Quick Chat with Vulcun Mancloud

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The following interview was taken before the start of this super week. After yesterday’s matches Vulcun has officially taken top 2 of the LCS and no team other team besides Cloud9 can catch up to them. They have also secured their place in season 4 of the League of Legends Champion Series. So congratulations to them for their hard work! We got a chance to have a quick chat with Zachary “Mancloud” Hoschar who is the mid laner for Team Vulcun. 

Vulcun is sitting in 2nd place currently with a record of 15-8.  Was this something you guys expected or was it something that you believed you could achieve?

Hoschar: I always felt like this was something we could achieve. We ended up in third at the end of the last split because we only gained momentum really late into the season, but we carried it over to this split really well.

There’s been a lot of points made as to why Vulcun is so successful this split.  Many North American fans believe it’s due to their mid laner and claim he is the best mid laner in NA.   Do you believe that you’re the best mid laner in NA?  How do you think you stack up internationally?

Hoschar: I know I’m by far the best mid at KSing and stealing farm from his ad carry, but I have no idea how I stack up internationally. Just from watching OGN and LPL, I’d like to think I’m up to par in laning and mechanics, but there’s just no way to know without actually playing against international teams. The only thing I can do is prepare as best I can.

Vulcun has five games left and are sitting pretty comfortable in 2nd place, do you think we will see some new strats for this week?

Hoschar: Right now, we’re beating teams by playing in a pretty standard fashion and if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. I don’t think we’ll see many new strats out of any of the teams to be honest. We’ll probably see that at Worlds.

A lot of teams point to you guys as being difficult to prepare for because they never know what you’re going to play.   How important is it to have a diverse champion pool?

Hoschar: I think it’s always important to be unpredictable. If you have only played 3 champions really well and 2 of them are banned, an enemy team can either plan a counter for the third pick or take it, and you’ll be at a distinct disadvantage. It’s also important to not stretch yourself too thin, however, so you have to have a balance.

So far this split, you have played 11 different champions.  Interestingly enough not one of these 11 champions is Nidalee.  Your Nidalee was dominant last split and received several bans out of respect, what has made you fall out of favor with her?  Do you think we could possibly see her soon?

Hoschar: Nidalee has very little impact in lane pre-6 and has no team fight utility if she falls behind. In the spring split, we used her because teams were terrible at ending games so it always went to late game and late game Nid chunked health bars and almost always made your carry stronger than the enemy’s. It was essentially a crutch and we just stopped relying on it once we got better.

Two of your most played champions this split have received major nerfs in patch 3.10 (Twisted Fate and Ryze).  Do you think they are still viable in competitive play?

Hoschar: TF is still viable, but I feel like this may be the end of mid lane Ryze. Top lane Ryze probably lanes fine still, but it’s so hard to get abilities off in team fights without flash now that it almost feels like they’re bugged, especially when fighting around brush and corners.

What has patch 3.10 changed in competitive play?

Hoschar: I feel like very little has actually changed. When I was reading the 3.10 patch notes I felt like there’d be a huge changes in counter-jungling and turret pushing, but everything that was possible before is still possible, it’s just slightly slower/weaker.

Is there a champion that you think would be good in the mid lane competitively but your team won’t let you play?

Hoschar: Elise, Hydra Lee Sin, Varus and Riven to name a few.

How was your team able to convince BloodWater to make him change his smurf to V Bloodvanas?

Hoschar: We even got a blessing from Solvanas herself, but then Blood didn’t change his name to the right thing. He’s so difficult…

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What kind of energy does Zuna bring to the team during games?  Does he get you and your team even more pumped up during team fights?

Hoschar: He actually doesn’t yell as much as people think. He only yells during epic comebacks or if he or someone on the team completely outplays someone.

Hypothetically speaking, if Vulcun and Cloud 9 claim the first two slots to worlds, who takes third?

Hoschar: I feel like CLG is going to take the third spot for the iBUYPOWER trifecta and then eventually we take over the world.

TSM has always been a dominant team in NA, even last split they struggle for a time but still managed to claim first.  Why do you think TSM is struggling so much this split?

Hoschar: They seem to be having a lot of internal issues that just don’t even involve playing the game. If the team doesn’t get along out of game, it’s naturally going to be harder to play in it.

Most people are not giving NA a chance this year at worlds. What are your thoughts on this?  Do you think Vulcun and Cloud 9 will have a good showing at worlds?

Hoschar: I already feel that the NA scene is stronger than EU, and even if not ahead of China. The main competition is going to be Korea. I know that even if an NA team doesn’t win worlds we’ll still have a much, much better showing than last year and that’s what matters.

What is the daily schedule/routine for a Vulcun player?  What do you guys do in your down time?

Hoschar: Wake up at 11-ish, go to a team meal at 12, watch replays and talk strategy at 1, scrim from 2-4, watch replays from those games from 4-5, scrim from 5-7, watch replays and talk about what we’re going to play the next day. Then, we solo queue for a couple hours. In our downtime, a lot of us watch anime, movies, play various steam games, and occasionally stream.

If you were no longer playing LoL competitively what would you be doing instead?

Hoschar: Playing LoL casually.

…and probably going to college.

There has been a lot of talk on the format of the LCS, do you like how it currently is or would you like to see some changes to it?

Hoschar: I like how Riot changed the way they handled the relegation, but other than that I don’t really focus on how to change the format. I’m alright with the way it is now.

Something a lot of Vulcun players have expressed this split is their lack of fans considering they are 2nd right now.  Why do you think this is?

Hoschar: I don’t mind the lack of fans, and I think the rest of the team feels the same way. I’ll just take this opportunity to say we’re thankful for everyone that’s supported us thus far and we’ll be sure to try and make them proud in the upcoming playoffs and world championships!

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by Dominick Kerr, on August 15, 2013