Lee Ji-Hoon, the head coach of KT Rolster talked about the pressure of expectation, and how it impacted the team in an interview with Daily eSports’ Nam Yun-seong after KT opened the League Champions Korea season with a 2-0 win against the ROX Tigers.
“The players were aware of the high expectations before the opening match,” he said “I also felt a lot of pressure for today’s match as well, since the players didn’t get to work together for a long time.”
Lee’s concern was exacerbated by the fact that the players asked him often why KT was playing the LCK’s opening match despite its short time together. According to the head coach, there were some concerns that stemmed from practice.
“There were many scenarios where we would lead by 10K gold and have the game flipped,” he said. “It was like watching a Chinese match. So much so that the players were wondering if they were playing in the LPL. I think the players were more careful because their weaknesses were shown.”
But Tuesday’s 2-0 win against the ROX Tigers proved that the title of super team isn’t wasted on KT, and the win had even more meaning to the head coach based on how it happened.
“I stepped out of the booth today,” he said. “I think it’s better to leave the drafting to the coaches. Coaches Oh Chang-jong and Jeong Jae-seung went into the booth today. We simulated a 10-ban system in practice many times, and it turned out exactly the way we anticipated. The victory today means more because it was born of management, as opposed to play making.”
New KT is made up of storied players, and that experience is shaping the way the team looks forward, Lee said.
“The team is made up of experienced veteran players, so they are treating each other with respect,” he said. “We also had team dinners with Korean barbecue in order to fully transition them to Korea.”