Despite jungler Brandon Joel "Josedeodo" Villegas not arriving until week 2 of the 2021 League of Legends Championship Series Lock In due to visa issues, FlyQuest managed to escape Group B as its 3rd seed, and faced off against Team Liquid, the 2nd seed from Group B, in the quarterfinals. FlyQuest played well given little to no time to develop synergy between five new players, but it was not enough to overcome TL, who took the series 2-0.
Josedeodo sat down with Inven Global following FlyQuest's elimination from the LCS Lock In to talk about jungling against Team Liquid's Lucas "Santorin" Larsen, his play at the 2020 League of Legends World Championship, and why Cloud9 jungler Robert "Blaber" Huang is the player h is looking forward to playing against more than anyone else in North America.
Now that you've had a few days in the US, what are your first impressions and thoughts on your play?
I think I did a pretty nice job in general. I didn't feel any pressure of playing against Santorin, for example. I feel like he's a really good player, and after watching his replays, I feel like I did a pretty nice job tracking him and trying to figure out what he was going to do next. I'm pretty okay with my plays today, but I think I'm still missing some aggression. That's what I lacked today for sure *laughs* so that was my only problem with my play today.
It was nice to see FlyQuest's full squad play a series, but are you currently quarantined away from the team since you recently arrived?
Yeah, we are quarantined in separate rooms so it is pretty remote. Obviously, things will change when we get back into the office. When you're in the office, you're able to see people in person and you will always start talking about League because you're not in rooms alone.
I don't know, it's different. I dont know how to explain it, but I think when we can go back into the office, it will be pretty good for our team in terms of gaining synergy and getting in shape for the next season. For now, it's fine, it's still been really nice.
So far you have only had the chance to play against a handful of players in the LCS. Is there anyone you haven't faced yet that you're looking forward to playing against?
*Laughs* I want to face Blaber, I think he is the most punishing LCS jungler. Normally, I only play with or against Blaber in solo queue, so it will be really interesting to face off against him in an actual match. I feel like it's Blaber first, then Santorin, but I don't feel like Santorin punishes you in the jungle as much as Blaber does, so I'd say it has to be Blaber.
FlyQuest's 2021 roster is five new players. As a jungler, is it easier or harder to join a team without a pre-established core?
In the short-term, it's probably easier to join an established team. However, if you think in the long-term, I think it's better to play with a new roster. If you're with the same players all the time, that can be bad, and I think you gain more and get better from playing with new players on a new roster. We've never played with each other before, so I think we have more to gain in the long-term, whereas things will be better for Santorin, who joined an established roster, in the short-term.
What else about FlyQuest made the team an appealing destination for you this off-season?
In general, I had some offers, but when I think about offers, I don't think of anything but the roster. I feel pretty comfortable with these players, and I knew I had made the right decision with FlyQuest. Even though we just lost to Team Liquid, I'm pretty sure we'll be able to get better in time. I had the same approach when I joined Rainbow7 last season.
Even though people didn't like our roster at the start, it looked really good from my perspective, and I have the same expectations for this year. We have a good team and I'm pretty comfortable with it. I think we will be pretty good as long as we are still doing things to improve.
Even so, the way the team played with you just arriving here a few days prior to the series is a good start for the new FlyQuest. We've spoken about the roster, but how is it working with your new coaching staff? Have you had a chance to form an impression?
Yeah, I think this coaching staff is very different from any staff I worked with in the LLA, but I think they've been pretty helpful for me in ways I didn't have in LATAM. For example, I think there were things my previous coaches didn't know how to approach with their players, so I think having that on FlyQuest is really helping us as a team.
Our coaches watch all the replays and always trying to figure out how we can play better. That's really good in general, but I never had that experience in LLA as a player, so it's really good for me individually, too. Our coaches are helping us improve all the time in a lot of ways every day right now.
Worlds 2020 was the first time many LoL esports fans around the globe were introduced to you. Did you expect to get the attention you got at Worlds for your play on Rainbow7?
I don't know, I don't think I played that well at Worlds. I think it was more the hype from the fans and I think that may helped me get scouted by more organizations this off-season. *Laughs* Of course, I'm not saying I played badly at Worlds 2020. I think I did a nice job in general, but there were some games — like the one against PSG Talon, for example — where I'm pretty sure I played really poorly.
There are some things I lacked that I needed to improve on, but at the end of the day, I did attract the interest of some teams. That being said, the hype from the fans was probably a bigger contributing factor to that anything else.
Were there reasons you wanted to play in the LCS outside of the actual competition?
I'd say I'm here mainly for the competition, but some days I tend to think that if I do well in North America, it could help other players. If I do well, it will be helpful for the LLA region in general because then LCS teams may look for more players to import from there. I think that if I do well, it will probably help other players looking to do what I did.
When it comes to me personally, I only think about myself and my team to prioritize winning over everything. When I was in LLA, I didn't think it was possible to win worlds, but this opportunity has given me new expectations for what I can accomplish in that regard. Therefore, I'd have to say winning worlds is what drives me more than anything else.
Thanks for the interview, Josedeodo. Is there anything that you'd like to say to your fans?
Yeah, I want to thank them all for cheering for me and FlyQuest. Even if we lost today, they must know that they need to watch us along the year, so I'm pretty happy with how people cheered for us. Even though we lost, people were saying things to us like, "Don't worry, it's a new team," and other things like this, so I'm really happy about all of that. *Laughs* I don't know, I just want to thank all of my fans and make them proud, somehow.
All images by: Riot Games
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