FLY Hai on the mindset moving forward: "We’re competitive players, and we need to win"

Since acquiring the spot of C9 Challengers for 2017 NA LCS Spring, FlyQuest had placed 5th place with an average 9-9 record last split. However, that was the last season. In the Summer Split, FlyQuest now ranks near the bottom with an underwhelming 2-7 record. This is surprising, especially considering the addition of the veteran ADC, WildTurtle. We sat down with the team’s shotcaller, Hai, to discuss his thoughts on where they stand now and where they want to go in the second half of the split.

**This interview was conducted on Saturday, July 1st.

▲ FlyQuest Hai Lam

With the first half of the split rounding up, how do you feel about the FlyQuest’s performance so far?

I would say our performance speaks for itself. We’re 2-7 right now, which is pretty bad. But I feel like we’re not a 2-7 team. When you compare our record to teams of previous seasons with similar records, I feel like we’re relatively stronger than them. We just had a bad first half, and I think we’re going to pull it back.

What do you think held you guys the most in the first half?

We lacked direction as a team of what to do. In previous teams I played in, I have been the main focus of what we do in late games. For the first half of the split we’ve been trying to veer away from that, and now we’re bringing it back by having more focus on one person deciding what to do. So, we’re going back to our roots now in a sense. I think it’s working out for us.

Was there anyone who grounded the team when things weren’t going well?

I don’t know if there’s necessarily anyone on the team that could just bring everyone’s morale up. Due to nature of our losing so much, it doesn’t matter how strong or enthusiastic of a person you are. When you’re losing for months on end straight like half a year in both practice and matches, you’re simply not happy. No matter what anyone does about it, everyone’s sad. We all try to stay happy and motivated, but we definitely need to play better and start winning. That’s when people will come back to being at full power, so to speak, and I think we’re getting there. So as a team, we’re all just trying to get back. We’re competitive players, and we need to win.

From the team’s perspective, what has changed since the addition of WildTurtle?

As far as the skill levels go between turtle and Altec, they’re relatively the same. WildTurtle likes making plays and being more aggressive, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I actually think it’s a good thing. Altec would play it safe and more calculated while waiting for opportunities, whereas WildTurlte makes opportunities. We play much better as a team when ADCs are being aggressors, and we’re the ones making the first move. When we’re on the back end of things, we aren’t as good as other teams playing reactively. For us to have another playmaker is a good thing.

Many players we interviewed pointed to FlyQuest being the team to watch out for in the second half of the split. Why do you think that’s the case?

People might look down on us for our being in the last place with a 2-7 record in the first half, but we recently picked it up and did a 180 from what has happened before. We’re still behind everyone and playing catching up from really far back. But the amount we’re getting better in the time is very promising. We’ll be able to hopefully surge back to being a good team again.

Most teams are confident playing against more standard opponents who play a controlled and calculated attrition game, As a team, we have a goal, and, when we hit it, we just go. It’s hard to play against teams that are willing to go all-in for an objective or a play. So, playing against teams like that will always be a struggle because they force you to play differently.

Are there any specific teams that gave you the most trouble so far in the split?

I wouldn’t say there were specific teams because we’ve basically lost to almost every team. For me to name any specific teams wouldn’t make sense, but moving forward, I don’t care which teams we play — we just have to beat every single one of them. And they’re all going to be hard matchups because we’re starting from behind and we have lost to them already. We’re definitely on the back foot.

What are some things NA teams should keep in mind when facing EU teams at the upcoming Rift Rivals?

I personally don’t care whether we win or lose Rift Rivals. I don’t think it has any merit on what’s going to happen at Worlds. I think it’s an event that’s more for fans than it’s for teams. Teams in Rift Rivals lose a lot of practice traveling overseas, and even some EU teams don’t want to do it either. I would argue it’s a really cool event to spectate, but the outcome doesn’t concern me. That said, it’s going to be cool to watch, and I’m excited for it.

Tell us about your mindset going into the second half and feel free to leave any messages for fans.

For the last half of the split, we’re going to go into it with more confidence I felt we weren’t very confident in just anything including plays and teammates. It’s important that we come back strong in the second half because otherwise we won’t have a chance at Worlds, which is what we’re all striving for. We’re going to hold our heads up high, walk forward, and continue getting better. Hopefully, it’s enough. I appreciate all the fans’ support and understand that some people are upset when we’re doing poorly. Don’t get me wrong because we’re definitely upset as well. We’re doing everything we can, trying to improve as fast as possible so that we can live up to the expectations we have for ourselves and fans have for us.

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