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Q&A: Huni talks spring disappointment, summer playoffs and lane swap changes

Immortals’ immediate impact on the North American League of Legends Series has continued to be strong. After a 17-1 record and first place in the spring, its inaugural split in the LCS, Immortals followed that by going 16-2 and finishing second in the summer split. Its only two losses came at the hands of Team SoloMid, which took first place with a 17-1 record.

Now is where the real test begins for Immortals, though. After the strong regular season in the spring split, Immortals lost its semifinal match in the playoffs and had to settle for third place. Immortals will try to erase that disappointment with a better showing in the summer split and, the team hopes, a berth in the League of Legends World Championship.

Slingshot’s Vince Nairn had the chance to talk to Immortals’ Heo “Huni” Seung-Hoon during Week 8 of the LCS to talk about the spring’s disappointment, summer adjustments and the lane swap changes.

Vince Nairn: You guys only lost one regular season match in the spring and (two) in the summer, so far. You guys have only tasted defeat on a few occasions. How do you continue to find the things you need to improve on, even when you’re getting the results every week?

Heo “Huni” Seung-hoon: Basically, we’re always trying to play perfect. We always review our game and we actually see the mistakes. When we actually see what we’re playing on the stage, we can actually figure out what we should’ve done. From there, we can really learn a lot. We try to figure out why we struggle and try not to make mistake, as much as we can.

VN: Have you refocused this split? Did losing last spring wake you guys up or show you exactly what it takes to get where you want to go?

HSH: Yeah. We kinda messed up the spring split in playoffs. That’s why we kind of dropped down. After, we just refreshed our mindset. After we (took) break in between spring and summer split, it actually refreshed a lot. As of mentality, we really want to win the summer. You can actually go to worlds instantly, if you win the summer split.

VN: What do you think of the possible changes that Riot announced the other day?

HSH: It’s pretty good for us because we’re playing for the lane. Our results are really crazy. When you’re a really skilled player and know how to snowball top and jungle, I’m pretty sure we’re just gonna beat everyone. I’m not scared of anything.

VN: Do you think it’ll take time to adjust? If so, does that get more difficult heading into the playoffs and worlds?

HSH: I’m not sure because it’s for everyone. I think everyone will be trying to adapt to the meta shifts.

VN: Have you ever experienced a time when you were tilted and noticed it? Are there any things that you do to help prevent that?

HSH: I would say last year, at worlds. After semifinals. Of course it’s really sad. From there, I really didn’t want to play. I didn’t want to be professional anymore. I still think there was a little phase. Then I really just want to play video game afterwards. I was just chilling in my house, never playing solo queue, after I lost. It was kind of that way. I didn’t play that much solo queue, from there. It makes me like, “I want to play video game. I really want to win again. I want to try again.” From there, I kind of recovered from tilt and got better. That’s why I’m trying to play really well.

I think more like experiences. If you play for more than two years, you experience a lot. I’m pretty sure you can’t be always perfect. First time, I was kind of sad when I’m tilted. “Why did this happen to me? I couldn’t do anything.” Today, there other mistakes, so I think it’s getting better. If you’re just happy, next time you get used to it. Then you can control, next time, since you know what’s going and you know yourself. Of course, tilt is like the worst case. You try to keep calm and try to reset your mentality and refresh.

VN: When it came to your decision to go pro, how did education play into it?

HSH: I was just playing solo queue. I felt like, “this is a really good game!” I realized, I really wanted to be best player or something. Then I got really high ranked, like top five something. From there, it had something to (do with) my dream since I was young, to be professional player. I was watching the StarCraft professional players and it looks like life is gonna be fun since you’re playing a video game. At the same time, it’s just a job. You’re doing what you want to do. It feels really good. I wanted to try it.

I still think, “Oh, what should I do after my career is done?” Sometimes I make jokes that maybe I’ll be professional Overwatch (player). I’m always kind of thinking changing (my) role to different game or becoming a coach. I’m not sure because basically I (will) have to go to Korea and do military service.

VN: If you could nerf one champion and buff one champion, who could it be and why?

HSH: Sivir they have to nerf, I think. The scaling is too good. Buff Heimerdinger. I would like to play Heimerdinger on the stage. I used to practice him.

Photos courtesy of Riot Games.