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The phoenix has cooled off. Topsports are now the new kings of the LPL and among them, none is stronger than mid laner Zhuo “Knight” Ding — the single player with most MVP titles across all leagues.

After TOP took another big win against Suning on Monday, members of the press sat down with Knight and co for a chat about the series.

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To Coach: Today’s game 3 was really back and forth. What do you think made this game so even?

We were supposed to play defensively during the early game, but our plan changed since our jungler pulled out an amazing Rift Herald steal and we  decided to take team fights earlier. But SN’s lineup allows them to take early fights. Moreover, they were able to take Baron really fast with two mountain drake buffs. So overall, we didn’t play defensively enough.

To Knight9: Did you expect that your opponent would play AD Neeko mid today? What do you think of this pick?

I’ve thought about it before since AD Neeko has been pretty popular in Korean ranked games. And I feel it is pretty strong in the laning phase.

To LokeN: In game 3, you decided to leave the Baron pit when Baron had only 2,000 hp left, what was the idea behind that? Were you worried about that your opponent might take it?

We were supposed to let two players chase the enemy while the other three went to fight Baron. But we made some misplays, we had to stop taking Baron for safety.

To Coach: During the draft, do you focus on counter-picking the opponents or do you simply stick to a certain strategy that you already had in mind?

I’d say both. But since blue side — which they chose twice today — has the edge in terms of drafting in this patch, we had to pick a comp that could put pressure on them.

To Knight9: Maple picked Neeko to lane against your Corki, what do you think about it? Could you comment on Maple’s performance and yours today?

I think he performed better than me today. He played Taliyah and Neeko mid which is something I didn’t expect. I’d rate my performance a 5-6 out of 10.

To Coach: What adjustments did the team make after losing game 1?

After losing game 1, we decided to switch to the blue side; we are more familiar with the tempo there. We rushed a little bit in team fight engagement during game 1 so we did some adjustments to fix it.

To Coach: Today’s series was really back and forth. What do you think is the key factor of today’s victory?

All our players are very resilient and would never give up easily. They did what they were supposed to do, like always. I feel that SN prepared a lot for today and they surprised us by pulling out lots of new new stuff. But we still managed to win the game today because of our players’ resilience.

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