C9 Vulcan: “I Can Guarantee That Jojo and I Don’t Shy Away From Early Game Bangers and Proactivity”

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C9 Vulcan: “I Can Guarantee That Jojo and I Don’t Shy Away From Early Game Bangers and Proactivity”

How many more titles will Vulcan rack up during his second stint on Cloud9?

Philippe “Vulcan” Laflamme has returned home, rejoining C9 for his second stint with the organization. Cloud9 is an organization that has always been in the heart of the North American star, even after departing in 2022. Now that he is home, Vulcan is looking to pick up right where he left off, winning championships on Cloud9. Following his return announcement, ESTNN heard a few words from the “new” Cloud9 Support.

Vulcan Felt His Best Years Were On C9

C9 Vulcan is a name many did not believe would be a possibility again, given how rarely Cloud9 brings back former players. Vulcan is an exception to this rule, with the North American Support still being considered one of the better players in their role. This is despite his poor showing during his tenure with FlyQuest, though he could be excused given how poorly the team performed overall in retrospect to the caliber of players on the roster.

Vulcan returns to Cloud9, an organization that has given him his best moments thus far as a professional player. Under the C9 banner, Vulcan has won two LCS championships, and his only quarter-final appearance when he and Cloud9 escaped Group A at Worlds 2021. Although there was some initial success at the start of his tenure on Evil Geniuses, Vulcan has been absent for the most part when discussing domestic success. Vulcan mentioned this when talking about his emotions about returning to Cloud9.

“It feels super good and right to be back— some of my best years in esports as a player and just as a human were in C9. Watching them win trophies during my time away would always be a bittersweet feeling. On one side, it hurt that I wasn’t the one winning and that it was my old team, but on the other, I have a lot of friends in those rosters and staff, so it was nice to see them succeed. But now we will win together, which feels much more right.”

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C9 Vulcan: On Paper, This Is The Best Team I've Been Part Of, And I think We Will Find International Success”

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Image courtesy of Riot Games.

Going into the offseason, the message was clear from the fans: form a roster that can match NRG's success at the 2023 League of Legends World Championship. C9 did just that by locking down Ibrahim “Fudge” Allami, Robert “Blaber” Huang and Kim “Berserker” Min-cheol to new contracts ahead of the 2024 season. On top of this, they have greatly improved in two areas with the biggest potential for upgrades. Vulcan and jojopyun came, two players who are also very familiar with each other due to their success on Evil Geniuses.

On paper, this is debatedly one of the strongest rosters in LCS history. It's a roster that should be looking to match, at the very least, the success NRG saw at the World Championship. Vulcan also shares in the sentiment surrounding this roster and believes Cloud9 could succeed internationally in 2024.

“Yes, I think this roster has the opportunity to become the best NA team of all time. It's too early to say for sure obviously, and we will have a lot of work to do to get there, but on paper, this is the best team I've been part of, and I think we will find international success.”

Vulcan On Cloud9's 2024 Playstyle Approach

Cloud9's 2023 was a mixed bag, depending on who you have the conversation with. The team stumbled on their route to the organization's first-ever “three-peat,” which would have put this roster amongst the famous Team Liquid and TSM rosters of the past. The accolades, at least for the general fanbase, were not the concern. The worries came in the form of their style of play. At times, Cloud9's early game performances were very lackluster for a team vying to be the greatest LCS roster of all time.

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And while their early-game rating on Oracle's Elixir ranks them in the top two (2nd), the eye test did not match what the statistics would show. There is no arguing across the board Cloud9 had some of the best players in their role in the LCS, but when you watched their games, it felt very disjointed in the early game with little to no direction. The general sentiment for Cloud9 was they would “hands diff” their opponents because they had the better players across the board. And with NRG taking them down in the Summer Finals, it seemed another team had finally figured out the playstyle that Cloud9 had run for a year and a half.

This question will be quickly answered when Cloud9 takes to the Rift in January. The arrival of Vulcan and Joseph Joon “jojopyun” Pyun, two players known for their early-game aggression, should help Cloud9 become more of a force in the early game. On paper, this Cloud9 roster has the potential to be NA's best. Vulcan shared this sentiment:

“I haven’t really thought about it. In my experience playing versus C9, I didn't feel the same way. Also, with two new players, you could see a big shift in how the team operates or likes to play. To reassure Cloud9 fans who may feel like the team wasn't proactive enough in 2023, I can guarantee that Jojo and I don't shy away from early game bangers and proactivity.”

Finally, Vulcan wanted to share a few words of gratitude to the Cloud9 faithful.

“Thank you to the fans as always. You guys have all been amazing in how you’ve welcomed me back, and I can't wait to get started in 2024 and show everyone what we can do.”

Stay tuned to ESTNN for the latest League of Legends news and updates.

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Jordan 'Marn' is an esports journalist from across the pond. Jordan has a passion for telling stories about the esports titles he loves such as League of Legends and Call of Duty. He has written for Esportz Network, Unikrn and United Stand. Twitter: @official_marn