After winning both of his games in the opening weekend of the 2020 League of Legends Championsip Series Spring Split, Philippe "Vulcan" Laflamme spoke with Inven Global about how he fits in the Cloud9 culture, as well as his goals of winning both splits and changing the NA narrative with the team. He details where he lands in the support tier list, but notes how hard branding is.
We are joined by Vulcan today, the new support for Cloud9. Congrats on the two wins, but skipping past that, I want to ask how you are fitting in the team culture, especially since you're a big memer, and Cloud9 is the meme team of the LCS.
Well I would say that the C9 meme culture is mostly while they're scrimming or playing on stage, but I try to avoid that. I don't think that's very healthy or professional. So when I meme, I'm memeing on the Twitterverse. So I'm a little bit different in that way, but being on Cloud9 is really nice. I mean all the players are really good, the team has a lot of prestige to it I guess. And it feels like a big family seeing Jack every day and everyone being really close together.
Yeah the current Twitter memes are great, everyone always claims Cloud9 lost the off-season - which is a big insult to you - and Jack was memeing about that, but then after the 2-0 week how are you feeling? Are you super confident from that, or are you relaxed?
I'd say we were confident before the split started and these two wins we had this weekend don't mean too much, mostly because Team Liquid is pretty weak right now for obvious reasons with their jungler not being here and Golden Guardians is on the weaker side of teams so it's not that big of a win.
I think it's good that we showed clean games but it doesn't prove that much from this weekend. So we have to work hard, we had pretty clear mistakes in this game at least. We're confident but we know we didn't show enough yet.
You're one of the newer players to the LCS, and one of the few cases of NA talent that goes through Academy and makes it to the LCS. How do you feel like you've been able to develop your identity?
I'm not sure honestly, I think we'd have to ask fans. In general I think it's hard for supports to break out, I guess. I feel like supports don't get as much cover as a mid laner or an adc. And I mean, I don't care, they're the star players, so it's understandable that they have more spotlight. But at the same time it's harder to build your brand if you're not interacting with fans, or you don't have an many interviews, or Riot doesn't give you broadcast time.
It's harder to give yourself a brand. So I guess I don't really know if fans see me as the meme guy on Twitter, or maybe I'm the Alistar guy who flash comboed Deftly or something. Or maybe I'm the Tahm Kench guy 'cause I play Tahm Kench a lot, but it's hard to say for me.
As far as the memes on Twitter, is that just for fun or is that a brand you're trying to cultivate?
It's a bit of both. As I've said, I feel like it's harder for supports to showcase branding, so I think it's important for me to have a good Twitter game, so I do that to build my brand or just farm Twitter. And also I enjoy doing it, I think it's fun to have a banger tweet. So definitely a combination of the two.
It's funny because your old duo, Cody Sun, has a super weird Twitter. Do you miss interacting with him, at least as far as that bot lane Twitter synergy you had going?
Yeah Cody is a funny guy. His Twitter is mostly him just tweeting mysterious stuff where no one has any idea what he's saying. You can't understand anything, but he's really funny, I like playing with him. I do miss him, but Jesper "Zven" Svenningsen is really good. So, I'm okay.
I want to talk about your goals this year. You made it to Worlds last year and you're now on an org that makes it every year. Is your goal just to continue doing that? Are you more focused on personal goals or team goals.
It's important for me that we win a split, I haven't won anything unless you consider winning the gauntlet winning something, but not really. So I want to lift a trophy, that's my first goal. And the easiest trophy to lift is LCS, so I'll start there. And then for international play... The way I see it, I just want to not disappoint the fans. I want to show a performance that the team, me, and the fans can all be proud of.
Maybe that means taking down China, maybe that means beating EU in a best of five. I'm not sure exactly what it looks like but I don't want to go into an international tournament again where the fans are like, "Ah, we know it's doomed, NA is never going to be good."
So maybe you can change our perspective, that would be nice. I'd sure enjoy that as an NA fan.
We all would!
I'm not sure if I have a semi-insider perspective, so I don't know how outsider fans view you, but I feel like you've made a name for yourself as one of the highest caliber supports. What is your personal thought on where you stand in the tier list of supports in NA?
I think in general it's hard to rank supports because of how the role works in the game, you rely on a lot on your teammates, your teammates rely a lot of you. A lot of time, people think that supports should be the shotcallers or leaders, whatever you want to call it, and I think that as well. For example, Aphromoo. Apparently - and I don't know - but apparently he is a good shotcaller and good leader, but I think his fingers are not as good, he's not that good mechanically.
But it's hard to rate him low because he's carrying his team with shotcalling, but it's hard to rate him high because he'll screw up games just because he has trouble keeping up. So I think support in general is hard to rank, but I do think that I've risen a lot. You know, I was a complete random coming into last year. I do think I'm up there - well I hope I can be up there with CoreJJ by the end of the split. So yeah, I'm pretty good, I'm good at League.
Awesome! Tell me one thing you and Cloud9 are going to do that no other team can do this year.
Win a split.
You'll win them both?
We'll win both. Exactly.
Anything else to say to fans before we sign off?
Thank you guys for cheering for Cloud9 and me, the support has been really nice coming from a lower tier org who didn't have many fans. So yeah, thanks for the support.