Nongshim Red Force head coach Heo Young-cheol called on his team to be confident.
Nongshim RedForce lost to Peerless 2-1 in the first round of the League of Legends Champions Korea Spring 2024 at the Grand Seoul LCK Arena in Jongno-gu, Seoul on Monday. Nongshim came from behind to win the second set and took an early lead in the third set, but eventually fell victim to Peerless’ intensity in the match. Nongshim’s season record is now 1-4.
In a post-match interview, Nongshim head coach Heo Young-cheol expressed his disappointment with the game. He said, “We were doing well in the first week of practice, but we’ve been in a slump since the second week. Things weren’t working, and we were looking at the next level and forgetting the previous level. However, in recent practices, we’ve been getting better again, so I was expecting a win, but it’s a shame that we lost.” He began the interview by saying that he was disappointed.
Nongshim Red Force started Ahn “Fiesta” Hyun-seo in the first set. After losing the first set, Nongshim again put Oh “Kolmi” Hoon in the lineup for the second and third sets, winning the second set but not the final victory. Coach Heo Young-cheol said, “I think ‘Fiesta’ has enough strengths and is a good player. I expected a tight lineup against ‘Closer’. When I watched the match, I didn’t get the feeling that she did well in the tournament because she took too long a break from competitions. I think she was nervous because it had been a long time. We had to give them a chance and make sure they do well next time.” “He’s ready for the Red-Blue, and with the game over, we decided it was right for him to play the second game,” he added.
Nongshim RedForce was considered the dark horse of the season, winning their first game of the season and looking threatening against Genesis. However, after suffering two lethargic losses in Week 2, Nongshim was unable to pick up a win against Fiercex and suddenly fell into a four-game losing streak. “A rookie team with a lot of rookies like us has a lot of momentum, and that’s a big thing,” said coach Heo Young-cheol. We lost confidence in Weeks 2 and 3, and there were a lot of things we should have done but didn’t. There are situations where the lineup is not as tight because of the lack of confidence. I think I need to build a winning streak in practice or win a competition to turn it around, and that hasn’t been going well. On the flip side, we’re a team that does well when we have momentum, so I think if we can get that momentum and find our form, we can definitely go to the playoffs.”
Finally, Heo apologized to the fans. He said, “I realize that the fans are coming to see me a lot. I realize that the level of support and interest from the fans is different this season. I apologize for the performance and results that did not live up to that,” he said, adding, “I would like to ask them to wait a little longer. We will definitely come back with a good performance.”