SK Telecom started off a little slowly in Day 2 of the League of Legends Worlds Quarterfinals, dropping the first game to their opponent, Royal Never Give Up. In true SKT fashion however, they bounced back to take the series 3-1, clinching themselves a spot in the semi-finals next week.
SKT’s long time coach, Jung-gyun “kkOma” Kim, sat down with The Rift Herald to talk about preparing for Worlds and how he wants his own skin if SKT wins Worlds again this year.
Ryan Gilliam: kkOma, I wanted to ask you, you have been with the team since they won in Season 3. You have been a part of it, basically only with having Faker and Bangi follow you through that. What has it been like to watch the team evolve and win again in Season 5 and then push hard to win, obviously right now, in Season 6?
Jung-gyun “kkOma” Kim: It’s really tough playing with a team that has such high expectations from the fans. Even though in 2014, we had a rough year, we didn’t make it to worlds, we still won that year in LCK, still we received a lot of criticism. Even now the fans are expecting more from SKT and, at some point, it is a given that SKT has to win. And so I think it is a really, really...it’s a difficult job as the coach of SKT.
Ryan: When you are going into these international tournaments, you see these different styles from different regions, how hard is to prepare verses when you are in the LCK and you are kind of all in the similar Korean style. How does that change the preparation?
kkOma: I don’t think there is much difference in preparation process between LCK and Worlds. Because, once all the teams gather in one spot, and they start to practice each other, even though at first they might have different metas and different Champion picks, overall they tend to find a similar pool of Champions that work the best at that current Meta. Overall, I think it’s similar, LCK to World Championship.
Ryan: How about the LCK style and organization in terms of games being played over the course of a week, over the course of a season, playing one night a week, maybe two; to Worlds where you are looking at playing a blitz of all of these games in one week or two weeks, in a very small period of time.
kkOma: I think preparing for Worlds is definitely much more difficult compared to LCK. During that short period of time, Worlds is one month, we have much more to prepare and it is just much more stressful to prepare. It is all contracted into one short amount of time, so it is really, really difficult.
Ryan: Recently, in the past few years, Riot has allowed coaches to talk to their team through the pick/ban phase. Would you ever be interested in coaching your team through the course of a game and how do you think that would affect the teams play?
kkOma: I don’t think it would actually make much of a difference, because at that point, when you are actually playing the game, there wouldn’t be much of a difference between the players perspective and my perspective. Even though I might give some orders, it would be very similar to what is already going into the players mind. I think what is more important is the preparation process. As a coach I can give them deep breaths and fix their mistakes, by the time in the actual game, they should know what to do and having the coach in that communication process wouldn’t make much of a difference.
Ryan: If Riot decided to add a coach skin this year for the World Championship, which Champion would you like and what would that be?
kkOma: This is the best question ever.
kkOma: So, I always wanted this as a coach and my Summoner’s name is kkOma, which means a little kid in Korean. So I would like a kkOma Teemo, a little Teemo. Recently you know how they plan to have revenue share of all the World Championship skins? Aside the money, I just want my own skin.