After climbing through the upper bracket to reach their second League Championship Series Grand Finals of the year, FlyQuest lost their series against TSM in five games, heading to Worlds as NA's second seed. They lost the first two games, but came back in games three and four to tie the series up and send it to the final Silver Scrapes of the LCS this year, but failed to pull off the reverse sweep. Regardless, FlyQuest greatly over-performed based on people's expectations before and throughout the split, and will proudly represent NA at Worlds for their first time as an org.
During Game 2, Jason "WildTurtle" Tran's power went out, causing an hour-long pause and requiring his transportation across Los Angeles to their gaming house to rejoin the match. We spoke with Tristan "PowerOfEvil" Schrage about how the pause affected the series, Søren "Bjergsen" Bjerg's Zilean, his thoughts on Worlds, and who he hopes to face in Groups.
You can watch the video interview on our YouTube channel, or read the transcript below. Note, not all questions are included in the transcript.
It's been about an hour or so since the series against TSM ended. What's been going through your head?
We're still trying to eat it all up. It's been such a long day. We started around 1pm and the finals ended around 7pm. It was much later. We started 0-2, then we had this one-hour pause because WildTurtle didn't have power in his apartment. It was sad in the end.
Definitely, I think a lot of fans are sad. You guys did a lot to grow the brand this year. But it was definitely an entertaining series and you guys almost came back.
Can you talk to me about the second game? There's been a big discussion going around about whether it should've been remade, or be chrono-breaked, or have draft redone... How was it with you? What was the discussion when the pause happened?
No, I don't think the game should've been remade or chrono-breaked. It was pretty fairly handled. What you guys didn't see is when we paused the game, it was 1-6 in kills, top and bot had just died. The reason why we initially paused the game was there was a Pantheon bug and he accidentally ulted on the spot. That was the initial pause. We figured that out, found out it wasn't a bug and it was just a misclick. And then randomly, WildTurtle disconnected, he called our manager on the phone, saying he doesn't have power. That's why we had this hour-long pause because we had to bring him over to the gaming house.
There was no reason to chrono-break, it was a fairly handled situation. It's good that you ask, though, because there's sometimes discussions about these pauses, but I feel like this was a very fairly handled one and deserved no further diligence.
Personally, I felt that they should've remade. I felt really bad for Turtle...
Oh, you mean we should've remade because it's so weird to come out for an hour. It's definitely something weird because I don't think this has ever happened. I don't think the teams had the same efficiency talking about the next three-four minutes because 1) WildTurtle has been trying to get to us for an hour, so we have four players talking about the game. It's an advantage, but I wouldn't say it's too big.
The bigger thing is 2) as the pause hit, they were 6-1 [in kills], they are in the driving seat, so they have the next three-four minutes talking about what they want to do and we're more in the position of, "Are we gonna contest this now? We're behind, should we fight? Should we scale?" We don't really have that much agency in this discussion. It was favoring TSM a bit, but I wouldn't say it's a big deal.
Despite losing the series, what do you make of the strength of FlyQuest and the LCS in general, keeping in mind that Golden Guardians looked really well in the end, Cloud9 looked really bad... Do you feel we sent the best three teams to Worlds? Or if they are seeded correctly?
I definitely feel we deserve first or second. I felt TSM played better today, so congrats to them, honestly. We had options to win today, but we weren't good enough or fast enough.
But we obviously deserve our placement. We won against Team Liquid, we won against Cloud9, we had this close series against TSM. As for TL's third place, I feel they're a strong team and if they can make it through Play-ins, it's going to help them a lot.
I feel our whole region should work together now and not against each other. We have to try and fight together, you know? [laughs]
You kept banning the Zilean after the first game. Did you just decide it's better to keep Bjergsen off of it?
It's one of their stronger team styles, they do really well around Zilean. I feel like we identified later on in the series that BrokenBlade was doing a really good job for them and we should've maybe targeted top a bit more.
You said you wanted the LCS to work together as a region at Worlds. But if you give advice to the other teams that will meet Bjergsen, would it just be "Ban the Zilean" or "Find some weird counter pick to play into it"?
I don't know, I still think that Zilean is not that unbalanced. He has a very particular style — he buffs your teammates and if you walk into him, he'll be really annoying. It's like Teemo with his shrooms, but it's bombs instead. He's really strong but not uncounterable. I feel scaling mages could be really good against him and if the overall composition is good... Maybe if we had more engage in bot lane or a stronger ganking jungler, it could've been different for us. I can see a team maybe going for Kassadin or something.
But teams should definitely watch out. [laughs] They need to be ready for it, because TSM are gonna pick it, no matter what. They need to be ready.
What are your thoughts about the best mid laners? I think it's interesting that you, Jensen, and Bjergsen are the three going to Worlds and you're the three voted into the All-Pro. You also were on the MVP ballot but didn't make it past top 5. I talked to Santorin about that and he was like "Argh, we deserve top 5!" He thought that you and him were undervalued when looking at the top 10 nominated, and then you were among the first five eliminated.
I agree we should've made a longer run. That was definitely weird, but it is what it is. It's somewhat of a popularity vote too, right? We showed what we're capable of, making it to the finals in Spring and now make it again through the upper bracket and getting the series to five games. Beating other mid laners on the way, I think I really showed what I was capable of.
Now, in the end, it's really tough to say who the best mid laner is. There are so many different factors. When you look at this last series, me and Bjergsen played very different styles, so it's hard to compare: he played TF and Zilean, and I played Azir and Orianna. It'd be easier to compare me to someone like Jensen, who plays a similar style, or to a Korean mid laner who plays my champions.
Speaking of Korean mid laners — and just mid laners in general — we're going to Worlds next. If you could choose your group, who'd you choose just purely based on match-ups, playing against certain people?
I would choose Rogue to meet against Hans Sama with IgNar. I think that'd be hilarious. [laughs] Besides that, I don't feel like I'd choose specific teams. I'm just happy that we can face the best of the best and show what I'm capable of. Whoever's at Worlds is obviously really f****** good. Just facing off against mid laners like Chovy or ShowMaker and seeing how I match up against them, similar to 2017 when I faced Faker, it'd be the dream. Hopefully we can represent and make this region proud!
How many LCS teams get out of groups this year?
I don't even know the groups yet. [laughs] It's impossible to say. There are legit zero expectations on us. From everything I've seen, everyone expects NA teams to go 0-6. Honestly, we can only do better than that. [laughs]
It's similar to when we were Misfits: people thought we'd be losing the groups but we made it out. Hopefully, we can do it again.
Images by Riot Games
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