Before opening week, the bar was set extremely low for FlyQuest. Many analysts placed them at the bottom half of the standings. Their performance in the Challenger Series didn’t serve as a clear indicator due to the amount of veteran talent on the roster. The team, known previously as Cloud 9 Challenger, consisted of ex-Cloud 9 players like Hai Du Lam, Daerek LemonNation Hart, An Balls Le, and Lee Rush Yoonjae. After seamlessly breezing through the NA LCS Qualifiers with a decisive 3-0 victory over NRG esports, the squad was ready to prove themselves in the LCS.
The players were acquired by the Milwaukee Bucks’ co-owner and rebranded to FlyQuest, keeping AD Carry Johnny Altec Ru and adding Team Liquid Academy jungler Galen Moon Holgate a few days before the start of the NA LCS.
Their first opponent in the LCS was Team EnVyUs. Beating EnVy came without difficulty as the team had to sub in a mid laner and role swap their jungler. However the decisiveness with which FlyQuest took the series 2-0 was impressive. In game 1, Moon showed off a new aggressive style of jungling that allowed him to generate a lead for Hai and snowball the game from there. In game 2 however, FlyQuest had a gold deficit for a big part of it. It was thanks to the team’s better macro play and Hai’s shotcalling that they were able to turn the game around.
The hype plane surrounding FlyQuest was only starting to rev up. Their second series of the week was against Team Liquid. TL looked strong after taking a convincing victory from Counter Logic Gaming the day before. Game 1 started with Moon securing First Blood with his off meta pick, Kindred with Ghost. After what seemed like a back and forth early and mid game, TL’s top laner, Samson Lourlo Jackson secured many key kills on Fiora. This allowed him to become an unstoppable splitpush threat. Off the back of Lourlo, Team Liquid took the first game of the series. The next two game were more straightforward. With early ganks and skirmishes setup by Moon and LemonNation, FlyQuest snowballed and secured the series.
Week 2 of the LCS followed a similar storyline to Week 1. With creative mid lane picks in Twisted Fate and Kassadin, and superior macro play, FlyQuest took down CLG in their first series of the week. However, their next opponent, Echo Fox gave them no quarter. A surprise flex pick in Camille support, a perma banned champion on red side, caught FlyQuest off guard. EF snowballed out of control and crushed FlyQuest in the first game. The second game had Moon popping off on Kha’Zix, going 9/0/8, and Altec putting out over 20k damage to champions on Jhin. After a very clean game, FlyQuest tied the series. Game 3 was the closest so far, but a great Ashe Enchanted Crystal Arrow from Echo Fox’s ADC, Yuri Keith Jew, onto Altec won them a Baron team fight, the game and the series.
At the end of Week 2, FlyQuest holds a 3-1 record and second place in the standings. The real question is, however, how far do they go? Their performance up to this point shows that they have the potential to contend for playoffs. Yet, until they prove themselves against the likes of Team SoloMid, Phoenix1, and their old teammates on Cloud 9 (Blue) it’s hard to say where they’ll place and how “hai” they can fly.