The Worlds 2022 journey comes to an end for T1. The team stumbled at the final hurdle. In the grand final, the renowned organization, led by legendary mid laner Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok, was defeated 3-2 by LCK fourth seed DRX. After the series, T1 gave a press conference. The questions have been sorted according to whom the question was asked.
Note: During the press conference, on-site translators only translated answers to English if the question was asked in English. Questions asked by Korean-speaking media and Chinese-speaking media could therefore not be included in this article.
Q: Before the game, many people considered you the best top laner in the tournament. I still think you’re a top player in the top lane. But your performance was not as good compared to the other series. Do you have any explanation? Maybe you didn’t feel so well? Maybe it was the pressure? Or maybe Kingen was too strong on Aatrox?
A: I actually have a lot of experience in this Aatrox matchup. But at some point, our matchup understanding was not settled yet. Or sometimes, even when I had the matchup that I was expecting, I was doing a pretty decent job of absorbing the pressure when the opponent had the power spike. But I think we had a lot of accidents with transitioning from the mid game to the late game. I think Kingen’s Aatrox was able to exert a lot of pressure in skirmishes and fights. So, I think he was able to have a bigger presence.
Q: You’ve lost a final before, but for your teammates, it’s the first time losing the final. Is there anything you told them after the match to comfort them, with the perspective that you have?
A: Our players were working so hard throughout the year. Thanks to that, we were able to get this chance where we were so close to winning the Worlds final. I told my teammates, “You guys did a great job, from the bottom of my heart.” Even though we ended up being the runner-ups of Worlds, there are so many things to learn from it at the same time. Even though we lost the final series, I think we have so many takeaways.
Q: While T1 didn’t win the games today, both of you were responsible for some incredible Baron and dragon steals. What was going through your minds when those steals happened and how does it feel to have these moments etched into League of Legends history?
Gumayusi: When I stole the objectives, I was like, “Today is the day. Today is our lucky day.” But, you know, this could be a good player highlight, but we didn’t win in the end. So, it’s just a really good outplay. It’s bittersweet in a way.
Oner: I was super excited when I got the steals, but at the same time, I have the same thoughts as Gumayusi.
Q: What do you think it means for the LCK that the fourth seed was able to win the world championship this year?
A: DRX was the fourth seed of the LCK and they have been stepping up so much throughout the tournament. They especially had a strong mentality during the best-of-five series. They have overcome a lot of hardship throughout a lot of the best-of-five series. I believe they are a very strong team. That’s why we were struggling in the final and lost to them.
Q: Can you walk us through the thought process behind the draft in game 5?
A: I believe, if we first-pick Varus on the blue side, the opponent will go for Azir and Renata [next]. So, we decided to ban Renata. I think we were expecting Aatrox to maybe even go further down, to the second phase, and we also had the confidence to play against Aatrox. That is the reason why we let it through.
Q: How do you rate your team’s performance overall this season? What message do you have for them going into 2023?
A: I want to say that my players pulled off a stellar performance throughout the season. They are so talented. Every one of them is a promising player. I hope this loss can become a stepping stone for them for the future. They have a long road as a professional player. I want to say sorry for today’s result.
Q: What do you feel was the biggest flaw in the team’s play? Can you tell us what the team discussed after the match?
Bengi: Today, gameplay-wise, I think we were rushing a little bit. But outside of that, I also want to focus on the fact that I think I wasn’t good at drafting today. I was pretty late with getting a grasp on the opponent’s tendencies.
Faker: I think there were many games where we were able to win, but we made mistakes. I think DRX had better concentration heading into the later phase of the series.