C9’s Vulcan: “It’s hard to blame teams for not scrimming against us”

Olivia Richman • April 20, 00:10

Cloud9 are the 2020 LCS Spring Split champions. 

A 3-0 win over FlyQuest in the Finals saw them take the title that had been evading them for so many years. With a 17-1 record during the season, it isn’t too surprising when Cloud9 managed to take the championship.

It was still an emotional moment to see the team jump out of their chairs and hug after the victory, though. It’s been a difficult season for every LCS team thanks to COVID-19, but Philippe “Vulcan” Laflamme told WIN.gg that it was still a moment they’ll always remember, even if they weren’t on the LCS Arena stage. 

How do you feel about Cloud9 winning the 2020 LCS Spring Split finals? 

Obviously, it feels great right now. I’m a bit sad that we didn’t get to play in the arena with fans but it’s hard to take way anything from our win. People will realize we were strong when it was on stage and we kept it through online, too. It feels good to win a split and have C9 win another one after six years. 

Did today go as expected?

Pretty much. We didn’t realize it would be as hard as it was, though. In the first game, we messed up in drafts. It was not ideal for what they drafted. It took a little while to close out. We should have lost that game but we found good fights. I thought it would be easier. 

Is it true that teams are not scrimming against you guys? 

Some teams decided they didn’t want to scrim us the day before their LCS matches because they didn’t want to be demoralized right before. Nobody canceled and it wasn’t disrespectful, but they didn’t want to get shit on the day before. I understand it. I’m not mad at it. I’m not mad at them. 

Do you think that’s why they haven’t been doing as well this season? 

I don’t think it was the only factor. We have five very talented players. The best players in every position. We came together as a team really well. It’s hard to blame teams for not scrimming against us because we were that much better than other teams. 

What has made your team so strong?

Individually, we have the best players in every position. That’s an advantage there out of the gate. We all have a similar mindset when it comes to scrims and practice. We’re all on the same page and easy to talk to. We like harsh criticism. We don’t beat around the bush when we say something to someone else during scrims. We’re not scared to say it. We always improve from our environment and mentality. It’s a lot of things. 

Why do you think NA has a different mentality than other regions when it comes to not wanting to lose? 

The coaching staff in NA is not as good as eastern teams, EU teams. They think it’s hard to take anything from a loss. Some players get emotional or irrational with their thoughts if they lose. Some people think it’s hard to learn from a loss. You got exposed or made a mistake…But a lot of times people just get emotional. It’s hard to see improvement while you’re getting shit on or losing a lot. It becomes harder to focus on improving. 

Do you see yourselves getting any better between now and next season even though you don’t have a lot of challenges? 

It’s going to be hard…There’s not as much room to improve compared to other teams. They got to see what we do and replicate. We can watch other regions. G2 Esports looked pretty fucking insane. They were playing a different style than we were, so maybe we’ll play more scaling in the future. LCK play a different style as well. LPL is really crazy individually.

We also made a lot of mistakes on our side today, both in draft and play. In the third game, we were playing pretty well but there were a lot of mistakes at the same time. So there’s still stuff to look at even though we won. 

What does winning the 2020 LCS Spring Split finals mean to you?

Winning was always the first goal to me when I joined LCS. I played two games in 2018 and I got really shit on. I was not ready to play in the LCS. The next split, I got 9th place. The split after that, I got beat in semis.

I always thought I would be able to do it, but it feels really good to do it this fast. Only a year after debuting my first season, even winning Player of the Series, I wasn’t just along for the ride. Like every member, I was a key part of our success. It feels good to win and pull my own weight.

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