Green Wings finished tied for fourth at 10-8 in the spring split before losing to SKT in the second round of the playoff gauntlet.

“Our goal is to make it to the postseason of LCK Summer, but it’s hard to say which teams will make it this split,” head coach Han Sang-Yong told Daily eSports. “We didn’t change or add to our roster this season and spent more time on honing our existing members’ skill. In the spring split, we had many games where we lost control in the late game and lost to comebacks, so we are making sure this doesn’t happen this split. In order to maintain a consistent performance, I believe our junglers (Park “Winged” Tae-Jin and ADC Na “Pilot” Woo-Hyung) need to step up.”

Afreeca Freecs’ coach Kang Hyun-Jong mentioned a positional change, as Heo “Lindarang” Man-Heung has moved from mid lane to top lane.

“He’s been focusing on the early game and the top lane economy, so we expect him to grow this summer split,” Hyun-Jong told Daily eSports. “We also intend give our jungler (Yoon “Seunghwan” Seung-Hwan) some play time as well.

“I think the Summer split will be chaotic, and I predict two outcomes. We won’t be able to tell which teams will avoid relegations or we will see some teams collapse in the early stages of the split. I expect many upsets to occur.”

Samsung Galaxy, the lone team in the four-way 10-8 tie to miss the playoffs, has added AD Carry Park “Ruler” Jae-Hyuk and transitioned Cho “CoreJJ” Yong-In into support. Coach Choi Woo-Bum said he expects both to do well but isn’t sure what to expect from the rest of the LCK.

“The spring split went as we had predicted, but I don’t expect the summer split to be like it at all,” Woo-Bum said. “Even the promoted ESC Ever and MVP showed that they were competitive if not better in some regards compared to the rest of the LCK. Our goal in the spring split was fifth place, but we stopped at sixth and didn’t make it to the postseason, so we want to make it to the postseason this split.”

CJ Entus’ coach Park Jae-Suk was still getting used to the team during the spring split, his first with the team. After missing out on the playoffs, recovering for the summer split is at the top of his goals.

CJE added some power to the jungle by adding Kang “Haru” Seung-Min for the summer split.

“Seeing as how we still put up a fight for fifth place showed that our team has limitless potential,” Jae-Suk said. “Also based on the explosive power of (Ha “Kramer” Jong-Hun) and (Hong “Madlife” Min-Ki), and the increased understanding of midlane by (Gwak “Bdd” Bo-Seong), we will be able to make it into the top five of the summer split.”

Longzhu Gaming tried out a rotating 10-person roster in the spring split, only to abandon the tactic after it resulted in a seventh place finish. Coach Kang Dong-Hoon said the summer split should be less hectic.

“The Spring split was a challenge for us,” Dong-Hoon told Daily eSports. “Of the 10 teams, we had the most new talent in our roster and we tried managing a double roster, which made the spring experimental.

“Before we received a lot of criticism on our team play while we were gathering ace players. We were well aware of that weakness, and are currently practicing to fix that while still trying to preserve individual game play styles. If we can work as one team, we will be looking even beyond making it to the postseason.”

Slingshot staff writer

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