Following their games in Guangzhou, the LPL's 2016 World Championship representatives answered questions from press. theScore esports attended the press conferences for EDward Gaming, Royal Never Give Up, and I May. The following are selected questions asked by Chinese press, and the answers were provided by the teams.
EDward Gaming Press Conference following their LPL Final victory
It's been 488 days since the last time you won the championship, do you feel like it has been a very long time? What do you feel about winning this time?
clearlove: We didn't win for two splits, but a lot of problems were exposed. This summer solved these problems very well, so for the final, we played beautifully. Taking this championship, my sentiment is just very happy. We have two new players on the team, and for the three of us veterans, to think we can bring two new players to a championship isn't a very easy thing, it's actually a really arrogant thing.
Recently, Jhin has become very popular and has become very common in pro play. When you face Jhin, what pick can play relatively well against him?
deft: This patch has three routinely practiced ADCs. I think they're Sivir, Ashe, and Jhin. So if you're against Jhin, there are still two leftover meta AD carries that are the best to pick.
clearlove, your recent ranked drop has been relatively serious. Have you been practicing some new heroes? Elise, for example, isn't a champion you typically play.
clearlove: Because, for a short time, my mentality was particularly bad, when I played ranked, I'd just lose points. Practicing heroes is also a part of it. Recently, it's true I've also practiced Elise, Nidalee, and Hecarim more. So recently my rank doesn't matter, winning the match is just fine.
In the first game, you used Tahm Kench and Twisted Fate, top had Teleport, so you could get all around the map, is this a gimmick? Why did you make this choice?
meiko: It's not a gimmick. Recently, Tahm Kench is relatively good, I practiced it a lot. It's synergy with Twisted Fate is also pretty good, and top will certainly take Teleport.
mouse, In your first final, was there a lot of pressure on you? Did coaches and teammates share their experience with you?
mouse: [It was] certainly nerve-wracking. They just said you don't need to be nervous, if you don't want to make mistakes, you can't be nervous.
Watching you stream before, I've often seen you play Varus. Was it to prepare for today's match?
deft: In fact, it wasn't — it was only to look for a new champion to play against the three commonly played champions I just mentioned. Varus and Ashe's ultimates are similar. In practice matches, I also played it a few times. The results were pretty good, so today I picked Varus.
What is the style of RNG's bottom lane? This time, their play wasn't too stable. Was this the crux of your victory?
meiko: RNG spend a lot of resources on their bottom lane, which makes us play a bit uncomfortably, but our resource use and team fighting aspects are better.
What do you think about Guangzhou? What about the fifth anniversary?
meiko: Guangzhou is the place where EDG first formed our team. The match finished today, so maybe tomorrow we'll go to experience the city a little. When EDG were formed, I hadn't joined yet, so I also don't know about Guangzhou.
Coach Aaron: We formed our team here, and our boss is also from Guangzhou. The team developed here before he sent us to Gaming Central — Shanghai. But we still feel like we belong to Guangzhou. This time, we return to Guangzhou and win the Championship. This is a very, very good feeling.
What is your goal for this years' Worlds?
clearlove: The team's goal is certainly to do all we can to take the World Championship. My goal is just to break through the Round of 8 and end the curse.
Royal Never Give Up Press Conference following their LPL Final loss
Right now, the new champion has been released, and he's being used in the top lane. Looper, do you think this champion can be used at Worlds?
Looper: I still don't know if we'll be able to use him at Worlds, but if we are, then he's certainly a good champion.
After a year of absence, Uzi will return to the World Stage and can return to the final. Overall, what is your feeling?
Uzi: I just really want to win. I don't know why our state right now isn't particularly good.
After this setback, which aspect will you work to improve upon?
xiaohu: This loss showed the entire team has a problem. We'll go back and train even harder. Everyone will sit down and solve the problem.
In the third game, xiaohu chose Malzahar. Many times, it turned the tide, but you didn't win. At that time, why did you choose this champion?
xiaohu: In this patch, Malzahar is very strong in team fights, but our team fights right now aren't very good, so we just lost that game.
I want to ask the coach about deft's Ashe. In the second game, why didn't you pick Ashe away from him? Uzi's Ashe is also quite excellent.
Fly: In the second game, we really could have taken Ashe away from Deft, but we thought there was a better choice at that time.
xiaohu, it's the first time you will climb the World stage. What are your feelings about other mid laners, do you have any expectations?
xiaohu: In my current state, I feel like, no matter which mid laner I face, I won't be a match for him. As for the results, I hope that our team can unite and finish with a good placement.
I May press conference following their regional final victory
This will be IM's first time on the world stage. Can you summarize your journey? What do you expect will be your performance at Worlds?
Coach Kezman: When I first came to China and joined the LSPL team, having just started to look at these players, I thought that bringing them up would be very hard. Later, when we took the LSPL Championship, upon accepting our trophy, AJ said our goal was to make it to the World Championship. I asked myself isn't this person a bit abnormal? Right now, we've qualified for Worlds, and it feels too incredible. I think I want to believe in our team's current circumstances. [In Chinese: S6, Round of 8!]
AmazingJ, today you cried tears of joy. What did this victory mean to you?
AmazingJ: It means I'm a man of my word. I say something, I do something.
Before, you always said your goal is to go to Worlds, today you took the last ticket to Worlds. Today was a very sticky situation in your matches, I want to ask you how you always kept your self belief and mental state.
AmazingJ: In the last game of the LSPL, there were similar circumstances. In front of me, there is wild death, but our cooperation and communication are both pretty good. Finally, in the late game, we found the opportunity for a comeback. We just kept an optimistic attitude.
Going from LSPL to LPL to Worlds is miraculous and very difficult. I want to ask the IM management, is there something special that you have in place?
Kezman: [In Chinese: Well, we're brothers] With our individual strength, we are not the best, but our atmosphere is particularly good. Everyone is friendly with each other and comes together to get these kinds of results.
The team management style is not like a Korean one. In a Korean team, the coach is ordinarily held above everyone else, but I regard them and approach them more like a brother. Everyone has confidence in each other, and the team cohesion is good. As we progressed in a best-of-five, or some disadvantageous circumstance, we can find a way to come back.
In the final game, WE had both Baron and fifth dragon buff and were pushing toward your base. At that time, how did you keep steady communication and succeed in your comeback?
AmazingJ: Because our AD carry is Sivir, the enemy team had to calmly and slowly push, so we could just communicate and guard our base. There was nothing special, just communicate well and defend.
How do you assess your enemy team, WE? After today's match, what do you think?
Kezman: Before the match, we had a side choice advantage. As a result, WE started at a disadvantage. So it isn't just strength that won us the games, but also some luck element — [the result] is also a reward for our efforts.
FireFox, you developed along with IM. During the game, what was your mood? After the win, also tell us your mood?
FireFox: In the final part of the best-of-five, the players' resilience, tenacity, our whole team's cooperation, and so on — simply speaking, we just played well. My mood doesn't have big ups and downs, if we lost, it just means that our strength was not enough, if we win, it also means I want to continue to encourage them, because our play in this best-of-five had a lot of deficiencies. As the coach said, we don't just rely on our individual strength to win. So, if we will represent the LPL at Worlds, we must improve our ability in order to bring greater honor to the LPL.
Have you researched other regions' teams' tactics or ways of thinking? In IM's current state, who do you think is the most difficult opponent?
AmazingJ: Recently, I haven't watched EU or NA matches, I've only watched Korean games. Chinese teams' greatest foes are the Korean teams.
Jinjiao, today you played Sivir very well. What are your own thoughts on this hero? What are your goals for the World Championship?
Jinjiao: Right now, Sivir is a relatively stable champion. She can also attack the back line, which is more suitable for us. The goal for Worlds is just to make Round of 8.
Any comments by Korean speakers are translated to English from a Chinese translation by the team's official translator. This press conference has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Photo credit to 刘一村.
Kelsey Moser is a staff writer for theScore esports. You can follow her on Twitter.