SK Telecom T1 seems to have brushed off its recent string of losses in round one with a clean 2-0 win Thursday against the ROX Tigers. Almost as usual, Lee “Faker” Sang-Hyeok was acknowledged as the MVP of Game 1 on LeBlanc, and AD Carry Bae “Bang” Jun-Sik took the title of MVP after Game 2 on his classic Ezreal play. In a post-match interview with casters Kim Dong-Jun and Lee “CloudTemplar” Hyun-Woo Faker shared his thoughts about his team’s performance as of late.
“Usually we win the early-to-mid stages of round 1 handily,” he said. “However lately, even when we win a lot, it doesn’t seem like we win as well as before.”
CloudTemplar asked Bang next about his thoughts on Ashe, as Bang showed some solid play as the queen of Freljord in set 1. Despite his admirable performance, Bang was very quick to voice his shortcomings on Ashe.
“I don’t think Ashe is the type of champion that does a lot of damage,” he said. “Right now the meta seems to favor supportive marksmen, which is a shame because I feel like all I’m doing is shooting my ultimate. I’m also really bad at landing them.”
Bang talked more in specifics referencing a team fight in which the Magic Crystal Arrow that hit the Tigers’ jungler Han “Peanut” Wang-Ho and killed him. According to Bang, he was actually aiming for Azir, and that miss was more frustrating than the kill was rewarding.
“I really think it’s not hard to miss with that arrow,” he added. “The projectile speed is fast, and the hitbox is large too. But I just can’t land them.”
Even more humbling was Faker’s comment when he was asked about that particular arrow, saying that he didn’t even notice that Peanut’s Kindred was killed in that team fight, and saying that it “would have been better if (Bang) had hit Azir or Jhin.”
On the topic of Bang’s performance in the bot lane, caster Kim asked more in detail about Bang’s fascination with Ezreal, now that he has become the go-to champion for Bang. However Bang just seems confused as to why he’s the only one playing Ezreal.
“Ezreal is a really good champion,” he said. “I think that (my success on him) has a lot to do with Ezreal’s strengths as a champion. Ezreal isn’t hard to play either; he can farm safely from a distance, so even if the enemy ADC puts a lot of pressure on him, he doesn’t fall behind in farm at all.”
Of course there had to be a question for Faker with yesterday’s debut of Taliyah in League Champions Korea, and especially because the Tigers’ Lee “Kuro” Seo-Haeng also pulled her out against Faker in Game 2. Faker said that not only did he expect Taliyah to show up, but also had prepared to play against her.
“I definitely thought that Taliyah was going to see play today,” he said. “I also played a lot of her in solo queue and faced her many times as well. Yesterday I was able to play Azir into a Taliyah in ranked, which was good practice for today. I personally thought how to lane against Taliyah a lot as well.”
Now that SKT is gearing up to face old rival KT Rolster, Bang said that he wanted to use this momentum going forward and use the lessons learned from their most recent loss, despite a hit to his confidence.
“I thought that our game against KT will go well if we won today, so I was mostly focused on the games today,” he said. “Using this victory, I want to prepare well against (KT.) I recently lost some confidence. The other teams are doing so well, and we learned a lot from our loss against Ever. Since all the other teams are preparing and playing well. I think we need to be on our toes.”
Faker ended the interview by thanking the fans “despite the rather lacking gameplay against the Tigers today,” and promised to win a lot more in satisfactory fashion.
Cover photo courtesy of Riot Games.