FlyQuest had a turbulent week 6 of the 2021 League of Legends Championship Series Summer Split, but no one could match the rollercoaster ride of top laner Colin "Kumo" Zhao. Following Eric "Licorice" Ritchie's transfer to Golden Guardians on Tuesday, July 6, Kumo started for both FlyQuest and FlyQuest Academy. With Kumo pulling double duty in the top lane, both squads under the FlyQuest banner went a combined 7-0, snapping the LCS squad's 10-game loss streak in the process.
One week after Licorice's transfer, Kumo spoke to Inven Global about his 7-0 week 6 on FlyQuest and FLY Academy, returning to the LCS, and his growth as a player.
Last week, you played seven competitive matches and won every single one. What are your takeaways from that experience?
My experience with it was just a really busy week. I had to play with the LCS team in scrims, and after that, I had to play in the Academy matches, too. It was pretty hectic. I don't think I had much time to prepare for each game I was playing, especially the ones for FLY Academy since I was just kind of thrown into them, but I'm glad it ended up turning out well.
I think we did decently well for me just being thrown in there. It was pretty hectic overall, but I got a lot of enjoyment out of playing against all of those teams.
Things went well despite your lack of preparation. Was there another factor that you think led to both FlyQuest and FlyQuest Academy's success last week?
I've just been working really hard on how I can improve as a player. I'm becoming a player that can do everything, I guess. I'm still working on it; I think you can always work on that. I just want to be someone that can do everything, and right now, I think I'm able to a lot better than before. In the past, I was a lot less knowledgeable about the game, so I would say I leveled up a lot in that regard.
When Licorice was transferred to Golden Guardians, what was your reaction to finding out you were starting for both teams?
Obviously, we had a meeting when Licorice was traded, and it was pretty hard to find someone to take my place on FLY Academy right away. That's always a pretty tall task, so I was fine with it. Someone has to play those games, you know? It wasn't too big of a deal, I would say.
You had to do this last season on Evil Geniuses as well. Did that experience help you this time around?
Actually, I didn't really think about that. For me, it just felt like a busier week. *laughs* I wouldn't say I was too worried or anything because I had a lot of confidence in myself, and also, how we play.
While it would have been too quick to bring a new player last week, FLY Academy now has a new top laner in Philip "Philip" Zeng. If Philip had not been signed, do you think you would have been able to survive playing for both teams for another week?
I definitely would have preferred not to, especially because this week's matches are on a new patch. I would like to get as much practice with the main team as possible on the new patch. Losing a lot of time to play the Academy matches could be a pretty big hindrance, at least for our LCS team.
In week 5, three FlyQuest Academy members, including yourself, were promoted to the LCS for FLY's last match of the week. Did that experience help you feel comfortable in week 6 when the entirety of FLY Academy started in the LCS?
Actually, I somehow felt more nervous this time. When it was just me, Tomo and Diamond, I felt really comfortable on stage. *laughs* Somehow, I was feeling really nervous for the first two LCS games last week.
The nerves didn't seem to affect your performance, and now, you've solidified a spot on an LCS roster once again. How do you think you've grown as a player throughout your time on FlyQuest Academy, and how do you think that will translate to the LCS going forward?
In the past, I've always been surrounded by really knowledgeable players and veterans. I was more of a sheep in the past; I would just follow. *laughs* I feel like in terms of game knowledge, it feels like I didn't think as much when I was playing. I didn't see the overall map state and all of that stuff, so that's been a problem I've been working on fixing a lot.
I think I've improved to a point where I pretty much know what I need to do during the game, and overall, I've greatly increased my game knowledge as I've combined it with my skill.
Is there anything you'd like to say to the FlyQuest fans before your LCS matches this week?
We have a really tough week ahead of us. *laughs* We're against three of the top teams, so I hope you guys keep supporting us. Hopefully, we can make the miracle run.
All images by: Tina Jo/Riot Games via ESPAT