Heo "Huni" Seung-hoon was given permission to leave Dignitas early this off-season, leading to his reunion with his old Clutch Gaming General Manager, Andrew Barton, and Coach, Connor "Artemis" Doyle, as well as his former SKT teammate, Bae "Bang" Jun-sik, on Evil Geniuses. Huni had a stellar performance last Summer, leading his team to Worlds, but didn't bring that same energy and aggression into 2020.
Huni breaks down the pressures he felt on Dignitas this Spring, which ultimately led him to search for a new home. He also details how he fits in the EG org, and what his goals are for his career timeline. Overall, he explains how the EG staff and culture will be better for his mental health, allowing him to improve and return to form.
The question I've seen a lot is, "Are you playing in Academy, or are you all going to be swapping in and out a lot?"
I mean yeah there's a chance I'll be splitting time, but I think mainly I'll be in Academy unless the main team starts doing really bad. But I'm pretty sure, even though I'm playing Academy, I'll be helpful for a possible seven man roster. At the same time, I'm analyzing the game too. And as soon as Academy is done, lets say the LCS team goes to Playoffs and Worlds, I'm pretty sure I'll be a helpful person in the team setting. And that's something I'm looking to do. And everyone knows if I play six more months I can get NA residency, and then 2021 is going to be the Exodia team.
When you decided to leave Dignitas, what was your plan? How did you go through with all of it, and how did you end up on EG specifically?
Actually yeah, at the time when I decided to leave, I was happy to leave and go to another team to play that I actually... Well there was a lot of teams that were pulling for me to join them, and that made me feel happy that I wasn't just playing "for fun." So I reached out to EG because Andrew Barton was working here. He is from Clutch Gaming, I used to work with him, and also Bang is on Evil Geniuses too.
There's a lot of advantages I could have being here than any other team. There's a lot of people here that I already knew. And they played well last season, a lot better than what I expected. Maybe I didn't have to say that but... Hahaha.
But yeah, they played well. They got third place which is pretty good, and the environment of the org is pretty positive and they care a lot about players too. So I'm definitely pretty happy about what I'm doing here. I need to prove that I'm a valuable player that is worth it so that I can be playing here next year in the LCS. That's the main goal.
You said you weren't playing for fun, so what was your takeaway from the split? Last Summer, you were so, so good, but it felt like we lost some of that edge, some of your "Huni factor." Do you feel like that was a team thing or you personally were lacking something this year?
I think it's a bit of both. I was lacking happiness for the Spring Split, and like I felt a lot of depression I would say. Mentally, I wasn't that healthy. In 2019, the reason why I was a really strong player is because I was taking care of myself a lot and there were a lot of people supporting me inside of the team, inside of the org. But it didn't really feel that way this Spring Split, and there was a lot of responsibility that I had to do a lot. That was the expectation. Both inside the team and outside.
There was a lot of pressure on me that I couldn't really handle. And I was definitely not happy as much as I could be, compared to even now. So yeah I think it's both a bit. Of course the team is not the best we could get, but at the same time, personally, I was not ready for that, at least not ready to fulfill their expectations. So that was a big deal that made me want to part ways with Dignitas, and yeah I'm pretty excited I stopped being unhappy.
Yeah I totally get that. Would you compare it at all to your time back on SKT? Was it a similar pressure?
Oh I think it's different, no. The SKT thing was... It's definitely different. There was much higher skill as a team, of course, so it's not even comparable. Of course the pressure is a lot more, the total amount is a lot! But I think the pressure in SKT was more spread between all five people. And because I'm not an import in South Korea, I don't have a responsibility to do something for the team.
But in NA, that's something that's absolutely different. And that's why I think in SKT, Lee "Faker" Sang-hyeok is probably the greatest player. Even though he has a lot of pressure, he still performs really well. Even in the long term. So yeah I think that's the difference, there's a lot of pressure in both, but it's the way it manifests here was difficult.
So what are you hoping to accomplish this Split, especially if you play all or mostly Academy? And now that you have pressure on you to get back into the LCS, will that change anything for you?
Yeah I believe I will get back, that is definitely what should happen and I will make it my job to make sure that that happens next year. But at the same time, as I said, my goal is to prove that I am worth it as a player to have in this team. Even on Academy. And actually as soon as I got in Academy, the first thing I said was, "This is the highest chance I can get an NA Championship Title."
Even if it's not the LCS, it's the highest chance. You know? Hahaha. And that's a goal I have. So what I want to do is win Academy, be around the LCS, be helpful, and provide value to my team. Those are my goals generally.
And if EG win the Finals and you're a sub, you could just claim that too! Hahaha, but no you'll get one someday.
I will eventually. Sometime. Probably. Some day!
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