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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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With Cloud 9 deciding to devote their time to preparation for IEM Cologne on December 16th,  Cloud 9  players Hai ‘Hai‘ Du Lam and Lee ‘Rush‘ Yoon-jae will be unable to attend the 2015 All-Star Event. Normally, Rush would have taken the place of Hai, who is now supporting for Cloud 9 after switching to jungle in the 2015 Summer Split. However, since both players are now on the same team and competing together at IEM, the spot goes to the 3rd place nominee. Receiving the third highest votes behind his fellow teammates, William ‘Meteos‘ Hartman will represent North America in the jungle at the ASE on December 10th.

Cloud 9 released a press statement explaining their reasoning behind the decision and addressed the perceived non overlap of dates between events:

 

Soon after the All-Star Event poll results began flooding in, it was clear that things were about to get complicated. While we were thrilled to see our players once again being recognized by fans, we were faced with a serious quandary: Is attending the ASE a viable option?

The short answer is yes. The dates of the ASE (Dec 10-13) do not directly interrupt our attendance and participation for IEM Cologne (Dec 16-21).

The long answer is no.  Unfortunately, the time commitment required for either Hai or Rush to attend the ASE is simply too disruptive to the teams preparation for IEM Cologne as the ASE runs for four days of public play and also includes extra preparation time off-stream. As the 3rd place vote receiver in the Jungle role, William “Meteos” Hartman has agreed to represent the North American LCS for the entirety of the event.

 

The 2015 All-Star Event takes place from December 10-13th in Los Angeles, California.

 

 

 

image credit: Cloud 9

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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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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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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.