FlyQuest’s aphromoo sat with Gamelevate after their Week Seven game versus CLG to discuss playing in the longest game in the LCS Summer Season, improving as a team, and being recognized as one of the best all-time supports in the LCS.
With one weekend left to go, the race for playoffs is in full swing as teams push toward the finish line. One of those teams is FlyQuest which is on the hunt for an upper-bracket start. At the helm of the team is veteran support Zaqueri “aphromoo” Black who is leading a team of younger players to great lengths and to qualify for playoffs and the 2022 World Championships.
The following interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Aphromoo, thank you so much for speaking with us today. First, I know you’ve been playing a very long time and you are one of the veterans of FlyQuest. The team just played a 51-minute game. I know you’ve played some long games yourself so I want to know when it comes to these longer games, how do you make sure you help your team out and you guys all keep on the same page, especially as the games go beyond the forty-minute mark?
Yeah. those long games – it’s rough. Everybody usually is making mistakes left and right in those long-*** games That’s why it’s going so long. So just what’s important is making sure you have your goal on hand and it’s pretty easy. “Alright guys, you know, you just get into the sequence we’re fighting this dragon, we’re finding the setup before the dragon,” you know and then it goes to Nash. Depends on what comp you have: if you have a split pushing comp, you just want to you know, keep their core middle while your side laner can 1v1. So just setting little goals in the game like this is what we want to go for.
I know this game was a very difficult game and ended in a backdoor. I want to know from your standpoint, overall, how do you think the game went?
I think it was good. Good experience for our top laner Philip. Definitely had a lot of “flip the gun” on the Teleports and stuff like that. But you know, it’s normal. He definitely actually could have backdoored like, I don’t know, what was it 36 minutes and then just won the game right there. Because at one point, you know, both their side laners just grouped up with no TP to run it down mid, and he could have just, you know, ended the game and we’ll just hold them off. But you know, it takes experience and you know, a lot of reps to understand that’s what you want to do in that certain map scenario. And you know, I don’t feel bad about the loss. It was a good game for us. We definitely have made some mistakes in terms of after they got the Rift Herald you know. Them getting the Herald early on in the game and stuff like that not snowballing as hard as we could have bottom lane after, you know, killing this guy think twice or something like that. But other than overall, good game.
This weekend, the LCS is trying out live coms during the games. And I was listening to the coms in that Baron fight at 42 minutes. And I noticed that you and Josedeodo are being the primary shot callers. I know you’ve worked with Josedeodo last year and now you are working with all these new players. Without giving anything away, can you walk me through a little bit about what communication is like between you guys?
Yeah, whenever we’re fighting, it is just me and Brandon (Josedeodo) talking the whole time. We’re pretty good. Probably the best players on the team talking about CC, when we’re going in, when we’re backing off, you know, focus on this target and stuff like that. And then what we’re gonna do after just the planning phase is usually just you know, jungle-support, making sure we’re on the same page in terms of that thing. That’s like most teams. Jungle/Support are the setups for the play, you know. We’re in the right spots where our laners can perform. So I think that sort of communication system is pretty ideal for most teams.
I want to ask about Leona. I know Leona is not a new pick to the meta but we’ve been seeing a lot more enchanters/mages. We’ve been seeing primarily a lot of Lulu and Yuumi and right now we’re watching a Sona game in C9 vs 100 Thieves. Can you talk to me about what makes Leona still stand out among a meta of enchanters?
Leona, we needed a tank in our core. So just usually most parents are playing Wukong as their engage or you know, front liners for stuff like that. Poppy is also one people were picking and then you can pick an enchanter with that. So, what matters is what you match up with and your format on bot sides. So it’s like mid, jungle, and support. So if we need, you know, some engage and today was a day, you know, I’m picking engage because if I pick let’s say, you know, an enchanter, I don’t know who’s gonna get on the Azir and Twitch and be able to push them back in the team fight. So that’s just what’s going through my head and when I was picking Leona today.
You have one week left in the LCS Regular Season. I want to look a little bit at the entire split for you guys. FlyQuest showed a lot of improvements from Lock-In to now. How do you feel like your overall performance as a team has been?
Yeah, I think we had a good split overall. Obviously, towards the end half of the Summer Split, everybody, you know, ends up more disciplined, improving alot and most teams have a lot of experience in that regard. And for us, not so much, you know. So obviously, some things will prove a lot faster. That just means that you know, we got to work harder, and it’s okay. I mean, a lot of the mistakes that are happening, you get it from experience. For example, Philip was playing against a lot of you know, tried and true top players these past few weeks. He played Ssumday, Impact, Bwipo, and Fudge. So we’re getting a lot of experience against these guys, you know, who’ve been here a long time. You know, same for toucouille in mid, even though he’s been here for a split, so it’s good. I do think we are on top of the meta. We just got to tighten up our decision-making.
This is the first time you and I are talking to one another but I’ve been watching your career for a very long time. And it showed this weekend. I believe you saw this when the LCS did their Top Five supports of all time, and you were listed at number two. First of all, congratulations on that! Well deserved. I want to get your reaction to being on that list with some of the greatest supports in the LCS scene.
Yeah, there are a lot of great players on the list. I was just surprised some of the other players weren’t on there. Like getting Xpecial, for example, from TSM’s early days. I’ve played against him, you know, a lot of skill, but everybody’s good. Honestly, I love playing against all those guys. They’ve all been, you know, on winning teams success, you know, everywhere they go Vulcan on EG, you know, CoreJJ on TL, Biofrost on the TSM Dynasty run, it was a pleasure.
You are a veteran player of the game but I’m curious: Have there been any younger players, whether it be in the LCS, LEC, LCK or LPL that you’ve been looking at and watching how they played to give you some continued inspiration for your own play
Obviously, I watching GenG support Lehends a lot. Keria obviously and those weird *** supports. Other than that, I do watch RNG a lot because those guys play crazy.
As you look into the super week, I believe you are facing off against 100T, Immortals, and TSM. What are you going to be looking for to improve your chances of improving and making it to the playoffs?
I’m pretty confident. Obviously, we had a hard schedule. And I was looking forward to being on top of the standings after these past few weeks, but it didn’t turn out that way. We definitely got ran over most of the games. We were 0-4 you know, the past two weeks so that’s rough, but I’m just looking forward to it. What’s important is just making sure we use these next two weeks to prepare for playoffs. I have full confidence we’re gonna make and you’re gonna wind up at least going into next weekend. But I’m looking forward to how we do.
Finally, is there anything you’d like to say to fans of FlyQuest?
Yeah. It was rough boys, it was rough. But I’ll see you all next week.