In the wake of the fifth week of the NA LCS Spring Split, the hype surrounding the popular underdogs FlyQuest eSports is beginning to falter. By the end of Sunday night, FlyQuest had lost both of their matches to both Team Dignitas and Team SoloMid, managing to pick up just a single game out of the total five games played in the two series. Is it safe to say that the hype-train is coming to a halt for this commendable team?
The FlyQuest hype-train has been a wild ride for the first five weeks of the NA LCS Spring Split, due in part to the low expectations initially tagged to the team at the beginning of the year. With a roster including three members of the original Cloud9 squad, many critics dismissed the squad as being “washed up” – they could not have been more wrong.
FlyQuest proceeded to dominate the first few weeks, dropping only two matches in the lead up to Week Five, to Echo Fox and Cloud9 respectively.
A considerable amount of FlyQuest’s success can be pinned to Mid laner Hai “Hai” du Lam. During his long stint on Cloud9, Hai performed admirably in a multitude of roles: Jungler, Mid laner and Support. His shot calling is legendary and is most certainly one of his key strengths. The resounded success that kicked off in Week One shocked the North American scene and proceeded to build up massive hype for FlyQuest.
Viewers were therefore understandably shocked to see FlyQuest get stomped into the ground by Team Dignitas in their first game of Week Five. As FlyQuest exited the pick and ban phase, fans were anticipating an innovative and strategic victory with Balls adopting Vladimir and Hai taking Jarvan IV into the mid lane. Dignitas were supposed to be blown away by FlyQuest’s creative comp and superior strategy, but that assessment would soon be proven wrong.
Proceedings got underway with a particularly gruesome first blood for Team Dignitas in which support Alex ‘Xpecial’ Chu hooked Daerek ‘LemonNation’ Hart in a flash attempt to get away. This was followed by an altercation where Dignitas Top laner Kim ‘Ssumday’ Chan-ho came away with a triple kill on Shen. Though FlyQuest tried hard and gained some advantages, Team Dignitas defied the odds to close out the game just past the thirty minute mark.
Going into the second game, it certainly looked as if FlyQuest were well on their way to winning. They were up five kills by the twenty four minute mark, and the hype train once again started to build momentum – only to be derailed by a baron steal from Lee ‘Chaser’ Sang-hyun, slamming the brakes on for FlyQuest. One abysmal team fight later and the game was over.
Sadly for FlyQuest, it wasn’t just a one match blunder. In a surprising twist, TSM beat the previously undefeated Cloud9. All attention turned to FlyQuest, who were expected to avenge their familiar friends. Given that FlyQuest and TSM had been garnering for second place for weeks, this match would finally give the two teams a definitive place.
FlyQuest once again fell short, unable to avenge their former parent team. Though they did manage to take the match to three games, FlyQuest ended up going without a single match win in Week Five whatsoever. It most certainly cast a dreary pall over the players on FlyQuest, with Hai taking to Twitter to post about their disappointing week:
What a shitty weekend, we'll do our best to come back strong for revenge against Fox/C9. See you guys then!
— Hai Lam (@Hai) February 20, 2017
To say that all hype for FlyQuest should die out after this disappointing week is a rather blunt statement. Cloud9 shared a similarly abysmal week in which they also went 0-2 in their matches, though no one is questioning their credentials as a top tier team. Given the nature in which FlyQuest have entered the NA LCS alive and kicking, it’s hard to believe that they will simmer to a mid-table finish.
The hype for FlyQuest certainly hasn’t been erased from existence; the roster started with low expectations and completely smashed those assessments out of the park. Critics made the mistake of writing this team off before, don’t be fooled twice.