It seems like the FlyQuest that lit the LCS on fire in 2020 was so long ago. A year of amazing success followed by losing every single player. Going into 2021, many fans and analyst were still quite bullish on FlyQuest. With three former C9 players in the form of Licorice, Palafox and Diamond, expectations were quite high. This isn’t even mentioning Latin America’s superstar import, Josedeodo, and the rising NA ADC Johnsun. Unfortunately, the 2021 rendition of FlyQuest did not live up to expectations. Frankly, it didn’t even come close. Going into the 2022 offseason, what can FlyQuest do to relive the glory of 2020?
The biggest question after a year like 2021 is who to keep on the roster. Even in 2021, FlyQuest couldn’t decide who they wanted on the starting roster. What it comes down to is who Fly can build around for the future. The easy answer is Nxi. Nxi stepped in for the struggling FlyQuest team after a 10 game losing streak. Along with the rest of the FLY Academy roster, Nxi brought FlyQuest to a 3-0 week for the first time all year.
Nxi is also a relatively new face to the League of Legends scene. Some may see his age of 22 and assume he had been competing forever, but this isn’t true. His first team was 100T Next back in July of 2020. Age matters less for a player like this. Another thing that makes the likelihood of Fly building around Nxi is that he hasn’t been allowed to explore options yet. Players like Palafox who Fly is surprisingly moving on from is also signed through 2022. The simple fact that he isn’t suggests that Fly is interested in him whether in Academy or the LCS. In addition, going with Nxi over Josedeodo opens up another import slot for the team.
The ADC Debacle:
After Nxi, the future of Fly looks a bit shaky. There is no player who seems like a must keep, but the other likely option is Tomo or Johnsun. Another former C9 player, Tomo is a solid ADC, but not a superstar level one. He is signed through 2022 and also has not been allowed to explore other options yet. Almost every other Fly player including, Dreams, Triple, Palafox and Diamond have been allowed to. Johnsun has noticeably not been dismissed as well.
There is a chance we see these two players competing for a spot on the LCS roster. Johnsun noticeably had a really solid Academy Playoffs performance with clearly the best stats of any ADC in the competition including a 367 GD10, a 314 XPD10 and a 19 CSD10 average. This may be enough to entice Fly to try him out another year. On top of this, he is signed through 2023. The most likely scenario is Johnsun starting in the LCS with Tomo in Academy. If the year goes awry, Tomo will step in.
IMPORTS IMPORTS IMPORTS:
With these two in place, FlyQuest needs to decide which roster spot is worth using an import slot on. The obvious and heavily rumored answer is Mid Lane. Currently, the rumor is that Toucouille is coming to NA as the new Mid Laner for FlyQuest. Toucouille is a 20-year old competing in the LFL, the French National League. Toucouille in the Summer Split had amazing stats including a GD10 of 206, XPD10 of 106, CSD10 of 5.6, DPM of 528 and a KDA of 3.5. This doesn’t sound too impressive until one considers that Toucouille was on the seventh-place team, GameWard. If the rumors are true, this seems like a perfect young player to include in this FlyQuest rebuild.
This leaves another import slot open. Frankly, there is a chance FlyQuest doesn’t use it. But if they do, it would most likely be on Top Lane. Finn is a possible candidate, but Ssumday is also one. Sure, Ssumday doesn’t take up an import slot, but he is probably the best free agent “North American” Top Laner on the market this season. Huni and Impact are both staying with their teams and Alphari is likely going to Vitality. Ssumday is a good option. Finn on the other hand takes up that slot, but definitely feels like a less solid pick. Finn had some great games on CLG, but he also had some next-level int games. Either option seems good, but Ssumday is a free agent and Finn has a buyout. Ssumday seems like the better pick.
If FlyQuest can get Aphromoo, they should get Aphromoo. Reunite him with Johnsun and take the solid Bot Lane. If FlyQuest can’t get Aphromoo, Busio would be the option that is the next best. Busio was promoted to 100T Academy from 100T Next. He has been swapping time with Poome in Academy, but is an 18-year-old NA Resident with great mechanics. Of course, like most young players he isn’t perfect. But if Fly wants to take a risk, this is the player to do it on. If they don’t, Elya from TLA is another great option, but much safer.
Busio and Elya are fine, but Aphromoo is the best possible pick-up for FlyQuest.
This is where things get really subjective, but FlyQuest should hire someone like Peter Dun or Guilhoto. Obviously, neither of these two coaches are leaving their respective orgs, but someone who has a multi-year plan, wants to make a talent pipeline and is willing to make some controversial moves is the ideal candidate. FlyQuest need to find the person who is able to make them invest in an Amateur team like what C9, 100T and EG are doing. It’s not a coincidence that many of the players listed in this article are from C9 and 100T.
It’s hard to name a single coach who is able to do this, but Falco from Schalke 04 seems like one worth looking into. Of course, one needs a coaching staff, not just a Head Coach. This is where a lot of the offseason work needs to be done for FlyQuest.
FlyQuest is a brand that has done a lot in the last few years to redo their image. They went from the memed on “Team Snickers” to saving the planet. Unfortunately, the winning part was lost last year and a lot of that goodwill in the fans was as well. This is an org that has really tried to reinvent itself and it’s a shame to see them fall back into disarray. This year needs to be one in which FlyQuest states its plan clearly: To rebuild and develop talent for a 2023, 2024 or 2025 run. FlyQuest fans shouldn’t expect a Worlds run, but what they should expect is a solid foundation for the coming years.