When FlyQuest signed mid laner Loïc "toucouille" Dubois to a three-year contract ahead of the 2022 LCS season, skepticism ran rampant throughout the League of Legends esports community. FLY had followed up a 2021 spring 8th place finish with a summer 9th place finish, and while changes were clearly needed, a mid laner from the LFL with zero major region experience was looked at by many as not the solution that the organization needed to return to a competitive standing.
Despite this, FlyQuest exhibited nothing but confidence to the public regarding toucouille’s LCS debut, even as prominent figures like David “Phreak” Turley evaluated FLY in the bottom two teams coming into the LCS Spring Split.
After a decent showing in the 2022 LCS Lock In, FLY got off to a red hot start in the Spring Split before ultimately settling for a post-season qualification as the 5th seed heading into the Spring Playoffs, with toucouille being awarded second team All-Pro honors for his excellent play in the mid lane. Let’s take a look at how FlyQuest set toucouille up to succeed in his debut LCS split and how the organization’s belief in the young mid laner improved has set them up for a prosperous future.
Road to the show
While toucouille’s entire pre-LCS career took place in the European Regional League scene, 2021 was a relatively successful year for him. His squad GameWard had trouble contesting the top spots in the standings, but toucouille was named the LFL Spring MVP for his stellar individual performance. Even when GW fell off in the summer and missed the post-season, toucouille remained the sole bright spot on the squad, though, admittedly, his form was not quite what it was during his MVP spring.
Despite GameWard’s middling results, toucouille knew that he had accomplished what he needed to open the doors of opportunity to complete in a major region. “At that time, I knew I was doing well and that as long as I played well, that is what would matter. The team I was on didn't have a lot of success, but I still managed to keep a good level,” toucouille explained in an interview with Inven Global before the start of the 2022 LCS season.
“I just wanted to do my best for the team and do my best individually. In between the two splits last year, I got tryouts for LEC, and I did pretty well. This is when I realized I was at the level to where I could compete in the LEC or the LCS."
In the off-season, toucouille had tryouts with LCS and LEC teams, but ultimately decided on FlyQuest because of the positive feedback he had received when soliciting opinions about the organization, especially in regards to the treatment of their players. The French mid laner also pointed towards head coach Alexey "Sharkz" Taranda, who had competed in the ERLs in previous seasons around the same time as a toucouille, as a big reason why he felt comfortable joining FlyQuest.
While toucouille’s first three weeks of the 2022 Spring Split were his most meteoric in terms of performance, the LCS rookie put up impressive numbers across the split on his way to 2nd All-Pro team honors.
Amongst mid laners who started over 50% of the games in the Spring Split, toucouille was 4th in assists (110), tied for 3rd with 100 Thieves mid laner Felix “Abbedagge” Braun in KDA (4.0), 2nd in kill participation (70.8%), 2nd in CS differential at 10 minutes (1.6), 5th in damage per minute (489), and most notably, 1st in percentage of team damage (30.6%).
When asked what led to such immediate success in the LCS before the final week of the Spring Split, toucouille attributed a lot of his quick adjustment to FlyQuest not trying to force him into a specific role after becoming acquainted with his style. “Before we even scrimmed, FlyQuest knew my strengths and weaknesses because I sent them some VoDs,” toucouille recalled. “They already knew my style, so that was really helpful.”
Despite toucouille’s confidence in FlyQuest, the Frenchman was understanding regarding external skepticism before his debut, especially in context of the team’s results. “I think people rated us way lower than we should have been before the season, but I kind of understand why. The team did not do well last year and they recruited me from the LFL. People who don't know about the LFL aren't going to be certain that I was going to be good,” toucouille explained.
“I can understand why people would predict us to be a bottom team, but since our first scrim, I never felt like we were going to be a bad team. I felt like we had a lot of potential from the start.”
FlyQuest’s proper facilitation of toucouille has paid off in spades for the rookie mid laner individually, but his presence in the roster has also seemed to make the returning pieces from FlyQuest 2021 better than the previous season.
The signing of veteran suppport Zaqueri “aphromoo” Black as an in-game leader and veteran presence for the team has allowed toucouille to focus entirely on what he does best: deal huge damage in teamfights.
This was not a beautiful accident, but rather, a carefully coordinated off-season plan by FlyQuest to build around the duo of toucouille and jungler Brandon Joel “Josedeodo” Villegas as the cornerstone of the 2022 season. Contrary to what one might expect, toucouille was eager to be a major part of his first LCS team, and his bond with Josedeodo, which started even before the season began.
"Obviously, there is pressure, but I wanted this to happen. I want to be a main part of the team and kind of lead our team, so that was nice. It's definitely the place I could see myself growing best, so I went for it," toucouille said. "In the end, if I want to become a really good player, I have to lead the team, so it's good."
Alongside toucouille, Josedeodo has had his best split in a FlyQuest jersey by a significant margin and finally delivered on what FLY fans expected when the Latin American jungler was signed after a stellar performance on Rainbow7 in 2020. Let’s take a look at a few statistics for Josedeodo this split and compare them to the 2021 LCS Spring Split, while contrasting both sets of data with the other junglers competing within those respective splits.
|Josedeodo - LCS jungler statistics||Assists||KDA||Kill Participation||Wards Per Minute||Control Wards Per Minute||Wards Cleared Per Minute|
|2022 Spring Split||118 [5th]||3.6 [6th]||73.5% [3rd]||.39 [3rd]||.34 [T-2nd]||.48 [2nd]|
|2021 Spring Split||99 [7th]||3.2 [8th]||66.5% [7th]||.32 [9th]||.31 [2nd]||.43 [4th]|
When Rainbow7 found success, it was often due to Josedeodo running the entire early game, and while FlyQuest 2022 has a very different style than R7 2020, the current roster allows Josedeodo to do what he does best.
Nearly every individual statistic for Josedeodo is down from 2021, but his KDA, Kill Participation, and number of assists have improved. Furthermore, Josedeodo has leveled up his vision control significantly since 2021, often providing the vision to allow toucouille to consistently scale into FLY’s primary damage threat in teamfights.
In an interview with Inven Global, Josedeodo attributed his improvements to a healthier team environment, particularly in the area of post-game feedback.
“The way we solve problems now is a lot easier to reach after games," the FlyQuest jungler admitted. "For example, when we finish a scrim, we talk about what we've improved on and what we still have to improve on, you know? Last year, it was like we lost...and that was it. Nothing. We didn't learn anything in scrims or on stage, so more than anything, it was frustrating."
Josedeodo's statements regarding his improvement being directly in relation to the team environment were echoed by toucouille: “The atmosphere of the team is really good too compared to what it was on FLY last year with all the losses. This is why Jose is shining more, and since we're better as a team, of course, his mechanics are going to be noticed more and his decision-making is going to look better."
Josedeodo admitted that he’s gotten more comfortable giving feedback individually than he was in 2021 now that he has a season of LCS play under his belt, which lines up with toucouille felt Josedeodo helped him immediately become comfortable on his new team from the start of the season: “He's my flatmate, and he's been really helpful. Since he's already been here for a year, he knows a lot of stuff, so he's helped me and taught me a lot of stuff, which was really nice."
It’s impossible to call toucouille’s first LCS split anything but a success, and despite being on arguably the best team of his career, the mid laner believes that he has also improved individually in his new environment:
“I was not seeing the possibilities that I see now. I've improved a lot in taking on more responsibilities. For example, if I see a play that I think is going to work, I'm going to fully commit to calling it. I'm saying, 'Let's go guys! We are doing it.' This is something I wasn't doing in LFL. I definitely think I've been taking more responsiiblity and I've improved my macro too."
toucouille will have to put the merit of his improvements to the test in his first LCS post-season match this Sunday when FlyQuest takes on Evil Geniuses with the threat of elimination looming overhead. However, regardless of match result, toucouille has established himself as a premiere LCS mid laner and has provided FlyQuest with a solid foundation in which they can continue to build upon in both the near and distant future.
All images by: Riot Games
All statistics by: Oracle's Elixir