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Huhi: “Inting and making a huge play are really close to each other”

Dan Smyth-Temple

100 Thieves continue their hot streak coming into the second week of the LCS, beating FlyQuest in convincing fashion to secure themselves a shiny 4-0 record. Their strength in the bot side of the map continues to shine, this time showcasing their versatility with a fasting Senna and Tahm Kench duo.

Huhi 100 Thieves

Huhi is thriving in the current engage support meta, but feels confident that he and FBI will be dominant no matter the meta (Photo via Riot Games)

We caught up with Choi “Huhi” Jae-hyun after the game to hear his thoughts on the bot lane meta, the small difference between a great play and a terrible one, and how he’s transitioned his mid lane experience into the support role. 

Hotspawn: First of all, congrats on that win! I can probably guess how you’re feeling after a game like that, but I’d like to hear your thoughts on it.

Huhi: The game itself, starting from the draft, we kinda knew that we were gonna win. We have a lot of confidence, especially in the bot lane right now. Me and FBI, I feel like we know a lot of things that the other bot lane didn’t. When they picked that bot lane matchup we pretty much knew that we won the game, and we played like that in-game. Level 1 we [made] some mistakes, but it didn’t really matter because they can’t really punish us. The middle of the game felt pretty bad for Ssumday because the map was split for him, and he just had to sit back and wait for us to do stuff. In bot lane, it felt pretty good.

Hotspawn: You mentioned that you thought the game was already won in the draft. Could you expand on that a little bit more? We saw some of that level 1 interaction you highlighted, and it seemed like that lane over from then on.

Huhi: It’s not the champions that we picked— I have lots of questions about the champions that they picked, like Seraphine and Maokai. I don’t think either of those champions are really good. I think you pick those champions when you don’t have confidence in bot lane, and you just want to play for your team. At that point, you’re being a huge weight for your team as well because you’re essentially just enabling other laners. When you play Seraphine AD you’re trying to be a support for your jungler or your midlaner as an AD carry, which doesn’t really make sense. It’s strong if [being] the support is actually that viable, but I don’t think it is in the current meta. Yeah, I think their champions were just bad [laughs].

Hotspawn: Apart from that hiccup near the very end in front of their nexus towers, you guys looked incredibly clean. Almost a perfect game in terms of objectives. Can we expect more games like that from 100T going into this weekend?

Huhi: Yeah that’s definitely our goal obviously, making everything clean. Like you mentioned we had some slip-ups at the end of the game, but we all kind of knew— everyone played a little loose after we got three inhibs and were just in their base, kind of messing around. If we had our full focus in the end it would have been an even faster game. But yeah, our games last week versus CLG and lower teams that we [played] we also had some slip-ups in the early game, which we tried to fix as much as we can. Our goal is making a clean snowball from early game, and being dominant as much as possible.

Hotspawn: Definitely. You went 3-0 last weekend, but this win looked a lot cleaner than the rest.  What were some of the things from last week’s games that you honed in on to see this improvement?

Huhi: We were just trying to re-focus on the basics, because after the Lock In tournament everyone knew us as the team that will just dive at every opportunity we see. We still do that, but we just miscalculated some stuff such as communicating about TP and the enemy jungler and who’s gonna tank, those basic issues. It was really easy to fix because it wasn’t something that we weren’t aware of, just some stuff that we have to be a little more mindful [of] and everything will work out. After that game, it was really beneficial for us because it kinda made us re-focus on the basics.

Hotspawn: I wanted to ask about the fasting senna that you and FBI were playing. How’re you liking that pick? How does it feel to be farming again after your role swap?

Huhi: For myself, it’s pretty fun [going] from the person who has to look for the enemy engage and disengage, [to] the one who’s just farming and last-hitting creeps. I just have to eat Senna when they go on [FBI]. It also feels pretty good to be up in cs on the enemy ad carry as a support [laughs]. I think that’s when we knew the enemy AD carry is mentally a little bit defeated. I do get pretty upset when people start stealing my cs in mid/late game, or even early game when the jungler comes bottom.

But on the other hand I understand, because I’m just a Tahm Kench [laughs]. Yeah, I still sometimes get annoyed, cause [I’ll be] trying to keep perfect CS and not miss a single CS in a lot of waves, and someone just comes in and takes my CS and messes up my stats. I’m like “come on dude, you don’t have to do that.” [laughs]

Hotspawn: I wanted to ask about the rest of the support meta. All these engage champions seem to suit you pretty well, but how’re you feeling about the meta in general?  

Huhi: Yeah, the engagers are always my comfort zone. Even as a midlaner I was known as a player that will int a lot, and for me that also means that you’re [also] looking for plays a lot, because inting and making a huge play are really close to each other. If an enemy makes 1 mistake and I make that same play, sometimes it will go really well and sometimes it won’t go really well. The important thing is not losing your confidence no matter how other people are talking about it. You just have to keep looking for those windows or you’re never gonna be a player that can engage. And that’s when you fall in a slump, especially if your job is looking for engages. As a support right now I have a lot of confidence, so it’s pretty easy for me to do it.

Huhi clg

Huhi debuted at IEM San Jose in 2016, where he replaced Pobelter as CLG’s starting midlaner (Photo via Riot Games)

Hotspawn: Circling back, you mentioned before that a lot of people see 100 Thieves as the team that’s always gonna be looking for those dives and engages, and right now it seems like the meta really supports that. Do you think if the support meta shifts back, say to an enchanter meta, will you guys maintain that strength you have in the bot lane?  

Huhi: For me, for sure. For example, last split when we were still on Golden Guardians it was an enchanter meta. We would play karma, lux, bard, stuff like that. I felt that I had an edge on enemy supports all the time, not only because I came from the mid lane and knew how to play those mages, but also because I can pull off pocket picks like Ziggs support or Vel’koz support that I used to play before. If it goes to enchanter meta I just have so many more champions that I can pull off compared to other supports.

Hotspawn: Last week I talked with Trevor “Stixxay” Hayes about the importance of playing multiple positions. Are there other ways you’ve applied your experience in the mid lane to your new role?

Huhi: Yeah, definitely. I feel like I have lots of understanding of how other lanes work, in terms of what they need and what is really annoying for them because I played mid lane. I also worked really closely with the jungler when I played mid lane, so I know what my jungler wants, what my midlaner wants, and also what will annoy the enemy midlaner and what will annoy the enemy jungler. Playing mid lane and role swapping to support gives me a lot of value in those aspects.

Hotspawn: Makes sense. I think that’s all I have time for! Do you have any parting words for the 100 Thieves fans out there?

Huhi: We really appreciate the support we’re getting. It’s gonna be a long split. We’re gonna have some slip-ups, but we’re never gonna stop going forward. I [hope] you guys can be on the road [with us] and support us throughout the journey. We’re gonna crush it this split.