Like, the summer split starts on May 20th, and right now it’s March 20-something. [If we don’t make it to playoffs] we have to just sit doing nothing for two months. Even right now, I’m going to go mad stuck in my room playing games. And if I’m not playing [playoffs] matches on top of that, I I don’t know what I would do, really. I’ve spent the last eight years of my life doing nothing but playing games. So we haven’t given up just yet, at all. Hello, this is Jeong “Impact” Eon-yeong, the top laner for Team Liquid. It’s been a while, great to have you here. It’s been a while. Well, Team Liquid has defeated Golden Guardians and continued their hope for the playoffs. How are you feeling about the result of the match? I … I think we were just terrible in that game. We were good during the early game, but … But I couldn’t help but feel we’re performing badly. The moment our top turret, mid turret, and bot turret all fell at the same time, I was like … “Whoa, what’s going on?” “Is this even a proper game?” Then my teammates told me we’re still winning, and I was like, “Man, aren’t our global gold similar at this point?” I looked at the opponent Renekton’s items, and I saw that he was a level ahead of me. I was like, hmmm, this is not going too well. But we managed to drag the game on well through some good teamfights. We kept taking the drakes, too. The enemy team was more desperate than us, they kept forcing fights and gave up kills as a result. They had an early game comp. They were doomed if they didn’t make something in the early game. But we threw, imo, during the mid game. Giving up three turrets and all. But in the end, we managed to take it to the late game and win, based on our drafts. Yes, Golden Guardians drafted an early game comp while Team Liquid had more of a scaling comp. However, it kinda felt like TL wasn’t able to close out the game when they needed to. Perhaps you could have put an end to the game when you had the Baron, or the Elder Drake. We’re just so used to Team Liquid being decisive, especially from their performance last year. What’s your opinion on this feedback? It was hairy for us to do that because the enemy team ran a poking Varus. If it wasn’t a poking Varus but a more AA-based Varus, we could have opened some teamfights and win from there. But this Varus is going bop, bop from distance away. Then my bot laner and mid laner are like, “Dude I’m low, I have to recall.” I’d personally say the game dragged on because of the poking Varus. If it had been just a normal Varus, we could have pressured them harder, maybe force a tower dive. But we were getting poked even before we could go in for a dive. That was one reason why we couldn’t finish as fast as we wanted to. Yes, it’s true that we won several teamfights. But they were all during contesting the drake, and we went int when the enemy Varus made mistakes on the pokes. We did make mistakes, too. Giving up these three turrets, man. We were ahead in kills, but we weren’t ahead in the game. We didn’t have the sidelanes prio. I was like, “If the enemy Varus keeps poking, we’ll eventually lose our vision and run out of things to do.” Even when we had the Baron, the maximum we could do was to scratch at the surface of the inhibitor. Then we weren’t successful in that, either. That was the big bummer. I guess that’s my excuse. That poking Varus is so good at holding the lane. It’s not like our Zoe had means of lifesteal. Our Xayah didn’t build lifesteal items, either. The more I think about it, [Doublelift] should have gone Bloodseeker for his third core item. You seem to have a lot of regret about the moment Team Liquid lost three turrets. Is that the one moment you’d change in the game, if you could turn back the time? I think we could have ended the game in 25 minutes, if we hadn’t lost three turrets then. That had such a heavy impact. The enemy’s win condition was to completely stomp me. The moment I picked Gangplank, I was telling them, “I’m not going to fight you. Imma do my thing over here, by myself” Eating oranges all by yourself, yeah. Yeah. I was like, imma be peeling oranges by myself here, you do you. Then the enemy jungle died once at the top, which made things go awry for them. Hauntzer dying was pretty big. And this is the thing. The moment you draft Renekton and Elise you have to play Chinese style. You have to go “siege mode” at the top, play with the mindset you’re putting a hole at the enemy top lane at all costs. But the enemy jungler kept going here and there. Renekton loses the 1v1, right. That gave us some room to breathe. If it wasn’t for us losing three turrets at the same time … We’d have easily finished it, 25-minutes, 30-minutes. But Team Liquid still managed to turn the game around. So Team Liquid has two matches left in the regular split, right. You HAD to win today’s match in order to have a chance in going to the playoffs. Yeah, that’s true. If you put it that way, we also had to win yesterday’s match. Look, now there’s absolutely no room for retreat. Yeah, true. That’s huge. What was the team atompshere like? Were the players especially determined? We were like, “We are screwed if we don’t win today.” What is that, even? Like, we can’t go outside at the moment, right. The only activity we can do right now is to keep playing games. But if we had lost today, and had to keep playing scrims anyway the team atmosphere would have continued to deteriorate. We need SOME kind of silver lining. Of course, I want to go to the finals. But this, right … It’s better to play matches, at least, than just staying at home, right.
_ Yeah, of course. So I was actually one of the people who didn’t want LCS to get cancelled, but … I guess the team atmosphere wasn’t so bad. So I … We have to win, right. The team was doing ok. Compared to yesterday — Yesterday, the team atmosphere was really bad. We’ve won today, so we have to perk up based on our victory today and win next week, too. This also came up when I was talking to CoreJJ in a recent interview. Team Liquid had lots of ups and downs during the spring split, right. Team Liquid made almost no experiments with its starting roster last year, but this year, they’re trying different players. Then Doublelift returned as a starter, Tweeting “I’m back”. Has the team found a stable, consistent synergy ever since then? Hmmm. I’m not sure. Personally, I don’t think it’s been too bad, But … I guess we lack trust for one another. We have to trust each other and make plays based on that, but … Then, we started losing. That’s what happens to the losing team. You slowly lose that trust. I believe we have to find that trust again in order to push towards the top of the standings once again. We just have to keep trying. Personally, even if we do end badly at the spring split I want to keep working on this into the summer split. Worlds is at stake at summer. Have to go to worlds. Now, this is me. Of course, we have to win NA and stuff. But … I dropped out of worlds in such a regretful way, every single worlds. Always going 3-3. We could have won one more game and qualified for the quarterfinals. Just ONE. I still want to hang onto that. For me, it’s less about winning a certain game so we can make it to the immediate playoffs. It’s more about us increasing our performance. Even if we lose — Because we could lose. It’s a best-of-one, after all. Even if we lose, if we were doing well and the opponent team was simply doing better, I could live with that. But if we’re losing in an outrageous way, like today when we gave up three turrets. That’d be, uh. That’s my goal, to perform better as a team. We can’t change the individuals doing bad or making mistakes. We have to play better as a team. Even at worlds, I got the impression the team synergy is so important. Yeah, I guess that’s me. Like … The team atmosphere isn’t bad, and it’ll continue to be better because we won today’s match. So gotta use this momentum to perform well next week — As next week is the cusp. You have to beat the first-placed team and the second-placed team in order to make to the playoffs. Cloud9 — Sorry, please continue. But first-placed teams and second-placed teams usually trip on this pitfall. You’re holding yourself in that first place. You aren’t that hungry there. That’s how we threw and lost four matches in a row last year. Remembering that time, I believe that they are beatable opponents as long as we work hard. This is the thing about League. Even if you are a strong team, you could drop a game at any moment’s notice. Nothing’s certain if we turn up on these matches. I guess that’s the only thing I can say. We have to work harder, we have to do better. Keep having these conversations about the team synergy. With enough conversations … We have a chance of winning, for sure. And even if we lose … I want us to carry this into the summer split. Even if you lose. Yeah. It’s not like we can go outside, either. It’s not like our lives are over if we don’t make it to playoffs. And the results of the spring split don’t count into worlds seeding, either. Yeah, I’m kinda sad about that, too. But whichever way … We’re misunderstood on this subject. People think we aren’t motivated as much because the spring results don’t count for worlds. Professional players aren’t about the money. It’s not like, “I already got the money, the results don’t matter.” If we lose, we’re just as pissed … I mean, we’re just as angry as anyone. When we think about the matches, it’s all about the victories and the losses. For me, the money I make is like … What’s a good example … League Points (LP). You are getting your value as a player validated, and you have to do just as well. So I’d want to do well with everyone on the team even if the spring split had nothing at stakes. I just want everyone to continue a positive momentum, delevop a hope that we have a room for improvement. And bring that into the summer split. It’s less of, “We have to win at all costs.” To be honest, that’d feel like more pressure. It’d put us on more pressure and make us more nervous if we kept telling ourselves, we have to win, we have to win. That we have to win, that we have to win. It’s better to just say, “Let’s do what we must.” Sure. I’m guessing there’ll be even more pressure weighing on you guys because of the dominance TL displayed last year. Yeah. That’s why I’ve just been grinding games, barely had any break. Sleep for eight hours, just grind, but … Look, in NA, people stop playing solo queue after midnight. Yeah, I’ve heard that. So it’s tough, but I kept grinding. Thought I’d get somewhere if I tried harder. But it was actually a bad influence on me. For an oldie like me. I’m on my eighth year doing this thing. I realized I had to find my own way of maintaining my edge. Wondered if just grinding might actually do more harm than good. Even today, it was online but I was more nervous than ever. My hands were shaking. And I’m eighth year in my career. Simply makes no sense. My coach actually told me “Take a breath. Take it slow. You are good.” On every match, I feel like I must crush the other laner. Even yesterday, I died because of that. Top die? Top die? I guess this was a top die, just a reverse one. So I’ve been, like … Letting go. Letting go of some of the pressure and nerves I put on myself. I’ve been thinking about things that I really need to do and put my focus on. I’ve been slowly changing my mindset towards, “Let’s just do well in what I can do.” I hope I can show a better performance, slowly, as a result of this. Sure. Thank you so much for the interview. Finally — I guess Team Liquid fans out there would have breathed a sigh of relief as they watched today’s match. The hope for the playoffs continues on. If you can say something to these fans — It will be appreciated. If I was a Team Liquid fan watching today’s match, I would have been like … Wow. I wouldn’t think we did well, I’d actually be angry. If I was a Team Liquid fan watching this. “What the hell are these guys doing when they’re on a lead?” If you have any eye for the game, you’d have asked: “Renekton and Elise didn’t do anything. So why are they winning?” And we are aware of this. We will put in so much effort in order to fix these mistakes. So I hope you keep tuning into our matches. We haven’t given up yet. There’s absolutely no point in giving up right now. Like, the summer split starts on May 20th, and right now it’s March 20-something. [If we don’t make it to playoffs] we have to just sit doing nothing for two months. Even right now, I’m going to go mad stuck in my room playing games. And if there aren’t any matches on top of that, I … I don’t know what I’d do, really. I’ve spent the last eight years of my life doing nothing but playing games. So … We haven’t given up any of this just yet. We want to work harder, as a team. I hope you continue watching us, put faith in us.