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Huni on Tanks: The Difference Between Him in the West and in Korea

January 20, 2017 - Esports

Nobody would ever say that Seong “Huni” Hoon Heo is not one of the best Top Laners who’s played in the Western Hemisphere, if not the world. Despite that, a fact stands out clear as day—in his time playing in both EU and NA LCS, Huni became infamous for one thing besides his beastly aggressive dominance of the Top Lane. Huni never played tanks.

No matter what the meta was, even when the rest of his opponents fell over themselves to pick Ekko Top and build it as a tank, Huni picked Ekko and built damage. He picked damage dealing champions even when versing against tanks like Maokai or Poppy. Yes, his teams Fnatic and Immortals still won those games, but that was because the whole team was usually stronger and more skilled than their opponents. Once they came up against someone of a higher or equal skill, Huni’s refusal to play the meta occasionally cost them the game.

As a result of Huni’s insistence on doing damage, many fans got the impression that the player simply can’t play tanks. The reps from his team insisted that Huni CAN play tanks perfectly fine, he just prefers not to and the team agrees. It’s speculation, but we have to wonder if Huni simply refused to pick something that’s not a carry, despite his team asking him to. After all, once he joined the EU LCS, he very quickly became a star, arguably the biggest star on Fnatic. Just like Kobe Bryant used to never pass the ball unless he couldn’t take the shot himself, Huni could have just been doing whatever the hell he pleased, saying to his team: “I’m Huni, bitches.”

Imagine our surprise after watching the first two matches Huni played in the LCK, as the starting Top Laner for SK Telecom T1. Which champions did he play? Maokai and Poppy, doing very well in both games, finishing with 3/1/10 on Maokai and 2/1/14 on Poppy, showing that he CAN play tanks. Why the hell hasn’t he when they were the meta in the past? In an interview with Fomos’ Choi Min-sook, he said that he played tanks because he had faith in his team, doing his job and trusting that the team, made up of the world’s best, would do their job as well.

What the hell? Yes, both Fnatic and Immortals were nowhere near close to the level of the current SK Telecom T1 roster. But they were among the two best teams in their region at that time. Huni could have easily trusted his teammates to do their job above the level of their opponents and not put his team back by playing suboptimal champions in an effort to “carry”. This stinks of a situation with Ty Lawson, an NBA Point Guard, who spent part of the 2011 season playing in Europe due to the NBA lockout. He averaged 7.4 points per game. After coming back to the NBA, he averaged 16.4 points, still in the 2011-2012 season, against much stronger competition of the best players in the world. That shows a disgusting lack of effort on his previous team. The same is true for Huni, it seems. Could it be that Europe and NA were only short stops for the player? Places where he got paid money to screw around and wait until a top Korean team would have a spot open for him?