On Jan. 10, the Season 2023 Kickoff was held. It was a slight preview for the LCK fans to see the league’s players in an exhibition match. Prior to the event today, Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok and Kim “Deft” Hyuk-kyu had picked their teams for the event — one player from each LCK team. The match winners were given an opportunity to design their own custom emotes in the game.
It was Team Deft that reigned victorious after three games while smiles crossed everyone’s faces throughout the event. After the match, the two captains, Faker and Deft, joined the media for a brief interview.
How do you feel about today’s event?
Deft: There were several players that I played with on both teams, so it was really fun. I’m even happier that we won.
Faker: It was a fun experience playing with players from several different teams. I’m satisfied that we were able to showcase a fun game before the season starts.
It should have been a while since you played a show match in front of fans like today.
Deft: Yeah, our games were always quite serious, but since we played with a light mood today, it was fun. I felt like I was actually just playing the game for fun.
Faker: For me, I did my best to let the fans see us win, but we lost. Although we did, I hope the match was interesting for the fans.
What did you think about the teams you picked?
Deft: Since Faker picked a player from DRX, my picks didn’t go as planned, but I was satisfied since the players I picked were really good.
Faker: There were players that fans would enjoy watching, and the teams were formed well with players representing their teams, so I thought it would be enjoyable.
According to today’s rules, you had to go into game 3 with 20 champions banned out. How did you prepare for that?
Deft: Before the game, the bot side agreed to play without Caitlyn, Lucian, and Yuumi, aside from all the bans. Champions we didn’t think of appeared, so it was fun.
Faker: BeryL actively talked about how we should draft the bot lane, and we all picked from our champion pools.
Who was the “brain” of the team?
Deft: It hasn’t been that long since Morgan, Chovy, and I played on the same team, so we naturally all gave our opinions.
Faker: For us, BeryL led the discussions about the draft and strategy, but everyone participated actively.
(To Faker) After the match, you watched the 1v1s comfortably. How was it?
Faker: Since I just watched from behind, it was fun.
(To Deft) Why did you choose Cuzz for the 1v1?
Deft: I wanted to play the better player, and I thought Cuzz was better. As I thought, he was good, and I lost. [Laughs]
(To Deft) Cuzz was extremely talkative throughout the 1v1s. How was it?
Deft: I anticipated it, so I wasn’t too frustrated. He wasn’t just all mouth, and he played well.
It’s not easy to see you two getting interviewed together. What do you think about each other? Any comments to share?
Deft: We fought as enemies for a long time, and I mostly lost, so to me, he was the bad guy. [Laughs] Even as an enemy, he’s a great player with positive influence, so I respect him. I heard he signed for three years, so I hope he keeps showing a good performance.
Faker: Deft is a consistent and tough player. We’ve been pro players together for a long time, so I hope we can continue to show good performances together far into the future.
The spring season is just around the corner.
Faker: It’s regretful that I lost the first match of 2023, but I’ll do my best based on today’s loss to show good results in the spring season.
Deft: I joined Dplus KIA now, and it was a good team all along with great players. I’ll work hard to get results we all can be satisfied with.
Worlds will be held in Korea. What are your thoughts?
Deft: I’ve been to all Worlds that were held in Korea, so there are so many fun memories. But the results weren’t satisfying. I’ll work hard to rise high this time.
Faker: It’ll be more satisfying if we win the championship since it’s an international event held in Korea, but regardless of where it’s held, we’ll focus on the tournament itself.
Aside from results, what are your goals for 2023?
Faker: My biggest goal this year is to learn many things and do them. Aside from gaming, I’ll learn, grow, and practice.
Deft: I’ve always divided my life into things that I could do and things that I couldn’t, but recently, I’ve been trying to do things that seemed I couldn’t do. I’ve also been trying to get closer to my fans. I hope it goes well this year.