An unexpected challenger for the LCS title appears.
FlyQuest aren’t exactly strangers to success in the LCS. It’s been a while now, but back in 2020, they made back-to-back Finals and even finished Worlds with a 3-3 group stage record. No pieces from that roster, or even the coaching staff, is still with the organization, but the aspirations are still the same. For the last couple of years, they’ve been trying to build a successful team with young talent from Academy and other leagues, but couldn’t make it happen. After an early playoff upset last Summer against a TSM on their last leg, FlyQuest decided to take a different approach for the LCS 2023 Spring Split.
They started out by recruiting Christopher “PapaSmithy” Smith from 100 Thieves as their General Manager. In the same role at 100T, PapaSmithy built one of the most successful teams of the last two years while winning the first LCS trophy in 100T history. He also played a critical role in building the 100T Academy/Amateur pipeline, which promoted many prospects to the LCS in this time span. Another big staff signing for FQ this offseason was the head coach Kim “Ssong” Sang-soo. Ssong is not a stranger to LCS as he previously coached for TSM and CLG. Before that, he was a coach on KOO/ROX Tigers, Longzhu Gaming and he was the head coach for the reigning World Champion DRX during their run. With a coach this storied and a roster this talented, FlyQuest will look to turn the time back to 2020.
- Top laner: Jeong “Impact” Eon-young
- Jungler: Mingyi “Spica” Lu
- Mid laner: Lee “VicLa” Dae-kwang
- Bot laner: Lee “Prince” Chae-hwan
- Support: Bill “Eyla” Nguyen
Importing the best young talent from the LCK
Liiv SANDBOX was one of the most exciting teams during the LCK’s 2022 Summer Split. They were seen as a guaranteed fourth Worlds team from the region before they were upset by DRX at Regional Finals. All of this success came behind their bot laner, Lee “Prince” Chae-hwan, as many hailed him as the next big Korean ADC. He was seen as the second-best ADC behind Park “Ruler” Jae-hyuk, and the duo shared the Player of the Split Award for the Summer Split. So, it surprised everyone when FlyQuest announced the signing of Prince. There will be big expectations in front of Prince for the next season, fans will anticipate him to dominate from day one. The good news is he has the talent to do just that if he doesn’t have problems adjusting to a new environment.
If one award winner import from LCK wasn’t enough, FlyQuest also brought Lee “VicLa” Dae-kwang in, which apparently was a big factor for Prince coming over. For those not following the LCK closely, VicLa was the LCK’s Rookie of the Year in 2022. He is a product of KT Rolster’s Challengers team. KT Rolster’s LCK team made a great push for Worlds at the end of Summer with VicLa’s help, but they fell short in the end. He is as talented of a player as he is exciting to watch, with a lot of melee picks in his arsenal. VicLa also is a big Ryze player, which is great news considering his recent resurgence in pro play.
If these two were the only signings for FlyQuest, it would still be an impressive off-season. But add to these LCK prodigies the best top laner in the LCS history in Impact and the 2021 Summer Split LCS MVP in Spica, and now you have a real contender. Every LCS fans know how much of a rock Impact is as he showed it last year as well by winning another title with Evil Geniuses. And during the Summer Playoffs when his team was struggling, he still had enough in the tank to pull on carry pants and bust out his Gankplank.
The same goes for Spica. 2022 was a disastrous year for TSM on all accounts, and the star jungler took most of the heat from fans online. But despite all, he still put on a show after TSM put together a semi-decent roster, going as far as winning a playoff series. After his depressing 2022, it will be a breath of fresh air for Spica to play with three great lanes, and I think he will be back to his peak form.
One big unknown for FlyQuest in Spring will be Eyla. Nowadays, most die-hard LCS fans know who the young support is. Brought up under CoreJJ’s mentorship, Eyla was one of the most hyped Academy prospects in the circuit. We even saw him play in Team Liquid’s LCS roster last year, where he looked like he was ready for the big leagues. There might be some adjustment period for him and Prince due to the language barriers, but this team has talent dripping from every player, and it shouldn’t shock anyone if they win a title in 2023.
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