LirA: “We’re a team that loses our edge after a vacation.”

MaRin injured his hand while riding a bicycle and said he's "taking solo queue slowly" while recovering.
The Afreeca Freecs top laner MaRin (Jang Gyeong-hwan) injured his hand while riding a bicycle and said he's "taking solo queue slowly" while recovering.

The second round of the summer split in League Champions Korea kicked off with the Afreeca Freecs’ comeback win Monday against KT Rolster, moving them up to sixth place. The Freecs and KT have a very special bond of friendship among the players, and because they know so much about one another, the Freecs’ jungle Nam “LirA” Tae-Yu said they threw a curveball to clinch the victory, writes Daily eSports’ Lee Yun-Ji.

“Both the players and coaching staff on KT knows us very well,” he said in a 1-on-1 interview.“So we subbed in (Heo “Lindarang” Man-Heung) in the top lane to throw them off, and focused on taking down (KT’s top laner Kim “Ssumday” Chan-Ho.)”

He also praised Lindarang’s consistent play, saying that “regardless of the end result, (Lindarang) always plays well in competitive games,” making him a player who does best in highly competitive conditions.

The Freecs also have a tradition of playing much better starting from the second round, and LirA said that it’s something they need to work on.

“We’re a team that loses our edge after a vacation,” he said. “So we lose many games in the earlier stages of the split, but then get better as we get more practice in. I think that window of time between the end of the first round and the beginning of the second round. Personally I would like to have a smooth season starting from round 1. The fans might be entertained regardless, but from our perspective it’s a little frustrating.”

The Freecs also shocked Korea by being one of the teams that took down SK Telecom T1, and with a victory over KT as well, they prove themselves to be a strong contender for the postseason. The secret of the Freecs’ success seems to be in the skirmish power.

“I think we are better (than SKT and KT) at skirmishes,” he said. “We fall behind on metagame management. Usually strong teams don’t back down when we start to engage. We don’t lose in terms of momentum in fights, so we take whatever advantages from that skirmish.”

The Freecs also showed their affinity for going for Baron Nashor whenever they get the chance, and their calls around Baron have been getting better. According to LirA, there is one player in particular that is very eager to go for Baron.

“There is someone on our team that loves going for Baron,” he said. “It’s our supporter (Noh “SnowFlower” Hwe-Jong), and the moment we’re a single kill ahead, he makes Baron calls. Now after some feedback, we go for safer Baron calls. However there are still some times when we go for it at worrying times, so it’s nervous for me as a jungler. They always ask ‘can we go for baron?’ but I can never really answer them.”

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