Coming into Worlds 2021, T1 star support Ryu ‘Keria’ Min-seok was regarded as one of the best. However, after their loss to EDward Gaming, the 18-year-old admits there’s still a mountain to climb — but he’s hoping to prove himself as the “best in the world” by seeking revenge against the Chinese champions.
There’s been a bit of hype around T1 at Worlds 2021 despite a lack of solid form.
Of course, the big focal point is Lee ‘Faker’ Sang-hyeok. The Unkillable Demon King is back at Worlds for potentially the final time as the aging mid lane star slowly gets succeeded by rivals Heo ‘ShowMaker’ Su and Jeong ‘Chovy’ Ji-hoon.
However, don’t look past the unassuming support Keria.
The 18-year-old might look green, but he’s anything but. He had a solid campaign at Worlds 2020 on DRX, losing in the playoffs to eventual champions DWG KIA.
In Iceland, he’s widely regarded as one of the best supports in the world. But a loss to EDward Gaming in Group B proved there’s still a ways to go to claiming that title outright.
“The picks and bans we prepared were fine, but in-game, it was hard to navigate because EDward played around our team composition perfectly,” Keria admitted in an interview with Dexerto.
T1 couldn’t replicate their dominant 19-minute shellacking of DetonatioN FocusMe against China’s champions. While they hung on valiantly after a slow early game, EDG came knocking on the Nexus at 36 minutes.
The Koreans played heavily around top side — a feature of this Worlds meta compared to previous editions. Keria’s Shen pick was integral to the composition, but EDward Gaming’s Tian ‘Meiko’ Ye matched his roams to keep him down to just a 0/2/4 stat line.
“There are two reasons for the Shen pick: First of all we really wanted to get an advantage in top and mid lane, so I can roam when I pick Shen. For the laning phase too, Shen was good into Jhin and Leona,” he said.
“Viper and Meiko played very smart roaming around the map with us, but they’re not definitively better than us. I think we can beat them.”
That loss is the exact reason why Keria isn’t 100% confident in saying he’s the best support right now. However, with a mirror match-up looming on Saturday, there’s time to set the record straight.
“If we managed to beat EDG, I’d confidently say I’m the best support in the world right now. However, because we lost, I’m not too sure — but I am going to try and redeem myself,” he stated.
It’s a confident stride from the young star, who had his fair share of adversity in 2021.
Swapping onto the prestigious T1 comes with its own share of pressure. It’s only compounded by having to deal with constant roster swaps, with the three-time world champions taking months to nail down a solid core.
Keria was the only solid piece in a roster that shifted around every role, including flexing AD carries Park ‘Teddy’ Jin-seong and Lee ‘Gumayusi’ Min-hyeong. However, he was stoic about it all.
“The roster swaps throughout the year didn’t affect me. I was just focused on improving myself and my play,” he said.
With the DRX Worlds campaign under his belt too, he’s ready to hit Worlds 2021 hard and finally achieve his dreams — lifting the Summoner’s Cup, standing next to Faker.
“During last Worlds, I wasn’t really that confident in my abilities because it was my first time. I took that experience and it gave me the confidence this year to play better,” he said.
“All League of Legends pro players want to lift the Summoner’s Cup. If I was able to finally do that, it’ll be a dream come true. It’s just down to me playing well.”