Hanwha Life Esports has finally started to click. Their roster consists of three world champions and two players that have been to the semifinals. However, the start of the 2023 LCK Spring Split wasn’t good, as they fell to an early three-game losing streak. In this critical situation, Hanwha Life Esports rebounded back by defeating T1 2-1.
Head coach Choi “DanDy” In-kyu emphasized the importance of the bot lane prior to the match against T1, and bot laner Park “Viper” Do-hyeon lived up to his expectations. Viper playing Varus, Lucian, and Draven, contributing massively to Hanwha Life Esports’ victory. After the match, he joined Inven for an interview.
You finally showed the performance fans expected from Hanwha Life Esports. What changed?
We focused on how we were different between scrims and in the LCK. After some feedback, we found out that we were often too careful or too nervous in the LCK compared to scrims, so we tried to improve several things regarding communication and drafts. One of the biggest things we didn’t make as many shotcalls in the LCK as in scrims.
You lost to Gen.G, KT Rolster, and Liiv SANDBOX, but you defeated the only undefeated team, T1. What do you think that means?
We believed 100% that if we played as we prepared, we would win. Today was that day. Although T1 was undefeated, they had a weakness. We thought we could win if we prepared enough.
It seems that you’ve become more lively with more resources form the team. What do you think the conditions are for you to put on a great performance?
It is important for me to play with a comfortable mind. In the game, it depends on where we focus our resources. In the recent meta, the bot lane is the most important, so I get more resources. Also, many champions that have strong laning have been appearing — besides champions that have more of a carry role like Zeri or Lucian. Ironically, those champions with strong laning don’t have a high value in the late game, so I have to give more influence to the whole game in other areas early in the game.
Poking champions like Jayce have been appearing more this week. What do you think caused the change?
Champions like Jayce, Ziggs, or Jhin are picks to gain priority. Winning in lane comes first, and poking comes next.
The tides were quite different in games 1 and 2. What turned the tides?
In game 1, like our previous games, our communication wasn’t united. Starting from game 2, things got sorted out for us, so we were able to win.
It feels that your Lucian is stronger than when other players play Lucian.
Lucian is a very comfortable champion for me — even better when I play him with Nami. However, we wanted to break that composition against T1. When they picked Nami first, we picked Lucian and Yuumi. They would have been more uncomfortable playing Draven-Nami.
In game 3, Draven and Kassadin were picked early. They’re usually picked later in the draft.
When we saw T1’s first two picks, we thought Kassadin would be strong against those champions. As for Draven, we picked him because we didn’t want to give up lane priority. He was the best to gain priority in lane among the picks left.
You didn’t die in game 3 until the end. Were you confident that you would go deathless?
After the draft, I thought we wouldn’t lose in a 3v3 matchup. Jinx and Soraka aren’t that strong in 3v3 matchups including the jungler.
You’ve been playing with Life. Compared to other supports, how is he?
He has much potential. Our bot duo will improve together.
Are there any teams that you’ve been keeping an eye on in the LPL? How do you think EDG is doing?
It seems that Invictus Gaming has been showing interesting performances. Although EDG lost recently, they have great players, so I believe they’ll do well.
You’ve played in several teams up to now. Do you have a solution to improve Hanwha Life Esports' performance?
We proved that we could play better through our win today against T1. The LCK season is very long, and how we end it is the most important. We’ll become a team that can laugh last.