T1 support Keria admits feeling more pressure at Worlds 2022

by Sage Datuin

NEW YORK -- Ryu "Keria" Min-seok walked onto the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden stage to a roar of chants that filled the crowd with an atmosphere that enhanced the importance of their upcoming matches at the League of Legends World Championship. The young 20-year-old support walked to his desk and put on his headset awaiting the start of the match. For him, the only thing he could feel was pressure.

In 2021, T1 rebuilt their entire lineup around the legendary Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok, surrounding him with young talent. One of those players was Keria, who had just turned 18 and had a successful 2020 season with DRX.

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Now known widely as the best support in the world, expectations were high for Keria to perform at Worlds this year. He could not stop himself from feeling nervous with so many eyes on him. Every time Keria would walk onto the stage, he could hear the chants coming from the crowd, namely against EDward Gaming and Royal Never Give Up, two of China’s most popular League of Legends organizations.

Photo credit: Colin Young-Wolff / Riot Games

“They are the two most popular teams in China, and it gets me really nervous to hear the crowd screaming out their names at the top of their lungs,” Keria told Nerd Street.

He admitted his own nerves even before the tournament had begun and his own challenges of feeling pressure to perform due to his veteran status within the team.

“I’m feeling a bit more pressure than last year because I was a newcomer in T1 in 2021 and had other players to lead me,” Keria said. “But I should be more mature. I should be more like a veteran so I feel more pressure.”

Read more: Faker hopes to find glory once again on North American soil

Besides Faker, Keria is the only other member of T1 who played in League of Legends Champions Korea prior to the 2021 LCK season. He is hoping his third world championship experience (one with DRX and two with T1) will be the one in which he lifts the Summoner’s Cup. Still, even with a little more experience as a pro compared to his other teammates, he could not help but feel pressure.

However, something that he felt eased his nerves through that moment was hearing the T1 chants that battled against the other chants.

“We also had fans screaming out T1 as well,” Keria said. “That helped me ease my mind before games a lot.”

Photo credit: Colin Young-Wolff / Riot Games

That crowd support was something that Keria felt he really needed when going up against Royal Never Give Up in the Worlds 2022 quarterfinals this past weekend. While Royal Never Give Up were not at their Midseason Invitational-winning form, the memories of losing against them in the MSI final was something that Keria did not want to feel again.

“RNG made us nervous because we lost against them in MSI,” Keria said. “Even though everything is really good, RNG just made us more nervous for that reason.”

He openly shared the amount of preparation put into this quarterfinals matchup and how he went through several VODs of RNG. Additionally, he put in extra hours to focus on his own gameplay so that T1 could progress forward.

Read more: Gumayusi has leveled up for T1 at Worlds, but they need more to be true contenders

Luckily, that preparation paid off as T1 were able to win the MSI 2022 rematch in 3-0 fashion over Royal Never Give Up. Now, after defeating RNG in the Worlds 2022 quarterfinals 3-0, Keria and the rest of T1 will move forward into the semifinals against JD Gaming, a team he holds in high regard, specifically the team’s strong topside.

“JD Gaming has a very strong top and jungle,” Keria said about JD Gaming. “They know how to build a game and their other lanes know how they can deal with their lane opponents as well.”

Similar to T1, JD Gaming have only dropped one game at Worlds 2022, and each team has looked dominant throughout its campaign in New York City.

The semifinal matchup between JD Gaming and T1 will take place on Saturday at State Farm Arena in Atlanta. The winner of this match will play the winner of the other semifinal matchup between DRX and Gen.G in the Worlds 2022 grand final on Nov. 5.

Lead photo credit: Colin Young-Wolff / Riot Games

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