talks to Cloud 9 coach Hai “Hai” Du Lam about LoL esports and lore sat down with OG Cloud9 representative, and current C9 LCS coach, Hai "Hai" Du Lam to talk about the current state of LCS, and the future to come.

Cloud9 absolutely dismantled Shopify Rebellion in one of the most one-sided best-of-threes in Summer 2024 so far. One of Cloud9's two coaches, each a C9 legend in their own right, Hai, took the time to muse on everything from Fearless Draft to specifically which fights he'd love to see in Arcane Season 3.

C9 Hai talks LCS changes and the game's future You're coming off of an incredibly mismatched series, how are you feeling about the games and about the split more generally?

Hai "Hai" Du Lam: “The series was probably the fastest one we’ve had in quite a while, from what I can remember, with how easy it was. Draft went really well for us, and then when the actual game happened, they didn’t do anything, [Shopify Rebellion] just kind of rolled over and died, so that was nice. "

"My overall feeling about the split is that we’ve improved a lot between the offseason and now. We didn’t get the results we wanted last split with only a third-place finish, which was pretty disappointing for us. After that, we went to Korea to boot camp for about a month, since then our practice has been going really well with our new coach, Reapered, and our top laner, Thanatos. We don’t really have any complaints, things are smooth sailing for now. "

As somebody who's worked both as a player and a coach, are you glad there's a break in the schedule or do you wish you could play more consecutively?

"I, personally, would have preferred that we play the season straight, because I think the break kind of makes it a little bit weird. One, because of patches that happen, and two because you’re in season for three weeks, out of season for two weeks, then back in season for four weeks.

"It’s a weird amount of break in the middle. I understand why, though, they have to deal with the EWC things that are happening that weekend. I get where [Riot is] coming from, but I would have preferred we play it through." 

We've been asking lots of folks about their opinions on the new Fearless Draft international event and what their thoughts are on Fearless Draft more generally. Where do you land on Fearless?

"My opinion of Fearless Draft is that it’s a really cool format. It really makes the players have to expand their champion pools. I think it’s a really interesting format that promotes a wide champion pool, and promoted a diversity of champions. I’m of the opinion that as esports, and League of Legends esports specifically continue to grow, it’s been well over 10 years now, adding new things to change up the viewing of the sport for people is a good thing.

"It makes the game still feel alive, it gets interesting for viewers. As far as competitive ‘integrity’ goes, I don’t care, I’m not a player anymore. I think making players have a bigger champion pool is important. At the end of the day, players won’t have jobs if fans aren’t watching. I like things that increase the visibility of the sport and change things for the better. "

How are you feeling about the LoL Americas region merger?

"I would say I’m hopeful for the change, I don’t know the answer to whether it’s better or worse. I haven’t spent the amount of time looking into it that Riot has, in terms of what they should do to try and improve the esport for the Americas region. I’m hopeful it works out for us, and I hope Riot knows what they’re doing. "

Hai wants more champions going toe-to-toe in Arcane

We're getting everybody's two cents about Arcane this week. If you could pick the region that Season 3 would happen in

"Let me think…I think I’d either want them to go to Demacia or to go to a more fantasy one. Right now we’re in a city setting and all that, and that’s great for character development, but I’d love to see what Riot would do with a more fantasy setting, or a war setting, where there’s more fighting. Seeing champions in their Ultimates and all that would be so cool.

"Right now, Arcane is a show that’s good whether you like League of Legends or not, and it’s cool that they did that. But right now it would be cool for the geek in me to actually see Zed ulting Irelia, or Darius fighting somebody on the battlefield. That’d be cool, just seeing more war or combat. I’m a person that likes fantasy-esque stuff. Season one was great, I’m sure season two will be great too, more fun stuff. "

That's two votes for Demacia, Goldenglue wanted to see Demacia too.

"Yeah, they’re like a war-mongering region, right?"

Pretty much, they've got a whole mage rebellion going on right now. As you look ahead to the matches coming up after the break, are there any specific matchups you're looking to in order to gauge where C9 stands? Any (matchups) you are excited or worried about?

"As the season progresses, the difficulty of the teams for us will continually go up. Because I think our last matches are FlyQuest and Team Liquid. [Team Liquid and FlyQuest] were the best teams last split, and through practice and the word on the street, they are the better teams [this split] as well. Obviously, we’ve scrimmed them, as well.

"For now those are the only games I’m worried about, but obviously we don’t want to look too far ahead. When you’re walking, if you look [too far ahead], you trip on a rock. I’m a person that takes it one week at a time, but those would be the ones I’m most worried about, but we’ll worry about that when we get there. "

Any words for C9 fans heading into the break?

"I would say thank you to all of the Cloud9 fans, because I’m sure a lot of Cloud9 fans were fans back when I played as well. I have a ton of appreciation for people who support Cloud9, even the new rosters, the new players, [this roster is] just as much Cloud9 as I was back in the day. So, continue to cheer and support our team and players. Thanks."

Fans can cheer for Hai and his roster when the LCS will return the weekend of June 20.