Coming into the summer split, FlyQuest had high expectations. After finishing fourth place in spring and seemingly upgrading their roster with ex-TSM AD Carry, Jason WildTurtle Tran, their eyes were firmly set on qualifying for the World Championship. Yet, the regular season is now over, and FlyQuest, while not out of contention to qualify, will need a miracle if they want to make it to Worlds. How exactly did a team that was flying so close to the top last split plummet to barely seventh place?
FlyQuest had been struggling to close out games since the end of the spring split. Even if the team’s final results indicated consistency, their play showed quite the opposite. Their style was usually aggressive and centered around getting their mid laner, Hai Lam, ahead. The split’s meta favored the team’s jungler, Galen Moon Holgate, as assassins were his specialty. Through risky plays and skirmishing, the team could generate leads and snowball into a win. However, often times these plays would backfire and leave them at a disadvantage, but thanks to their superior late game shotcalling and better team fighting, FlyQuest narrowly secured many victories.
The shift of meta in summer would highlight even more of FlyQuest’s weaknesses. With assassin junglers like Rengar and Kha’Zix receiving heavy nerfs and Elise and Lee Sin rising in priority, Moon could no longer impact the map the way he used to. The Hai Moon combo, the team’s mid-jungle synergy, was starting to fail. Furthermore, the acquisition of WildTurtle was supposed to help the team have another strong, solid carry, but his performance was inconsistent. The team had no reliable way to secure leads and tended to throw the ones they obtained, usually by taking bad fights or getting caught out.
Once the meta shifted toward tanks and enchantress supports, the team started to show signs of life. With An Balls Le, their top laner, and Moon as the team’s beefy frontline alongside with Daerek LemonNation Hart on his defensive support picks, Fly’s carries were given room to shine. However, it was already too late into the season and their schedule had them facing up against top teams. Qualifying for Worlds started to become an almost impossible task and the possibility of having to play in the promotion relegation tournament was becoming more of a reality.
The final week of NA LCS was crucial for FlyQuest if the wanted to keep their dreams of the World Championship alive. A 2-0 finish and they would avoid relegation, but the chance to participate in the regional qualifiers was still not guaranteed. FlyQuest’s opponents, Team Liquid and Phoenix 1, were also fighting to stay out of relegations, and if P1 managed to win their series, they would take Fly’s spot in the gauntlet. After some hard fought games, FlyQuest achieved victory and held onto their championship points by finishing seventh in the regular season.
While they are free from the pressure of relegation, FlyQuest’s season isn’t over yet. If Counter Logic Gaming defeats Team EnVyUs and Cloud 9 triumphs over Team Dignitas in the playoff quarter finals, FlyQuest will have the opportunity to participate in the regional qualifier for Worlds. It will be an uphill battle for the squad, as they would have to win three best of five series against the best teams in the NA LCS. However, it wouldn’t be the first time a team with Hai on it makes a miracle run to the World Championship.