A new player has entered the game. FlyQuest was proclaimed a bad investment by critics, and in NA LCS power rankings they were often ranked at the bottom. But that was before this Split. Before they proved all those naysayers wrong.
FlyQuest’s roster is filled with former Cloud9 players who have played together for more than two years now. They are veterans: mix them with some new blood and the result is a team that is currently battling for first place in the Spring Split.
Of course, behind every roster stand the support staff that help the team succeed. Jeffrey Hoang has been working in the eSports industry since 2012 – he started his career with League of Tritons at UCSD which later became Triton Gaming. “I was the team manager of the collegiate League of Legends team for about year and a half, and left to play collegiate volleyball for a season,” he tells Red Bull eSports.
“I was never good enough to be a starter for collegiate volleyball, but I made some good memories and learned a lot playing for Miramar College. I volunteered at SoCal collegiate LANs like Winter Game Fest, Press Start LAN, and viewing parties held by UCSD. I met a lot of my eSports friends who I now work closely with, so I’m really glad that I joined League of Tritons in 2012.”
Hoang has yet to finish his BS in Cognitive Science, as he had to take time off to look for a job. That’s when the FlyQuest opportunity opened up. “It was really out of the blue,” he reveals.
“I was hanging out at Hai’s place talking with StrifeCro about video games when Hai [FlyQuest mid laner Hai Lam] sends me a message asking if when I was done with school and if I had free time. He ended up telling me to talk to Ryan Edens, our general manager, and they said they were in need of a team manager. After a phone call and a week of working with the team, I was offered an official position at FlyQuest.”
A team manager's role is to make sure that the players in the team have nothing to worry about outside of the game. Hoang will make sure that there is enough food around, helping the squad set up their furniture and generally keeping the house clean.
The team spends the majority of their time scrimming. “In between scrim sets, the team usually orders take-out, goes out for food, or if I have time I cook them a quick meal. Our scrims usually end around 7pm, and Balls, Altec, and Thinkcard [Head coach Thomas ‘Thinkcard’ Slotkin] usually go to the gym. Moon and Lemon SoloQ, and Hai and I usually return back home. Hai and I have started a gym schedule as well, and hopefully we stick to that.”
Hoang says that the team environment is great: even though some players have been playing with each other for a long time there is not really a hierarchy. “Everyone contributes the same amount, and everyone’s opinion is respected. The team environment when they play is really nice to watch. The team doesn’t get mad over mistakes, especially during matches. They say ‘don’t mind’ and move on, and analyze mistakes objectively after the games. If there is a difference in opinion, everyone chips in until the team collectively decides what would be better. I think it’s a really healthy, positive environment and it definitely brings out Moon and Altec’s full potential.”
FlyQuest faced some issues early on in the Split; since they are such a new team the infrastructure had to be set up from the ground up. Hiccups ensued, but Hoang says that everything has been taken care of now. “Everything at the house is finally set up and we’ve been scrimming at home since the first week of LCS. We ran into some internet problems during Week 2, but they were quickly fixed once I went out and bought two modem routers.”
I want to do what I can to help bring FlyQuest to Worlds.Jeffrey Hoang
The new team will be starting to engage with fans more in the upcoming weeks. For now they are just using the team’s Snapchat, as the team’s management does not want to overload the players with the extra work and responsibilities.
Longer term, Hoang wants FlyQuest to succeed which, several weeks into the first Split of 2017, certainly seems plausible. They are certainly contenders for the NA LCS Spring Split Trophy. Hoang has a long term goal in his mind: he wants to “help build FlyQuest as a brand and do what I can to help bring the team to Worlds.” With FlyQuest currently standing third in the table, Hoang is well on his way to making that goal a reality.