A sit down with Cloud 9 Lemonnation
Fri 21st Jun 2013 - 6:41pm
After a long run in the amateur scene and falling just shy of qualifying into the NA LCS Spring Split, his team rallied into the Summer Promotion Tournament, going undefeated against Team Astral Poke and Team Complexity in convincing wins to earn a spot in the LCS Summer Split. With the LCS back in full swing, I had a chance to talk with Daerek 'LemonNation’ Hart, who plays support for Cloud 9.
You've sported so many different tags in the past year, from Orbit to NomNom to reddit nation and C9 to Quantic and back. How does it feel to finally be permanently locked into a team and coming into the LCS officially?
Lemonnation: It feels good to FINALLY MAKE IT IN.
After you failed to qualify the first time what steps did you take as a team to make sure you made it this time around? Individually?
Lemonnation: Our team is almost entirely a new roster than our last attempt, with three new players and Hai changing roles to mid lane. Me and Hai had to find the best available players to fill out the team, and I feel like we have done a good job. I think we both have good judgement on other players skills.
How has your playstyle changed since the last qualifiers and do you feel stronger now than before? What are you still working on ?
Lemonnation: My own, and my teams playstyle, has changed drastically. We all play like Koreans now. Studying the dominant meta is the only way an American team is going to be able to compete at worlds, which is something no other teams seem to really do. They are all just set in their own old playstyles, and they refuse to adopt.
Expectations of yourselves and other teams coming in?
Lemonnation: I thought we were stronger than Col, but I am surprised that we were as dominant as it turned out.
Were you suprised at the results of relegation? Did any teams make it or not make it that you expected to turn out differently?
Lemonnation: I was surprised that Velocity managed to beat MRN, I thought MRN was the stronger team. I am glad that Velocity did though, I like alot of the members on that team. Dignitas winning was no surprise. I expected CLG to win, but I thought Azure would put up more of a fight. CLG seemed rather weak in our scrims versus them.
You shaved your head at dallas and ended up winning on the main stage, how pivotal was that strategy this time around?
Lemonnation: fuck man idk.
What type of preparation did you guys have coming into this event and how much of a role has the gaming house played?
Lemonnation: It's hard to tell how much of an impact the gaming house had, but I have really enjoyed living here. I think it had a positive impact, but I can't tell how significant it is. The fact that we're living in california and get really nice ping is probably the biggest change.
Going into the games how did you feel emotionally? Were you nervous or worried?
Lemonnation: I was very nervous. I was worried that we wouldn't perform on lan how we were performing online. I'm just glad it's over and we're in.
Heading into the Summer Split how do you expect to perform, where do you see Cloud 9 at the end of the season?
Lemonnation: I don't want to make any predictions about my own team. I take it one match at a time.
Who do you think are the strongest LCS team/Strongest NON LCS team at the moment?(and weakest LCS team? Why?)
Lemonnation: At the moment the strongest US LCS team is most likely TSM. Hard to tell though. NON LCS team has got to be Complexity, since MRN disbanded. They are certainly stronger than any of the other teams that did not make it. MRN would be above them if they were still together.
In the world?
Lemonnation: SK Telecom T1 2. Faker is a god.
Out of the current LCS teams in NA who do you think the scariest bot lane to play against is?
Lemonnation: QTPIE/Patoe is the scariest bot lane. We have played vs every LCS team in scrims, and I would say it's clearly them.
Lemonnation: Probably Pray/Cain from naijin sword, but it's really hard to tell without experience vs international teams.
What are your thoughts on Wildturtle leaving for TSM and his recent success there? How did his leave affect the team? Same for Nientonsoh, how did his leave affect the team?
Lemonnation: Nientonsoh left our team from the mid spot, which he was not that strong at, and it opened up our team to moving Hai mid lane and picking up a new jungler. This improved our team immensely, so I would say Nien leaving affected our team very positively. Turtle was an amazing ADC, and he did amazingly on our team.BUT we have gotten way way better since Wildturtle left the team. So I think it didn't really hurt or help us. We just kept improving and got an amazing replacement in sneakycastro.
You've supported both Nientonsoh AND Wildturtle who both ended up on teams in the LCS, how much of their success do you attribute to yourself?
Lemonnation: I wasn't a very strong support player back when I supported Nientonsoh, I have improved since then pretty significantly. But I will attribute all of their success to myself anyway!
You've been known in the past to have a bit of a rivalry with the now qualified Velocity eSports, will that rivalry continue into the Summer Split and can you give a bit of a background on that?
Lemonnation: Well, I think it was mostly between Hai and Prolly when he was on Velocity. Prolly would always call Hai a shit midlaner and ask us why we carry him. I personally like everyone on Velocity roster, I think they're all really cool people. Maple and Evan are both hilarious, NK inc and Cris are both really nice, and I don't really know vileroze at all.
Favorite/least favorite support? Best support for soloqueue?
Lemonnation: Favorite support: Blitz. Least Favorite: Sona.
Best Support for Solo Q: Janna
Strongest/weakest support in competitive playright now? Why?
Lemonnation: Strongest: Sona for sure. She bullys her lane like no other. Provides the highest damage output of any support (mainly due to her aura). The fact that she has a heal, unlike thresh or lulu, is extremely important to keep everyone topped off before team fights start. Sustain is so important for keeping pressure on the map without everyone having to heal at base constantly.
I think weakest support is pretty arbitrary, since any champion could be played as a support, some are just weaker than others and thus not viable. So I will say Master Yi.
Do you play other roles?
Support for life.
What is your favorite role/champion outside of support?
fk outside of support.
Who do you feel is the most underutilized champion/sleeper op right now? What are some unorthodox supports that you play or would like to play in the future?
Lemonnation: Jayce ADC and Swain are both very very strong, and certainly under played at the moment. I have no unorthodox supports that I am interested in currently.
You're known for running heal quite often, why is this? What advantages or disadvantages does it bring compared to exhaust and other summoners?Y
Lemonnation: Heal is the strongest summoner in late game team fights. It scales amazingly. It's basically a locket. It does give up some pressure in catches/kills early game that ignite/exhaust provide.
What is the story behind your name?
Lemonnation: If I told people what my name meant riot would make me change it.