TSM have had a rough start to the 2022 LCS Spring Split and hold sole possession of last place in the standings after the first round robin with a record of 1-8. After TSM's loss to Counter Logic Gaming, top laner Heo "Huni" Seung-hoon spoke to Inven Global about his role in the team and its struggles.
How do you feel the team has been making progress since Yursan was promoted to the LCS?
First of all, despite the losses, I do feel we have improved a little bit. As the environment was, we've gotten a lot better outside of the game. Inside of the game, we still need to work on a lot. The fact that we just lost against Counter Logic Gaming means that we honestly just need to accept that we are not playing well. We're just bad, pretty much, so there's a lot of things that we need to work on as a team.
What are the contributing factors to TSM's struggles thus far in the 2022 LCS Spring Split?
I mean, the fact that we have new players definitely plays a part, but at the same time, we have a lot of communication issues. Basically, we're just not playing well as a team. I don't think there are any other thoughts regarding our play.
Do you think the coordination required to execute a roaming smite top laner as a team has helped you and your teammates improve on communication?
Yeah, I do. It makes it easier for me to help my teammates, and through playing these compositions, our communication has gotten better. Also, our teamfighting is also better because with this strategy, the only way we can win is through teamfighting. We need to play well as a group to win with this strategy, so it gives us opportunities to possibly improve on our team play.
While the aforementioned strategy was nerfed on 12.4, Hullbreaker is still a very strong item in context of the top lane meta. What are your thoughts on Hullbreaker's position in the current meta?
I like the meta right now because I'm pretty good at just sidelaning and playing for push. Those kinds of things have always been part of the meta for top laners, but I don't think the Hullbreaker meta requires top laners to play like that. It just gives you more opportunities to push, brings a lot of 1v1 pressure, and helps with overall pressure in the side lane. Those are the main things.
If you're ahead with Hullbreaker, it's kind of hard to die and hard to make mistakes. I know the ranged champions are getting hit by the Hullbreaker nerfs on the next patch, so it should be a lot better.
Last year you were already one of the most experienced players on TSM, but that's even more true this year. Have you had any new challenges in this year's role of leadership compared to previous seasons?
Yeah, there are a lot of things I need to do so I can do a better job as a leader. I don't think there are clear answers for what I need to do, so I'll just keep trying my best. Things like these always depend on the team, the players, and the people involved, so I have a lot in which I am required to adapt. I'll keep trying my best and working on it. I am, by far, the most experienced player on TSM, so I'm trying to help my teammates as much as I can.
Spica shared a similar sentiment to this in regards to taking a leadership position, but also, he mentioned that he's had a dip in individual level in terms of his own play because of that focus. Is that something you've noticed as well?
Yeah, it's just not easy. It's definitely been a challenge for me individually. That's how I've always felt since I returned to NA LCS in 2018. Every single year since then I've been the most experienced member of my team in terms of career or overall time spent competing.
I feel exactly how Spica feels. I just need to find some balance in terms of how much I can help my teammates and how much I can focus solely on myself trying to do my own job. This is why it's really important for every individual to do their job in a five-man unit. If everyone is doing that, your teamplay can get much better.
Are you the primary voice in TSM's communications, or is it a situational dynamic?
Yeah, my voice is probably the strongest in the game and mostly, my teammates are just trying to follow it. However, regardless of what calls are made, we just need to play better and better understand our roles as individuals in context of our team. I think that's the most important thing right now. Our level of teamplay is really low right now and our understanding of our individual roles within the team is not good enough to beat anyone.
Thanks for the interview, Huni. Is there anything you want to say to the TSM fans?
There's not much to say, I'm just sorry for disappointing people. I feel pretty depressed regarding what we've done so far, and we will be better in the future. We'll keep trying our best.