Samsung reverse swept the Afreeca Freecs on Wednesday to advance to the finals of the League Champions Korea regional gauntlet. After the match, CuVee said in a video interview with Fomos the team’s experience in the gauntlet could come in handy.
“It’s disappointing that we have to fight in the regional at all, but since it’s like what happened to us last year, I think it’ll work out,” he said.
Samsung was in the same position last year, having to beat both Afreeca in the semifinals and KT Rolster in the finals in order to clinch Korea’s third and final seed to worlds. After qualifying, Samsung then managed to make it all the way to the world finals, pushing SK Telecom T1 to five games before eventually losing.
As Afreeca led Wednesday’s series 2-0, Samsung subbed in veteran jungler Kang “Ambition” Chan-yong, who played a large part in orchestrating the dramatic comeback. CuVee says that simply playing Ambition can illicit a change in the team, which was evident in Wednesday’s match.
“I think the team atmosphere becomes more calculating (when playing with Ambition),” he said. “Because of that, I feel like we make less risky plays and go for more stable ones.”
In the deciding game, CuVee shined particularly bright as Gnar, proving to be a consistent split-pushing threat in the side lanes, forcing Afreeca to make reactionary decisions. CuVee said that it pretty much went just as the team planned before the game even started, as the team focused on side-lane pressure over team fights.
“We forced Afreeca in a position where they had to initiate team fights since I was putting a lot of side-lane pressure,” CuVee said. “But even before the game started we strategized to just let me pressure the lanes while the rest of the team would disengage whenever Afreeca try to pick a fight.”
As CuVee will be facing one of Korea’s finest top laners, Song “Smeb” Kyung-ho, in the regional final, he was asked how he felt about the matchup. It didn’t appear that he cared too much.
“No matter the opponent, I think the lane goes according to the champion matchup, so I’m not particularly more aware of some players compared to others,” he said. “I’m only thinking of playing the champion I play in the manner that it’s supposed to be played.”
Cover photo courtesy of Riot Games