In round 1 of the 2022 LCK Spring playoffs, DWG KIA faced off against Fredit BRION in the first match. Many experts and analysts expected a closer series between the two teams, as Fredit BRION took a clean 2-0 victory over DWG KIA the last time they faced off. However, DWG KIA took a clean 3-0 victory over them, and is slated to face off against either T1 or Gen.G in round 2.
After the match, the head coach of DWG KIA, Yang "Daeny" Dae-in, sat down for an interview.
How do you feel about making it to round 2 of the playoffs?
We lost to Fredit BRION 0-2 in our last match, so I was very worried about tonight’s match. Thankfully, we managed to 3-0 them in a more important match, so I’m relieved.
What are some of the things that the team worked on after the loss, for tonight’s rematch?
In terms of champion tier list, not much has changed since the regular split. I believe that we lost that match because the players were incredibly nervous. For tonight’s match, I told the players to not feel pressured and trust our practice process.
Fredit BRION is a team that lacks experience in a playoff setting. What was the game plan for tonight?
I mean even with us, apart from ShowMaker and Canyon, the other three players have little to zero playoffs experience. We formulated our game plan centered around those two players for tonight. We have high faith in the practice methods that we’ve chosen to follow, and I plan on giving the other three players more opportunities to experience playing in high-stake matches.
Why did the team draft Nocturne in game 2, a champion that’s not picked at all in the current meta?
It’s difficult to reveal the reason why, because we still have matches left to play. I’ll reveal the reason why after the split ends. Let’s just say Nocturne will have his moments to shine in the future.
As a coach, how is preparing for a Bo5 different as to a Bo3?
I think that it’s different for each team and region. For example, LPL teams choose the same side in every game they play in a series. In a Bo5, you can get a feel for how much your opponents have prepared after one or two games. When you do, it becomes a showdown. I believe that a Bo5 series is truly when a team can prove their strengths and values. There’s a lot of room to create variance in the current meta, so I’ll say I'm having a lot of fun preparing for Bo5s right now.
You once said that playoffs are like midterms, and that Worlds is like the final exams. What kind of a team do you hope to shape by the time the final exams come around?
I want to shape the team that has the power to flip the tides of the game. Players have different ways of winning the game; some players learn to create new patterns of winning through various steps, while others just memorize every single pattern out there. Ultimately, the team needs to become flexible in the plays they make on the spot, and win the small flips they make in a game.
Right now, we’re confident in closing out a game when we’re ahead, so through the playoffs, I hope that the team grows to be able to win from behind. We need to become a team that needs to know how to take calculated risks and pull them off successfully before Worlds, and in order to do so, the players need to learn more about each other and hone their synergy. With three new players on our roster this year, it’s my job to accelerate that process.
The 12.5 patch is a very long one. What are your thoughts on playing on the same patch for so long?
It depends on how well the other teams prepare as well. If other teams don’t adjust to a patch well, then it’s better for us, but if they adjust quickly, then we hope that the new patch will provide new factors that will put us ahead.
Looking ahead in round 2 of the playoffs, what are some of the things that the team will be focusing on?
It depends on which team we face. I always wish we’d be able to keep taking the ‘midterms’, as playing in the LCK finals will greatly benefit the players’ growth. I hope that ShowMaker and Canyon will continue leading the team, while the other three players will continue gathering experience until the ‘final exams’.
Speaking of LCK finals, this year’s finals will take place at KINTEX, with the live audience finally returning after 2+ years.
When the team played in front of 6,000 people in the 2020 Worlds finals, it was an exhilarating experience. I want the players to experience the same feeling this time around.
Striving for perfection to achieve excellence in esports