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Huhi on handling criticism, remaining level-headed and his favorite CLG moment

Slingshot’s Andrew Kim caught up with Choi “Huhi” Jae-Hyun (in Korean and translated to English) after Friday’s North American League of Legends Championship Series match against Phoenix1.

Andrew Kim: It seemed like both teams had some trouble closing out the game. What was team communication like during those moments?

Choi “Huhi” Jae-hyun: I mean yeah, the first and second games were pretty fast games. The third game was hard to close. Both teams had the lead to close it out but I guess since it’s really late, like 9 p.m. or something, I’ll say people aren’t used to playing this late. Even us, I personally felt a little bit tired, a little bit sleepy in the third pick and ban phase. Those kinds of things can affect you so that people don’t have the clear decision making. I feel like in the third game there were a lot of people in the team getting caught, getting picked, doing silly mistakes. It was hard to close it out because whenever a team had a lead, someone would get caught and give the other team the lead.

AK: With the back and forth game where fatigue could have played a part in, was there a kind of breakthrough in communication or a moment when everything clicked together?

CJH: Even though we were tired, we were communicating the right thing. We just weren’t fighting the right fights. I started to lose a lot of farm because I wasn’t farming anything and just hovering around mid because we didn’t know when we wanted to fight. It took a while to realize that we could have just engaged and they could have just engaged so we had to watch out so that I can farm too. That’s what we learned as time goes on.

AK: You’ve been a part of CLG for some time now. Do you have a happiest memory during your time with CLG, what would it be?

CJH: Probably the first split I played with (Trevor “Sitxxay” Hayes) and we won against TSM 3-2 (in last year’s spring finals). The last game when we for sure knew when we won the game, everyone was jumping around. We worked really hard; everyone was saying that we were a bottom tier team. There were some people who still say it, but our expectation was really low but we made it to first and went to MSI, so that was my happiest moment.

AK: Do you watch VODs from other regions as well or just focus on your own?

CJH: Yeah I do watch other region VODs, but only good teams, the top tier teams, because it’s impossible to watch every VOD because there’s just so many games right now. What I usually try to watch is LCK’s top tier teams. Recently it was SKT vs. KT and I’m pretty sure they play again soon, so we all watch those games and discuss them.

AK: Is there a player in those regions that you pay extra attention to?

CJH: Not really except team fights because there are one or two players in the team fight right away, and it’s clear but other than that like the laning phase and matchups, it’s really hard to see because the stream is not focused on the lane. The camera’s moving around, so the best idea is usually trying to watch the map, only the map, and try to understand macro decisions and what they’re doing as a team.

AK: In your opinion, who is the most underrated player in the NA LCS?

CJH: I think right now it’s Darshan (Upadhyaha) because he was considered the best top laner before, and right now people think that he’s just really bad. There’s a lot of memes like “Darshit,” stuff like that. The thing is, when a player is not performing well, it’s not his fault. The team, when we pressure the bottom side, obviously top side will look bad. He has his own job when we’re playing the bot side, which is playing it safe, losing CS, losing his matchup, so it just looks bad to a lot of people. Especially the crowds or viewers, there are a lot of viewers who don’t really understand that kind of macro decisions because it’s behind the scenes. They just judge players from their score or them just dying, so that’s why it looks bad. I’ll say Darshan is the most underrated.

AK: There’s a lot of harsh criticism on CLG, perhaps because they were such a powerful organization in the previous seasons. How do you deal with that?

CJH: We just ignore or we don’t really pay attention sometimes. For example, until we watched the MSI VODs, we didn’t know how casters were actually shit talking us and saying that “CLG is just a bad team.” They were saying those kind of things. We just don’t know they’re saying those kinds of things. So yeah, we don’t know, but we also ignore it because maybe it’s true that we’re a bad team, but maybe we can accept it and do better. That’s the only thing we can do. It doesn’t matter; we don’t really care what other people think.

Cover photo courtesy of Riot Games/illustration by Slingshot