I had the opportunity to speak with a few members of Cloud 9 HyperX and owner Jack Etienne about the recent changes and additions to the Cloud 9 HyperX family.
Hello Hai! So C9 HyperX has a lot of new faces. Would you mind telling me about them?
Hai: Yeah! So we got two new amateur teams, one in Europe and one in NA. They are called Tempest/Eclipse, and then we got a new smite team called Aurora. It's cool because our brand is growing and gaining more fans!
Has adopting the two new LoL teams affected how you practice? Did this have any factor in picking up new teams?
Hai: Not at all. We don't practice with the European team for obvious reasons, and for the challenger team we don't play too often as well. This didn’t really have a factor in picking up the new teams.
Have you guys played against C9 HyperX Tempest or Eclipse yet? What are your initial thoughts on them?
Balls: We have played against C9 HyperX Tempest and the team seems fine mechanically, but just needs more experience together.
You also acquired a new analyst. What kind of changes has Charlie brought to strategizing and scrimming? How much does Charlie being the analyst for all C9 teams affect your play style?
LemonNation: Charlie first had worked with C9 HyperX Eclipse and they recommended him heavily. Charlie basically watches all of our scrims and does a really good job making sure everyone is doing the correct thing at all times. He watches what we build, when we build it, and gives suggestions. He watches how everyone wards, and so on. He watches all of the little things and makes sure we are not overlooking anything. Charlie also has a lot of intelligent input on what champions we should be picking up and playing in important games.
We’re almost into week 4 of the LCS, how does the NA scene look so far?
Balls: The NA scene in my opinion, looks really close. Any team can pull out a win from each other if they play well on that day and it really just comes down to whoever prepared more for the other. Regarding XDG’s role swap, they just needs more time for their jungler and ADC to get used to their respective roles. I think they still have problems regardless of the role swap with communication and not having a real shot caller. CLG looks like they need dexter with them right now because they need people to actually play their role and people are taking advantage of that.
How do you think the Challenger Series will affect Challenger teams? Do you think they’ll be more prepared for the LCS?
LemonNation: Having a Challenger Series is extremely important and a huge move in the right direction to ensure that Challenger teams get visibility and weekly games. The money it provides could incentivise more talented players/teams to dedicate enough time to become LCS level. Hopefully the viewership it pulls in will be enough for the teams to draw in sponsors and become sustainable.
How has Dan Dinh helped improve Cloud 9 outside of playing the game? How much has this helped with you [Jack Etienne] not living near the C9 house?
Jack: Dan has done a fantastic job for C9, without him our move to LA would not be possible. For starters, Dan was able to find our place and negotiate the agreement. This is not as easy a task as you might think… just try convincing a property owner that 5 men aged 18-25 living in a 2 bedroom condo with a loft is a good idea and see how that goes. 99% of the property owners out there will slam the door in your face.
After getting us a place, Dan rented a truck in San Jose and we all packed it up and drove straight to LA. The team hopped on a flight to LA, met Dan at the house and unpacked it. So within 24 hours he had the team up and running in a new house with very little downtime. Dan has essentially made the transition with the team down to LA stress free because he can take care of the stuff I’d usually do myself when the team was closer to me.
What factors played into the selection of the new NA and EU LoL challenger teams?
Jack: Both C9 Eclipse & C9 Tempest are stand out teams in their region that we’ve been honored to support.
Regarding C9 HyperX Eclipse, I first talked with the manager of C9 Eclipse, Robin “Jed” Jedhammar, when they were climbing the ranked 5s ladder to qualify for the EU Challenger Series. After a few conversations with the team, it was clear that they had built something special and that I wanted to do whatever I could to support them. When I presented this opportunity to our sponsors, they were 100% on board for adding and supporting additional teams. So I’d like to thank Logitech, Alienware and our title sponsor HyperX for making this happen.
As for C9 HyperX Tempest, I met the manager of C9 Tempest, Danan “Kaniggit” Flander, at the Battle of the Atlantic tournament. I’d already heard good things about Danan as a manager. Something that not many people might know is that Danan was the former manager of Sneaky’s team prior to C9. Part of the reason Sneaky is with C9 is that after their team disbanded, Danan reached out to Hai and introduced him to Sneaky. Danan convinced Hai to try Sneaky out for the open ADC position and the rest is history. With that bit of history in my mind and several productive conversations with Danan and the rest of the team including their team analyst, AGenT, I knew I wanted to support this team as well. Again, our sponsors supported the idea of continuing to expand C9 and with the help of Logitech, Alienware and our title sponsor HyperX we were able to make C9 HyperX Tempest a reality.”
Do you think other organizations may start picking up challenger teams to complement their main team?
Jack: I do think other organizations will start to pick up challengers teams. Not only is it a great way to keep an eye out for upcoming talent but also the viewership for the North American and European Challenger series has been staggering. It’s great to get involved with these young teams to give them some stability and support while they strive to be the future of the LCS.
Thanks for taking the time to answer a couple questions! Any last minute remarks or shoutouts you’d like to make?
Thanks to all the fans who have supported us and aZooRe for doing the interview! Also thanks to our sponsors, Logitech, Alienware, Crunchyroll, HomeJoy, LoLClass, and our title sponsor, HyperX!
Be sure to follow Hai, Lemon, Balls, Jack and the rest of Cloud 9 at:
We look forward to all the continued support!