Lâm Du Hải was a professional League of Legends player. He is most known for his prolific mid-lane talents with Cloud9 and Golden Guardians. Under the moniker “Hai”, he made a name for himself early in his career as one of the best shot-callers in North America, and a key to Cloud9’s success. Hai won two LCS championships with C9 and attended Worlds three times.
Wrist Injury Causes Uncertainty
Hai managed a painful and persistent wrist injury alongside his success. During his time with Cloud9 in 2015, it became apparent that his injury prevented him from training enough to compete at a high level. He publicly stated:
“My wrist injury is something that I simply cannot ignore. It limits my ability to play as much as I need to and my ability to improve. I cannot keep up with the amount of Solo Queue games my teammates play and it’s not fair to them. At best, my wrist injury would have only allowed me to play for another split and that wasn’t even certain.”
Possible Types of Wrist Injuries
The medical details of Hai’s injury aren’t publicly available, but his time with Cloud9, and later with Golden Guardians, showcase a variety of wrist braces. They suggest a long-standing form of wrist injury. Gamer’s wrist and carpal tunnel are both common and preventable injuries that competitive gamers develop through poor posture and improper wrist alignment when gaming.
It’s impossible to perceive the nature of Hai’s injury in terms of how much it impacted his career. Whether he’d have stuck with a struggling C9 instead of leaving when he did isn’t something anyone can know. What is clear is that the injury was a terrible burden on a career that was as prolific as it was long.
A Compelling Career Story
Hai’s shot-calling was known among his peers as arguably the best in North America. Hai’s final LCS showing – in 2018 with Golden Guardians – made it clear that he was still valued for his leadership qualities and sure decision-making, despite not having the mechanical depth that he once boasted. This loss of mechanical depth is yet another question mark permanently stamped on his injury.
After retirement from professional play, Hai contributed to the 2019 LCS analyst desk in between professional matches. He later moved on to starting his own amateur League team “Radiance.” The team, at least for the time being, has frozen operations.
The career of Hai isn’t a sorry one. It’s one with incredible displays of skill, longstanding consistency, and the ability to pull otherwise mediocre teams into positions to challenge for titles and international tournament success. All of that said, his career is marred with an asterisk next to his name. The asterisk tells the LCS faithful they aren’t ever going to be sure they got his full potential due to his wrist injury, despite being one of the best North American players of all time.
Guest Author: Everett Zarnick