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 againÂ finds himself in a different role, this time as the teams Support. He spoke with NoL on changing roles, Cloud 9’sÂ new roster, and more.
How are you enjoying support so far? Was there something in particular that was hard to adapt to?
Itâ€™s fun, itâ€™s the role I hate the mostÂ 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 â€œpower levelâ€, Iâ€™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 â€œstrength of junglerâ€ doesnâ€™t matter as much as a ton of other junglers always brought it. For example, there are strong early game junglers but that doesnâ€™t mean you keel over and canâ€™t ward/gank, you just have to be smarter about what youâ€™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, doesnâ€™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 donâ€™t have to worry about losing the game if Iâ€™m too busy trying to figure out how to win the game. Generally when a support dies that doesnâ€™t mean baron or turrets are gone, just you canâ€™t fight. However when I died as mid/jungler, it did mean an objective was gone, so thatâ€™s nice. As far as my ability to shotcall, Iâ€™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 heâ€™s super aggressive albeit he makes a lot of dumb plays (which is fine). As long as I keep him in check with what heâ€™s doing, heâ€™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, heâ€™s like a little brother to me because heâ€™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. Itâ€™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 wouldnâ€™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 canâ€™t really â€œfarm in baseâ€ and hope for a comeback anymore. You get punished for playing passively, and I think thatâ€™s great.
As far as the meta I donâ€™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, thatâ€™s impossible with blue trinkets.)
Thereâ€™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. Thereâ€™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 donâ€™t really care about what lane I play against, we will win or die trying. (Sneaky and me are the best 100% chance, Iâ€™ll believe that whether Iâ€™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 H2Kâ€™s new roster or EUâ€™s power level after worlds, itâ€™ll be interesting to see how things go. Iâ€™m excited to play support on stage for the first time though.
Cloud 9 to take the whole thing, right?
Of course, or weâ€™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. Iâ€™m happy we went from almost being relegated to worldâ€™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.
Thanks for the interview and Iâ€™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 creatorÂ for SoloMid. You can find him getting caught out in the depths of solo queue, or on twitterÂ talking about eSports.