DRX has continued to stun Korea in LCK Spring 2021, taking down a Bdd-less Gen.G 2-1 to extend their season start to 5-2. Jungler Hong “Pyosik” Chang-hyeon, the sole remaining member of their 2020 squad though, is hoping they can still clean up their play to secure some 2-0’s.
If there’s been one surprise package in LCK Spring 2021 so far, it’s been DRX. Sure, Fredit Brion took down DAMWON, but DRX’s consistency has been a sight to behold.
The squad, who many dismissed as just a middle-team team, are still fighting for a spot at the top of the LCK.
It’s all the more remarkable given how drastically different the squad is from their 2020 selves. No more Jeong “Chovy” Ji-hoon, no more Kim “Deft” Hyuk-kyu — the squad is made up of long-time rookies, centered around sophomore pro Pyosik and Hwang “Kingen” Seong-hoon, fresh off a stint in the LPL.
They were seen as a long shot to take down Gen.G, however, fate played in their favor. With Gen.G benching Gwak “Bdd” Bo-seong for debutant Kim “Karis” Hong-jo, DRX were a shoo-in for a potential upset, and they took the fight to the title contenders.
Game 1 was a Pyosik Udyr masterclass. The Korean jungler brought the Spirit Walker back into the meta earlier in Season 11, and he showed Gen.G why it was a mistake to not ban it away, punishing them across the map and playing on the edge of his champion’s capabilities.
“When I’m playing Udyr, I try not to waste my time. When I’m in an awkward spot where I have to go to for a gank, I don’t — I just focus on my camp clears and I try to play around the lane that has priority. I’ll try not to die, but I play on the limit,” he said in the post-game interview.
The way Pyosik plays Udyr gives DRX’s rookies a bit more space to breathe. By constantly taunting and baiting enemies in, he takes the pressure off. However, it also gives Pyosik crucial information — and it’s a bit of fun too.
“The opponent might just think I’m having fun on the Rift, but that’s part of my plan and my setup. I know the limit of where I can extend, so I’m trying to make them tilt by running around them really fast and playing on the edge.”
While Kim “Clid” Tae-min hit back in Game 2 on the Nidalee vs. Pyosik’s Mundo — an LCK first in five years — DRX came back swinging in Game 3.
Song “SOLKA” Su-hyeong’s Syndra in mid lane made sure Karis had no impact on Orianna, while Jeong “BAO” Hyeon-woo stood up to the King of AD Carry, Park “Ruler” Jae-hyuk, and won.
Pyosik was obviously elated about the upset result, but he was measured in celebrations. It was another close 2-1, something DRX need to put work in on fixing, given they haven’t won a series 2-0 yet in 2021.
“I feel like our rookie players are able to farm up the experience as we’re having very long series. I don’t want to play this much though — we need to get some 2-0 wins because after these three-game series we get so exhausted. I hope we can wrap it up at the end of game 2 and let me get back to bed quickly,” he said, laughing.
🏃 RUN 🏃 STUN 🏃 JOB 🏃 DONE 🏃 pic.twitter.com/vScYg3Jish— LCK Global (@LCK_Global) February 3, 2021
DRX’s gameplan of punishing Karis paid off well. It was a confidence booster for SOLKA, who finally got his chance to shine in the mid lane, instead of constantly being punished by giants of the scene.
“Because [Karis is] a rookie player, he felt more pressure than Bdd. I told SOLKA to play with confidence because your opponent is a rookie,” Pyosik stated.
This year has been eye opening for Pyosik too. No longer the rookie on a veteran squad, he’s grown as a player and as a leader. In his words, he has “some brains.”
“Last year, I was just jungling — clearing camps. I was a monkey that only cleared camps in the jungle. Now I have some brains, so I play with some intelligence,” he laughed.
DRX’s run after Gen.G doesn’t get any easier. They are getting ready to face off against reigning World Champions DAMWON in their next series, and for Pyosik, it’s the matchup he’s most afraid of. After all, he’s playing against Worlds MVP Kim “Canyon” Geon-bu.
“Canyon is the jungler I’m afraid of the most. Even though the name tag says Canyon, I will try and focus on myself. I will do my best to bring my best performance, as well as some entertaining picks and bans for our fans.”
DRX face off against DAMWON on Sunday February 7 at 10pm AEDT.