Heo “Huni” Seung-hoon debut for World Champions SK Telecom T1 is off to a perfect start following a convincing sweep over the Jin Air Green Wings. Sharing the spotlight with fellow new-signing Han “Peanut” Wang-hoon on the second day of the 2017 LCK Spring Season, the former Immortals and Fnatic Top Laner silenced many of his critics with dominant performances on tanks, Poppy and Maokai.
Ahead of his move to the Korean powerhouse, SK Telecom T1, Huni was openly mocked within the League of Legends community for considering himself worthy of competing alongside some of the greatest names to have ever played the game, despite winning win two domestic titles and placing third/fourth at the 2015 World Championship.
The criticism was harsh – but certainly understandable, given Huni’s inconsistencies and tendency to tilt – no-one was going to let him forget the notorious Lucian top pick in a hurry. Even former ROX Tigers star Song “Smeb” Kyung-ho was looking to rub salt into the wounds:
Inevitably, SKT coach Kim “KkOma” Jung-gyun appears to have corrected one of Huni’s major flaws during the offseason. As SKT loaded into their opening fixture of the 2017 LCK, Huni proceeded to do something his critics felt was impossible: he picked tanks… and played them well.
Whilst Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok’s performance on Katarina and Peanut’s Rengar display were certainly impressive, undoubtedly the most significant talking point of the day was Huni’s MVP accolade, shrugging off rumours he was inept playing tank champions. Stomping over the rift first on Maokai then Poppy, the Top laner posted a series KDA (kill/death/assist ratio) of 5/2/24.
At times, he was literally unkillable:
— SK telecom T1 (@sktelecom_t1) 18 January 2017
“I’m happy to have won our first match of the season with a 2-0 record, and I’m even happier to have won my first match in the LCK.
“It feels better for me to be playing in Korea since it’s less stressful to be playing together with world-class players, and it’s good to have many fans cheering for me.
“We have many more tricks up our sleeve, but they are confidential for now. I’ll just say that I’m second to none when it comes to champion pool.”
Heo “Huni” Seung-hoon
Huni was languishing in North America, showing little sign of improvement after leaving Fnatic the previous year. The LCK landscape, and perhaps more poignantly, the coaching methods of Kim “KkOma” Jung-gyun, present a fresh challenge for the talented Top laner.
SK Telecom T1 will certainly face tougher opposition in their World Championship defence, but Huni’s encouraging debut performance on tanks in the Top lane shows signs of his development since touching down in Korea. Huni has six weeks to polish his newfound play style before facing off against SKT’s major rivals for the title, KT Rolster.