TSM’s Lawrence ‘Lost’ Hui was the trailblazer for Oceanic talent, proving they have a chance to make it big overseas. Now playing alongside some of his OPL peers in the LCS, he wants to prove that he is one of NA’s best AD carries.
It’s been three years since then 18-year-old Lost took the plunge and moved to the LCS from Australia.
A lot has changed since then. His rugged Kiwi accent has been softened out with a heavy dose of the Americas. The OPL he used to dominate no longer exists. He reminisced about missing Australian culture, so similar yet so different from Los Angeles.
As the trailblazer for Oceanic talent heading overseas, Lost had the pressure of an entire region on his shoulders and the powerful gaze of thousands of fans, waiting with bated breath for him to fail.
He was just an 18-year-old kid from New Zealand. However, three years on, he’s blossomed into one of North America’s finest AD carries. Now on TSM, he’s leading the charge to prove to the world that Oceanic talent can perform on the world stage.
Putting Oceania on the map
It isn’t easy to be an Oceanic pro in League of Legends. The rest of the world doesn’t look fondly on the region, known for more memes and competitive rulings than “good players.” Lost had to try and break that stigma on Echo Fox.
He got his chance in the LCS thanks to Nick ‘Inero’ Smith, the now-coach of Golden Guardians. Some saw his pickup as nepotism, given Inero used to coach in Oceania.
That whole argument flared up again this year in regards to the sharp uptick of Oceanic playing and coaching talent ‘underperforming’ in NA. However, Lost says he was given his chance and earned his spot.
“Echo Fox held two bootcamps, so there was no nepotism whatsoever,” he told Dexerto.
“A good way of putting it is it was giving someone who doesn’t have the opportunity to prove themselves, to do that. Not even hiring them straight up, it was like, ‘here’s your shot.’ If you take it and do well, you deserve your spot. If not, we will keep to the NA talent.”
After being the lone OPL graduate in the LCS for 18 months, Lost is now joined by five more LCS starters, 10 LCS Academy players, and five Oceanic coaches in North America. He’s no longer fighting an uphill battle by himself. Instead, he’s got the heads of state with him.
“We started off as a region where the overall perception of OCE players was ‘they’re all bad, they’re not competent whatsoever.’ If you ask any normal competitive League viewer before about OCE players, they’d say ‘if they went to any major region, they’d get stomped.’
“At least now, it’s like ‘some OCE players can perform well and hold their own against LCS players’ — and hopefully in the future, that extends to LEC, LCK, LPL players too.
“I just think it’s cool to see that growth from way before. I think it’s awesome that more people are here. If anything, it’s a tribute to how far we’ve come as a region.”
However, he hasn’t had much time to catch up with his former OPL adversaries — not even teammates Aaron “ChuChuz” Bland and James “Tally” Shute (both with Golden Guardians).
“I’d love to keep up with all the lads from OCE, but all of us are basically waking up at nine, playing scrims until six, we eat dinner, then we play solo queue. We don’t have the time or energy to go out all the time and keep up,” he admitted.
A second chance in the LCS with TSM
Lost’s journey through the LCS has been tough. He jumped across Echo Fox’s main and Academy teams in 2018 and 2019.
Then, when the organization exploded in August 2019, he was teamless, but more importantly, homeless in a foreign country. His visa was ticking as he shuttled between the LCS studio to practice for a then-non-existent future in League.
Thankfully, TSM saved him in the 2020 off-season, picking him up for their Academy roster. He rebuilt his reputation, almost taking home an Academy title for himself in 2020 Summer. It was enough to justify his promotion to the LCS after Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng retired.
Despite earning back his LCS starter spot, though, Lost isn’t satisfied with just existing. He wants to excel.
“I’m not content or happy with all of the ‘accomplishments.’ I don’t think I’ve achieved anything yet. I’d hope for some time this year to have the public perception of me be that I’m a top two ADC in NA. I don’t think it’s been consistently like that, and I don’t think I’m there right now, so that’s a milestone I want to reach.”
“He’s really experienced, he’s been playing at such a high level for so long, so it’s just second nature to him. I’m learning a lot week by week,” he said.
“The biggest difference between him and all the other supports in NA is that he’s just so much more aggressive. For better or worse, that’s the best way to improve and play. NA is used to slow and controlled games where teams are so risk-averse.”
Now, after finally getting out of the gates against Evil Geniuses in the LCS 2021 Mid-Season Showdown, TSM can see the potential yet arduous path to MSI. According to their AD carry, it just comes down to who shows up on the day.
“Playoffs are a test of how good your fundamentals are and how much you’ve worked throughout the split. [Against Evil Geniuses], we had a lot of rough early games and a lot to clean up. We had a lot of opportunities we missed,” Lost admitted.
And for as far away as it is, Lost has his sights set on Worlds. TSM are in pole position to lock up one of NA’s three spots at the big dance. However, he’s not kicked on cruise control, as the middle of the pack is breathing down their neck.
“I’m a big fan of people being able to improve. I’ve never been the kind of person who thinks that if you’re talented enough, you’ll always have an edge on people who work hard. That is true to an extent, but the mid-tier teams are capable of beating Liquid and Cloud9.”
However, there’s a bit of history on the line if he makes it there. He will become the first OCE player to represent NA at Worlds and make it to the Main Stage, and he wants to carry the flag high for his home region.
“That would be pretty cool, actually. To say that I’m the first Oceanic player to make Worlds on an NA team. That’s a cool title. I’d like to have that,” he said.
TSM will face off against the winner of Dignitas and 100 Thieves on April 4 — Lost’s 22nd birthday — as they continue their LCS 2021 Mid-Season Showdown run.