[Worlds 2020] FLY IgNar on NA's flop: "There's a clear difference in the NA meta compared to other regions."

 

On the final day of group stages at the 2020 LoL World Championship, FlyQuest finished in 3rd place with a 3-3 record in group D. Starting the day with a 1-3 record, their tenure was already decided after their loss against DRX in the first match of the day. However, not only were they able to create the biggest upset in the tournament by defeating TOP Esports, a team that many consider to be the best in the world, they were able to use the momentum to also defeat Unicorns of Love and exited the tournament on a positive note.

 

The support player for FLY, Lee “IgNar” Dong-geun, joined Inven Global for a post-match interview to reflect on his Worlds journey. 

 


 

Although it’s unfortunate that FlyQuest didn’t make it to the quarterfinals, the team ended their Worlds run on a very positive note. You must be feeling a mix of emotions right now.

 

While it sucks that we couldn’t make it to the quarterfinals, we knew that we were in a hard group, and since we ended on a very positive note, it feels good knowing that I can go home happy.


I guess that you don’t have to ‘swim’ back home, then?

 

I know that meme [laughs]. We did win a couple of games towards the end, so no, I don’t think so.


I want to talk about FLY’s win against TES. First, how does it feel to take a win against a team that many consider to be the best in the world?

 

As their opponents, we could all feel that they are an incredible team. Not only do all five of their players are mechanically gifted, they have this unnerving pressure that they bring with them as a unit. To be able to defeat a team like that makes me very happy, especially because I did it on Blitzcrank.

 

"As their opponents, we could all feel that they are an incredible team. Not only do all five of their players are mechanically gifted, they have this unnerving pressure that they bring with them as a unit."


It looks like the snowball started rolling right from the level 1 invade. Can you tell us how things were in that scenario?

 

Before the game started, we told ourselves that we should invade level 1, and when we went, we thought that the enemy wouldn’t fight us because we had a strong level 1 comp with Blitzcrank. After we started wraiths, the enemy started grouping up about five seconds later. Although we did feel threatened, we calmly took the fight, and the game started snowballing from there.


Was there a moment in the match where you realized that you were about to topple TES?

 

There were a couple of moments when I felt like we were going to win. When I killed Lux in lane, I felt like our chances of winning were high. After that, when I hooked Urgot, I was 80% sure we had this in the bag, and lastly, when I hooked Graves, I knew for certain that we won.


The draft in the following match against UOL was very interesting. Not only did the enemy pick Kassadin blind, but you also went for Blitzcrank once again, and PowerOfEvil picked mid Vayne. Can you talk me through how the draft went?

 

For some reason, the enemy blind picked Lulu, so I was left with a lot of options. To be honest, I didn’t plan on playing Blitzcrank once again, but my coaching staff just told me to Blitzcrank. In terms of mid Vayne, we never practiced her once in scrims, but PoE just went, “I think Vayne’s good here”, and he just picked Vayne.


A level 1 fight broke out in that game as well. In your opinion, why do you think there’s so many fights breaking out at level 1?

 

I definitely think there’s a huge LPL influence. There’s a huge difference in scrimming here as to scrimming back in NA. During scrims here, there were many games where we lost because we didn’t prepare our level 1's properly. It naturally transitioned to our games on stage, so that’s why I think there are so many level 1 fights.


Having picked Blitzcrank twice tonight, what’s Blitz’s tier in solo queue?

 

I personally think it’s pretty bad in solo queue. It’s a good pick to snowball when the team moves around it and not make mistakes. For example, Blitzcrank has nothing to do if the team falls behind and can’t get any angles on Rocket Grabs. It’s a tier 3 champion in solo queue, and should be picked as a counterpick to a certain matchup.    

 

"NA might be bad, but I personally don’t think infrastructural problems correlate with why the region is bad."


What’s the most disappointing and satisfying moment in FLY’s Worlds run?

 

The most disappointing moment would have to be when I played Pantheon against DRX. We had a good early lead, but our teamplay was all over the place. The most satisfying moment would definitely have to be against TES, when I hooked Karsa’s Graves on Blitzcrank.


There are a lot of opinions that cite NA’s underperformance on the international stage. From rumors such as LCS players not wanting to scrim against academy players due to job security, many people are critiquing the infrastructural problems that exist within NA teams. In your opinion, why do you think NA as a region continues to not deliver on the international stage?

 

There’s a clear difference in the NA meta compared to other regions. I personally think it’s due to the difference in meta. For example, among the NA players, there’s no one that can stop Bjergsen’s Zilean, yet it seemed very weak in this tournament. Players in NA practice different champions in solo queue, which affects the meta as well.

 

I don’t think there are players that don’t practice or not scrim with their academy players, because in the end, every player wants to get better. NA might be bad, but I personally don’t think infrastructural problems correlate with why the region is bad.

 

LCK Global caster, Nicholas "LS" De Cesare's tweet on NA teams' infrastructural problems

 

FLY tied TL’s group stage record of 3-3 and ended their Worlds journey. As NA’s #2 seed, how much prowess do you think you’ve shown at Worlds this year?

 

I don’t think we’ve shown our full potential. We made a lot of mistakes on stage, both in draft and in-game, so I’d say 70-80%. 


Lastly, what would you like to say to the fans cheering for you and FLY around the world?

 

Whenever I see fans cheering me and the team on, I’m always filled with lots of energy. Even if you may not be a fan, your interest is fuel to keep me going, so wherever I may pop up, please keep an eye on me.   

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