Following Team Dragon Knight's second win of the season, Smoothie spoke to theScore eSports about the team's future, supporting Emperor and playing with nothing to lose.
*Note: This interview was conducted on Saturday, July 25 after TDK defeated Cloud9.
To get your second win of the season in such a crazy game and to play spoiler to Cloud9 must feel pretty great. What are you feeling right now?
Fantastic, I have no words for it. I can’t even describe it.
Was the double assassin composition all part of the plan heading into that game or was it a spur of the moment decision?
Actually no, we didn't have a plan going into this game. We literally knew about us playing Thresh while we were on stage. We didn't have any practice this week so winning this week of all weeks was very weird to me and I’m so happy right now.
For the past few weeks you've known you had nothing to lose. How did that affect your mentality personally? Did it improve the team environment, let you have more fun? Or did it drag you down in any way?
In scrims, I guess we didn't try hard at all, so we would lose every scrim and we were really demoralized. But on stage, we just had fun and we just wanted to pick what we wanted to play so all the pressure was relieved.
So how was everyone going into the game?
No one really cared if we won or lost [because] we’re already relegated so just winning this game without any preparation was a breath of fresh air.
Ever since Emperor and Ninja finally sorted out their visa issues you looked like a team just on the edge of finding success but always falling just short. Although, you guys seem like you are a team with a lot of potential, what do you expect for the team moving forward? Do you think sticking together in challenger is an option?
Sticking together in challenger was initially the plan but all the other players individually all have options to consider so we are still looking at whether we’re sticking to TDK but the plan right now is to stay together. We’ll see.
So your first split in the LCS was obviously rough. But overall, do you have any fond memories you can take with you of the experience?
Just staying with a team that doesn't speak that much English was an experience itself and experiencing new cultures and new cuisines I never tried before. I’ll never forget this experience.
How does it feel being the only member on the team that doesn't speak Korean?
Sometimes it gets lonely but I have social media and friends too to fall back on so I’m not that lonely. Our manager and Seraph try to talk to me as much as they can, but 99% of the talk is in Korean so its a little hard.
How do you and the team stay motivated after being auto-relegated?
We knew that this split has been really unlucky for us. Our visa issues extended to beyond half way of the split so we knew it was going to be really rough and we had a lot of pressure on us. We basically started really practicing at the halfway point. So at the halfway point I still didn't know what I was doing. It took about two weeks to actually integrate myself into high level play.
How is it supporting Emperor?
He for sure is by the far the best ADC I have ever supported, and in solo queue as well, so it was a lot of pressure for me to keep up with him and slowly but surely I managed to keep up eventually. It was hard and took awhile.
What was it like to play with the subs for so long? Was it a good time? Did they keep it positive even through the tough times? It was a tough spot so hopefully you made the best of a bad situation.
For me the subs were someone I could talk to, people I could be friends with, so for me it was ok but for the rest of them who were like for example, Kez and Seraph were focused on trying to be a good team, they didn’t really like it that much because we couldn’t really practice and every time the subs played for us, it was very last minute, because we always expected our main team to be back that week and then it turned out that they couldn’t come back because of the the issues at the US Embassy or Korean Embassy. We didn’t really practice with the subs at all but overall the subs did help boost morale within the team.
This interview was conducted with the assistance of Nicholas Doucet and has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Skye Bui has a passion for dry humor and eSports. Follow blahblahblah on Twitter.