Slingshot’s Andrew Kim caught up with FlyQuest’s An “Balls” Le during Week 2 of the North American League of Legends Championship Series.
Andrew Kim: Congratulations. You guys seem to be on a roll with a 2-0 victory. How is the team atmosphere?
An “Balls” Le: We’re all feeling really good. We’re pretty happy that we’re 3-0 (3-1 by the end of the weekend) right now because we weren’t really set up for all this because we made the team pretty late and we got everything pretty late. So we weren’t really expecting much, so I don’t know, just having a good feeling when we’re winning.
AK: A lot of people are saying that the success is coming from not necessarily high mechanical game but very smart shot-calling and intelligent rotations. Would you agree with that assessment?
AL: I do agree to some of it. I do agree that our shot-calling is pretty good and that we can out-rotate some people, but I think our teamwork is also really good because we all trust each other and we all know what we’re gonna do. Everyone has to know what they’re doing, and we’re all focused on that too, So I think we’re going at a pretty good pace.
AK: How does teamwork break down into in terms of what the team needs to do and following calls?
AL: I’m not sure how to explain this. I mean, I think we’re pretty smart about the game. I think you need to be really smart about the game if you want to win, and everyone has to focus on their own lane, and we know what we each want to pick. I think that’s what we’re good at. I think with Lemon (Daerek Hart) and our coach (Thomas “Thinkcard” Slotkin), our pick/ban is really strong, and we just have a good grasp of the meta right now.
AK: FlyQuest is made up of three veterans and two new faces. Do you think the historic synergy between the three veterans is what makes FlyQuest perform very well?
AL: I definitely think that us three is also what makes us do pretty well because I don’t think we can make it to worlds every year without experience, and since we have three veterans and two new players, we can help shape up the rest and do well. It’s not like we did bad last time when we were in LCS. We placed like third or top three, so I think people underrating us makes sense because we came from challenger, but it’s whatever.
AK: Are you saying that the people evaluating Fly Quest poorly from the get-go didn’t really affect you at all?
AL: I mean since they don’t really expect much from us, it’s like no pressure at all for us.
AK: There were a lot of concerns in the fans that because of the late formation of the team. There were some infrastructural issues, but despite that you’re having success. Was it that difficult where you had to work with no computers and no gaming house?
AL: Everyone was a little bit sad, or we were having trouble playing because I think Altec (Johnny Ru) came to me, Hai (Hai Du Lam), and Lemon (who) live together. So Altec came to our apartment to stay over, and then we’d go to Riot and play, and that was just our set up for two weeks. Altec didn’t have a computer for a long time, so we were just not expecting much when we’re playing in the LCS, but I didn’t really care that much. Whenever we got to the LCS, we just become super saiyans, so it’s whatever.
AK: FlyQuest is also a team that’s getting the backing of the Milwaukee Bucks. As a team that is getting investment from an NBA team, did you feel any changes in how to team functions or how you approach the team after being part of Cloud9?
AL: I don’t think there’s much difference from when I was with Cloud9 except going from Challenger to LCS, I have more motivation now, and I just use my experience from Cloud9. We all did, to just play well in the LCS.
AK: Now with Fly Quest on a winning streak, how well do you think your team will ride this momentum? If you could make a prediction on where your team will be in the spring split, what would it be?
AL: Well my expectation was top five, so I’m just going to keep it there because the season just barely started, so I don’t know what’s going to happen yet. And we’re just on a spree right now so I just hope it continues.
AK: So you think you are a guaranteed playoff team?
AL: Yeah I think we’ll make the playoffs.
AK: Some of the things veteran players are talking about is injuries after a long career. Have you encountered any pain as a result of pro gaming life? If so how do you deal with it? If not, what do you do to avoid injury?
AL: Well for me I never had any wrist problems. I was in tennis in high school and middle school, also in orchestra, so I think I worked out my wrist a lot. I also lift a lot of weights so I never had any wrist issues, and I don’t use any wrist braces. But I imagine if you don’t do any of the other stuff, then you have to take measures. But I think I’m good right now. I never had any issues.
AK: As a top laner, many imports have come in for you to compete against. When you heard that these new players were coming in, did you have a shift of mentality?
AL: I don’t get nervous but I get really excited when there is more top lane talent. I’m just looking forward to playing everyone. Also especially since the last time I played LCS on Cloud9, the 1-v-2 happened a lot, and I really hated 1-v-2, and we also sucked at 1-v-2 because when I was at worlds and a part of Cloud9, I was always behind in the 1-v-2. So I’m pretty happy that the meta is only 1-v-1, and I’m looking to play against all the imports and do well.
AK: With the success and momentum, what is something you want to continue to do well in order to ride out this forward momentum?
AL: That’s a hard question. I mean, just continue practicing, improving, playing better in lane, because I think laning is really important right now, and if you can’t lane well, then you’re just gonna crash because one lane losing can really cost the game. I think just improving lane right now is my focus.
Cover photo courtesy of Riot Games