Interview with Hai, Team Captain of Cloud 9: "It just so happens our optimal way of playing is similar to that of the Koreans."



Mon 17th Jun 2013 - 11:36am

The first week of the LCS Summer Split saw newcomers Cloud 9 emerging with an outstanding score of 5-0, making them the only undefeated team in the LCS so far. I was fortunate enough to have a chat with Team Captain Hai about his team, the changes to Kha'Zix, and how the new jungle will affect level 1 play.



First of all, congratulations on an amazing first week. Did you expect to be top of the ladder after your first super week in the LCS? How does it feel to be the only undefeated team? Do you feel going undefeated puts more pressure on you to perform from here onwards?

Hai: I did not really expect to be #1, however I was expecting to place within the Top 4! It feels great to be the only undefeated team, we'll definitely lose sometime but I hope it's not soon! And nah, we don't really care that we're undefeated, it doesn't add any pressure to us or at least to me.


What was going through your head in the match against Curse where they were ahead in kills and gold in the early game? What do you think was the main thing that turned the game around and eventually resulted in Cloud 9 winning the game?

Hai: I just kept telling my team to chill out and farm up if you can, we'll win the team fight and end game! I think Curse made a poor decision to try and group up and bait a Baron. We destroyed them in the team fight and after then it was just over.


Other than TSM, the traditional big names of the NA scene haven't had a great start to the summer LCS. Why do you think that is? Are we seeing a changing of the guard?

Hai:  Both CLG and Curse have recently undergone roster changes so I don't expect them to be at their optimal level of play for a while, so they'll start off the season doing bad. TSM has been constant for a while so they haven't gotten worse but only better (Same with Dignitas).


C9's champion picks closely emulate those seen commonly in the OGN. Is the rest of NA slightly behind the meta or do you play a similar style to the Korean teams?

Hai: I think each team has their own style of play, and the same goes for the region. Teams will always do what they think is best for their style of play, and it just so happens our optimal way of playing is similar to that of the Koreans.


You've showed quite a bit of variety in your mid-lane picks, but which champion would you call your favourite and why?

Hai: Hmm...I don't have a favorite champion, it depends on the patch because the level of fun I have with a champion is relative to their strength.


How much do you think the changes to the jungle is going to impact level 1 play/early game?

Hai: The jungle changes limit the choices the things that teams can do at level 1, not something I'm a fan of but whatever! Since all creeps spawn at 1:55, the advantage for laners is gone and now it's all about buff control - basically invading or defending their buffs! Quite boring but who knows, maybe someone will find a cool level 1.


Will the recent changes to Kha'Zix affect how often we see him picked up? Are there any other champions that you feel are problematic at the moment? Who do you expect to get nerfed in the near future?

Hai: Yeah of course, Kha'Zix can't wave clear as easy anymore and there isn't a set choice of what to evolve first. He's definitely weaker than before so I'll have to try him out more to see if he is still playable. I'm not sure what problematic champions there are, Ryze is strong but has been the same for ages. It just depends on the meta and what is the strongest.


If you could pick any mid-laner - from any region - to play against, who would it be and why?

Hai: I'm not sure, I don't really care about 1v1 matchups or my individual skill level relative to other mid laners.


Lissandra has been picked up quite a few times EU LCS so far but we've yet to see Lissandra being picked up in the NA scene. Do you think she'll make an appearance soon?

Hai: Quite possibly, but she is definitely a different champion than the ones I play. So if it is played in NA it probably won't be by me.


Thank you so much for your time, Hai and best of luck for the upcoming matches. Are there any shout-outs or closing statements that you'd like to make?

Hai: Thanks for the interview, great questions! I would appreciate it if you guys would follow me on Twitter at @hai_l9 and like my Facebook and thanks to Astro, Ibuypower, HyperX, Crunchyroll and Coolermaster for being our sponsors!