CLG HuHi on Importing Players

Esports Asia News
Interview adapted from InvenGlobal’s wesbite Seeing Koreans among the playing rosters of NA LCS is a common sight today. However, back when ‘HuHi’ was playing for Team Fusion, there weren’t that many. Today, HuHi has become a player with one of the most successful careers in NA. With him among the ranks, CLG has managed to take 2 victories from NA LCS, qualify into the ‘World Championships’ on 2 different occasions, and reach 2nd place during MSI 2016. It is not an exaggeration to say that HuHi was and is one of the most important players on the team’s roster. This midlaner currently has an outstanding score of 6-2, and we were curious on how he approaches the competitive scene of NA. Then we were granted an opportunity during the NA LCS as we got a chance to speak with the man himself.
▲ Choi “HuHi” Jae-Hyun of CLG
Currently, CLG is one of the top teams this split. How is the team different from the last split? Just until recently, our team avoided roster changes. But as we acquired our new jungler, our playstyle drifted away from enduring and scaling into the late game, into snowballing as early as we can. Is there a player you specifically want to avoid playing against? Although he is not a midlaner, I had the most trouble playing against LirA. As our current jungler tends to play aggressively in the early game, the fights in the jungle were more than intense. As I had to constantly stay cautious just in case another fight breaks out, I missed multiple CS during those games. As for an opposing midlaner, no one comes to mind. Your Aurelion Sol is currently undefeated this split. How did you come to learn him? First off, for me, one of the biggest factors in picking a champion is its looks. I enjoy playing handsome or pretty champions. However, most of the champs with those qualities never fit into my playstyle. Then, Aurelion Sol was released. He’s a dragon. A dragon. As I fell for his beauty, his kit was perfect for my playstyle. He packs great roaming capabilities with fast clear speeds. It had everything I wanted. As I developed this attachment to him, I started playing him regardless of the meta. He is also great if you have good synergy and communication with the jungler. Nonetheless, I just feel comfortable on him.  
  Right now, the gap between top teams with the bottom teams is huge. Why do you think that’s the case? I believe roster changes are what’s affecting the teams. If you judge a team by each individual in it, they look great; but I think they are still in the process of establishing a line of synergy between one another. Coaches are also being replaced, and that may affect the atmosphere within the team as well. Every season, it seems like there are few teams that go through those struggles. In the LCK, roster changes mid-season is not so common. That is why I was astounded when it happened so frequently here. What’s your approach to the current situation of NA teams importing Korean players and coaches? It still amazes me even though so many have come from Korea already. For me, I lived here for a long time, and so I adapted to the everyday life here. But for a person who has lived all his life in Korea, coming to live in either NA or EU is not an easy task. I actually witnessed new Korean players or coaches struggling from homesickness and/or language barriers myself. They weren’t able to express their thoughts in an optimal way. I am pretty sure they were fully aware of all the hardships that they may experience here before their departure from Korea, yet they still come and compete in the foreign scene. At the same time, many changes occurred in the NA scene as a whole. The biggest one of them all is the declination of players that are actually from NA. Although hiring a new player comes with big risks as they may not perform well as on stage as they did in tryouts or ‘solo queue’, we seemed to have developed a rather big habit of importing players from overseas.
▲ The frequent importing of players may hinder the chance of a new player from joining the scene.
Many of the midlaners in NA LCS are actually from overseas. What do you think about this? To be honest, I don’t think that is the correct way of developing the NA scene. There are many great midlaners in ‘solo queue’ here. Although they may seem lacking to the eyes of a professional, I personally believe they harbor immense potentials in becoming a strong LCS player. If we sit down with them and teach them step-by-step, their said potentials could most likely reveal itself. If we think about communication alone, players who are raised from the region that they are playing in have a huge advantage. Furthermore, the way someone thinks, the way he grew up, and his familiarity with the culture are all an important factor in establishing a great synergy within the team. The local players will experience much less stress in expressing their emotions and bringing in new ideas for the team due to the mentioned reasons. There are many fans who are rooting for CLG. Is there something you want to say to them? Right now, CLG is determined to win. We want to win the current split and be able to compete in the ‘World Championships’. I feel sorry for the fans however as my recent performances were quite subpar. However, we will find the answers, and we will refine our plays to show them our best form.

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