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When the 2016 North American LCS begins in January, Hai “Hai” Du Lam will be starting his third season under Cloud 9. Making a switch to the Jungle from Mid Lane in the middle of the Summer Split, Hai once again finds himself in a different role, this time as the teams Support. He spoke with NoL on changing roles, Cloud 9’s new roster, and more.

 

How are you enjoying support so far? Was there something in particular that was hard to adapt to?

It’s fun, it’s the role I hate the most in Solo Q but probably one of my more favorite ones to play in competitive. I think the main thing I have to adapt to is my “power level”, I’m significantly weaker in terms of power than I ever was before. So it makes it harder for me to do things on my own.

 

How did you enjoy your time as Jungle, though limited it may be? What was the biggest surprise in playing the role competitively for the first time?

It was fun! Definitely a bit different from mid, I was strong but still had to cater to people’s needs more so than when I played mid. I think the biggest surprise in the role is the fact that “strength of jungler” doesn’t matter as much as a ton of other junglers always brought it. For example, there are strong early game junglers but that doesn’t mean you keel over and can’t ward/gank, you just have to be smarter about what you’re doing.

 

What is your favorite support champion or lane combo to play as? Against?

I like play Alistar and Lucian/High kill pressure ADC. I like playing against kill lanes, doesn’t matter what support.

 

You’re known to be quite the shotcaller. Is is easier for you to direct the game from support as most people imply? What do you think it is that makes you stand out so much in terms of your ability to make the right call?

Well, it is easier since I don’t have to worry about losing the game if I’m too busy trying to figure out how to win the game. Generally when a support dies that doesn’t mean baron or turrets are gone, just you can’t fight. However when I died as mid/jungler, it did mean an objective was gone, so that’s nice. As far as my ability to shotcall, I’d say it has to come from the kind of person I am, my personality is a very dominant and confident one. When someone is consistently telling you what to do, and you win, you really have no reason not to follow that voice, no? So loyalty comes from success, and success comes from intelligence.

 

How has the team been adapting to the addition of Rush? What element does he add to the team that wasn’t there before?

We actually get along really well with Rush, the guy is a beast. Definitely a better jungler than me and reminds me of myself because he’s super aggressive albeit he makes a lot of dumb plays (which is fine). As long as I keep him in check with what he’s doing, he’s easily the best jungler in NA.

 

How has it been playing with BunnyFuFu and a two support system? We’ve seen a similar situation with teams in the past, but generally mid laners. Do you think having two players rotate can benefit any position?

I enjoy playing with Bunny a lot because for one, he adds a lot of stability to my stress/emotions outside of the game. We go to the gym together and I get along with him really well, he’s like a little brother to me because he’s basically a wide eyed deer staring into the vastness of the world. I think this system is nice because it lowers the stress level a lot and for us specifically, it helps alleviate my wrist issues that I still have. It’s nice to have a break/play not as much and have a reliable substitute.

 

With the introduction of the preseason patch, a lot has changed. How do you feel about the preseason so far and what are you loving/hating the most? Do you enjoy the shift towards a more AD centric meta?

I personally like the preseason due to a few reasons ;

They fixed the RNG waves at level 1, meaning sometimes a bot lane/top lane would get EXP off a minion due to no skill of their own and the other side wouldn’t. This swung the lane a lot and made it feel really bad to play.

They allowed teams to snowball better and be able to close out games more, you can’t really “farm in base” and hope for a comeback anymore. You get punished for playing passively, and I think that’s great.

As far as the meta I don’t necessarily see that much of a difference in terms of power for ADC, they feel the same to me. If fed/ignore, they kill you, if not, they die.

I enjoy no more Mordekaiser.

More mid laners and top laners are running ignite instead of Teleport now, this is good.

I like the trinket changes so far, less wards means more plays, which means the better team can control vision easier. (Minus baron baiting, that’s impossible with blue trinkets.)

There’s probably more but this is all I can think of for now.

 

What are your thoughts on the upcoming LCS season, with all of the new teams and wave of roster changes? Thoughts on the new TSM, particularly Yellowstar and his transition to NA?

My opinion of all the new teams/players is that I hope it elevates the level of play for NA. Anything to help our region grow is welcomed by me. There’s a lot of hype on Yellowstar being a great shotcaller, I want to see if their team lives up to that hype.

 

Which bot lanes do you want to play against the most in the LCS? Who do you rate as the strongest, based on current rosters?

I don’t really care about what lane I play against, we will win or die trying. (Sneaky and me are the best 100% chance, I’ll believe that whether I’m right or wrong.)

 

You’ll be competing at IEM Cologne soon, playing H2K in the first round. With h2k having recently completed a new roster, where do you stack up, particularly against VandeR/Forg1ven?

I actually know nothing about H2K’s new roster or EU’s power level after worlds, it’ll be interesting to see how things go. I’m excited to play support on stage for the first time though.

 

Cloud 9 to take the whole thing, right?

Of course, or we’ll do our damn best to.

 

Looking back at 2015, what is your favorite memory from the past year? Was switching roles twice the least expected thing to happen to you?

My favorite memory is probably qualifying for worlds, my entire team was just shocked and surprised we made it. I’m happy we went from almost being relegated to world’s contenders. My entire team/owner were pretty depressed before that whole chain of events, and to see the emotions change in such a short time is the reason why I played and still play. My teams happiness is extremely important to me.

 

Shoutouts?

Thanks for the interview and I’m looking forward to how our team develops and grows. For all my fans out there, thank you for sticking by my side through thick and thin. Cloud 9 for life, right guys? #Cloud9

 


Caymus is a journalist and content creator for SoloMid. You can find him getting caught out in the depths of solo queue, or on twitter talking about eSports.

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After a 3-4 run at the 2015 World Championship and making it to the world stage in what is considered a miracle run, Cloud 9 has announced that they will begin searching for either a new Jungler or Support player.

Current starting support Daerek “LemonNation” Hart will be stepping down from playing to transition into a staff role, where Cloud 9 will move forward based on who they find to fill the void in their roster, with two main ideas in mind:

 

  1. Recruiting a talented Jungler while Hai transitions to the Support role, or
  2. Recruiting a talented Support while Hai remains in the Jungler role.

 

NoL will continue to follow Cloud 9’s roster heading into the 2016 LCS Spring Split as the offseason develops.

 

For full tryout details, check out the official post.

 

 

image via cloud9, G4K

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In Europe, Origen did not falter against the Unicorns of Love, sweeping them 3-0 in 107 minutes of game time. This marks the first trip to the World Championship for the team, who joined the EU LCS in the Summer Split. Origen is certainly not lacking in experience however,  with mid laner and Season 1 world champion Enrique “xPeke” Cedeño Martínez at the reigns. Backed by his long-time team mate Paul “sOAZ” Boyer, and veteran players in Alfonso “Mithy” Aguirre Rodriguez and Maurice “Amazing” Stückenschneider, the team has provided an excellent environment to foster upcoming talent, as seen in their AD Carry Jesper “Niels” Svenningsen, who walked away with the rookie of the split. A combination of new blood and experience, Origen has managed to become a real force in Europe in a short period of time. Living in the shadow of European powerhouse Fnatic for most of the split, Origen heads to worlds with something to prove.

 

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On the other side of the globe, Cloud 9 pulled off nothing short of a miracle against heavy favorites Team Liquid. Battling through two best of fives on their way, the team managed to climb back from 0-2 deficits both times before taking down the #1 NA seed 3-1 in the finals. Heavy favorites coming into the Summer Split, Cloud 9 struggled in unfamiliar fashion, falling as low as 10th place. When things started going south, Cloud 9 decided to mix it up, adding Royce “Bubbadub” Newcomb to their support staff, and initiating a roster swap that saw a retired Hai “Hai” Du Lam take on a surprisingly effective role in the jungle, replacing longstanding jungler Will “Meteos” Hartman. With Hai back at the helm of the team, newly added mid laner Nicolaj “Incarnati0n” Jensen could finally shine, dictating the mid lane for the entirety of the regional qualifiers after a very slow start to the summer split. Led by Hai’s renowned shotcalling and featuring star performances from AD Carry Zachary “Sneaky” with Derek “LemonNation” “Hart” and An “Balls” Van Le taking on a more supportive role, Cloud 9 managed to turn their worst split in team history into yet another World Championship appearance. Though Cloud 9 has qualified for the World Championship every year since they debuted as a team, this time the road had a lot more obstacles, and the team heads into the biggest international event of the year as underdogs, a position they haven’t been in since joining the LCS in 2013.

 

Image Credit: lolesports

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Cloud 9 has announced that Will “Meteos” Hartman will be stepping down from the starting jungle position on the team. Off to a 3-7 start, the team has been struggling to find their former success in the Summer Split. After retiring in April, Hai “Hai” Du Lam will return in week 6 as shotcaller and jungler. This marks only the second roster change for Cloud 9 in the team’s history.

 

Meteos had this to say:

 

“This was a difficult decision to make as clearly things on C9 have not been working out. I think stepping back for now and letting someone else jungle will help the team atmosphere and keep Cloud9 competitive in the LCS.”

 

Jack Etienne also spoke on the roster move:

 

“Meteos is a huge part of Cloud9 as well as one of the most talented players on our roster.” adds Jack Etienne, GM and Owner of Cloud9. “He is stepping down to be a sub for our LCS team but he will remain an active part of Cloud9.”

 

It is uncertain if Hai will remain on the roster permanently. NoL will continue to update as things develop.

 

Official Announcement

 

image via cloud9

 

Categories: eSports, LoL News Tags: , , , , , ,
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Incarnation Rift Pulse banner

 

Rift pulse is back with another weekly update of the most recent events in LoL esports. With the NA and EU LCS back in full swing, the second half of season 5 has officially gone global.

 

North America

 

  • CLG announced their new coaching staff, with  Chris “Blurred Limes” Ehrenreich stepping in as Head Coach.
  • Ex Nihilo, a new organization, has formed a team consisting of a blend of former LCS players and Challenger players.

 

NA LCS

 

NA

 

 

Europe

 

  •  Gambit Gaming announced that they will have a two-week trial period for Kévin “Shaunz” Ghanbarzadeh in the head coach position.
  • Mike “Wickd” Petersen announced on twitter that his team has signed to Denial eSports.
  • Jesse “Jesiz” Le and Luka “PerkZ” Perković join Gamers2 in their fourth attempt to make the European LCS.
  • Pierre “Steeelback“ Medjaldi has left Fnatic in wake of Rekkles return, joining Odyssey Gaming in their pursuit of qualifying to the the NACS.

 

EU LCS

 

EU

 

 

 

China

 

 

LPL

 

cHINA

 

 

 

 

Korea

 

 

LCK

 

LCK

 

 

 

 

SEA

 

LMS

 

 

LMS

 

Brazil

 

CBLOL

 

CBLOL

 

OCE

 

OPL SUMMER

 

OPL summer

 

 

 

Scene Updates

 

  • The NA LCS Summer Finals will be played in NYC, with the EU finals heading to Stockholm.
  • IEM announced the details of Season 10, with the World Championship once again taking place in Katowice.

 

 

images via lolesports, Riot Games

 

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When were you originally contacted by c9? What were the original talks like and did you have plans pending the removal of your ban?

Originally Jack reached out to me around November last year inquiring if I was interested in being a mid lane coach for Hai.  I was interested in being a part of Cloud9, but as a player not a coach.  This led to several conversations about how this could potentially happen if I was to ever be unbanned.  Ultimately we came up with a plan where I would be contractually bound to Cloud9 and if the opportunity ever presented itself I could try out for the mid job.

 

On entering the mid lane in place of Hai, will you be taking over as primary shotcaller, or is a different system being developed? How comfortable are you shotcalling and do you believe you can grow in the role? 

I’m open to getting more involved in shot calling but Meteos is handling it now and doing a great job at it so I see no reason to make any changes.

 

Are there any champions you wish were played competitively that aren’t, or some that you just wish to see played more?   

Yasuo, Fizz. I wish the mid lane champion pool was more diverse and not mainly control mages.

 

What do you like to do in your downtime? Do you play other games or have any hobbies?

At the moment I don’t have other games I’m playing but in the past I enjoyed playing CS:GO.  For now though I’m putting all my focus into League.

 

You were at a significant deficit in the lane phase against TSM, what was going through your mind? Did you get into the “play for lategame” mentality? How confident were you that you could bring it back?

I was very nervous as this was my first competitive match on stage and I felt like I had to prove myself.  I knew there was going to be a lot of attention on how I performed today which increased the pressure of the event.  To make matters worse I saw that Bjergsen got ahead by getting the small raptors on an already difficult match up.  Add in the level 3 gank and I was looking at a rough start.

As the game progressed I felt more comfortable playing on stage and I knew I just needed to be patient and scale into late game.

 

In your opinion, what was the biggest turning point of that game and when did you realize you were going to win?  

When I stole blue and we sieged mid and then rotated top and got two towers.

 

How is the communication in game? What do you think needs improving the most and do you believe you will be one of the top teams at the end of the summer?

The communication is going well but we still have several things to work on.  I’m satisfied with the progress we’re making though.  If we continue to improve I expect we will be one of the top teams at the end of Summer.

 

Shoutouts?

I’d like to thank Logitech for providing us with an office to practice.  I’d also like to thank HTC for my new M9!

 


Author’s Note: This interview has been condensed from twenty questions to seven. Please excuse the brevity, I hoped to provide more insight and will include a follow up interview with the original, extended question set in the future.

Tim Kimbirk is a content creator and interviewer for SoloMid. You can find him in the depths of solo queue, or on twitter talking about eSports.

 

 

Metoes Interview Banner

 

 

Looking back on the NA LCS playoffs, what would you have done differently? What do you believe you did well despite the outcome?

Our biggest mistake in the playoffs was not doing lane swaps correctly.  TSM got advantages out of lane swaps every game which put us at big disadvantages right away.

 

Heading into the summer split, what is your preparation like?

We have been scrimming as much as we can to get used to playing with our new roster.

 

What are your overall thoughts on MSI? How strong did you believe TSM was going in and whatdo you think went most wrong for them? Were you surprised by any of the other teams?

MSI was an interesting tournament, I think TSM was a little overconfident going into it and their loss against fnatic was hard on them mentally which rolled over into the rest of their matches in the group stage. AHQ played surprisingly well. In the past, Southeast Asia hasn’t done that well with the exception of TPA at season 2 worlds.

 

With Hai recently stepping down, what is the team dynamic like? Is there a lot of adjustments in adapting to playing with incarnati0n or is it more of him molding to the team?

The team dynamic is similar but I’ve had to step into the shotcalling role since Hai left. New rosters don’t run smoothly over night so it will take some time for everyone to adjust to the new lineup but it seems to be going in the right direction so far.

 

What is the biggest difference between Hai and Incarnati0n in the mid lane, so far?

Hai was a really selfless player who put a lot of emphasis on vision, roaming, and helping out everyone else on the team. Incarnati0n plays more of a carry style.

 

Hai was renowned for his shotcalling. Will you be assuming this role or will it be passed on to incarnati0n? What is the team doing to make sure communication stays on the same level or better with the loss of Hai?

I’ll be taking over the shot calling for the team. It was always a combined effort before with hai, where I covered most of the macro oriented shot calling while he did the micro stuff such as pulling the trigger for a fight or going for high risk plays. Those are things that I’m working on and hoping to have ironed out as soon as possible. I hope that the communication is good with the new roster. I think that our success as a team previously came not only from Hai’s shotcalling, but our ability as a team to listen to his calls without hesitation or resistance. We all had a lot a trust in Hai’s leadership so we followed him blindly and I hope the team will put the same level of trust in my calls.

 

Do you believe the current roster is a contender for worlds? What do you wish to improve on most individually? As a team?

Worlds is an entire split away and I haven’t even begun thinking about it. I think that everyone on the team is skilled individually but winning competitive matches goes way deeper than just mechanics. I’ll be happy with whatever result we get as long as we give it a perfect effort

 

How do you expect the newer teams, TDK and NME, to perform? Who do you see in the top 3 positions at the end of the split?

I haven’t played against TDK or NME in LCS yet so there’s no way to tell. They both looked good in the challenger series so only time will tell

 

How are you feeling on the current meta and state of the game overall? What changes, if any, would you like to see?

I think that Cinderhulk is interesting for the game because it changed up the champion pools but it has led to some weird stuff that I’m not a big fan of. I don’t like top laners running Smite or the fact that Warrior junglers get out scaled so hard by the % hp on Cinderhulk… I also really dislike any meta where Nunu is a top pick.

 

Describe your playstyle. Do you believe there is a “superior” way of jungling, or is there a way to make any style work within a team?

I don’t know if the way I play falls under a specific style. Limiting yourself to one style seems like a mistake so I try to be aggressive when I can and cautious when I need to be. I suppose you could say that my style is safer and more farm oriented than other junglers. I do not like going for high risk plays when I don’t have to and I care about vision control.

 

What changes do you expect to see with patch 5.10? What are your thoughts on 5.10?

I expect the top junglers to be nerfed, the patch is probably going to feel bad for a while but then I’ll get used to the nerfs.

 

What’s your current favorite champion and why?

My all time favorite champions to play are Elise and Zac. I originally started playing each of them because I enjoyed their play styles and I found a way to fit them into my competitive champion pool which yielded pretty good results until they were inevitably nerfed.

 

Thoughts on Zac? Will we see him return at any point this season?

I liked Zac when Cinderhulk first came out but since then I’ve liked him less and less. I think there are a few problems with Zac. First of all, if you play him in a traditional jungle style of ganking and warding for your lanes while buying Sightstone and Locket, you’ll be way too squishy for team fights and drop dead as soon as you jump in. The only way to be strong enough for team fights on Zac is to play selfishly which doesn’t put much pressure on the enemy team. Secondly, Zac’s E is almost impossible to hit given how much mobility and how many knock ups champions have nowadays. Lastly, Zac doesn’t do very much damage with a tank build and he’s easy to kite.

 

Shoutouts?

Thanks to our fans and sponsors for the continued support!

 


Tim Kimbirk is a content creator and interviewer for SoloMid. You can find him in the depths of solo queue, or on twitter talking about eSports.

 

 

Hai Replacement banner

 

This morning, Cloud 9 announced that Mid Laner Hai “Hai” Du Lam was retiring from competitive play, moving into a management position within the organization. His departure marks the first roster change the team has gone through since it’s inception in 2013, and with just over a month until the Summer Split begins, the question begs: Who’s going to replace him?

According to sources at the Daily Dot, Nicolaj “Incarnati0n” Jensen and David “Yusui” Bloomquist are both set to try out for the team. Both coming off of bans set to be lifted on May 11th, both candidates are fully eligible to compete in the LCS for the upcoming Summer Split.

While only speculation, the more obvious choice for the role is Incarnati0n. Maintaining top spots in the European West solo queue ladder for over two years, he has been hailed for his mechanical ability and in game knowledge. While being banned from competitive play, Jensen has served on several teams as a coach, including SK Gaming, who he helped to qualify for the 2014 League of Legends World Championship. However, his lack of competitive experience is still something to be considered, as the in game experience is much different than an observational one.

Taking over the shot calling presence of Hai will prove to be a challenge Cloud 9, and if they look to keep this role centered in the mid lane, it will take more than just great mechanics.

With no clear choice, Cloud 9 has just over a month to make their decision.

 

Categories: eSports, LoL News Tags: , , , , , , ,

 

Hai Retires Banner

 

As the LCS Spring split winds down and we look towards MSI, the offseason kicks off with huge changes. Cloud 9 Mid Laner Hai “Hai” Du Lam has announced that he will be stepping down from the roster of Cloud 9, transitioning into the role of Chief Gaming Officer.

With 739 days together as of April 15th, Cloud 9’s roster of Hai, Sneaky, LemonNation, Meteos, and Balls was the longest unchanged roster in League of Legends history. This move will mark the first ever main roster change for the team, only ever even using a substitute once at the All-Star 2014 event in Paris.

Hai was very transparent in his official statement, highlighting the reasons behind his decision:

 

I’m deciding to step down due to the following issues:

  • My wrist injury is something that I simply cannot ignore. It limits my ability to play as much as I need to and my ability to improve. I cannot keep up with the amount of Solo Queue games my teammates play and it’s not fair to them. At best, my wrist injury would have only allowed me to play for another split and that wasn’t even certain.
  • Team environment/morale was at an all-time low since Worlds 2014. We didn’t have the most spectacular 2014 Summer Split and our run at Worlds was not the best we could’ve done. We tried very hard to figure out how to get back into shape for winning Worlds but we struggled and the team atmosphere started to decline. Winning IEM San Jose brought back a bit of that Cloud9 feeling that we know and love, but it left as quickly as it came.
  • I want to make this clear to everyone. I am NOT stepping down due to community criticism for my play or myself. I would be lying if I said I didn’t care about it, but I was able to brush it off thanks to my teammates’ confidence in me. Over time, my teammates started to lose confidence in my abilities as a player and a shotcaller. That’s what really hit me hard. I don’t think that is an obstacle I was able to overcome and it really got to me. I’ve always played the role of a Support Carry from the very beginning and with the meta changing the way I think it is, my play style was not going to work anymore.
  • I’m hoping with the addition of a new Mid Laner (which we will announce soon), the issues that we were going through will resolve themselves through hard work and the team can experience a new beginning. Will all the problems be solved? I’m not sure, but if there were ever a time to try it, it would be now. I’m confident they will be able to improve and take back the title of Best in NA and make a presence on the international stage. I hope all of you will continue to cheer for Cloud9 as I know I will.

As far as for what I want to do following my retirement, I’m focused on my new role as the Chief Gaming Officer (CGO) of Cloud9. My duties will focus on acquiring new talent and teams across all relevant games, helping bring in new partners and maintaining our partner relationships. I’ll also be mentoring players in growing their brand, making the most of their time here, and doing everything in my power to expand Cloud9 into a household name as eSports continues to grow.

 

It has yet to be announced who will be replacing Hai in the mid lane, though one possibility is the heavily speculated Nicolaj “Incarnati0n” Jensen. We will update as soon as new information is available.

 

 

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In anticipation of the upcoming Wild Card tournament, Japanese representative DetonatioN FocusMe will be heading to California to bootcamp with other Logitech Sponsored teams at the Logitech Headquarters in Silicon Valley, where they will be staying. The team hopes to gain valuable practice in order to secure their spot at the 2015 World Championship.

Various sources from Twitter and support player Kazu’s ask.fm have been collected in a reddit post by shirokaisen, also shared below.

Similar to previous teams’ Asia bootcamps in the past, the Japanese team DetonatioN FocusMe – coming off their 3-0 over rivals RabbitFive in the LJL Season 1 Final – will be leaving tonight for California to train leading up to the International Wild Card Invitational.

They’ll be staying at Logitech HQ in Silicon Valley, where they’ll be practicing until the 17th before heading off to Turkey to compete. Their scrim partners will primarily be the other Logitech-sponsored teams in the country – TSM and Cloud 9. Analyst and support player KazuXD hopes that the pressure of playoff season will let them get some excellent scrims in.

Going on the trip are:

  • Top: Keisuke “Bonzin” Oda
  • Jungle: Yuta “Astarore” Hiratsuka
  • Mid: Kyohei “Ceros” Yoshida
  • Support/Analyst: Kazuta “KazuXD” Suzuki
  • Manager: Nobuyuki “LGraN” Umezaki

AD Carry and LJL S1 MVP Yuta “Yutapon” Sugiura will not be attending, choosing to continue attending classes in college right up until the IWCI date. He’ll be playing from home and adjusting his schedule to match America’s. Kazu says this won’t be a problem.

During this time they won’t be streaming at all, and none of their practice matches will be broadcast.

Hopefully this doesn’t end up like CLG’s Korean bootcamp.

EDIT: According to DetonatioN’s official twitter, the TSM scrims are still being worked out and aren’t for sure yet. C9 is happening though.

Sources: Kazu’s ask.fm: http://ask.fm/Xxkazujap0xX/ and several Japanese players on Twitter.

Categories: eSports Tags: , , , , , , ,