Thirty minutes earlier, Heo "Huni" Seung-hoon sat in stunned silence at his desk, his face covered up by his hands. After going 17-1 and 16-2 in two consecutive splits, Immortals failed cinch the final seed for the World Championships after a one-sided loss to Cloud9 in the Regional Qualifiers.
In 2015, Huni made it all the way to the semifinals of Worlds alongside teammate Kim "Reignover" Yeu-jin on European team Fnatic; this year, however, there will be no encore for the top-jungle duo.
Their season is over.
Huni sighed, dropping into the black interviewing chair for the final time this season, ready to give his thoughts on his last series of the year.
"I knew it wasn't going to be easy for us because we actually lost the semifinal against C9," said Huni. "It was 2-3, and we kept scrimming with them after that and they were playing well. So I thought it wasn't going to be easy for us, but still, pretty sad to lose."
The semifinals matchup was one of the worst days in his two-year professional career. Cloud9's Jung "Impact" Eon-yeong put constant pressure on Huni for the majority of the series, and Huni's indecision left his team on its back foot. Although it ended in a close 2-3 scoreline in favor of Cloud9, it was a one-sided loss for the Immortals top laner who wanted to challenge the world once more on the international stage.
"C9 drafts with a lot of resource around top," he said. "As in draft-wise, not in the game, because they're first picking Gnar, which is like the most stable top laner, and then you have pressure. Then they're banning [Gangplank] and Rumble, so I don't think we can do that much about it. So yeah, Impact was playing really well again against me. They were smart to make that draft. They felt like if I had [Gangplank] or Rumble then I would go off. That's what happened in the semifinal."
"I think we didn't have that much [confidence] because we actually lost [in semifinals] and needed to [gain] revenge," he answered when asked if anything went wrong during the preparation for the fated rematch. "We were working really hard, and we actually tried hard to beat C9, but [it] didn't happen."
For Huni, this will be the first offseason in his professional career where he'll take time off to rest. In 2014, when he was on Samsung as a practice partner, he was scouted and signed onto the 2015 Fnatic starting roster in the EU LCS. After participating at the Mid-Season Invitational and the World Championships, he only had a month or so off before signing with Immortals and moving to Los Angeles for the 2016 season. Now with three months until the 2017 season starts, he finally has time to himself.
"My plan is just streaming and just chilling. That's all, I think," he said. "I think I'll go to [South] Korea to just chill. My country, that's all."
When asked about his one-year contract with Immortals, he said, "Basically, I want to see -- when [in] free agency -- I can compare [contracts]. Maybe I can just change my mind. For now, I'm just open to everything. I don't mind about anything, really, so it's going to depend how offers [go]. Yeah, also maybe [I'd] like to be an LCK player, too."
One of Huni's dreams is to travel the world and experience as much as he can with the opportunities he's been given. After living in Europe last year and North America this year, he has an open mind when it comes to seeing what's next.
"I'm good to stay in NA, too. The life was really good," he said. "For sure. I'm not sure about going back to Europe, maybe. I'll just be open to everything. It's just going to depend on what I want to [do] at the time. Probably going to be like that."
Huni explained that while he enjoyed being with his teammates and management on Fnatic, there was more to do with his teammates in North America. It felt more like a family or being together with close friends.
Also, the food.
"Europe was really good too, but I just didn't like the food that much," he said, laughing. "Maybe that's why. [Los Angeles] food is, like, there is so much food. I'm comfy. It feels like even LA Korean food is better than actual Korean [food]."
"This is going to be like last interview in this year," Huni added. "I'd like to say thanks for support even though I moved from Europe to NA. It was good for me to get more confident; that's why I got used to NA. So it was really cool. It was a really good experience. I [saw] a lot of crowds at fan meets. It was really nice for me. I just want to say thanks to them."
Wherever he goes next -- staying in NA, back to Europe, attempting to join a South Korean lineup like he's always wanted -- win or lose, Huni will always make an entrance and leave the same way: a smile on his face.