Edward Gaming top laner, Koro1, has been turning a few heads at the Mid-Season Invitational, and many speculate that he or MaRin are the strongest top laners in attendance. After Edward Gaming finished 3-0 on Day 2, we were able to ask him a few questions.
Hello, Koro1, you've played very well this tournament, and I hear you have a birthday coming up on Finals Day, so Happy Birthday.
First, we haven't seen a lot of Dr. Mundo in this tournament with Teleport and Smite. What made you decide to pick Dr. Mundo?
Mundo is a fairly good champion, and TSM banned pretty much all the other top laners, and we banned Maokai, so I got banned out. Since I play Mundo in solo queue, I thought he might be good to bring out here.
The general hype is around you and MaRin as the main top lane matchup at the tournament. You said in your on-air interview with Sjokz that you believe you can beat him. What gives you an advantage over MaRin?
I'm really not sure where my advantage is, but I just feel confident I can beat him.
On Rising Star and your first year on EDG, you used to be known mostly just as a supportive player who played from behind a lot, but you've expanded your role over the years. What do you think has attributed to your ability to develop different styles?
Before I started playing top lane, I played a lot of other positions, so I know how to play a lot of different champions and understand the lanes. I feel like a lot of champions are not difficult to pick up, so I can expand my champion pool. Then, as long as I know how top lane works, I can adapt any champion to a top lane style.
The way you approach team fights has gotten you a lot of attention. What is your main instinct when you play a team fight? Do you focus more on protecting your carry or zoning out damage threats?
It obviously depends on the team composition of our team vs their team, but instinctively, I always want to go in and kill their AD carry.
You are currently the team captain of Edward Gaming, but Clearlove is the main shot-caller. What's your influence on team decision-making?
When it comes to shot-calling, the whole team contributes ideas in the game. Only in situations where there is dissent do we follow the main shot-caller, who is Clearlove.
It seems likely that your semifinals opponent will be AHQ. What do you think will be the most difficult thing about facing AHQ?
To beat AHQ, we need to win the early game. They have very strong laners. Individually, they're very skilled. In the end, we'll focus on executing our strategy, which is to win through impeccable team fighting.
At the start of the tournament, many predicted you and SKT would meet in the finals. XiaoXiao earlier said SKT has better strategy, but that your team is better mechanically. Do you think this is a fair assessment?
I do agree with that assessment. To beat SKT, we need to focus on controlling the pace of the game better and try to come out ahead in laning phase.
One of your popular Chinese nicknames is 扣肉 (Kou rou, meaning braised pork). Do you like your nickname, and do you think it's appropriate?
I am very flattered that fans like me enough to give me a nickname, and I don't think there are any negative connotations, so I like it.
Now, do you believe in the Birthday Buff? Do you think it aided Faker on Day 1? Will it help you if you make the finals?
Yes, I do believe.
Thank you very much for your time. Good luck tomorrow.
Kelsey Moser is a staff writer for the Score eSports. You can follow her on Twitter for LPL hipsterisms.