FlyQuest has been turning heads in the 2019 LCS Spring Split. The projected bottom-table side is 3-1 after two weeks of play. A convincing 2-0 week one against Golden Guardians and OpTic Gaming had FlyQuest coming in as the favorite against Counter Logic Gaming on Saturday, but CLG triumphed and FLY took its first loss of the season.
Sunday brought an even bigger challenge. FlyQuest was facing against TSM, the former home of FLY Bot Laner Jason "WildTurtle" Tran and Jungler Lucas "Santorin" Tao Kilmer Larsen. TSM was expected to win across the analyst desk, but FlyQuest showed up big to make up for Saturday's disappointment.
WildTurtle led his team to victory against his former squad, finishing an impressive 7/2/7 on Kai'Sa. FlyQuest holds sole possession of 2nd place and trail a 4-0 Team Liquid in the standings. The triumphant marksman sat down with Inven Global after defeating TSM to talk about FlyQuest's hot start, his new teammates, and the improvement mindset.
I'm joined by WildTurtle. FlyQuest is now 3-1 after triumphing over TSM. Has this split started how you expected?
We still have a lot of things to work on. Even though we beat TSM, I don't think we necessarily played as well as we could have. Our play wasn't exceptional; we just ended up getting a few leads and thankfully, we were able to snowball with what he had.
I think there are still things we can work on as a team that we aren't that good at. I am pretty happy that we're 3-1, but we're still a long way from being a good team like TL.
You and Juan "JayJ" Guibert had a pretty good laning phase against Zven and Smoothie. Do they need more time to gel before they can match your duo?
I think it was due to the matchup. Kai'Sa/Ornn is a duo that can bring more impact if the players are familiar with it because of how you can engage together. They had Ezreal/Braum, and in that lane, you don't really do much besides poking. You don't really have angles, so Ezreal is just farming up and Braum's job is to keep him safe.
FlyQuest stole two Barons this game, the first one by Eugene"Pobelter" Park on Zoe. Were there any communications in the moment regarding a potential steal?
No, we didn't even know he had smite. I think in our comms, we were already talking about the fight, so having him steal the Baron was definitely a surprise. We thought TSM was already to going to secure Baron, but we ended up stealing the it and winning the fight anyways.
The second one was towards the end of the game by Santorin, and after the steal, FlyQuest took a 3-1 and the game was all but over. Then, you went back in too early and died, and while
it all worked out in the end, it felt like everyone was on different pages.
Nah, I was trolling 100%. I don't even know what to say about that one. I definitely went a little bit too fast because I thought I did more damage. It was just reckless of me.
Even so, your performance on Kai'Sa was excellent, and FlyQuest has gotten a strong start to the LCS. Most people perceived FlyQuest as a bottom 3 team, so what have people overlooked?
I don't know, people just hate on us for no reason. I don't really know what it is, because we're just kids having a blast playing video games.
FlyQuest added Omran "V1per" Shoura to the roster as the starting Top Laner. As a veteran player and leader on your team, have you helped him try to settle in as a rookie?
I think V1per is a really great player, but since he's a rookie, he makes some mistakes. Overall, he's a really good player and I'm really happy to play with him. A lot of people give him sh*t for 'not being that good', but I think he's a really wonderful player and I think that he has the potential to grow and be really good by the end of the split.
V1per came from Team Liquid Academy, making him your second teammate along with JayJ to be promoted to the LCS. Do you think the NA Academy League is a better system than the NA Challenger Series?
Honestly, I have no idea. I was a player who came from NA CS, so I never really got to experience Academy. I liked how Challenger was, but I think both systems are relatively similar.
Last year, JayJ joined the team full time midway through the year. This year, he's starting the year with the team. How has he grown since he started playing with you in summer?
He's been growing pretty steadily. I wouldn't say he's amazing yet, but he's improving at a really good pace and I like the way that he is getting better. I think his biggest weakness right now is inexperience, so once he gets a little bit more game knowledge, he will be a great Support.
You used to play with Pobelter on Immortals. Has he changed as a player since you last were on a team together?
I think he's still the same. He says he's gotten a lot better, and I'm sure he has, but to me, he's still the same Pobelter.
Invert has now stepped in as the Head Coach of FlyQuest. How has his role changed in the organization, and how does he compare to other coaches in your career?
Invert's a great coach. He has accomplished a lot of great things, and he led FlyQuest Academy to a championship in the 2018 NA Academy League Spring Split. I love working with him, he's very level-headed and doesn't get swayed by his emotions.
We're seeing a ton of flexibility in the meta, and you've been known for your flexibility as a player. Are we going to get any weird Turtle picks in the Bot Lane?
Yeah, for sure. I always want to play different picks in the Bot Lane, it's always kind of been my thing. But it really has to fit in the team composition we are playing, and a lot of the times, having a marksman is pretty vital for a team comp. It's very hard to stray away from the traditional AD Carries because they are staples in the meta nowadays. They're good champions to rely on.
Where do you think FlyQuest fits in the playoffs picture?
It's really hard to say; it's pretty early. I think we'll have a playoff run, I'm just not sure how we'll place in the seeding. I'm also not sure how far we will get in playoffs, but I think it will come down to how much we improve in the next few weeks.
What is this team of five players on FlyQuest have that last year's team did not?
I think we're all really good friends outside of the game. We have really good team atmosphere. When we have really bad games, no player harps on it and makes it worse than it is. Obviously, we don't shrug off the game completely, but we pinpoint the problem quickly and we get over it quickly.
Our performance yesterday was a big difference when compared to today's game. We were definitely trolling yesterday against CLG, but we pinpointed our problems yesterday and came in much stronger today. Obviously our game wasn't perfect, but it was a lot better than yesterday's.
How are you approaching 2019 when compared to previous seasons?
I'm approaching 2019 with a much more laid back style. Before, I got really tilted, but now, I have a much more positive mindset. I know that no matter that what game we lose that we are not doomed, and that we will be able to progress further. I think having the improvement mindset is what got me where I am today, so I'm going to keep it.
Is that how you are able to not dwell on past results or games?
Exactly. I'm able to look forward now and just focus on improving. If you get tilted from a loss, it's really hard to keep improving. I don't want to get unmotivated, I want to play good League of Legends.
In the off-season, did you take any time to think about the future, as a player or person?
Somewhat, but I'm really the kind of guy who lives in the moment. Whatever life gives me, I just try to make the best out of it. It's been working for me so far. I know it's pretty smart to look out there and see what's in store for you, but I really like this mindset I have.
Honestly, I don't want to have anxiety in thinking about my future, and a lot of people have that. I'd rather just take whatever life gives me, and I'll be able to tackle anything.
Thanks so much for the interview, Wildturtle. Is there anything you'd like to say to your fans?
I just wanted to say thank you to all of my fans. I know I haven't had that much of a presence in terms of social media or anything like that, but i know there are people out there that still support me even though I haven't really been showing my love to them. I'm just doing my own thing right now.