The Good, The Bad, and the Huni: TSM Finalizing a Deal With Huni
TSM has supposedly finalized a deal with Evil Geniuses to buy out Heo “Huni” Seung-hoon and make him their starter for the 2021 competitive season. If you just did a spit-take, know that you’re not in the minority. This, simply put, is the biggest surprise of the off-season so far, and it’s not a particularly pleasant one either. Heck, we’re putting it mildly here.
For TSM to go with Huni — even though Jeong “Impact” Eon-yeong, Eric “Licorice” Ritchie, Kevin “Hauntzer” Yarnell, and Colin “Solo” Earnest were up for grabs — simply boggles the mind. This is like a badly written twist in a shoddy horror flick. Maybe even worse than that. Simply put, Huni has been underperforming for years. He’s just not good at this point in time and is by no means worthy of a starting spot in the LCS. He’s still the same old lovable Huni, but that doesn’t make him a good fit for TSM — the defending LCS champions, mind you.
This is an egregious call in every sense of the word and it’s going to backfire in one way or another. Now sure, he doesn’t take up an import slot any longer but it would be so much wiser for TSM to pick up a native player from Academy and do what Cloud9 (and even Team Liquid) has been doing for years. Huni is a known quantity, for better and worse. This means we’re in for infrequent 5/0 games, interspersed between dreadful 0/5 performances. That’s Huni’s M.O and we’re all aware of it. Once this signing was brought to light by Travis Gafford and former ESPN reporter Jacob Wolf, most people thought they were kidding.
But, unfortunately, that’s just not the case.
The Good, The Bad, and the Huni
This is a baffling decision from TSM’s part and it makes no sense whatsoever. First of all, we know they have the resources to go for someone better and more expensive. Having Impact or Licorice aboard would almost guarantee them a Top 2 finish (barring any unforeseen dips in performance). With Huni, however, they’re bound to fail in all the same ways teams with Huni failed in the past. When he’s good, when he’s “on fire” it’s like watching poetry in motion. But he’s a coin-flip kind of player and is insanely volatile. That’s one of the biggest reasons why he’s been switching teams so often — he doesn’t come cheap and is just not worth picking up.
Some might argue that he’ll grow and evolve, but Huni’s playstyle is deeply entrenched and will not change any time soon, if ever. We’ve seen the same shade of Huni with all the teams he’s played for over the years: Evil Geniuses, Team Dignitas, Clutch Gaming, Echo Fox, SKT T1, Immortals, and Fnatic. That’s a sample size consisting of five whole years and three entirely different regions. Now sure, he’s a veteran player with an incredible resume, but he’s been declining for quite a while now and has shown no improvement whatsoever.
And, lastly, he’s just not what TSM needs.
What might’ve happened is that TSM tried to sign someone else and failed to get the deal done in time (for reasons that will never go public). Impact is surely even more expensive than Huni and Licorice had a monstrous buyout attached so it stands to reason that the boys in black and white wanted to go with someone a bit more affordable while still being relatively good at the game. They’re probably well aware that Huni will implode in patented Huni ways so don’t be surprised if they move him over to Academy (like Evil Geniuses did) in a couple of months. That’ll give them enough time to go over their options and find a suitable replacement.
Still, even if that does end up happening, this is definitely an underwhelming signing from an organization that’s currently atop the LCS.