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"Huni" Seung-hoon Heo: I've learned a lot as a person during my year in SKT
Huni, the reliable top laner of SKT T1 last year, has returned to NA to play on Team Echo Fox. Huni has formerly experienced the North American scene as a member of Team Immortals. While he has experienced success in LCS EU during his time at Fnatic, including a semifinals run at Worlds, Huni hasn’t enjoyed the same triumph in NA. When asked as to why he chose NA, Huni replied that “NA was the only region I haven’t won in yet.”
Huni, became a royal roader in korea as he made his LCK debut in season 6. However, he was sluggish during the summer split, and while he made it to Worlds’ Finals, SKT was defeated by Samsung Galaxy (Now KSV) and failed to pick up the trophy.
Even so, Huni said that the year at SKT was arduous, but the most memorable as well. In his interview with Fomos, Huni quoted, “It was a year to learn not only for the gamer Huni, but the person Seung-hoon. I have gained priceless, irreplaceable memories.”
-Thoughts on getting into Echo Fox?
I feel great, because I’m starting over again. I think I always become cheerful again when I move teams (laughs). I’m returning to NA, which is the only region I haven’t won yet. I need to break this jinx.
-Why did you choose Echo Fox amongst all the teams?
I was looking for teams, but I didn’t have much choice since the trade market was already well under way. I chose Echo Fox amongst the remaining teams because the staff seemed very lively. The supporter, Adrian “Adrian” Ma, also reached out to me.
-You were in SKT T1 for a year. Can you summarize your experience?
Looking back to the start, I entered hoping for a Worlds’ win. I am satisfied though, since I achieved my goal to be a royal roader during the spring split. There were some negative opinions about me when I announced I was joining SKT, so I wanted to shut those down. They became my motivation to work harder.
I think it is a great thing to win right after moving to a new team. That is evidence that I was able to fit right in. It’s nice that I got to have a memory of champion. I also had the chance to play in every serious international event, which was cool.
-What did you learn in SKT?
You know, before I joined SKT, I thought that I was the best. After I joined, I realized quickly that it wasn’t the case. Head Coach Kkoma taught me many things, and I’ve changed outside the game as well. If I used to be emotional, now I’m more realistic. I learned a lot about the game too.
Foreign teams don’t hang with their fans as much as Korea. I got more fans during my stay in Korea so I’m really happy. I am thankful for all the attention and memories. I think a professional gamer is defined by his fans. I could learn professionalism through interacting with my fans.
-You seem pretty close to Bang.
Bang’s house is in Hongcheon, and I visited him with my family. We played bowling and I won, so Bang paid the entire thing. We’ll probably play again when I get back from America.
-How will you use what you learned in SKT to perform well in Echo Fox?
Well, coach Kkoma always told me that ‘a man wins when he changes even one out of ten things.’ I think that is a great phrase and I will play in NA with that mindset. Coach changed me a lot. He developed my personal thoughts and helped me broaden my vision.
-Aren’t you disappointed by your second place finish in Worlds?
I would be lying if I said I wasn’t. Again, I’m quoting Kkoma here, but he told us to play like it would be our last time on the stage. Personally, it was one of the hardest I’ve played in my entire career. I tried hard in Fnatic, but I tried harder last year. I think I did everything I could have. Even so, if I’d stopped making small mistakes, the “one thing” that Kkoma told me, things would have been different. Samsung (now KSV) played perfectly, and made no mistakes. They were on a roll, and with their impeccable playmaking, it was hard to come back from behind. I couldn’t help but acknowledge their skill during that series.
-Rate the new Echo Fox roster.
I think all fans would agree- it is an explosive roster. We could go high if we get some momentum behind us.
-You meet Reignover again, but as an opponent this time.
I wanted to play on the same team as him, but it didn’t work out. I think we will have fun together, even if we meet as enemies. We would get even more competitive since we were on the same team before. We still keep in touch, and he’s a chill guy. I really want to beat him.
-Have you thought about going to EU again?
EU is where I first started my career and I do have many fans there. I did have some desire to go there but living wasn’t easy there and I had some personal qualms as well. You can easily find Korean food in NA and its easier for my family to come visit me in LA. It sounds trivial, but its big.
-What are your thoughts on the new SKT T1 roster?
I mean, its SKT so they will do well. Most of the players stayed and I know firsthand how good Untara and Blank are. As for the newcomers, Kwon-hyuk “Thal” Park and Beom-chan “Blossom” Park, I’m certain they were picked because our coach saw their potential in solo queue. I don’t worry about SKT.
-Did anyone say they were sad to see you leave the team?
I thing Bang was sad, but I might just be imagining things (laughs).
-NA LCS began to introduce a franchise system starting 2018.
Investors are comforted when the teams are stable. If you ask me, I’m all for this. The market will get bigger and will do good for the gamers as well. There’s a lot of positives and it is actually one of the reasons I chose NA.
-One team and player that you want to overcome in NA?
During Worlds, I laned against Team Liquid’s Impact. I remember coach compared him to me as he gave me flak. I have to overcome him so I don’t get scolded anymore. Team Liquid is stronger now and if we beat them, we will be one step closer to victory. CLG has grown stronger as well. I think all the teams are in a good position right now, so it’s hard to foresee which ones will do well. I haven’t been in NA in a year, so I have to go and check them out myself.
-What are your goals for season 8?
As I first mentioned, the reason I chose NA was because I don’t have a trophy from there. So I want to win in LCS. I also want to have fun games so that I don’t get tired of the game. I’ll go in focusing on my mentality on a long career. I had some hard times in SKT, but I also had good times, and times where I would learn and marvel. I want to remember those feelings as I continue to play.
-Any last words to fans and your old teammates?
I got in a team late after I left SKT, and fans were sad for me, and supported me throughout the transfer. Thanks for remembering me. I adapt wherever I go. I moved teams every year- four teams in four years! So don’t worry, even if I’m going to a new team. I can speak English well enough to order food at restaurants and everything.
The most important thing is to stay healthy. I keep thinking about it, and my conclusion is that a healthy body is a healthy mind. I hope everyone has a good 2018 and works on their health.
And SKT guys, thanks for a good year. Thanks for working hard, and thanks for sticking together to make a year with no regrets. I was falling off form during summer season, but Untara pulled through. He does more things off the screen than on it. I hope he does good this season. The rest of the guys will do well too.
I want to thank all for teaching me many things over the past year. It was a year I learned not only as a gamer, but as a person. These are all priceless memories. I did get scolded a lot by head coach, but thanks for caring for me that much. If I did just a little bit better, I would have gotten less flak. SKT will be great as long as coach Kkoma is there. I’ll call from time to time and ask which champions are currently meta (laughs).