“I don’t think it’s because I came back, but because I came back at a time when the team was moving up again.”
Despite his presence instantly erasing the memories of a disastrous 1-7 record during his hiatus, Lee “Faker” Sang-hyuk still has a lot of faith in his juniors and their potential to improve. He also mentioned that his right arm injury was another opportunity for him and his juniors to grow.
Speaking to OSEN after the team’s 3-2 victory over KT in the second round of the playoffs on October 10, Sang-hyuk shared the good news that he is not considering surgery on his right arm, as the pain has improved due to consistent rehabilitation and a new posture that relieves the pain.
The following is a one-on-one interview.
— Congratulations on the win. How does it feel to be in the winner’s bracket of the third round of the playoffs?
I always thought that KT is a very strong opponent, so I was hoping that we could win some games, but I’m glad that we were able to win today, and we’ll have to prepare hard for the next game.
— It was the second day in a row that we played, so I think there might be some fatigue. Did you think KT would choose T1?
— I thought they could choose, but I thought it was more likely that they would choose Hanwha Life, so it was a bit of a surprise when they chose us.
— How did you prepare for the match with only one day to prepare for the match once the bracket was finalized?
We only had one day to prepare for each other, so we decided to focus on our conditioning, and we prepared by meeting together and talking about how to banpick.
— T1’s performance really changed after Faker came back, and I wonder why it didn’t work out during Lee’s absence.
— When I wasn’t there, each play was a little bit different, and I think it was just a big snowball of mistakes, and I don’t really know why.
— You got to go to the Grand Finals, which is where the semifinals and final are held. Have you ever been to Daejeon before?
I’ve never been to Daejeon before, but I think it would be fun.
— In the third round winners’ bracket, you’ll meet the winner of Genji and Hanwha Life. What do you think your chances of advancing to the final are?
▲ I think it’s definitely possible to go straight to the final, and personally, I’m aiming to improve my game for the rest of the tournament because I was a little disappointed with my performance today, and I think wins and losses can follow if the process is good. 토토사이트
— What’s different about T1 since Lee Sang-hyuk’s return.
▲ I don’t know, I don’t think there’s that much of a change, but I think it was good timing for the team to move up again.
— If there was a high point in the match against KT, what was it?
Overall, I think it was when we were at a disadvantage in the beginning and middle of the game because we kept losing a little lead in the lineup.
— The crowd was very loud, did you hear them at any point during the game, and after the win, you shared the joy of victory with your teammates, how did that feel?
There were times when I could hear the fans cheering, but I don’t think I paid much attention to it, and instead, I tried to focus on the game, even though I felt more confident whenever I heard it. At the end of the match, of course, I’m happy that we won, but I think I was still a little bit disappointed because I didn’t have the kind of performance that I personally aimed for.
— Did you feel more comfortable with your new stance than last time?
I haven’t had a lot of time to adapt to the changed position now, so it’s not perfect yet, but I’m trying a few different things now, so I’m thinking that I’ll definitely be able to show a good record before the final.
— Is it a condition that would require a procedure like decompression or surgery?
I don’t think I’m considering surgery because my condition is improving now, but I think it’s an opportunity for me because I can try different things, and I think it’s a good experience, especially the experience of coming back from such a bad performance, so I think it’s a good experience, so I think it’s kind of good.
— If you could give some advice to your juniors.
I think we have a lot of good players and we have some really good plays and we have some good strengths, so I think we can be the strongest team if we utilize those things.
— Do you have anything to say to fans who were worried about T1’s performance during your absence?
It’s true that the team actually didn’t play well and struggled as a team when I was out, but there were definitely things that we learned along the way, and I think those things will help us improve in the future. There were definitely losses, but in the end, we won today, and I think it’s very grateful and meaningful that there are things to improve and develop in the next games, and I think the upcoming Asian Games will be good because I’m a good enough player.
— With this victory, you seem to be one step closer to the World Championship. You haven’t had any luck at the Rold Cup in Korea, so how do you feel about your chances of advancing. I understand that if you make it to the finals, it’s a done deal.
I’ve competed in MSI once in Korea, so it doesn’t affect me too much that I don’t have a connection with international competitions, but I do have some regrets about not being able to compete at Worlds in Korea in 2014. If I get to compete at Worlds this time, I think it will be a very good and new experience, and I will do my best.
— Lastly, do you have any greetings for your fans?
I’m a little disappointed that I didn’t play as well as I wanted to today, but I’ll use this victory as an opportunity to grow and work harder next time.