Golden Guardians support, Choi "huhi" Jae-hyun, spoke with us about rejoining the LCS and how he used his time in Academy to ensure his maximum growth. He explained his frustration in the off-season, but how he changed his mindset to stay positive and make the most of his situation.
This interview was conducted during Week 7 in the LCS.
Watch the video interview on our YouTube channel or read the transcript below.
Parkes Ousley here joined by huhi, the support for the Golden guardians. You're in your first week back starting in the LCS. How are you feeling?
I think being back in the LCS definitely feels good. I kind of realize how competitive I am as a person. And also, I just think I'm learning so much more and using my time so much better than being in Academy, so I'm overall happier about that.
I know that's got to be a great feeling. What was it like being in Academy? I know people like Dennis "Svenskeren" Johnsen have talked about how being in Acdemy made them change their perspective, so how was it for you the first half of the split being in Academy?
At first I was just trying to figure out what I can improve on. And with the team we had on Academy, we were trying to make sure we were playing as a team and getting on the same page as well. And especially with Alexander "Gorica" Gorica, since he's new to the pro scene, we had to give him stuff like, "how he should react to criticism, how he should play on stage," and some laning tips too. Most of the time in Academy we spend the time on that. In the LCS, it's kind of the opposite, where now, moreso than giving feedback, I'm getting feedback and I know what I should be working on, stuff like that.
I know Nick "Inero" Smith specifically mentioned your ability to communicate and understand/break down the game for the team and that that's something the team really needed. Was that something you were focusing on yourself specifically this split or just something you already had from your time in mid lane?
I think it's something I had starting from mid lane. I don't want to say I'm smarter than other players but I think I put more thought into it. And when I play mid lane, it was true that I had less time to talk about those things. When I'm playing mid, I'm trying to cs, I'm trying to watch my skillshot, watch their skillshot, stuff like that. And when I role swapped to support, I thought there was a lot more room.
Now I'm timing summoners whenever I can, I'm looking at the map half of my gameplay time, and because of that, I can see what we should do, what they're doing, what we should do to counter what they're doing, stuff like that. So yeah I think it just comes off naturally - the communication - and they just see lots of value in it.
So what was the off-season experience like for you? You role swapped to support last Summer but then found out you wouldn't be starting for your team moving in to 2020. What was that like, what was your mindset moving forward?
I mean in the off-season, everyone who isn't starting in the LCS will not feel that good because they're not getting what they want. And I definitely felt that way too. At first, obviously there is some sort of anger and some regret about why didn't I try harder, or why didn't I play better? Stuff like that. And some sadness.
But the more you think about it that way, the more negative person you become and the more bad you'll play, and I think it's a snowball effect. And for me, whenever I feel that way, I just try to find something positive from my life, like I'm still playing what I love to do as my job, and I can still improve on Academy. So I tried to take what I can and do the best with what I have, so that was my mindset.
I like that mindset! What's your thought moving forward? Inero told me that they were deciding to go with you and you and Yuri "Keith" Jew won't be sharing time, so where are you going to go with that moving forward?
Well for me it's only been a week of practice that I've gotten with my LCS team, but I actually think we are really good and we can only get better. Because even in scrims, we're trying to get on the same page still. We're talking about basic stuff, and I feel like once that gets cleared, we're going to be so much better than other teams, we're going to play like a team. So my only goal right now is I just want to make sure we make it to playoffs and I think we can do some great stuff there.
Good luck of course. One thing I wanted to ask about, you have always had this. In the mid lane you had an immense champion pool, and in your first game back in LCS you pulled out the Sett support. How are you able to pull out all these different champions?
I'd say I'm still kind of getting held back. For example, when mages was played in the bottom, I wanted to play the mage. Stuff like that. But I think it's about picking the right champion at the right time. Obviously, since bottom is about me and Victor "FBI" Huang together, it's not like mid where my champion matters for only myself. Since my champion matters to FBI, it's kind of important how he feels about the champions that I pick. So yeah we're definitely going to try different stuff and also stick to some meta stuff, but I think we're pretty creative and open with everything.
Well LCS can get stale with Kench first pick, so I appreciate you flexing Sett to support! So you played with FBI before last Summer, have you noticed any change in him?
Not really, I think he's the way how he is. He's always been hardworking and he puts all his effort into League of Legends, and sometimes that's worrying because he doesn't really take care of himself. But yeah, I think he's just a great player. I think he's pretty underrated, and he's kinda showing that this split because last split was his first split in LCS, he was trying to get adjusted. He didn't have a great time so people didn't really have a great perception about him.
But what he is doing right now is pretty good. He's got a team mindset but also focuses on himself in a positive way. So I think he can be one of the best ADCs.
I know he has the high APM as well, the Lee "Faker" Sang-hyeok mentality of clicking buttons all the time. Does it ever get dizzy?
I mean it's pretty famous in our team that whenever he plays he has a tendency to press 'z' and it gives us a pretty big headache. But the thing is, he doesn't notice that he does that, so it's pretty funny, whenever he plays, half of his screen is blocked off by the chat. But he can play that way, so we're not questioning him.
It works out! Well thank you, do you have anything you want to say to your fans now that you're back in the LCS and can say hi again?
To my fans: you always show great support so I really appreciate you. And obviously to my biggest fan, Angela, as well. And my dogs. But yeah, I'm working hard for you guys!
For more esports news and content, please follow our Twitter, and for video interviews and other content, subscribe to our YouTube channel.