On February 18th (PST), NA powerhouse CLG faced off against Immortals in the 5th week of the 2017 NA LCS Spring Split. Although Immortals dramatically came back to take Game 2, CLG ultimately won the series 2-1, thanks to Jaehyun "Huhi" Choi’s contributions as a midlaner.
We sat down with Huhi, who was named MVP of the today’s match.
Congrats on being named MVP today! How do you feel?
People used to say CLG is a slow starter, and I think they have a point. I was really worried about the early losses this season. Even though we’re quite close to each other, communication within the team suffered as the coordination problems kept compounded. So, we spoke our minds about our issues outside the game and now are full of energy to turn a new leaf. I’m really enjoying the games once again. It feels good for the team to improve one game at a time.
You pulled off some phenomenal plays on Jayce and Zed, which you don’t play as often. How did you decide on those picks?
Champions I want to play and those coaching staff want me to play are usually two different things. They coincided this time. Since those two champions are competitive in the midlane, I thought it wasn’t a problem to go all AD as long as we get an early snowball rolling.
Dropping Game 2 after the enemy’s comeback must have a negative impact on the team’s morale. How did the team come together in preparing for Game 3?
It wasn’t so much as we took a hit in the team’s morale. Rather, we actively exchanged constructive feedback on what we ought to focus on. We took on a fresh mindset in Game 3 and didn’t let the previous game affect our plays.
You’re known for being an excellent Aurelion Sol player. What are his strengths and why do you think he fits your playstyle?
Aurelion Sol is an unconventional champion to many people because his playstyle involves kiting with Celestial Expansion instead of auto-attacking. He feels similar to when Azir first came out. Aurelion Sol was released when I was in China for MSI, and most people weren’t comfortable playing him. On the other hand, I totally loved the champion for himself and practiced him for a while by myself.
Then I pulled him out in scrims and found out he was pretty good. Aurelion Sol was a viable pick against Azir, who often saw plays at the time. After the metagame evolved, I play him often as he fits the current meta. He’s one of my favorite champions. He’s good at roaming and laning. Additionally, he can aggressively trade blows with the opposing laner since he can quickly rejoin the battle. As long as he doesn’t die, he can continue to put out damage.
Your Zed plays were quite impressive even though you ended up losing that game. Any other surprise picks?
I have another one in the works, but I went with Zed in Game 2 because the team told me Zed was more appropriate. It’s probably a champion that has seen plays in other regions.
What advice would you give to Korean players who are trying to adapt to NA LCS?
Many Korean players tend to feel lonely in the US. For me, it’s something I’ve experienced and become used to, so I doubt I can give any specific advice to people who are currently going through those feelings. Korean players, who just arrived in the US, will definitely struggle because they can’t easily go places without a transportation. Even going for a walk or going to a store will be challenging because of the language barrier. I think interacting and getting close to other Korean players or those around them is the best way to ease the transition.
There are many new competitive teams in this season. Besides the old favorites like C9 and TSM, new powerhouses like FlyQuest are vying for the top spot. Do you ever feel nervous about facing them?
Rather than thinking those thoughts about other teams, my team is always dedicated to win. We believe we can win as long as we play well. There are many good players this season, but our mindset is that we can make own plays to match them.
There has been some noise about the NA’s practice environment. What do you think about the claims that Solo Queue and scrims not being helpful?
There’s definitely a difference in culture. People are competitive when they play Solo Queue or scrim in Korea. They’re full of competitive energy to win. In NA, people aren’t as competitive. They don’t mind losing that much and simply move on. I mostly agree with the claims about NA Solo Queue. There are problems with high pings as well as the players’ more relaxed mindset to prioritize fun. People may learn about teamplay and macro games in Korean Solo Queue, but it’s rarely the case in NA. Solo Queue benefits mostly pertain to 1v1 individual aspects.
Regarding scrims, I guess it depends on the teams rather than the regions. Top NA teams are pretty much like Korean teams. They’re always on time sharp and try their best to win. There are exceptions, though.
Would you like to say a few things to the fans?
I recognized more and more people chant my name these days, and I’m very humbled. I often felt disappointed in myself when I kept making mistakes in my early days of LCS. Even if I did ten things right, messing up once seemed to make everything else irrelevant. I’m happy and grateful that more people accept and understand my playstyle and strengths. I’m trying my best to make good plays these days, and I hope you continue to cheer me on.
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