As far as first splits go, FlyQuest’s was hardly a disappointment. They entered the NA LCS with low expectations, with many predictions pointing them straight down to the Challenger Series after unveiling a lineup filled with formerly retired players most recently seen in Challenger. They FlyQuest went 6-2 in the first four weeks.
After a dip in the second half of the season that left them 9-9 and barely making it into the playoffs, FlyQuest closed out the NA LCS Spring Split well, ending up in fourth place with a narrow loss in Game 5 of the third-place series against Phoenix1.
Despite that success, FlyQuest decided changes needed to be made to their roster. It’s unclear if these changes were within the team’s long term plan, but when Team SoloMid substitute AD Carry Jason “WildTurtle” Tran became available, FlyQuest moved to add him to the roster, replacing AD Carry Johnny “Altec” Ru.
On its face this may seem like the perfect kind of move for the FlyQuest to make. After all, WildTurtle is a veteran player, the league’s all-time kill leader and should add exactly the right blend of consistency and aggression that could help take some of the weight off the shoulders of FlyQuest’s other members.
But, when we take a look at how the split actually went for each of the AD Carries, a slightly different story seems to emerge. Despite FlyQuest having fewer kills than TSM, WildTurtle ended the split with fewer average kills a game than Altec, along with Altec having a better overall KDA. Similarly, Altec had fewer average deaths than WildTurtle, despite FlyQuest as a team having higher than TSM.
What’s more, the two AD Carry players play almost entirely different styles. Turtle prefers a version of the game that is built around high aggression plays above the overall amount of damage he gets out, as well as a limited hyper competent champion pool he can play consistently.
Altec is a slower, more cautious player who is more than willing to play a huge variety of strange champions — Mordekaiser, for instance — but is also capable of playing a high damage hard carry style he often used with FlyQuest during the Spring Split. Case in point, Altec had the highest KDA of any FlyQuest member.
In the Summer Split, what this roster will have to prove is that someone can step into the hole left by Altec. While I’m not quite sure that Turtle is the right player to do it, it is possible that he could help facilitate the rise of other players to fill that gap. And there are more than a few players on the roster that could step up. Among those most likely to do so is midlaner Hai.
In the Spring Split, Hai proved he was more than his famous shotcalling by showing a high degree of skill on champions like Zed and Talon that were completely outside the meta. More impressive, however, was Hai’s ability to use these champions to build leads into game-winning objectives, something they traditionally struggle with.
Another member of FlyQuest that surprised last split was jungler Moon, who entered the split widely considered one of the lower-tier junglers in the league. However, with an outstanding, and often surprising, champion pool and strong jungle pathing and objective control, Moon quickly moved into the top half of NA junglers.
The departure of Altec means a guaranteed shift in the FlyQuest identity and play style that teams began to figure out by the end of the Spring Split. However, in many ways this may have been the best thing that FlyQuest could do. With a new AD Carry they are likely to expand their horizons and find new players to focus their leads through, hopefully leading to a more dynamic team overall.