Worlds in the Windy City Day 2 (Ft. Interviews with Bengi and kk0ma)
Walking to the Chicago Theatre for day two of Worlds quarterfinals, RNG had a table set up handing out posters for fans to support the Chinese team and there was a line of fans waiting to get a picture with the former pro William “Scarra” Li. The Chicago Theatre was still looking majestic and the atmosphere was just right for a great set of games. The games started promptly as Faker got a massive cheer when he was announced on stage. Though there was not as much cheering today for the teams compared to yesterday for Cloud9, neither of the teams were booed.
RNG started off the first game with all engines going. They put the foot to the pedal early and got advantages all around the map, securing their lead with three important early drakes. Though SKT had a small comeback, RNG closed out the game and surprised everyone by going up 1–0 to start off the series.
Before the next game began, SKT made the decision to bring in Blank for Bengi in the jungler position. The second game was tamer but lasted the same amount of time. SKT took a strong lead early on but took over forty minutes to close out the game. The third game also went in SKT’s favor as they went up 2–1 in the series. Duke showed up big in the third game after having two disappointing performances previously.
The final game was an all out war. There were fights all over the map with neither team playing passively. Despite brilliant play by Mlxg on Lee Sin, SKT controlled the game and won the majority of the team fights in the game. Bang and Duke were especially good in different games during the series and could be MVP. SKT head into the semifinals for the third time and may face a team they know very well in the ROX Tigers. After the game, I sat down with Kim “kk0ma” Jung-gyun and Bae “Bengi” Seong-woong.
In my conversation with kk0ma, he was disappointed in his teams’ performance and believed they did not play up to expectations. Despite his teams’ less than stellar play, kk0ma said that RNG played very well and were the toughest team they have faced in the tournament so far. With a bit of luck, RNG could have won the whole series in kk0ma’s eyes.
When asked about a possible match-up against the Korean team ROX Tigers in the next stage, kk0ma did not care whether it was EDG or ROX to advance and that SKT “need to make the final.” Though SKT has a long history with ROX, kk0ma will go through the same preparation to get ready for their opponent, no matter who it is. Kk0ma is not very confident about his teams’ chances to win the tournament because of their performance and the competition they will have to play against. Kk0ma talked about his appreciation for the North American media and how open and positive they are. He hopes to do more interviews with the North American press and answer more questions for them.
Bengi is one of the most historic players in League of Legends history, but he has had some troubles this season. He acknowledges his poor performances recently and respects that Blank has the priority over him in starting games for the team. He views Blank as an equal and they share information with each other to help the team improve. Although Worlds is not enticing anymore to Bengi because it is his third trip to the tournament, he has enjoyed Chicago and believes it is the most prosperous city he has been in so far.
Bengi is not afraid to play against ROX if they face them in the next stage. He is confident in his team and believes they have a 50% chance of winning Worlds. To his fans he says he hopes to get the chance to showcase his talent and the play he has been working towards. He also added that he is always surprised how many fans both SKT and Bengi himself has and appreciates all of the support.