Hai Lam: The Admiral of North America
No one can deny that mid lane stalwart Hai Lam is a major reason for North American powerhouse Cloud 9’s success. However, his impact extends far beyond the lane of many matchups. Ever since Cloud 9 made a splash in the competitive scene during Season 3’s Summer Split, Hai has called the shots for their consistently top tier team. In my mind, Hai will forever be the admiral of his fleet, leading the team into battle again and again.
Hai is known for his aggressive play style, and his shot calling for the team matches that aggression. Throughout his career, he favored high risk, high reward champions such as Zed, Kha’Zix, LeBlanc, and Yasuo, where he could utilize his ability to fly into fights alongside his team. Watching his play over the past couple years, I always felt Kha’Zix fit his playstyle the most, seeing how he has only ever lost one game on the champion in competitive play. His Zed play matches some of the best in the world, and in most trades, he always seems to come out ahead.
Beyond his mechanical ability, Hai’s shot calling is revered as some of the best in competitive League of Legends. Ever since joining the LCS, Cloud 9 has won games through stellar objective control and teamwork. With Hai at the helm, it does not matter what deficit Cloud 9 is in because they always seem to come out on top. Whether against the former Team Vulcun, Team SoloMid, Najin White Shield, or even Samsung Blue, Hai has led this team to victory countless times solely by being the voice of reason in a team of very talented players.
One of the other attributes that makes Hai a top shot caller is that he has learned from his mistakes. There was a notorious base race call he made during the Season 3 qualifier on a previous Cloud 9 roster that cost them a game against Team MRN. Hai has made several calls that didn’t pan out over the years, but he continues to remain fearless in the calls he makes for Cloud 9. An unshakeable force, Hai will call for a base race without hesitation when the team is 10,000 gold behind if it is the best chance they have to win, as he did at the World Championships this past year.
It has been seen time and time again that Hai will make any call and play any champion to win a game. Whether following the resets on Kha’Zix or the shadows on Zed, Hai continues to perform at top level and make the tough calls that really count for Cloud 9. Not a bad a call or a collapsed lung can stop Hai from achieving great results. His determination is unmatched, and in the end, he will be remembered for this fact. Long live the admiral!