In his first split as Head Coach, Anand "Curry" Agarwal has led FlyQuest through its best post-season run in the history of the organization. FlyQuest entered the 2020 League of Legends Championship Series Spring Playoffs as the 4th seed, and finds itself one game away from the Finals in a guaranteed top 3 finish.
Curry spoke to Inven Global's Nick Geracie to talk about FlyQuest's narrow victory over TSM, adjusting to competing online in the post-season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the upcoming Semifinals rematch against Evil Geniuses.
I'm joined by FlyQuest Head Coach Curry. How are you feeling after narrowly defeating TSM?
*Laughs* It's definitely a triumph. We got blown out in game 4, so we went with more of an early game composition in game 5 and we did the same, so it felt really good to play it that well at the end and get a really clean win. I feel really good right now, and really happy with how we played.
TSM came out of the gate quicker in game 4 than the other games. Was that a matter of their draft, or was it just a rough game for FlyQuest that allowed them to win so convincingly?
TSM definitely had its best game plan out of all of the drafts in that game. They got a good jungle matchup and picked a mid lane champion that could really influence side lanes, so they did a good job. I don't think we made a lot of mistakes in that game. TSM didn't actually play too aggressively, but they looked for some pretty good plays, and they worked. I don't think it was necessarily played super well, but it was definitely TSM's best game today.
What gave FlyQuest the confidence of running the extra same composition against TSM in game 2? After winning game 1, they seemed happy to do so, but you guys ended up winning the second time around.
The salty runback! *Laughs* I think as the first game went on we made a lot of mistakes, but we understand our win condition more and more in terms of our composition. In game 1, we weren't doing the right things.
We were looking for the wrong fights, looking for the wrong targets, and in general, we honestly had some pretty bad engages in game 1. We were up 4,000 gold at a fight near the Dragon that we ended up losing. We did a good opportunity to turn for Baron Nashor later in the game, but we messed that up, too.
The game plan failed because of our execution, and we were really confident in the composition in theory. We liked our champions, and we got them again and knew we wouldn't mess it up, and we didn't. In the second game, we played our composition the way it should have been played.
How is competing online affecting preparation for the 2020 LCS Spring Playoffs?
It's definitely a very different feeling. Everyone's at their own home in their rooms, and we're still figuring it out. The biggest difference for me is that everything feels a lot more relaxed. I don't mean that in a bad way, necessarily.
When you're at the LCS studio and the players set up on stage, then come back to the team's room before having to frantically get back on stage again for the game. It's very rushed and panicky and the energy is very high, so it's a different feeling when compared to us playing online. After a game ends online, you have time to talk about the game and what you want to do for the next Draft Phase, so that aspect feels much more comfortable.
This is definitely different from what I'm used to, but I think it's a lot easier to reset before the next game. It feels more like a scrim day; if you have a bad game, you just take what you can and move onto the next one. Everyone was very relaxed in our series against TSM and just focused on the next game after one ended.
Colin "Solo" Earnest started for FlyQuest in all five games today, and recently, we've seen both him and Omran "V1per" Shoura start in the top lane for the team. Can you explain the strategic reasons for starting Solo all five games today?
There's not necessarily anything specific for us, it's mostly just about game flow and how we feel players are working and communicating within the team. Our drafts are a big factor, too. Taking all of those things into consideration, Solo is playing super well. Even though he had a rough game 4 today, he knew what he did wrong and what he had to do to bounce back. Our coaching staff felt really comfortable that what we had planned was working, so we just stuck with it.
For FlyQuest to make the 2020 LCS Spring Finals, you will have to defeat Evil Geniuses, who you lost to in your first post-season series. Is there anything you feel that your team learned from that first series that will help you in this Semifinals matchup?
I think there's a lot we learned in terms of what they are good at and how they want to play, as well as what we need to do differently to adjust to those things. Honestly, in that first series against EG, we felt like we had a really good idea on how to beat them going into both game 3 and game 4. What happened in game 4 for us to lose was really unfortunate, especially with the pause because we were in a really good position before it.
Stylistically, it's harder for our team to play against TSM than it is Evil Geniuses. I'm really confident that next time we play it, the games are going to look a lot more like the second half of our first series against EG instead of the first half. It's going to be a much better series for us.
Thanks for the interview, Curry. Is there anything you want to say to the FlyQuest fans?
I want to thank all of the fans for sticking with us. Obviously, our start to the post-season was disappointing, but I'm grateful for everyone who stuck through it with us. Hopefully, we can show those people that we can be a really good team. I'm looking forward to beating EG and playing against C9 in Finals.