Mickey on pause during LCK gauntlet match: “I think the stress caused me to not be able to breathe. This happens from time to time when I’m just sitting down.”

The gauntlet to determine the last League Champions Korea team that will earn a berth in the League of Legends World Championship began with a bang Monday, as the Afreeca Freecs performed a reverse sweep against the Jin Air Green Wings and proceeded to the next round with a 3-2 win.

In an interview with Inven, Afreeca’s mid laner Sun “Mickey” Yong-Min said that the first two losses were results of impatient play, and the team had to work with the immense pressure that came with having to pull off a reverse sweep.

“Going into a match after two losses was psychologically taxing,” he said, “But because the whole team didn’t want to lose no matter what today, we were able to make the reverse sweep happen. There were a lot of mistakes (in Games 1 and 2). We needed to be calm, but the team was very impatient.”

Before Game 3 could begin, there was a slight pause from Afreeca due to Mickey having some trouble breathing, and though the Freecs managed pull through with a win, Mickey said that it has been a persistent issue.

“I need to go to a hospital,” he said. “I have times when my breathing gets short because I feel that the air is too thin in everyday life. There was the two loss pressure along with the fact that I didn’t want to miss my chance at worlds again, so I think the stress caused me to not be able to breathe. This happens from time to time when I’m just sitting down.”

Game 3 didn’t look good for the Freecs earlier on, with the health concerns coupled with Jin Air taking the early game lead. Mickey said he focused on “not being a burden to the team” after the brief interruption but also had to keep up while Jin Air was focusing on Afreeca’s mid lane. The Freecs’ response to Jin Air’s pressure was to put their eggs in a different basket.

“I don’t know why but I never thought that our AD Carry (Kwon “Sangyoon” Sang-Yoon) was good when Lucian and Corki were meta picks,” Mickey said. “He was much better before on picks like Sivir, Caitlyn, and Kog’Maw, so I thought I would push him from behind the Karma pick in the mid lane.”

With the next round of the gauntlet coming against Samsung Galaxy, Mickey said the reverse sweep against Jin Air has instilled some wind underneath his wings.

“I want to win and make it to the world championship no matter what the odds,” Mickey said. “I don’t have a particular player (on Samsung) that I’m concerned about. No matter who I face, I just need to play better. Lee “Crown” Min-Ho is a very good farmer. I think the mid will be a 50-50 matchup, I think the results will be reliant on who works with their teams better.”

Slingshot staff writer and Korean League of Legends expert who also owns a Pikachu-themed iPhone case. You can reach him at Andrew@slingshotesports.com

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