As the LCS Spring Playoffs begin, it’s time to take a look at some of the true forces of North America. Six teams have risen to the top, but there is no set favorite moving forward. Most of the teams are separated by tiebreakers, like FlyQuest and the Golden Guardians, and Team Liquid and Cloud9. The other two are only set behind by one match based on their regular season performance, enhancing the already intense action that’s expected. FlyQuest will be a team to keep an eye on, as they have one of the best resumes of the six playoff teams. Their upcoming match against the Golden Guardians will be their biggest test yet, as this will be the third time these two teams have met in the past seven days.
FlyQuest Continues to Soar
It’s rather unusual to see two teams play this often in the span of a week, but this third match between FLY and GGS will be both teams’ most important match of the season. FlyQuest is coming off the tiebreaker victory from this past Sunday, so they want to ride that momentum into their upcoming rematch.
Though they were behind in their most recent match against GGS, FlyQuest rallied as a team and fought effectively enough to take home the win. Lucas “Santorin” Larsen sat out due to illness, making it the LCS debut for Magnus “Maxi” Kristensen, the jungler from FlyQuest’s academy team. Maxi fell right into place with the rest of the team and had few errors or misplays. By picking Nocturne, he was able to stay true to the team’s identity and keep their composition similar to when Santorin was playing. Overall, Maxi synergized well with a group that he had never played with competitively and boosted their momentum going into the playoffs.
Santorin will most likely be back for this weekend’s playoff match, so FlyQuest won’t have to worry about any potential roster issues. Having Santorin back will put FlyQuest back to full strength and make them one of the scariest teams in the LCS. Though they don’t look the best on paper, their team play on the Rift says otherwise. Each member has a set group of champions that they feel comfortable with, and utilize said champions in a few different team compositions. If one of their picks gets banned, FlyQuest always has a backup plan for any situation, against any team.
Top: Omran “V1per” Shoura
V1per has been very impressive in his first season on the LCS stage. He’s messed around with plenty of different champions this split, but it’s clear which have been more effective for him. Typically, V1per wants to pick Aatrox or Riven unless he’s faced with a more aggressive laner. In this case, he’d move to Irelia or Vladimir in attempt to sustain better with his opponent. These champions are relatively hard to dive or gank, considering their unique ability kits that include stuns, slows and dashes, with high DPS as the cherry on top.
However, V1per has found the most success on Aatrox. His K/D/A of 3.86 is fairly average in North America, but his style of play works perfectly with the champion. Aatrox is typically dependent on high amounts of attack damage, allowing V1per to be more aggressive in lane. If he doesn’t get that opportunity, he can build tankier to absorb damage in skirmishes. On top of that, Aatrox’s ultimate is incredibly useful for FlyQuest’s composition. V1per is able to dive onto the enemy back line with his ultimate, so even if he falls early, he has the chance to come back to life and turn the fight around. His high damage makes him a threat to the opposition, but his ability kit makes it harder to knock him down.
It’s somewhat surprising to see a new face perform so well on the biggest of stages, but V1per has started paving his path with ease. His communication seems on point with the rest of his team, while his play looks polished like a true veteran. There’s no doubt that V1per can become one of the best top-laners in the LCS, and FlyQuest will continue to benefit from his sharp play.
Jungle: Lucas “Santorin” Larsen
Santorin has been a household name in the LCS for a few years now. After a few successful years with TSM, he is now the centerpiece for this FlyQuest team. Not having him in their most recent match was definitely a scary moment for them as a team, but now he’s ready to push this team past the Golden Guardians yet again.
A lot of Santorin’s picks in the jungle can be predictable, but his overall skill makes it hard to counter-pick him. He is very comfortable on most champions in the current meta, making him a threat to any team. Santorin relies on high DPS champions with gap-closers to help his teammates, like Nocturne or Kha’Zix. He has been seen playing Rek’Sai and Sejuani as well, but only if their composition depends on a tanky-engager. He’s racked up a K/D/A of 7 on Nocturne and 9 on Kha’Zix, some of the best ratios in the LCS for those champions. He also has the highest kill participation on the team at 75%.
It’s fair to say that Santorin is a big factor in FlyQuest’s success this season. His ability to establish an early lead in the jungle makes his ganks more effective, which also leads to objective control. However, playing high-damage champions can result in over-extension and misplays. Santorin will need to stay true to the game plan and avoid risky plays to help this team move forward. If successful, his play can catapult FlyQuest through the playoffs with relative ease.
Mid: Eugene “Pobelter” Park
Pobelter has been maintaining his reputation as one of the best mid-laners in North America, by stomping the competition this split. One of his best traits is his ability to show up against big-time opponents. Against strong teams like Team Liquid and TSM, Pobelter rises to the occasion and holds his ground with pride. He can also play tougher champions in these situations, making him more unpredictable to the enemy.
Much like other skilled mid-laners, Pobelter is very comfortable on Zoe. In fact, he holds the highest K/D/A on the champion this split at 25. Her unique ability kit gives her high amounts of damage, as well as plenty of range. This allows Pobelter to zone enemies properly and dictate fights or ganks. This also makes Zoe a ranged assassin when fighting enemy carries, such as an ADC or mid-laner. If Pobelter can land a proper ability combination, it will chop an immense chunk from the enemy’s health.
Lissandra and LeBlanc are also two of Pobelter’s favorites, but Zoe has proven to be his most effective. If he gets the chance at playing Zoe, FlyQuest already has an advantage before the game even begins.
ADC: Jason “WildTurtle” Tran
Another big name on this FlyQuest roster is WildTurtle. Much like Santorin, Turtle was a big part of TSM’s dominant squad for a few years. Now the two have found their respective niches on FlyQuest. Turtle has probably been the biggest factor for FLY so far, but his statistics don’t necessarily show all the glory.
WildTurtle only has a collective K/D/A of 3.46 this split, which is average among most North American ADC’s. However, his play on Ezreal and Kai’sa have been totally different stories. Both champions are very effective in today’s era of League, because of their high damage and mobility. Ezreal is mainly known for the poke damage, but he can also have high amounts of burst. Kai’sa is similar in this regard, however she is more reliant on bursting down the enemy. With either champion, WildTurtle can inflict loads of damage onto the opposition with little risk of getting caught.
Turtle is one of the most polished ADCs in all of North America, so it’s expected that he’ll take his game to another level come playoffs. As long as he can pick from Ezreal or Kai’sa, WildTurtle will continue to tear up the rift.
Support: Juan “JayJ” Guibert
Like all other successful teams, FlyQuest relies heavily on their Support to make plays. JayJ has had a fantastic spring split and has gelled well with WildTurtle. Their synergy reeks havoc on the opposing bot lane and can easily change the course of any match.
JayJ has stuck to the same core of champions this season. He seems to prefer Braum and Ornn over most others, but he’s also pulled out the Rakan every so often. Each of these champions have multiple crowd-controlling abilities to dismantle the enemy’s front line in a fight. They also possess large amounts of peeling abilities to protect teammates. JayJ has stayed consistent on the stat sheet with this trio, totaling similar K/D/A’s on all three. His consistency and aggressiveness help set up WildTurtle for success and eventually make it easier for teammates to help his lane. It’s rare to see a support as productive as JayJ, and his overall comfort with this team implies success in their future.
Featured Image Courtesy of @FlyQuestSports on Twitter.
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