TSM FTX taking on FlyQuest is by no means the most exciting match-up the 2022 LCS Lock-In tournament has to offer, but it might turn out to be a lot more entertaining than most folks expect. Well, that’s the hope, at least.
Those looking to see TSM’s peculiar new roster in action will have to wait a little bit longer, as neither Zhu “Keaiduo” Xiong nor Wei “Shenyi” Zi-Jie will be able to reach North American soil in time to compete. As a result, TSM have decided to field their entire Academy line-up, which means that Heo “Huni” Seung-hoon, Mingyi “Spica” Lu, and Edward “Tactical” Ra will all be warming the bench for the next few weeks.
A strange development, no doubt, but it does make sense given the circumstances. Why mix and match players when it’s not going to result in anything overly spectacular? There’s nothing on the line, after all, so TSM’s Academy line-up might as well get a bit of “stage time.”
This will, however, adversely affect TSM’s starting line-up, which will have less time than everyone else to synergize and get on the same page. Now, in all fairness, they’ll only lose about twenty days or so, but at this level of play every moment counts — a cliché phrase, for sure, but it’s still true.
So, lower your expectations as much as possible, as the TSM we’ll watch over the next few weeks will in no way resemble the one that’ll step foot on stage once the Spring Split comes around. With that being said, these five Academy players (only one of whom has actual LCS experience) could, potentially, pull off an upset or two — it might be unlikely, but by no means is it impossible.
They’ll play without any pressure whatsoever. And that, in short, can make nearly anyone into a dangerous adversary. FlyQuest, on the other hand, will surely feel a lot of pressure. They’re the better team in nearly every conceivable way, but they still need to prove on the Summoner’s Rift.
FlyQuest — Middling, But Good
As far as rosters go, FlyQuest’s is a pretty okay one. Not bad by any stretch of the imagination, but far from stellar. Kumo’s been a mainstay in Academy for what feels like a lifetime and, other than a few standout moments, he hasn’t really shown much. His stint in the LCS has also been fairly mediocre.
The same can be said for Josedeodo who failed to move the needle after making a splash at the 2020 World Championship. They are arguably the weakest top and jungle duo in the LCS and will surely be heavily targeted going forward. In mid, there’s Loïc “toucouille” Dubois, former LFL MVP and overall standout performer. He’s not exactly a household name but was brought in by FlyQuest for a reason: he’s good and his best days are yet to come. Whether he’ll realize this potential whilst playing for FlyQuest still remains to be seen, but there’s a very good chance he’ll surprise us all — if not over the next few weeks then surely at some point during the regular season.
FlyQuest’s biggest saving grace, one could argue, is their better-than-average bottom lane duo: Johnson “Johnsun” Nguyen and the legend himself Zaqueri “Aphromoo” Black. They’ve already played together back at Dignitas QNTMPAY, so they’ll probably hit the ground running. Their mechanics are on point and with Aphromoo’s veterancy and shotcalling abilities, FlyQuest could very well perform a lot better than most folks expect.
We’re not exactly sure how well they’ll do over the next few weeks, but they do have a bit of (admittedly fragmented) synergy and are ever so slightly better than most power rankings would have you believe. We wouldn’t go so far as to call them a “challenger” but they deserve our respect regardless.
Will it be enough against TSM’s Academy line-up? We sure hope so! It’d be downright scandalous if FlyQuest were to drop the ball here. For all intents and purposes, this is an “easy” win and if FlyQuest play their cards right, they won’t struggle too much to get their hands raised.