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Posts Tagged ‘Cloud9’

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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 weeks of speculation, Cloud 9 has officially confirmed that Nicolaj “Incarnati0n” Jensen will be their new starting mid laner. During the tryout period, Incarnati0n edged out players like Eugene “Pobelter” Park and David “Yusui” Bloomquist for the spot. With an impressive showing, C9 analyst Charlie Lipsie spoke with optimism on the newest addition to the squad:

 

I think that out of the players that we tried out, Jensen had the most raw talent..I can see him becoming the best mid laner in NA. One of the things I was impressed with was Jensen’s drive to do whatever the team needs to succeed.

 
After spending two years under an indefinite ban, Nicolaj is ready to move forward and prove his talent under the C9 banner.
 

Given my past mistakes..I’m looking to be a better teammate and to continue being confident in my own individual performance as well. I’m hoping to carry that confidence into the team without touching the infrastructure of how Cloud9 works.

 

Riding a wave of hype, expectations are high for the Danish mid laner as he replaces Hai Du Lam, longstanding mid laner and original founder of Cloud 9. Also serving as the primary shotcaller, it will be interesting to see the new team dynamic and how well they can adjust to a new player.  Nicolaj acknowledges Hai’s impact on the team, and had this to say:

 

In regards to replacing [him], I want to mention that we have very different playstyles and serve different roles on the team. We aren’t very comparable as players but I know what he did was special for the team.

 

When the Summer Split begins, Cloud 9 will be competing with a different roster for the first time since it’s inception in 2013.

[ Official Statement ] 

Image credit: Cloud 9

 

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The LCS is underway and the games are gettin‘ hot. Let’s take a look at the most influential game from June 12, the battle between Team Solo Mid and Cloud9. TSM came in as the number one seed, while C9 are the new hotshots on the block, having already tossed Dignitas aside by the start of this game. How do the new C9 strats match up versus old-guard TSM ones?

 

TSM Picks – Blue Side

Top – Renekton
Jungle – Elise
Mid – Orianna
ADC – Ezreal
Support – Sona

 

Cloud9 Picks – Red Side

Top – Kennen (Hai)
Jungle – Zac
Mid – Ryze (Balls)
ADC – Draven
Support – Lulu

 

Team Compositions

 

 TSM

This is where it all starts, the picks and bans screen. Objectively looking at a team comp can be a difficult feat, it requires knowledge of the individual characters and the ability to remain aware of the little details that can sometimes be forgotten. These are the areas that a team can excel in or… not.  To make looking at comps a little bit easier: damage output (early- mid- and late-game), initiation, hard CC (stuns/suppression), soft CC (slows/silences), mixed damage, wave clear, push potential, gank potential, split-push potential, kite potential, and mobility are just a portion of what teams build around. TSM’s team comp is a traditionally balanced comp where most of those categories are partially filled out. Two sources of magic damage, two sources of physical and decent levels of CC. The team doesn’t really excel in anything but they have a little bit of everything- except possibly reliable ways to start fights. They have ways to set up Orianna‘s ball, but nothing along the lines of a Zac or Malphite initiation. This jack-of-all-trades team is designed to do anything. It’s heavily communication based and it leaves the enemy unable to predict what TSM can do.

Cloud9

Cloud9’s picks are pretty damn interesting. Hai went top lane as Kennen, instead of Balls; C9 isn’t afraid to mix up their traditional roles and if Hai is a the better Kennen, why not put him there – leaving Balls with the relatively simple Ryze. The C9 composition only has Draven for physical damage, but his damage is so bonkers that they rely on it, or the threat of it, to force TSM out of position. With Zac and Kennen able to rush the frontline and make initiating onto Ryze and Draven difficult, they work to protect the backline through aggressive action. It’s pretty neat when it works out, though it is weak to very heavy initiation, especially if there’s AoE to back it up. It’s important to note that TSM doesn’t have a way to reliably get on Draven. Everyone but Ezreal has a way to CC him, but if SneakyCastro has relatively safe positioning TSM is going to get burned before they can come close.

 

Laning

 

Laning for both sides was incredibly passive in terms of player engagement, but very active in pushing. The one person that couldn’t fall behind for C9 was Draven, so they sent him to 2v1 top to provide him with safe farm. If Draven did fall behind then a Runic Bulwark would neuter the damage output of C9 significantly. TSM had a similar situation; Orianna needed to get to here Athene’s before she could be as active as other mids. She has great scaling but needs to have a major item backing her up; by rotating and letting Regi farm multiple lanes he reached his Athene’s even faster. There wasn’t any real action until a short skirmish and over-aggression on both teams led to quick pick-offs. The resulting punishes that ended at a 1-1 trade stuck with both teams and left them roaming passively.

The mid-game was pretty balanced. TSM would lose a fight on their side of the map, then pick up a kill on Cloud9 a minute later in their jungle. C9 did manage to maintain a tower lead, but never by more than one, as both teams showed similar map presence and won an equal number of fights. This fight really shows the back and forth nature of the game, since Cloud9 had just won a battle, but TSM was prepared and ready to fight on. A lot of this stemmed back to that first engagement. Both teams knew that going over-aggressive in a 5v5 situation would result in quick picks and death, so instead of forcing fights both teams tried to play around quick picks. This sneaky and quick method of play led to both teams being terrified to go for the aggressive push. With good reason, since a Zac initiation over a wall could shutdown a TSM push, and an Elise initiation with the Orianna ball could do the same thing to Cloud9 at a turret. This passive gank style of play went back and forth for quite some time until Cloud9 was able to take control of the game with a post-Baron team fight. A Baron they didn’t get. How they won the fight is tied heavily into how Cloud 9 utilized their picks.

 

Cloud9’s Team Fight Strategy

 

Cloud9’s team fight strategy was pretty cool too see in action. It went like this: Zac and Kennen either initiating as a pair to win a quick fight, or stagger the AoE ults so the CC lasts longer rather than going for the heavy damage. If anyone squishy moves towards the backline they get blown up, and if Renekton or Elise go for the dive then C9 can kite them back and the rest of TSM couldn’t react. If TSM kites away then C9 can always just walk away from the fight, or use the high mobility of Zac and Kennen to land some more CC.

A good example of their planned fight is this fight that gave control of the game to C9. TSM was able to sneak Baron to near death, due to some poor positioning on Cloud9’s part, but with a quick response they were able to arrive… just in time for Baron to die. The followup fight shows the grinder that Cloud9 had formed. Reginald was funneled into it by a knockback, and afterwards you can see the rest of the TSM initiation failing to crack Cloud9. Watch the Elise dive, watch Renekton dive, TSM is helpless once the dive is initiated.

The game still remained fairly passive, but Cloud9 was able to pressure turrets down after securing a baron, and it wasn’t until this final fight that the action really went down.

 

What Could TSM Have Done?

 

A heavier initiation would have helped stop the pressure from Draven since he has no escapes, but overall TSM’s composition didn’t have a particularly strong focus. Fluid picks like TSM’s used to be the norm, where there might be a focus on some aspect but not anything as clearly planned out as Cloud9’s strategy. Having their “direct way to win a fight” and a decent battleplan would have led to crisp fights. Aside from that, they needed to play aggressively earlier. Since they couldn’t kill Draven early, being able to take out Kennen before his Zhonya’s would have been amazing, and the 20% attack speed boost from a rank one Ezreal Essence Flux would have let them shred towers to a fine confetti. They still could have won with a solid initiation later on in the game, but were reliant on less stable initiation that had the potential to be amazing, but was most likely not going to land well- aside from maybe an Elise Rappel with Orianna’s ball.

This is just the beginning however. Cloud9 is number one, but they’re going to have to stay innovative and maintain their unique style of picks to keep themselves unpredictable. It’s a good start though, and if this is just the beginning of the LCS’s unique team compositions then it’s going to get downright awesome. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave a message down below or message me on twitter @LeagueOfStudio)

-Christopher “Studio” Grant

Categories: eSports, Original Content Tags: , ,

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The second split of the LCS is around the corner, and we’re going to take a look at the teams coming into the second bout of North American LCS. This four-part series will take a look at the teams, their accomplishments prior to the LCS, and changes that might be coming into play since teams were last seen duking it out on the Fields of Justice.

There is a lot of fresh change coming into this split, and what a better way to reflect this by looking first the newest teams? While GGU and CLG have had some changes of their own, it’s time to talk about faces new to the crossed-arm pose involved in most LoL eSports player photography: Cloud9 and Velocity. Both teams were able to succeed in their relegation matches and show some serious punch.

Cloud9 Players:

Top – BalIs
Jungle – Meteos
Mid – Hai
ADC – SneakyCastro
Support – LemonNation

Cloud9, while new to LCS, isn’t new to the League of Legends competitive scene. About a year ago the team played their first LAN event, MLG Anaheim, with a different roster and a different name. What are the perceptions of C9 going into LCS though?

Relegations: Cloud9 triumphed in the relegation matches. They started off by facing Team Astral Poke and impressively left some players on TAP with a KDA of 0. No Kills, no assists, just death. This momentum continued to the next day, when Complexity fared marginally better than TAP – but still couldn’t take a game off the beastly Cloud9. While thrashing TAP and Complexity easily is a great sign, it’s also important to note that TAP was the weakest Challenger team at the event, and Complexity on an off day had almost no success versus other LCS teams. Complexity that day wasn’t playing their standard non-standard compositions, and with a new AD Carry seemed skittish.

The Reality: While tournament results may not be the best indicator of Cloud9’s strengths, there is still scrim results. Scrimmages between Cloud9 and other teams have been tremendously in favor of C9- LCS and Challenger teams alike. C9 scrimmed most of the LCS teams, and all LCS teams that were in Relegation (with the exception of coL), and won. It’s not that they just won, but many of their games were outright stomps. C9 has also been in the process of developing strategies unique to the NA scene, but comfortable with their own play (Ex. Jayce as an AD Carry). Their own organization has grown quite a bit, garnering the support of TSM’s former manager, Jack, and Alex Penn (Leaguepedia Zarox) as a Coach/Analyst.

If Cloud9 replicates their success in scrims, relegations, and past Challenger’s events, there’s no doubt they can be a top two team just based off statistics. Their recent experience and success has put them in a position of heavy momentum, and if they can ride it to a strong early start there is no reason C9 can’t ride it to the end of the season and to the World Playoffs. However, hype can only go so far, and getting into the trenches of the weekly LCS is an entirely different beast compared to the more seldom tournaments they’ve played in. Preparation is tougher, and one bad week can snowball into a bad season as it did with Dignitas and Curse towards the end of the spring split. However, Cloud9 is setup with a strong organization and history. Predicting a team’s placement is difficult with how close the LCS NA teams are, but it might be safe to call C9 a Top four team.

Velocity Players:

Top – Cris
Jungle – NK Inc
Midlane – VileRoze
ADC – frommaplestreet
Support – Evaniskus

Velocity is the other team that falls into the vat of new blood coming into LCS. They come into the scene in a different light than Cloud9 however. While Cloud9 is the older team that sadly couldn’t make it into the first split, Velocity rode a dark horse riddled with controversy from some of their players. 1 Goal 1 Dream in particular, who subbed for Velocity at the IPL6 Replacement. And no, VileRoze isn’t the VileRoze from World of Warcraft.

Relegations: Velocity had a much tighter Relegation life, but were successful. Vel was able to beat their Challenger opposition, The Salad Bar, 2-1. The first two games were incredibly close, and while Velocity only lost one game, The Salad Bar was in control for much of game two; the inexperience of TSB is what kept them from closing out that game and advancing. Velocity did take their series versus MRN but the context of the matches is important to be looked at. While Nientonsoh was playing his heart out, the emotional rush for MRN members was having a major impact, and the majority of the team was not at their normal level. Velocity still won the series and there is still the massive respect that comes with that.

The Reality: The problem Velocity faces is the comparisons they receive between themselves and Cloud9. Since they’re both new teams to the LCS and have tournament results against each other, it’s easier to see that Cloud9 is more well prepared.  Velocity lost to C9 at MLG Dallas and IPL6 Replacement as well as smaller online tournaments. Now Cloud9 aside, there aren’t as many conversations going on about Velocity. Their scrim results around Relegations aren’t being broadcasted like Cloud9s were,  so most of Velocity’s hype is closely related to their tournament results in the past. Unfortunately, that ties back to C9 who they tended to come in second against..

Velocity is the weakest team in LCS as far as statistics are concerned. While the six LCS teams that remained from the first split each have their accomplishments and Cloud9 has been a terror on the scene, Velocity is still filling out that resume. Now, this doesn’t mean that Velocity doesn’t have a shot at #1, LCS has definitely shown that #1 can go any which way when playoffs are involved, but it does mean that Velocity has their work cut out for them. The team puts in a humongous effort however, and while that may seem like an obvious statement, the spunkiness of the team and the support of Atlanta as a coach can go quite a long way. The question is, can the effort and team structure overcome the relative freshness of the team and their less numerous accomplishments? Calling a rank for Velocity is tough since at the start of the season they’re likely to be #8, but if Velocity has been working hard while preparing for LCS and keep the steam engine rolling, they have a chance to improve and do well in playoffs by the end of the season.

In Part 2: CLG and GGU will be up to bat. Two of the teams with major changes going on. An old but rarely seen face comes back to GGU, and CLG has an impressive combination of roleswaps and new players.

– Christopher “Studio” Grant

@LeagueOfStudio

Categories: Original Content Tags: , , ,

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GROUP A

 

Group A was comparable to throwing these strapping young men into a pool of sharks. Many peoples’ eyes were on Curse, as it’s a well known fact that the players’ careers may be over if they didn’t qualify for Season 3. There was no upset in regards to Curse, as they went through Day One with a score of 2-0. CompLexity Academy, on the other hand, was unable to win any of their games. With a total score of 0-2 they were knocked out of the qualifiers rather quickly.  Pulse Esports and The Brunch Club faced off against each other to decide what team was going to get eaten by the proverbial sharks.

 

 

CRS CS TBC

 

 

 

 

  Although Brunch Club put up a good fight, Curse was able to tunnel down the enemies and secure a victory and their other win was a straightforward affair.  Leading 1st in their group seemed to take some of the weight off Curse’s shoulders, but Day Two will be the deciding factor for them.  One more win will allow Curse to enter into the Season 3 professional circuit, but whether or not they’ll crack under the pressure has yet to be seen. Although Curse are seasoned veterans of the League community, their futures are still up in the air.

 

 

 

BRUNCH VS PULSE

 

 

 

The Brunch Club versus Pulse eSports started off with a bang for TBC. With three kills they immediately took the lead and Pulse struggled to keep up with them. By nineteen minutes into the game there was a 10k+ gold difference in favor of TBC. Although Pulse tried to make a comeback, the game snowballed in The Brunch Club’s favor. In the end TBC took the second spot in Group A and were all smiles as they left the stage.

GROUP B

 

Despite all of the hype that surrounded EPIK Gamer, the team is going home along with TowerDiveTV. There are no second chances in single elimination tournaments–especially when it comes to qualifying for the professional circuit. From minute number one, all teams were fighting for the right to continue to Day Two, but only two teams made it through. In the end, Team FeaR and Good Game University came out victorious.

  FEAR V TDTV

 

With Aphromoo out of the picture for FeaR, their other players were able to truly shine. Syco Sid and Zuna were only a part of FeaR for a little over a week before the NA Live Qualifiers began. Team synergy is and will always be an important aspect of the game, but FeaR proved to the world that adaptation was not beyond them.

 GGU VS TDT

 

Good Game University also showed the world that they were ready for the competition. Although their loss against FeaR led them to be 2-1, their domination of Epik Gamer and Team TowerDiveTV allowed them to take hold of the #2 spot of Group B.

 

GROUP C

 

Group C consisted of many teams that people believed were evenly matched.  Epik Gamer and 1 Trick Ponies were both formed only weeks prior to the qualifiers and it just goes to show that, for Season 3, throwing a team together last minute wasn’t the best bet for these players. However, the recently reformed Dirt Nap Gaming performed impressively and went 2-0 on Day One. Along with Dirt Nap, Meat Playground made it through to Day Two. 1 Trick Ponies’ trick wasn’t enough to carry them through and Falafel Gaming was obliterated by Meat Playground and 1 Trick Ponies.

 

 

DNG VS MP

 

 

Dirt Nap Gaming was very confident going into Day One and their confidence paid off. Tomorrow, the team will face off against Good Game University. Dyrus, however, had much to say about the 1v2 bot lane during  Dirt Nap vs Meat Playground. He claimed that his father would have more CS than Cris, but that he’d also take the botlaner’s farm. Dyrus’ jesting was easily found on Twitter:

 

 

dyrus commentary

 

 

GROUP D

 

Base races. Base races everywhere. Group D was perhaps the most eventful of Day One.  Up against some seasoned teams, MRN was considered one of the underdogs. Their 2-0 result was definitely an upset, especially since they went head to head with Azure Gaming which contained the infamous Bloodwater.  The Salad Bar was unable to make it through Day One, as they went 0-2. Cloud 9 and Azure Gaming faced off in a brutal game with Azure coming out the victor.

 

 

MRN V C9

 

 

In a neck to neck game, MRN versus Cloud 9 was decided by a base race in which both teams participated. Although WildTurtle was able to pick up some kills,  MRN’s fantastic decisions allowed them to win. MRN versus Azure Gaming was also a close match, but MRN’s tanky bruiser comp secured them a spot in Day Two.  Team MRN was reformed December 30th and brought in Heartbeattt. With only two prior tournaments under his belt, he filled the role as AD Carry efficiently and preformed well under pressure alongside AtomicN, his support. There were some shocked faces as MRN rose from their seats after their 2-0 stomp. Having proved many of the naysayers wrong, Team MRNs’  brains were, indeed, blown.

 

 

MRN V AZURE

 

 

 

Azure versus Cloud 9 became quite the upset when Azure took the victory.  Cloud’s split push strategy with Corki/Twitch was unable to stand up against Azure’s superior team fights.  Azure Gaming managed to surprise everyone by winning against a rather seasoned team, but how will they play against Curse? After a solid round of games Azure went 2-1, thereby securing their spot in Day Two of the live qualifiers. Cloud 9, the team that smack talked the most, ended up going 0-2. Even ClakeyDee claimed that Cloud 9’s scathing commentary served as fuel for MRN. Azure and MRN both proved that it’s not always the seasoned teams that win.

 

 

AG V C9

 

 

 

 

Twitter: @allthekleos