C9 Vulcan is learning to adapt to playing and maintaining his position as the top team to beat.
Three weeks are in the books for the 2021 LCS Summer Split as teams continue to try and improve their ranking.
One of these teams is Cloud9 who are looking to defend the championship title from the 2021 LCS Spring. After starting their season 1-2, Cloud9 are beginning to regain momentum. Now, they want to be back at the top of North America.
However, being at the top means that all eyes are on you as teams are waiting for you to slip up.
In the middle of all of this lies Philippe “Vulcan” Laflamme, the support for Cloud9. Having joined the organization in early 2020, Vulcan is one of the core members of the new Cloud9 era.
LCS viewers watching the Cloud9 botlane have come to expect excellent gameplay. A versatile player, Vulcan stands as one of the top supports in North America even as other supports aim to surpass him.
For Vulcan, these past two years with Cloud9 have been a new experience. And the constant pressure to perform is a complete juxtaposition from where he began his pro career.
Humble beginning for Vulcan
Vulcan began his journey on Clutch Gaming spending one year in academy before moving to the LCS stage in 2019 as the starter.
The progression from soloqueue to the LCS stage took little time for Vulcan, but it is something he knew was possible with support.
“I always knew if I was given an opportunity with the proper resources, I could be very good.”
With Clutch Academy, he was given the resources to succeed and had veteran teammates that he credits for a lot of his own growth as a player.
“Many of my teammates in Clutch taught me so much.” Vulcan shares. “Playing alongside Piglet taught me how to lane better. Huni and Lira showcased what leadership really looks like and Moon(Galen) taught me how to play the game at this level.”
Vulcan experienced almost everything with Clutch Gaming. He began as a developmental piece in academy. This led to his eventual promotion to the main roster before making the miracle run to the 2019 LoL World Championships.
It was the only thing he never achieved with Clutch Gaming, the pros and cons of being the team to beat.
“On C9, winning is normal and losing is this insane thing”
A conversation Vulcan remembers fondly is back when he was a rookie in the LCS with Clutch Gaming. At the time, Huni came over to his support and expressed to him what it felt like being on Clutch Gaming vs SKT.
“Back when I was on SKT, every loss felt terrible and every win felt like it was normal.” Huni expresses this to Vulcan. “When I am on Clutch, every loss feels normal and every win feels insane.”
Having never experienced dominance in his pro career, Huni’s words did not truly resonate with Vulcan at the time.
Now standing at the top with Cloud9, he now truly feels what Huni was talking about all those years ago.
“On C9, winning is normal and losing is this insane thing.” Vulcan shares.
Cloud9 has extremely high expectations placed on them. A win now is normalcy, but a loss is an oddball occurrence. So when you fail as a top team, the community takes note of that and it is something Vulcan is learning to deal with.
“I think it is pretty annoying that with every loss, I am getting mentioned on twitter with C9 Summer memes.” Vulcan says.”It is what it is being in the spotlight now.” Vulcan concludes.
Becoming a complete player with Cloud9
These are things Vulcan is willing to accept in order to continue his growth as a player despite these drawbacks.
Now a part of Cloud9, Vulcan is more than just a mechanically gifted support player. He is a rock for Cloud9 that is willing to adapt to whatever his team needs.
“If I am the playmaker, I will be very vocal throughout the game. As a playmaker, I will dictate what I want the fight to look like.” Vulcan states. “But if I am playing Lulu, I will let others take over a lot of the communication and let them take the lead.”
In such a short time, Vulcan became a veteran of the LCS. All of his experiences with Clutch Gaming and Cloud9 are shaping him into a complete support.
“Mithy even thinks I am an emotional leader, whatever that means.” Vulcan shares in a sarcastic manner. “I like to make jokes whenever we are down and make people feel better.”
His experience on Cloud9 is a complete 180 from Clutch Gaming. All eyes are now on Vulcan as one of the premier support in North America.
“Now, I am a part of a team where we are the ones to beat. Teams are studying our vods and imitating our playstyle to beat us. This is why we need to continue to evolve as a team, so we can stay at the top.” Vulcan concludes.
Cloud9 will look to continue their growth into week 4 of the 2021 LCS Summer Split. Here, they will play against Golden Guardians, 100 Thieves and Counter Logic Gaming.
Feature photo courtesy of espat.ai.