In League of Legends, complete rebuilding a team from scratch in the span of one season is rare, but it's not a new phenomenon. When it does happen, the team that takes the massive undertaking of completely overhauling its starting five usually draws attention and immediately engages in the championship conversation.
FlyQuest's future is no different in 2023. It has bid farewell to all five of its 2022 starters and will add a new starting lineup ahead of next season, which includes a good mix of established domestic players, exciting new faces from overseas, and young players who are expected to form the organization's foundation.
FlyQuest has been in the midst of a rebuilding process for the past two seasons. After losing all five players who led the team to the League World Championship in 2020, FlyQuest has committed itself to finding younger, more inexperienced players to develop its next generation of championship teams.
On the LCS stage over the previous two seasons, 13 different players wore the FlyQuest jersey. This year, however, FlyQuest hopes to knock the revolving door down by assembling a pool of players and staff members that might very well win the LCS.
Why might FlyQuest's 2023 roster be enticing?
The completely revamped roster at FlyQuest focuses on winning the LCS now. From top to bottom, the starting lineup features a striking assortment of established domestic players and exciting international talents. This method of combining experience with potential has worked in the past, most recently last season when Evil Geniuses combined its pre-existing veterans with some of NA's most promising rookies to win the LCS Spring Split.
FlyQuest hopes to replicate its success last season. VicLa and Prince will be introduced at the carry positions in North America, who both played for KT Rolster and Liiv SANDBOX last season.
Prince, in particular, was one of the best players in the LCK last season, and one could argue that he was the finest player in the world to miss the World Championship. According to League stats website Oracle's Elixir, his 6.2 Summer Split KDA was the third-highest among all LCK players.
FlyQuest stayed in touch with its Korean-imported carries at all other levels, adding a full-time job to Liquid's one-time top prospect Eyla at the support position and bringing in two former LCS champions in Impact and Spica to fill those positions on January 17. But FlyQuest will not have Eyla to start their 2023 LCS Spring Split.
Same mission, new wings: MVP jungler completes supercharged FlyQuest LCS roster, featuring legendary top laners and LCK rising stars
The mere notion of these five players playing together makes any pro League supporter feel good. The fact that the roster came together in the span of only one offseason makes it all the more intriguing. The franchise has morphed from fringe candidate to title contender virtually overnight.
The most significant aspect of FlyQuest's offseason turnaround is the organization's front office. After the Viola family purchased the Florida Panthers, FlyQuest almost immediately brought in former 100 Thieves general manager Chris "PapaSmithy" Smith to lead the team's lightning-strategy rebuild in 2023. During his tenure with 100 Thieves, he won the LCS outright in 2021.
PapaSmithy has joined FlyQuest as its new president and chief gaming officer, according to 'natural progression.'
Former DRX head coach Ssong has also brought in a sincere World Championship-caliber coach in the biggest blow-it-all-up-after-a-championship move in esports history. Now, with Ssong at the helm in his second North American stint (he previously coached four LCS teams between 2017 and 2020), FlyQuest may have the required skills to not only compete internationally.
Aspirations to be a champion
FlyQuest will be the most completely transformed team in North America—maybe even the world in the 2023 season thanks to a complete overhaul of its starting lineup, coaching staff, and front office. One could easily argue that no other team in the global League scene made more replacements to transform themselves from outsider to contender during the 2022-23 offseason.
The objective for FlyQuest (realistically) should not be to win an LCS championship. A championship-caliber lineup and staff should be a goal for a team that has assembled players and coaches who have demonstrated they can excel domestically and internationally. Even before the 2023 season begins, the organization has slammed the bar down.
FlyQuest's opening game against another new-look squad in Team Liquid will begin on January 26.