On the 5th of July in the NA LCS Stadium, Rift Rivals’ first day came to a close with NA and EU scoring 2:2. The two losses from both sides came from Echo Fox losing to Fnatic and winning against Splyce.
Although Echo Fox has scored 1 win and 1 loss, Huni expressed that he is ever so confident after the heartbreaking loss to Fnatic. Explaining what Fnatic lacks and is good on, Huni clarified that he will win against Fnatic the next time they meet. We talked with Huni about the matches, Rekkles, operational disease, and Ssumday’s bench. Below are Huni’s responses.
¤ Today was the first day of Rift Rivals. How did it feel?
It was a bit unfortunate. However, since I learned a lot from today, I am feeling okay.
¤ What did you learn?
The most impressionable pointer was EU’s Heimerdinger. I actually played a lot of Heimerdinger myself. Although I know Heimerdinger is broken, NA doesn’t have players that are good on Heimerdinger. Even if I did go bot with Heimerdinger, there is no one to go top. This is why we were unable to utilize this pick. Getting beat by Heimerdinger made me think 'We definitely need to ban this’.
Also, we quickly realized the flaws in our gold funneling strategy. We knew it was a good strategy, but we lost a lot of confidence after seeing it fail. In addition to the difficulty of executing the gold funnel, you need to also be precise in the draft. Due to its recent development, Echo Fox couldn’t implement the strategy perfectly.
¤ You lost to your former team, Fnatic. It must feel a bit unfortunate?
Yeah, it is. However, I guess I just have to wait for them at the finals. I think it is the first time I have vsed Fnatic ever since I left. Because I lost, it definitely hurts.
¤ Bwipo did a little trash talk to you at the end of the game. He said that your plays were ‘weird’. Do you have anything to say to that?
That was because I got ganked early on. But honestly, talking from a team’s standpoint, it was not my fault. If we played properly, our mid-jungle should have come top. Despite us seeing Trundle taking Krugs at lv 2, my teammates did not rotate.
If my mid-jungle came to contest Trundle, I could have pushed the lane faster and won the 3v2. While we could have benefitted by taking the Krugs or blowing Summoners, it was a detriment due to our mid-jungle staying bot. After I died, they admitted their mistake. From that point, the game was already over. Because I chose the counterpick and I know I am skillfully better, it is just even more upsetting.
As promised, I thought they were going to come top side. I didn’t analyze the situation properly and allowed them to gank me. In the end, it was an issue with communication. After dying from the first gank, I couldn’t set out to accomplish what I had to do. I had to take the lead and push in the lane. Because the game can be lost off a simple mistake, the gold funneling strategy is extremely difficult. If mid-jungle makes a mistake, the collateral damage to other side lanes is huge.
¤ Echo Fox put in a sub, Damonte. What were some of the reasons behind this?
Although winning Rift Rivals is great and all, our main goal is to qualify for Worlds. I would like to think it was for experimental purposes. When looking at the season as a whole, it is definitely beneficial to utilize the sub players.
¤ When using gold funneling, you guys used Dardoch and Altec. How is their synergy?
Since they practiced a lot, I think it is decent. But because one mistake can make everything else fall, their synergy is not perfect yet. Dardoch and Altec give it their all when practicing, and their results are good. However, the results don’t transfer over too well on stage.
¤ How were Fnatic’s overall performance and macro?
I think we will be able to easily beat them next time. I believe we are better in individual skill, and their macro is not that good either. Since we did make a big mistake today, Fnatic should have closed out the game faster. However, we were able to stall because their macro was not good. I’m confident for the next time we meet Fnatic.
¤ G2 won their game today. Did you watch their match against 100 Thieves?
I wasn’t really surprised because 100 Thieves drafted poorly. Because today was just one game, I’m not too sure how I feel about G2.
¤ We heard you have a lot of friends in EU. Did you have a chance of catching up with them?
Last Tuesday, I met with Rekkles, Wadid, Jankos, and Perkz to grab something to eat. It was nice. I told them that NA is great. I explained that the food is great, the weather is great, and the stadium is great. They all fully agreed (laughs). However, they said NA is fantastic except for the solo q. They said the solo q is meh...
¤ How was Rekkles?
He did seem sad (laughs). I comforted him. I’m not sure if he will perform at Rift Rivals this year. Rekkles told me that we should have won Worlds in 2015 and further explained that he was sorry (laughs). He told me that it was his worst performance and seemed very upset. I told him it was nothing like that, and that I don’t even remember 2015. I reminded Rekkles not to feel sorry.
The only thing I can remember from 2015 is Rekkles playing ADC Kennen. At that time, I believe Rekkles thought he was inferior to Asian players. But, his ADC Kennen was pretty good.
Rekkles has been playing extremely well since 2017. However, he is experiencing a bit of a slump due to not being able to adapt to the meta. This is why I told Rekkles to just play an ADC in a gold funneling strat. I explained he could play Vayne top or play literally anything he wanted to play. Even Uzi seemed to have a blast in the LPL with Vayne top. Telling him this, Rekkles seemed to be happy and like it a lot (laughs).
To be honest, if the situation allows it, I want to play Vayne top. It is incredibly strong against tanks and, it is so fun to play.
¤ Just a curious question, do you have any occupational illnesses? For me personally, I look at my phone a lot.
I hate losing because of the smallest things. For example, if I lose in a mobile game, I get extremely frustrated and dizzy.
¤ Do you get mad to the point you throw your phone?
Oh, not that mad (laughs). I can control my anger, but my head goes for a spin when I get mad. I think I have a pretty big urge to win.
¤ Do you have any top laners that you think are noticeably doing well?
Not really, but I think what happened to Ssumday is very upsetting. Brandini performed today. Comparing him to Ssumday, Ssumday is a lot better. It is just unfortunate that Ssumday was unable to come despite playing so well recently.
¤ Don’t you think it is because of the foreign player restrictions?
Yeah, I think so. Since 100 Thieves wants to use Levi, it seems they wanted to experiment by subbing Ssumday.
I personally always thought Levi was a good player. Also, I believe what Levi showed today was not even his 100%. I think he got nervous. When I met him in solo q, his mechanics were insane. In regards to Levi, I am sure he can show a lot more than he did today.
¤ Do you think foreign player restrictions are necessary?
If there were no restrictions, I would assume the teams with the most money would win. When you think of it like Korean Basketball, there will be no fun in it if the rich teams will recruit all the American players. Since Americans are already good at Basketball and Baseball, there is no reason for the NBA or MLB to have foreign player restrictions. For League, it is different. Koreans are definitely better at League. I believe it is very reasonable now to have foreign player restrictions.
¤ Lastly, since Rift Rivals is still ongoing, what are some of your goals.
Although we did have an unfortunate game today, we will try our best when we get to the finals. I think NA is going to win again. Looking at day 1 games, EU won not because they played well but because NA played poorly. As long as we play a lot more games, I believe Team Liquid, 100 Thieves, and my team will do a lot better. I predict NA to win.