GG huhi claims it’ll be “easy” to beat Team BDS and make it to Worlds 2023
Golden Guardians have one more big hurdle ahead of them to make it to Worlds 2023, and huhi believes the team is more than up to the task. He revealed his biggest struggles and greatest triumphs through the year, the bittersweet feeling of watching 100 Thieves fail without him, and their matchup against BDS in the Worlds Qualifying Series.
Saying that Golden Guardians have had one hell of a year would be an understatement. Before 2023, they had no international experience as an organization. Now, they’ve got some experience from MSI under their belts and a very real shot at making it to Worlds 2023.
The once-mediocre LCS org has had a major turnaround that few low-tier organizations can maintain after such a long history of middling performances and the scathing label of a team that sticks to “development rosters”.
And, even on a team that’s had a historic LCS run in 2023, Choi ‘huhi’ Jae-hyun stands out as one of the strongest members and a player who defines the team’s playstyle. Dexerto sat with him ahead of Golden Guardians’ crucial match against Team BDS to get his thoughts before the series and ask him about the moments that have defined 2023 for him.
huhi’s massive career resurgence with Golden Guardians
huhi’s been playing League of Legends competitively for a long, long time. From making it to NA’s deepest international run ever at MSI 2016 as CLG’s mid laner to being relegated to 100 Thieves’ academy team, his climb hasn’t been a steady one.
But the roleswap to support brought new life to his career. He’s been one of the best supports in the region over the past few years, one whose rollercoaster of a career has given him a wealth of experience.
However, this is the first year that his prowess as a player has been universally recognized in a way that puts him on top of the region. huhi has been looked at as one of Golden Guardians’ strongest players, something clearly shown when he won the support all-pro vote by a pretty wide margin. huhi himself was surprised by how much that win meant to him after years of competing.
“It definitely felt pretty weird. I’ve been playing for a while now, but I was always, like, here and there on [all pro teams]. But I was never really voted the first all-pro, and this split was my first time getting it.”
“I guess I thought I would care less about it? It still made me really happy, and it just keeps me going, you know? I’m glad that I’m still playing professionally, and it gives me motivation to keep going forward.”
However, the unexpected elation at his newfound accolade was paired with the great sadness of getting knocked out of the LCS Summer Playoffs earlier than he expected. Golden Guardians almost managed a reverse sweep win against Team Liquid, but they ultimately failed and lost the set 3-2.
This loss hit huhi hard.
“I knew I was going to be somewhat sad, but like, I didn’t know I was going to be that sad. So, it made me think again that I really don’t want to lose again. So yeah, I think, going into the BDS match, that’s my main goal.
“I don’t want to feel that feeling again, I don’t want my year to be over yet. So, I want to keep pulling forward by beating BDS.”
Leaving one of the biggest LCS orgs behind for a brighter future
100 Thieves has one of the most influential brands in esports. “Hoodie org” jokes aside, the team sells a lot of merch and gets brand deals for a reason: They have a record of success across multiple esports, and their LCS team was near the top of the region while huhi was playing support for them.
However, huhi’s departure hasn’t gone well for 100 Thieves. The team missed Worlds by a wide margin, and the feeling of making it to the game’s biggest event without the team he represented for years has left him with mixed feelings.
“It’s always bittersweet, you know. In some way – I’m not glad, but, like, I’m happy I was an important factor on the team when I was playing. I helped them get to Worlds, they helped me as well. Them not making it to Worlds makes me feel sad, because I also know a lot of players in there, lots of coaches, lots of staff members. So, I wish that they also came and we could, you know, hang out and have a drink or something, you know?
“But yeah, I’m confident that next year they’ll turn it around. Especially for Ssumday, he has a special place in my heart. So yeah, hoping the best for them.”
huhi also revealed that he still talks with one of the managers at 100 Thieves and that, despite him being away from the org for all of 2023, some of his old teammates and friends in the 100T camp are cheering him on and giving him their support going into the Worlds Qualifying Series.
huhi thinks taking down Team BDS won’t be a challenge
huhi is a generally soft-spoken player who doesn’t trash-talk his competition too often. His tendency to respect his opponent and not think of any victory as guaranteed has served him well in the past, which makes it all the more surprising that he thinks they’ll have an easy time taking down Team BDS.
“The [thing] I’m most scared of is, like, their level one is kind of different. Adam plays a lot of special picks, but I’m not too worried because I think Licorice is really on form and he’s playing really well this year. So yeah, other than that, I think River will just destroy the whole map. So, I’m just going to make sure he can do his job.
“I think it’s going to be easy tomorrow. I mean, I’ve seen — I usually don’t go to [social] media that much before my match, but I’ve heard even the EU teams are thinking that we’re going to beat BDS. So… yeah. I mean, I’m not reading too much into it, but yeah, I’m pretty confident.”
However, don’t mistake this for huhi writing off Europe as a region. There’s one team in particular that he sees as a massive obstacle.
“Currently, G2 is definitely the powerhouse. I do respect them a lot. I’ve played a few scrims against them, and I’ve played against them on stage as well. I know they’re a really strong team. But I think, that being said, EU has higher highs than NA, but I think, overall, NA teams are stronger. Just not as strong as G2,” huhi claimed.
“I think G2 is just kind of a step higher than any other Western team, so I do think they have the highest chance of beating the Asian teams.”
With huhi putting his faith in G2 above NA’s strongest representatives, it really feels like Europe’s best team is the West’s best chance at Worlds 2023. For now, though, Golden Guardians has to overcome Team BDS in order to get a chance at flipping the script and making a deep run at Worlds.
Here’s the full video version of the interview: