You might have first noticed Philippe “Vulcan” Laflamme during his time on Clutch Gaming, where he began on their Academy roster in 2018 and moved to their main roster in 2019.
When Clutch rebranded to Dignitas, Vulcan moved to Cloud9, where he and new ADC Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen went to bootcamp in Korea two weeks before the others and worked on their synergy.
This has clearly paid off, with Vulcan and Zven working incredibly well together in the bot lane, helping Cloud9 to secure a finals win at this year’s Spring Split after a six year dry spell. After Cloud9 won their first match of the Summer Split against FlyQuest, we spoke to Vulcan about the challenges ahead.
First of all, congratulations on the win! It seems that, in the beginning, we were a little bit worried after that first fight in the river, and then about 10 minutes later, you were able to turn the game into what we normally expect from Cloud9. What is it about you guys that you're just able to do that?
I'm honestly not too sure what happened exactly in the river fight early on, I’d have to look at it again, because for sure we all thought that would be a winning fight. I think it ended up being a two for one. I think it was just a misplay on our part, most likely.
After that, I just think we had a pretty clear win condition with Olaf who was taking every dragon; they had a very late game oriented team comp so it was kind of hard for them to do anything about us claiming objectives, so we kind of just focused on doing that.
I think Cloud9; we just know our win conditions more than some of the other teams, so even if something goes wrong in the early game we’re just able to focus on what we need to do in order to win in the end.
new split same nautilus— Philippe Laflamme (@VulcanLoL) June 13, 2020
Do you think there's any team that you find might be a challenge, especially if you’ve already gone through scrims with them?
I think Team Liquid is probably the most likely team to challenge us. I think a lot of fans are looking at TSM but right now they’re not looking too hot, honestly.
They still have similar issues to what they had last split. It doesn't seem that they - at least not yet - are fixing the issues that they have. I guess we’ll have to see if they’re able to gel and play better but as of now, I don’t think they can challenge us that well.
For Team Liquid, I think they still have a lot of really good pieces and I think the last split was just a fluke. I’m guessing that they’ll be in the top two or three this split for sure.
How does it feel coming back to the LCS after such a long break, especially since MSI was cancelled?
It feels good to play some real games again; we were kind of all losing it just playing solo queue and just hanging out in the house all day. It feels good to play - I’d say stage games, but they’re not really on stage - LCS games again.
It sucks that we didn’t play MSI but hopefully-- I mean, we’re gonna make Worlds and then we’ll see what happens then.
Did you enjoy the Mid Season Showdown we had just a few weeks ago?
Yeah, we played versus TSM on off role, and I don’t.. particularly enjoy playing support in League, so it was fun to play ADC. I was running it down a bit, you know, for fun.
It was cool to play versus TSM even though it was a fun match and it was fun to watch the LPL and LCK play against each other as they’re some of the best teams in the world, so it was fun to see the regions clash and some top teams play in the matches.
I always like to ask this kind of question: What have you been doing over the break to stay occupied?
I played Minecraft for a little bit, I played a few games of Fortnite with Nisqy and Blaber. We have a pool out back, so we were going to the pool. We watched a lot of different shows. I personally picked up Chess. I’m climbing in Chess right now, and I like to read a little bit as well.
How do you feel the team’s prep has been over the break and what do you think has changed, if anything, since Spring?
Well, in Spring Split, it was a lot of getting to know each other and understanding what we want out of our teammates, what direction we want, our playstyle, stuff like that. There was a lot of figuring stuff out.
For this split, it was mostly figuring out the meta, figuring out the drafts; obviously we had a good basis from Spring Split, so we could skip the whole ‘getting on the same page’ part and just focus on everything else and expanding our play style a little bit.
I think preparing for the Split was easier because we didn’t have to deal with playing together for the first time.
Cloud9's Summer Split has started strongly (Picture: lolesports/Riot Games)
You play 100 Thieves on Sunday, and they’re coming off of a loss to EG. Do you have anything specific that you’re prepping for that team?
Not really. I don’t think we consider 100 Thieves to be a strong opponent. When we played them in the playoffs, we 3-0’ed them very fast.
Most of the time, going into 100 Thieves games, we’ll just get the best bottom matchup possible, because we’re much stronger than their bottom lane so we like to abuse that. I think we’ll just focus on getting a strong matchup and getting a good general situation as well because Blaber is, a lot of the time, just the initiator for a lot of our plays.
I know you mentioned Liquid as being a team that can challenge you. Are there any other teams or players that you’re looking forward to going up against?
I’m looking forward to playing against Damonte since he’s the new starter for Golden Guardians and I played with him last year, so that will be fun.
Also, Evil Geniuses, if they ever put in Huni. I think EG could be a pretty strong team. Obviously, they have a limited amount of import slots, so they can’t put Huni and Bang in at the same time, but at least for next year, they will be a really strong team when they’re able to fill all the players that they want.
The Summer Split continues on 14th June across YouTube, Twitch, and lolesports.com. Be sure to catch more League content here on GINX Esports TV.