FlyQuest Santorin: "On TSM, I didn't feel like I belonged at Worlds... Now I'm ready to prove myself."

▲ Image Source: Riot Games

 

After a 2-0 weekend launches FlyQuest into second place (tied with Immortals), Lucas "Santorin" Larsen talks to Parkes Ousley of Inven Global about FlyQuest's atmosphere and how it helped them bounce back from an 0-2 week. He dives into the problems FLY was facing, and how they overcame them, and where he hopes to take the team.

 

The best way to plant the most trees is FlyQuest going to Worlds, so that's what he aims to do. Watch the interview on our YouTube (please like and subscribe for more!) or read the transcription below.

 

 


 

Parkes Ousley here with Inven Global, joined by Santorin, the jungler for FlyQuest, after a 2-0 weekend, turning it around from last week's 0-2. So right off the bat, how is the team feeling after this 2-0? 

 

A lot better today. Yesterday we didn't feel good about it. I even wrote on Twitter that it was a clown fiesta. It just didn't feel good winning that game. Even though we got to late game and our comp was superior, I felt like TSM should've kept snowballing and we should've lost. And today, we just snowballed cleanly. There were a few hiccups here and there, but overall a lot better macro play, so I feel great. 

 

 

 

Yeah and yesterday of course, you have some things to learn, so that's good you can still learn from a win. And today is a really feel good win, so that's awesome. Going into this upcoming week, how do you think the team will be, especially compared to last week after the 0-2?

 

Well we only have three days of scrims since we're playing on a Monday, but I think everyone is really hungry to improve and win. Also, going 2-0 really gives you a confidence boost because it's very iffy against teams like TSM because we feel like they're pretty strong as well. 

 

Honestly, I think it'll only go up from here because we narrowed down our issues and how we have to improve on them and fix them. And even from yesterday to today, we are improving on a lot of aspects that we struggled with yesterday. 

 

 

And this puts you at second place tied with IMT, and you say you're only going up! Tell me about the mentality through the season. You started off strong, but it was 2-0, then 1-1, then 0-2, so that's really scary. But you got this 2-0 again. So do you feel like you had linear growth with weird results? Or do you feel like you just finally hit your stride and that's what helped the 2-0?

 

I think we went up-down-up, and that's because the first 2-0 week we felt really confident, so we were like, "Great!" because we were doing really well in scrims. Then the next week, we were still doing well in scrims, but I didn't feel like we were improving that much. Like we were making the same mistakes, we weren't getting punished because the teams we were playing against were just weaker.

 

So I felt really bad about our scrims and going into stage matches, because I felt like we hadn't improved on  anything in two weeks and the other teams were catching up to us. And that's probably why we went 0-2 that week. And now we're back on track. Like, holy s***, we have to fix these issues and actually start thinking more in game.

 

Before it felt like we were very much on autopilot, where it's just like, "Oh we can do that and that and that." And we didn't really take into consideration what the enemy could do and all that stuff. And I think that just came to the fact that the other teams we were scrimming didn't really punish us. So then when people were punishing us, that's why we got destroyed on stage, and this is why now we are finally developing as a team again. 

 

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So I think the biggest difference I see between your tough win against TSM and strong win against 100 Thieves is how you use Lee "IgNar" Dong-geun. You use him very differently when he's a cat attached to someone and when he's a hook champ or engager roaming around the map. So what is it like for you as the jungler, and how does him being on these hook champs change the playstyle for you guys?

 

I honestly just feel like IgNar is really, really great at these roaming supports and engage supports. I just feel like he's a different beast. Obviously as Yuumi he's doing really well too, but you have a limit on how much you can do as a Yuumi, whereas on Thresh, Leona, all these champs, he's just really good at seeing the angles, looking for plays, and I really enjoy working with him. Yeah we use each other well, but I think he just also knows what to do when it comes down to it which just makes my life so much easier.

 

 

And for FlyQuest in general, you've been there a couple years, last year you had certain initiatives and goals, but now you have a new facility, new CEO, new mindset, etc. So what is it like being there this year comparatively? 

 

It's a lot nicer because I finally feel like we stand for something and everyone knows we stand for something. I think last year, we did stand for something, but nobody knew what we stood for. So now, with Going Green and doing all these things like planting trees, I just love all that kind of stuff, and I love adding that to our gameplay, like, "Oh we gotta plant more trees!" At the end [of our 100 Thieves game] I was like, "Okay we gotta hit the nexus too, we don't want to be full G2 and just keep killing them at the nexus."

 

But in general it just feels way more comfortable and... Not in a comfortable where we are thinking it's fine to lose and stuff like that. [The management] is even more on us having to win too. They really want us to succeed and that's why they're doing all these steps to make us perform better. 

 

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It's been exciting and brought new life - sorry for the bad pun - but it's brought a lot of energy to the LCS because of all the other orgs getting more involved with you all. One other thing about the atmosphere at FlyQuest though... You are an extremely agreeable guy, but last week after the 0-2 we saw a much more serious tone from the review, and you specifically said, "I disagree." And I thought it was interesting. I want to know how the atmosphere is for you on this FLY squad specifically during these difficult conversations compared to before like back on TSM and H2K, which I know were much more difficult. How does FLY enable you to play and improve?

 

I really like the atmosphere we have on FlyQuest. I think there's a lot to it. For example, we're really good friends, but in review, friendship is taken aside and we just want to get to the point. Like, we're a little blunt, we say how we feel and get to the root of the problem.

 

And then after the review, everyone is friends again. And we'll even sometimes get to the point where we have an argument and things get a little heated and stuff like that, but the second the review is over, we're all good again. And that's something I really like, and for me, that's a more European kind of environment where you can just kind of say what you need to say.

 

And also, adding David "Dlim" Lim to our roster as our assistant coach, he kind of brings that too kind of where he's really blunt about things. Curry has been blunt about things as well, so I really enjoy how it is right now, and as long as people keep understanding it's just criticism, it has nothing to do with personality or friendships, it's going to keep being great.

 

 

So maybe you can change the meta that way, not only the tree planting, but the vod review! Anything you want to say to the FlyQuest fans? You said before you can only go higher from here, so how high will it go?

 

Well for Spring, obviously we want to make playoffs first, and then be top 3. And then for Summer, that's when it really matters for us as well as probably every other organization. I really want to go to Worlds. I haven't been for five years. I really want to go back and show what I got now.

 

Back when I was on TSM I didn't feel like I belonged at Worlds, and I felt kind of misplaced. Whereas now, I feel like I'm actually ready to prove myself at Worlds. So I really want to go to Worlds with FlyQuest and plant more trees.

 

▲ Image Source: Riot Games

 

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