During the penultimate week of the LCS spring split, FlyQuest pulled off a huge upset over one of the best teams in the league, Team Liquid. Despite being behind for most of the game, FlyQuest managed to come back and steal victory. After the game, Brandon Joel "Josedeodo" Villegas downplayed the win.
“It’s not like a low achievement, but still it’s not the best win,” Josedeodo told Nerd Street. “It’s the best if you are ahead and then win the game.”
It’s that type of mentality that pushed FlyQuest forward this year, from a team that was near the bottom of the league in 2021 to a solidly middle-of-the-pack team that can take down the top teams in 2022.
FlyQuest started the spring split strong with a 3-0 record, but went through a bad stretch in the middle of the season when they lost three games during the first LCS superweek. After the win against TL, they won the following weekend against Cloud9 -- another one of the top teams in the league -- to end the split 9-9 and qualify for the playoffs.
Josedeodo & Co. have come a long way since last year, when the Latin American superstar -- fresh off a trip to the League of Legends World Championship -- joined FlyQuest with significant fanfare, but without significant results. Despite Josedeodo’s individual success, FlyQuest ended the year with a 14-31 record across spring and summer and didn’t make the playoffs in either split.
Josedeodo admitted feeling pressure last year. But this year, he’s one of the veterans on the team, one of only two holdovers from last year’s roster.
“I have more confidence in pointing out problems and or just being more open in what I need and what I think is good for the team,” he said. “So I learned a lot this year in how to express my feelings better, because last year I was really closed on what I think and whatever’s good for me. Now I’m really open on what we need to win.”
According to Josedeodo, the team has been much better at problem-solving this year.
“I think how we manage to say the stuff in game and outside of the game how we solve the problems is a lot easier,” he said.
Photo credit: Colin Young-Wolff / Riot Games via ESPAT
Another big difference this year has been the roster changes. In the offseason, Flyquest brought in LCS veteran Zaqueri "aphromoo" Black at support and young French phenom Loïc "toucouille" Dubois to play mid lane. Toucouille was MVP last spring in the LFL, one of the European Regional Leagues that sits just below the top-tier League of Legends European Championship. According to offseason interviews with FlyQuest management, this team was built around Josedeodo and toucouille.
Toucouille told Nerd Street that he hasn’t felt any added pressure because of this.
“I was really happy when they told me they wanted to make the roster around me and Jose,” toucouille said. “ I just want to be part of, at the center of the team so I can just improve fast.”
Toucouille had a solid rookie split in the LCS finishing with the third-best KDA among mid laners at 4.0, according to Oracle’s Elixir. He also had the second-best kill participation among mid laners at 70.8%.
Getting to play with Josedeodo was a factor in toucouille coming to North America, and he also had a good feeling about the team’s management and the organization.
Colin Young-Wolff / Riot Games via ESPAT
“I think it’s been really nice to play with him so far,” toucouille said. “He’s like a really good mechanical player and he’s always looking for outplay, and I feel like I’m kind of the same. Like, I’m down to flip a 2v2 and try to outplay the opponent.”
With toucouille being new to the region this year, he’s in a similar situation to Josedeodo last year, so the Latin American player has offered advice to the European player whenever he can.
“Anytime there is a problem, there is like something bad, I try to help him because I think he is really passionate about the game and he never likes losing,” Josedeodo said. “So I think I try to help him whenever I see a chance.”
Now that the spring split is over, FlyQuest will have a week off before playing their next game in the playoffs on April 10.
Lead photo credit: Tina Jo / Riot Games via ESPAT