On day 1 of the 2022 LoL World Championship group stages, LCK’s DWG KIA took a commanding victory against their international rivals, LEC’s G2 Esports. Heading into day 2 of groups, DWG KIA will face LPL’s JD Gaming, the other team in their group who also went 1-0 in the day.
Inven Global had a chance to speak with the jungler for DWG KIA, Kim “Canyon” Geon-bu, about their victory over their long-time rivals.
It was a landslide victory against one of DWG KIA’s celebrated rivals, G2 Esports. Talk to me about your victory against them.
I felt it was really important for us to win our first match at Worlds, so I’m thrilled that we won our match. I feel that our early game went very well, but I think it’s still early to fully gauge G2’s level because it was only one game.
You stated in your earlier interview on the LCK broadcast that you felt like you didn’t play well because you were nervous. Can you point out what you could’ve done better?
Although we won our first Rift Herald teamfight, I needed to dodge the skillshots that I needed to, and there are finite details in drake teamfights that could be improved on my end.
It felt like the game heavily shifted in favor of DWG KIA when you guys won that teamfight for the first Rift Herald. At what point did you feel you’ve won the match?
I agree that we were very advantageous when we won that Herald teamfight. After that, I thought that we won’t lose as long as we didn’t make critical mistakes.
You played Graves in that match, a champion that’s heavily associated with you. How do you compare the jungle meta at Worlds as to the Summer split?
Compared to the Summer split, I think that there’s more variety in the jungle champion pool right now. There are quite a number of jungle champions that’s been buffed and nerfed in patches leading up to Worlds, so I definitely think the jungle champion pool has gotten wider.
Many say that bot lane lost a lot of its power, and that the power has shifted towards the top side.
I do agree that it was more bot lane-ccentric during the Summer split. For Worlds, I’d say that you have more choices to play out the game through any side that you want. With the right team comp, I feel that junglers can also carry the game.
A lot of fans are also anticipating your other signature pick, Nidalee, to make its appearance at Worlds this year. Where do you think she is in terms of the jungle tier list?
I think that it’ll depend on the champion mastery that a player has. I’m continuing to practice her in both solo queue and in Champions Queue, so we’ll see how things go.
I also want to talk about Champion’s Queue. It’s a system that doesn’t exist in Korea, so what has your CQ experience been like so far?
CQ works really well because there are so many players participating at Worlds this year. Not having to climb to play against good players in solo queue is one of CQ's biggest merits. While I personally don’t use voice comms in CQ, deokdam seems to have a lot of fun communicating with others in English. It was fun to watch him talk in English.
Based on the discussions surrounding scrims at Worlds this year, it seems that the Eastern teams are dominating the Western teams. How has practice been going for you and the team so far?
We’re having a lot of internal discussions on organizing tier lists for our drafts. That, as well as our scrims themselves have been smooth sailing so far. There weren't any teams that particularly stood out where we thought, “This team is really good”, so that’s good news for us.
Practice is also affected by players’ physical condition, and flying halfway across the world doesn’t exactly help in that regard. How are you adjusting to New York so far?
I’m slowly adjusting better to the NA time zone. Up until a few days ago, I felt like I was going to pass out when it was only 11 pm, but as time went on, I could feel myself adjusting better, and realized the necessity of growing my stamina.
Many consider group B to be the group of death, but based on today’s match result, it feels like DWG KIA will have no problem moving onto the knockout stage. How do you foresee the team’s run in the group stages?
It’s hard to tell right now, because we haven’t played JDG or that other team [Evil Geniuses] yet. I hope we move onto the knockout stages in first place to play against other good teams in the tournament. Right now, however, it’s more important for us to improve our own gameplay in the short time frame that we have.
Moving forward, what does the team need to improve on for day 2 of the group stages?
Based on the game just now, there was definitely room for improvement in my skirmishing. Also, things like organizing our draft further, and finding direction in our gameplay definitely needs further polishing.
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