Interview with Cloud 9’s Hai

Hello Hai, what have you been up to since Worlds?

I went to Vietnam for a vacation. Ever since I got back I’ve been spamming Solo Q and achieved Challenger again after losing it from inactivity. We started to scrim a lot again as well!

Cloud 9 had a very impressive run during the Summer Split. Did you initially expect to do as well as you did?

No I did not. I didn’t feel the need to predict an end of the season score or how I thought we would do. I think it’s better to have the mindset of taking each week as a new week and one week at a time. That way you have less pressure from your previous losses or whatever.

At Worlds Cloud 9 unfortunately went 1-2 in their first and only series. Do you wish Riot provided more games with the final eight teams?

It would have been more fun to have more games obviously, but it’d be incredibly long and the event was already a month long. If I wanted to play more we should have just won instead of losing.

Cloud 9 will be competing at IEM Cologne where you guys will most likely be playing against Gambit Gaming who is also coming off a similar performance at Worlds. How do you think you guys will stack up against them?

I’m not sure. I don’t count them beating the other team already. I don’t underestimate teams so whatever team we face I wish that we may beat them so we can make it to the finals, or at the very least provide entertaining games for our fans!

Hypothetically speaking, Cloud 9 defeats Gambit Gaming. Would you like to have a rematch with Fnatic or would you rather go against CLG?

I’d definitely want the rematch.

Has the Challenger scene improved at all since you completed in a Challenger team? What does a strong Challenger scene mean for LCS teams?

Yeah it has improved! I personally thought that we were the only good Challenger team last split, but this split there are a TON of new good Challenger teams. The teams currently in relegation will have to watch out for them.

Lately in Korea, the NA challenger scene, and in SoloQ a few champions have gained popularity in the mid lane such as Nidalee, Syndra, and Leblanc. What are your thoughts on these champions?

  • Nidalee is very strong. With the nerfs to all the assassins she’s becoming popular again as she’s very hard to kill and annoying to play against.
  • Syndra fits a similar role in where she can poke a lot, but she’s lane dominant and has a lot of burst potential. Decent at solo queue but maybe stronger in competitive play.
  • Leblanc is definitely a solo queue champion. She strives off catching people out of position which happens a lot in solo queue but not as much in competitive games. I believe she’ll stay out of competitive games unless you’re a HotshotGG level Leblanc.

Currently the assassin meta has been seeing some nerfs. Are you going to change your playstyle so you’re not just playing divers/assassins?

I am seeing if I am able to play from the backline such as Nidalee and what not, but I do still like playing the bruisers and assassins. They are just weaker so you can’t be as reckless as before.

Although you were able to dominate the NA scene you were unable to dominate the world scene. What does Cloud 9 have to do to continue to improve and become the best? What does Hai need to do?

We all have to become stronger individually and improve our laning phase and early game. We always play well mid to end game as long as we aren’t getting snowballed on. I personally need to work on my mechanics and become a more formidable mid laner.

Many of the teams that you will be competing against are undergoing roster changers. What are your thoughts on some of the changes?

The only roster change that is official in NA so far are the Curse and TeamSoloMid roster changes. For Curse, I am not too concerned about at the moment because they are still swapping players out so I don’t know what they are doing. I think Bjergsen is a really strong mid laner which is good for TSM but I feel like they’ll lack the “strategic mind” that Reginald brought during the game, but we’ll see if Xpecial or Bjergsen can step up to the plate.

Although you were unable to directly test any of the Season 4 changes, what are your thoughts on them based on what you have heard?

It’s going to be really interesting! A new jungle camp and a giant support rework! It doesn’t affect mid or top too much but it’ll change the flow of the game. I’m interested to see if there will be a new meta.

Cloud 9 has a new coach in Dan Dinh. What are your thoughts on him and what makes him a good fit for Cloud 9?

He’s basically our new mom. With Alex Penn leaving we need someone to make sure we aren’t slacking off and during all the work we need along with staying healthy, both mentally and physically. Dan covers all that and I personally love the guy so I’m happy to have him on board!

There has been a lot of complaints about people abusing getting into Challenger. As a player who regularly finds himself in Challenger what are your thoughts on the current system? What could be improved on?

I think the Challenger system is great minus the whole immunity ordeal happening now. 25/50 of the current players are new recruits who are immune. There are a ton of people who deserve challenger but won’t get it due to immunity. So I’ll have to see if Riot does anything about it. I’m still quite upset I lost 987 LP because of inactivity but that’s my own fault.

What are your personal goals for Season 4? What are your goals for Cloud 9?

Personal goals for S4 would be to become a better player and hopefully become a better team so that people will have faith in North American teams again. I would also like Cloud 9 to become a bigger brand. It’d be nice to be able to stream and regularly hit 20-50k viewers!

Thank you for the interview Hai. Is there anything you would like to say to your fans?

I appreciate the interview and I would like to say thanks to all the fans who are still supporting us! It’s much appreciated! 😀  Also thanks to all the sponsors who support Cloud 9: LoL Class, Astro, Crunchyroll, Hyperx, Ibuypower, Coolermaster, Asus, and Gfuel!


 Credits to Riot Games for images.

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I'm a gamer living in the middle of nowhere(Missouri) who is studying Military History in order to teach it. I'm still waiting for Square Enix to release a decent Final Fantasy game or Kingdom Hearts 3 for that matter. Proud owner of close to 150 Platinum Trophies on PS3. Feel free to add me on twitter @domXtheXbomb

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