After a fourth place finish in the North American League of Legends Championship Series (NA LCS) spring split, FlyQuest has struggled to win series in the first half of the summer. Following a Week 5 win against Team Dignitas, Slingshot’s Emily Rand caught up with FlyQuest jungler Galen “Moon” Holgate to talk about the team’s slow start.
Emily Rand: Congratulations on your second victory. How are you feeling?
Galen “Moon” Holgate: I’m feeling pretty good. Winning definitely feels slightly better than losing.
ER: Just slightly?
GH: Definitely slightly better than losing (laughs). I don’t feel depressed. After every other game I would crash on caffeine, we’d lose, I’d go home, lay in my bed. I guess I’d sleep for a couple of hours…but yeah, today I don’t think I’ll take a nap when I get home. Or maybe I’ll take a happy nap.
ER: You had a really hot start to last split but fell off toward the end of the season, whereas this split you’ve struggled early. What has it been like for you, this split compared to last split?
GH: We kind of just sucked, I guess. And we still kind of suck. When you start losing, everyone goes into panic mode. Last split we maybe got complacent when we were winning every game. For me personally, though, it’s been really shitty. It’s been really hard. I think I ride off of confidence, so when I’m losing every game it’s a lot harder for me to get in the zone. I guess I just forgot what it was like to win, honestly. Even when we won against Phoenix1, it didn’t feel like a win, really. It was the two bottom teams playing each other, like who cares? But today it felt like a win, and it feels really good to win again.
ER: To defeat Dignitas today, did you have any specific approach, or was it just general team improvement for FlyQuest?
GH: I don’t think approached Dignitas differently from other teams. Just this past week we had a — well, not successful scrims, but productive scrims compared to normal.
ER: What were scrims like before, then?
GH: Our scrims have been slowly getting better. This week, we did really well in scrims but it seemed like we were scrimming really bad teams. Not really bad teams, but it felt like things were going really badly for other teams. I guess we were just dying less? Normally our scrims are like, “OK guys, everything’s going good, oh shit I’m dead.” And that happens for five minutes and then we lose. We’re getting better at not killing ourselves in scrims, so that’s a good way for us to improve. I’m learning a lot from scrims.
ER: Parity was something that a lot of people talked about last split, where it seemed like every team could take a game off of another team. This split things seem a bit more stratified. How do you go about evaluating your improvement or where you are within North America as compared to other teams?
GH: You just kind of know when you’re improving. I think win or lose in the LCS you can feel when you’re improving at least, or once you actually learn how to do something. Right now a lot of our reviews are just going over basics. We’re really just trying to work on basics right now. Once we see improvement in that, we can work on more advanced stuff. But you didn’t really ask this, but playing in NA can be really depressing because when you look at the grand scheme of things, we’re (3-7) in NA, and NA sucks compared to LCK. So it’s like, sometimes when I’m depressed I think about how bad we actually are (laughs). We’re in one of the worst regions, and we suck in that region. So it’s kind of daunting.
ER: Ouch. Moving on, Hai (“Hai” Du Lam) had said previously that improving as a team required developing better habits. What is the difference then between your habits last split and your habits this split?
GH: Our habits last split are exactly the same as our habits this split. I feel like, when we first started playing and first started winning all the time, the meta was super good for us. I was like a Rengar one-trick pony and Rengar was super OP at the time. Jungle was really OP at the time. We were just winning games off of fighting, and I think that’s kind of always been how we played. As other teams got better, we started losing those fights. At the beginning of this split we played the exact same way and we’re trying to stop that, just fighting all the time. I honestly think that we’re a pretty good team. Maybe another week or two, once we flip the switch I think we can be a top team. We all know how to play the game and we’re all good individually, so we just have to get rid of the mindset, “Oh, we just have to fight these guys.”
ER: Previously, you had talked about cheese or pocket picks from last split. You said that once FlyQuest started losing with those picks, you decided to put them away. You’ve been a lot more standard this split, but did it ever cross your minds to pull out some of those weirder picks?
GH: No, not really. I think most of the game where we won with really weird picks, we would have won with meta picks as well. I might bring back Shaco because he got buffed. What do you think? (laughs) Turtle I can tell him to bring back the Mordekaiser.
Cover photo courtesy of Riot Games/Slingshot illustration