Johnsun: “I guess I expected more from TSM”
Flyquest beat TSM in a hard-fought comeback to close out the first official game of the 2021 Spring Split. After losing 2-0 to Team Liquid in the League of Legends Championship series Lock In Quarterfinals, expectations were lukewarm for this roster, but FlyQuest showed that they are stronger than many thought.
We sat down with Flyquest bot laner Johnson “Johnsun” Nguyen after the team’s comeback victory to discuss picking Seraphine, laning against SwordArt, and the art of winning a game from behind.
Hotspawn: First off, let me say congratulations on the win! It seems like most people were favoring TSM in your match against them today— how confident were you going into today’s game?
Johnsun: I’ll say I wasn’t as confident about the win, because we’re kinda struggling right now in scrims, or not doing the best. So, I was kinda surprised that we got— well, it was a surprise this game how the draft went out, and how they played. It was likely we were gonna win. I guess I expected more from TSM.
Hotspawn: Licorice mentioned in the post-game interview that you guys haven’t been doing so hot in scrims recently. Does that have an effect on your mental game going on stage?
Johnsun: Yeah, so since we’re not performing as well in scrims, it’s kind of a no-brainer that maybe we’re not gonna do so well over the weekend. With the new schedule you have 3 days of scrims, right, and then 3 matches. So if you’re doing bad in 3 days of scrims, that’s gonna reflect on stage.
Hotspawn: Of course. I wanted to ask you about the power of that Seraphine/Rell pick. We’ve seen a lot of Seraphine recently, and right now she’s something like 100% P/B in Academy. What do you think is the strength of that combo right now?
Johnsun: I think— without leaking anything [laughs], you know how Sona/Taric is annoying? Teamfight wise, you gotta play smart. It’s like every new champ, if you’re not used to playing against it, it’s kind of a cheese, I guess. You have to play in certain ways. Let’s say— [that game] they’re a teamfight comp. And we’re a better teamfight comp. Since they’re not setting up the plays properly, our comp is obnoxious. They had counters to it, too, like the dragon they got— they hard zone us, and we couldn’t do anything. So it’s not like this comp is broken. For the academy point, at least, I just think it’s just easier to play [the pick] in Academy. Cause you can get dove 10 times and you don’t lose, cause teams don’t punish you enough.
Hotspawn: Totally. Now, I have to ask— one of the biggest offseason moves was SwordArt entering the NA scene. How is it laning against him?
Johnsun: Laning against SwordArt? He’s pretty good in scrims. We scrim them a lot, and we kind of run it down [laughs]. I’d say his performance on stage doesn’t reflect him in scrims. I think something happened to the team after the Lock In Tournament, which I guess is why they’re performing like this. He’s for sure a good player.
Hotspawn: For a while there, it looked like you guys were being choked out in map objectives by TSM. How do you maintain your mental fortitude in situations like that, keeping the team atmosphere positive while looking for a way back into the game?
Johnsun: So, this game we traded dragons for turrets. They got all 3 of our turrets top to bot into mid with the double herald. The first herald, since they got the first herald, it’s guaranteed one of our turrets is gonna be gone. That’s a given. For our team, I guess [it’s] understanding the macro. We choked a little bit [laughs], when we almost lost our top inhib turret. I was yelling to my team “they’re gonna take the top inhib if we just keep staying mid!” It’s about trying to get the team to focus on what [TSM] can do, and how we’re gonna react to it, cause I don’t think we reacted as well.
Hotspawn: You mentioned that you were the voice calling for the danger of that toplane push, saying that something needs to happen. What’s your role within the team in terms of decision making, in moments like that when you’re backed against a corner?
When it comes to decision making, I’d say I have one of the better understandings of [objective] trading— if it’s good or bad. I like to think about the play a little bit, and since I’m playing Seraphine, I can kind of just boink around. I was like “if they full commit top and we only get one turret, this is the worst trade I’ve ever seen!” Obviously, we’re gonna lose out on the play since we’re reacting to it. Just trying to cut the loss, stabilize, and push them out. TSM had some good ideas— they were abusing what we were doing.
Hotspawn: So you guys weren’t feeling nervous even though you were a little bit behind?
Johnsun: No. During most of our teamfights, except for the one where we got MF ulted, we were talking about the situation pretty well. We never got flanked by Alistar or stuff like that. Obviously, we could’ve played teamfights a little bit better, but we weren’t nervous. Everyone was focusing in the moment.
Hotspawn: So you’ve played on stage before. In terms of nerves going into game, how is playing remotely different? Do you like it better?
Johnsun: Playing on stage makes you more nervous, cause there’s fans. It’s like when you’re presenting something, you know. Everyone can see you. And then you eventually look at them. You get more nervous. Whereas if you’re playing from home, it’s like you’re playing solo queue or scrims. Nobodies watching you. You don’t even know if your cameras on. That’s why I think when you play from home, you play better.
Hotspawn: How has the atmosphere of the team has changed since Josedeodo landed?
Johnsun: Since Josedeodo’s arrival we’ve been able to play better, with the synergy. I think Diamond and Palafox have better synergy with Josedeodo. And nxi, although we lost, he only had like 2 days of scrims. As a guy who’s just joined the pro scene, it’s kinda like… not optimal, to play with a new jungler against Blaber and Dardoch.
Hotspawn: Yeah, kinda getting thrown to the wolves with that one. After today’s upset, how are you feeling about the rest of the weekend’s matches?
Johnsun: I feel better. But out of the three, I think TL is probably the best team [we’ll play] this week. EG and TSM are good, but since we beat TSM, we’re guaranteed not 0-3 [laughs]. So it feels pretty comfortable, but not complacent.
Hotspawn: You don’t think TL should be sweating?
Johnsun: They’re for sure the best team right now. They’re the team to beat, alongside C9, with their gauntlet performance. They’re for sure the best 2 teams right now.
Hotspawn: And what about the rest of the split? What’re your hopes in the longterm?
Johnsun: To constantly improve. Just gotta get as many wins as we can, keep improving, and get better synergy.
Hotspawn: Awesome! I think that’s all I have for you. Thanks for taking the time to do this, I really appreciate it! And good luck with the rest of the weekend.
Johnsun: Thank you!