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For the entire LCS 2023 Spring Split, FlyQuest looked like an unstoppable superteam that was guaranteed to represent the LCS on the international stage at the Midseason Invitational 2023. And while the team has continued to win for the most part, the team has begun to show some signs of weakness in its play.

In this interview, we spoke to FlyQuest’s jungler Mingyi “Spica” Lu to talk about the team’s practices, playing with Bill "Eyla" Nguyen, and how he feels the team regressed in recent weeks.

I want to start by asking you about today’s game. We saw Liquid push the tempo really early, but I wanted to ask what you felt the main catalyst was today. Was it just a snowball, or was there something more?

I think the biggest thing is definitely the early game. After the early game when they got two two kills, I felt that it was going to be really hard for us to play since our team usually snowballs. I think the biggest thing is that we just missed some details. We missed a lot of details and we were not really in sync with each other and what we wanted to do. That ultimately is why we look out of sync. That is something that has been happening the past two weeks, but today really felt like the snowball was getting out of control.

Can you walk me through some of those details that you are talking about? What are some moments that you feel were really out of sync?

Oh, man, I think the biggest thing is just that we didn't talk about how we wanted to fight. In both the ganks, we knew the jungler couldn't be there, right? But we were only thinking about the enemy lane. We weren't thinking about, how we should fight this three versus three and how we want to approach it. We used to do that a lot, but it just didn’t happen. In this game, I think it happened both ganks around level five, we knew the jungler could be there, but we just didn’t communicate the details. I just think our communication today was especially off and we weren’t really talking to each other. Comms are kind of quiet. So I think that just shows in our gameplay right? We’re really off-sync and just look really bad.

I want to piggyback on your point on communication. That was something Eyla talked about when I spoke to him last week, where he said comms were quiet but highlighted you as the main shotcaller. Can you talk to me about the communication and how you feel that it has been progressing?

I feel like we've regressed a decent amount in terms of communication and the details we provide. There’s not a lot of back-and-forth discussion about how we should approach the early game. For example, what lane do we want to focus on? Do we want to fight two versus two? Do you want to fight? How can we fight? Things like that aren’t being discussed. I feel like that is missing. Today, we played Silas and he usually needs jungle pressure in the midlane. I think a lot of detail on how to help Sylas was missing. I think that’s something we have to fix and I think a lot of it stems from the pressure we put on ourselves. We are just focused on ourselves. We’re not thinking about what our teammates want to do. We just need to make that communication perfect.

Do you feel it has regressed because the team was constantly winning on stage?

The impression that I have is that we don’t really care if we are winning, I think we care if we are making the correct decisions. Even if you win, sometimes it could be a really bad game. A win doesn’t always mean it was a win for you, it could just be that the opponent sucks. Every time we do a review, we look at almost every single detail because we want to be as good as we can. I just think hyper-focusing on those details has been kind of lost. We just lost our way of how to fundamentally play the game in the simplest way. I feel that we overcomplicate things and that makes us worse.

I’m curious, how do you get certain things across as quickly as possible without things being too little in communication?

A lot of things are just defaults in the team because you are constantly practicing them over and over right? Some things don’t need to be communicated, but I think the things that we really do need to be communicated are not there. We’re skipping over a lot of basic steps and I think that is why we look really bad. I think we need to go back to focusing on just the basic defaults and then I think it’ll be a lot easier.

FlyQuest wins on day two of the 2023 Spring Split Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games

FlyQuest with Winsome in LCS 2023 Spring Split.

I wanted to ask you about Eyla and how your jungle-support synergy changes with him on the team compared to Winsome. Is there more communication between you two compared to Winsome?

At least for me, I don’t feel there is very much of a difference right now only because Eyla is still putting a lot of his focus on the laning phase. The majority of our scrim games are just focused on the laning phase. Prince is teaching him how to lane how he wants. At least in the early game, there isn’t a lot of communication between jungle and support right now, to be honest. There are some, but I think we can definitely work on the jungle and support communication and how we want to control the map. That just hasn’t been our focus at all recently because we are hyper-focused on the first 10 to 14 minutes of the game where it’s mostly about two versus two laning phases. I think that synergy is something we can definitely get better at.

Can I ask what type of communication style you lean toward most? I know some players like it when communication is relatively light and only get loud when there are major fights. Where do you lean on that?

I don't want to be black and white, right? I don't want everything to always be calm. I just feel we are definitely on the more quiet side and I think we could have improved that. We could definitely get more information by talking to each other more and making plans as a unit. I feel that we're not really doing that much. Every play isn’t always a five versus five of course. Sometimes players don’t need to be there, but everybody needs to know what is possible, what is not, and what their job is during certain situations. I feel that is something that is not happening. Usually, it’s just a jungler plus a lane and not everybody is in on the play, but we need to put focus on improving our communication.

LCS 2023 Spring FlyQuest Prince

FlyQuest botlaner Prince after a FlyQuest victory.

In some Korean-English hybrid teams, the English-speaking players have learned some Korean. Is that something you did?

I mean, I think in terms of communication, I use pretty simple English. Every now and then, there are niche terms that come up in practice and then we explain it to them and then they will understand it. So when that happens the first time, they usually remember it moving forward. Honestly, they’ve improved a lot in terms of their English. Almost everything I say, they now understand so I wouldn’t say there are any issues in terms of understanding each other.

I wanted to ask you about FlyQuest’s scrims because when I talked to Evil Geniuses botlaner FBI and other players, they said you are a team that is much better onstage than practice. Can you talk to me about your stance on scrims? I know it sounds like a meme, but do scrims matter?

Honestly, if you asked me two or three weeks ago, I would say that scrims don’t matter. Throughout the entire year, our scrims weren’t fantastic, but I think our scrims have definitely regressed a bit from week to week. I feel like that definitely bleeds into our onstage performance where everybody is not as confident and we don't have enough trust in each other because of things that happened in scrims. That is what I think causes that hectic environment in games in how we communicate and how we play with each other. I feel like it has gotten worse as the scrim results have gotten worse.

Personally, for me, I feel like our scrim results don’t affect me that much. But I know for other players on our team, it does affect their confidence sometimes. That’s why this week, we are really focusing a lot more on being super focused in scrims and playing like we would on stage. We’ve made a bit of improvement, but we’ve still got a long way to go.

I just wanted to round out this interview by asking if you had any further things you wanted to address to the community before we close this out.

I think we're kind of in a slump right now. I definitely feel like we are not playing as well as we used to and we are not playing normally. I feel like we are aware of the issue and we just need to focus on that and just focus really hard for playoffs. I think it’s okay to have slumps in the middle of the split. Sometimes, you are feeling a bit burnt out, terrible scrim results, or whatever it may be. My main thing is that we are really good for playoffs. I hope we can fix those issues and power up right before playoffs.

Where you can watch League of Legends LCS

Viewers can tune in for week 7 of the LCS 2023 Spring Split through the LCS Twitch and YouTube channels.