It was one of the best matches, or maybe one of the most absurd matches in the history of the NA LCS.
In the 2018 NA LCS Summer Split Week 5 match between the 100 Thieves (100T) and FlyQuest (FLY), 100T dominated the whole match; except for the final two minutes. FLY made a bold decision and marched through the mid lane when 100T were on a 1-3-1 split. This kind of decision isn’t made by weak teams; FLY wasn’t that weak team from last spring.
After this phenomenal match, we had an interview with mid laner Jang “Keane” Lae-young.
Can you explain what happened at the end of the match today?
100T had three mountain drakes, and Baron was to appear soon. They were pushing us with a 1-3-1 split, so we thought that we won’t be able to win unless we barge in through the middle with all five people. Frankly, we didn’t know that they’ll go for a base race.
Our intention was to call in their side lanes to make a teamfight, but they didn’t return. We just pushed on, and before we knew it, we were at their Nexus. (Laughs) I think we were able to make that decision because 100T would have won if they just played slow.
How were the calls during that situation?
We said let’s run through the middle, and when they were standing in front of us, we yelled ‘DIVE!’. When they didn’t return even after we started to pull down their buildings, we decided to end the game.
It was very close. Did you think that you’ll be faster?
Actually, we weren’t quite sure. (Laughs) Since the situation was so desperate, I didn’t even know that their Lucian teleported. We just concentrated on hitting the twins and Nexus, and their Nexus blew first.
It should have been a thrilling experience.
Since there aren’t that many games that go like this, it was awesome.
You were in the academy during the last season. How was it?
I did get several offers during the stove league, but I think I was unlucky. Normally, starting players don’t want to go to academies. If they don’t perform there, it’s over for them. Still, I was determined to win there or play well so that I can get back in the starting lineup again. I believed that I can get back in the NA LCS roster if I could prove myself.
So things just didn’t go well for you during the off-season?
I had offers from NA and the Turkish league. I didn’t want to go to the Turkish league and only thought of NA offers. I thought I was advantageous since I’m a permanent resident in the US. There were some teams that offered a spot in the starting lineup, but things didn’t go well while negotiating.
The team’s doing well after you started playing.
I was very worried because our team finished 8th in the last split. I recommended signing SaintVicious to the team because I thought he would be of big help to the team. We had a spot for another coach at the time. I think his joining the team was effective.
I was always underrated. I almost always got to the playoffs; I told the team that I’m confident of making the playoffs, and I’m trying hard to make that come true.
You said that you were underrated. Weren’t you disappointed?
Evaluating a player is something the people who watch does; there’s nothing I can do about it except playing well. It could be because of my playstyle. The only way to change that is by having good results.
How do you think your playstyle is?
I try to make plays without the help of my jungler, and I try to help other lanes so that they can shine more. It seems like a good team player when the team is doing well, but when the team isn’t doing well, it seems that I’m a player who has weak laning.
It seems that your style goes well with FlyQuest. FlyQuest’s top and bottom lanes are quite good at carrying.
In the NA, most of the imports are at top and bot. In that situation, I thought that if I help out the side lanes, the synergy within the team would be good. That could be one of the reasons that our style is like that. When I played for Dignitas, we had Ssumday, so I tried to put more strength on him.
Are there any players that you look up to?
When I was in the academy, we had Song “Fly” Yong-jun who's playing for Gen.G Esports now in our mid lane. He roams frequently and is really good at playing supporting mid lane champions; his style was very close to mine, so I learned a lot from him when we played scrims.
Meteos joined your team. Have you talked to him?
We weren’t able to play any scrims together, but he comes and watches us play scrims. When I talked to him, I was able to see that he has a lot of knowledge on the game. Although he isn’t able to start because Santorin is doing well, but he’s a big help to the team.
What do you think the biggest reason FlyQuest is doing well this season? Does the team practice more than before?
First of all, the team’s atmosphere is very bright. Although we were down 0-3 early in the season, we practiced a lot after that. It wouldn’t be as much as the Korean teams practice, but we play quite a lot in NA standards. Usually, the NA teams don’t get to three blocks (8-9 games) of scrims. About half of the NA teams play three blocks; we’re one of them.
I think practicing more definitely helped. Playing the game a lot, and since we were winning, I became more confident. Of course, we still lose, but I’m enjoying playing because I can see the team improving.
Then do FlyQuest players play solo queue after playing three blocks of scrims?
I sometimes do, and sometimes don’t. It varies from player to player.
You’re now one of the ‘older’ players in the scene. Do you feel pressured?
I can’t be free of being pressured. Most of the mid laners that I have to compete against are mostly 2-3 years younger than I am. On one part of me thinks that it’s alright because players like Flame or Aphromoo are older than me, and are still doing pretty well. I think I should be able to play until they retire. (Laughs)
Do you think that your performance didn’t decline over the years?
Personally, I think I’m getting better and better. I know more about the game now; I used to be one of the quiet players, but now I make calls more actively. I feel responsible because I’m one of the oldest players, and I’m quite satisfied because our team is doing well.
Although you’re a veteran, you don’t have that many achievements. What are your goals?
It’s like the dream for any player, but I want to get to Worlds before I retire. I’m not sure if this year’s the year. (Laughs) If I ever get to Worlds, I think it’ll be easier for me to retire.
What type of player do you want to be remembered by?
I played a very memorable match three years ago. The fans remember me as the player that plays Urgot, cheese pick. Although people are forgetting about me, I’m satisfied with the impact I caused at that time. (Laughs) I’m always thankful to the fans; I may be able to play Urgot again if the meta helps. (Laughs)
Any last comments?
Before the season started, the NA LCS commentators predicted our team as the last place. We didn’t get many good evaluations, but I’ll make sure we get to the playoffs. After that, we’ll aim for Worlds. I’ll be thankful if the fans are patient and continue to cheer for us.