At his second World Championship, international favorite Heo "Huni" Seunghoon has made the semifinal yet again. To get there, he had to play surprisingly difficult five game series against Misfits Gaming from the European League of Legends Championship Series. Following the match, which had some unexpected picks, Huni spoke with ESPN to discuss his role as a top laner, Jayce, how Huni feels about the EU LCS, and the rest of the tournament.
There was a bit of an adaptation by SKT recently where your team began playing more with strong side lane picks to win top and bottom. Would you talk a little bit about this change?
Huni: Yeah, we actually felt that it was kind of hard when [opponents] were winning side lane, and minions all push to us. We don't have side lane control, then the game is really hard. We knew that, but it was harder than what we expected. Also, just the meaning of having side lane control is just like -- you can actually push into the turret and move away from lane and things like that. This is why we picked it up, but there is a strength point and a weakness point to it, but it was not hard to pick up.
Traditionally, it has felt like SKT is more of a team that likes to scale and play team fights. What is the difference in your role personally when you are playing an early game strong side lane pick like Jayce and a team fight-oriented champion like Cho'Gath?
Huni: I think, right now, for the top laner, it's really hard to group when the tank champion will not have the side lane control aspects of a damage dealing champion. The tank champion is kind of useless when it gets pushed into turret. They need more people to come and catch the side lane. From there, we can get mid pressure as four or as three. Also, I'm able to move. Right now, the split push -- Jayce is the strongest champion in split push meta, so that's why.
Misfits have played differently in that they don't seem to want to put Ardent Censer on its support champions. Over the series, SKT developed to follow the trend. Why did you end up not picking Ardent supports in Game 4 and Game 5?
Huni: We just picked it up because the lane -- they were getting pressure off the melee supports like Leona, [which is] actually really strong with something like Tristana. There was also banning. We thought that we could also play other champions better, so that's why we piced it up. Also, there were tiny mistakes in two games, so that's why we changed.
SKT have also played really well around getting vision around Baron, but picks like Blitzcrank made it seem difficult to secure vision in that area. What do you have to do when you're playing against a champion like Blitzcrank?
Huni: Usually it's really hard when we don't have the mid lane control. It's like, kind of hard to play against Blitzcrank when we don't have vision, so first of all, we didn't have that much control around the mid. Also, we couldn't move in as a group. Blitzcrank had vision, and it's really easy to get hooked. It's so much pressure, so from there, it's really hard. I think Blitzcrank is a really good champion for taking control of an area.
It also seemed that Tristana became an increasingly important pick. How do you build a composition around Tristana?
Huni: We actually found that Tristana is a really safe pick. Her late game is really long range also, and she's really fast at pushing turrets and minions. That's why we picked it up in the last game as first pick. We thought that Tristana was really good before, so that's why we picked it.
In the last game, you still felt confident to push out in side lane even when you didn't necessarily have wards down. How do you know what is a good time to split push vs when to group with your team?
Huni: If I have no [teleport], and the enemy is grouping as five to pressure Baron, and I have no vision, I either group or sometimes when my team does need to group as five and push to take vision, then we group also too. When I have TP, it's way safer to just go split push. Always, I can TP no matter what, so that's why.
Do you think it's generally best with a champion like Jayce -- obviously there's no hard-and-fast rule -- to just always split-push in a side lane when you have TP up?
Huni: Yeah, when TP [is available] with Jayce -- the strongest champion -- if you're really good at Jayce, you can sometimes just 1v2 or just going bot vs tank champions, you can just push no matter what.
Last time you were at a world championship, you were playing with Fnatic, another European team. How do you feel about the level of the EU LCS now that you are back and playing against them from the LCK?
Huni: I think the EU LCS is a really decent level. Actually, there's a chance -- also, last year, too there was like semi-final for H2K -- so that's why, I think Europe's teams are really professional too, and they're really trying hard. LCK is at a really high level too. I think maybe there's going to be a time when the EU LCS catches up to the LCK. That's what I think.
A lot of people have sort of talked about how there may be some communication issues around SKT's top and jungle. How has your team worked on this, and do you think this is an existing problem?
Huni: For us, there is sometimes a problem and sometimes not. Sometimes, of course, it can be a problem. It happened because we are just human, and we cannot always be perfect. Actually, our communication is really good right now, but we are still working on it. We are not perfect, but we are trying to be perfect. Sometimes, there is a misjudgment [between me and the jungler]. That's why it seems like there is this kind of problem, but we are still working on it.
You made it to the semifinal along with Samsung on the other side of the bracket. Looking forward to the rest of the tournament, what teams are making you the most apprehensive?
Huni: First of all, it's going to be [Royal Never Give Up] -- I, not expect, but predict, that RNG is going to meet us in the finals. RNG is first seed, and Fnatic is second seed. Fnatic seem doesn't seem really rock solid. First of all, it's RNG, and Samsung. Samsung is going to be really good too.
If you make it to the final, it could potentially be a rematch against Samsung. People have really praised CuVee. What do you think of CuVee as a top laner you've played against before?
Huni: First of all, he is really good at playing against any top laner. He actually won vs Khan who is really good, too. I think he's really good, but I don't think he's unstoppable.