Last weekend, Flash Wolves took on MAD Team in the LMS Finals where both teams competed for Worlds Seeding since they both already qualified for Worlds.
Naturally, Flash Wolves took the series easily in a 3-0. But it was not without any heart palpitations. MAD Team did everything they could to keep the series competitive, with Hsiao “Kongyue” Jen-Tso and Huang “Breeze” Chien-Yuan exhibiting spectacular performances against the veteran squad. Unfortunately, MAD were still too fresh and made too many mistakes, resulting in a clean sweep against them.
Flash Wolves fought that final using veteran Top Laner Yu “MMD” Li-Hung instead of the usual Su “Hanabi” Chia-Hsiang. He sported Sion as well as Darius; signalling to all who were watching that he was no longer just the guy who sits in lane and absorbs pressure. He can also dunk on fools who take him lightly. It was also probably a good strategy to play MMD in the series in order to keep their trump cards hidden; a strategy that RNG employed prior to MSI 2018.
Hanabi has shown his ability to perform in clutch situations against Kingzone and is still considered the better Top Laner in Flash Wolves, but perhaps Flash Wolves will keep their Top Lanes in rotation to keep their opponents guessing.
Kim “Moojin” Moo-jin was playing while unwell during the set but still managed a spectacular performance on Champions like Lee Sin and Trundle. It was his first pro Lee Sin debut and he did an exceptional job co-ordinating with Maple to execute combo plays perfectly.
As for Jungle substitute Chen “Morning” Kuan-Ting, he was brought in as a sub at MSI 2018 for fear of repeat issues they had when they had Kramer on the team. Now that Moojin’s performances have stabilized, Flash Wolves will probably look to MMD as their 6th man as with Rift Rivals.
Huang “Maple” Yi-Tang continues his 2018 rampage as he takes a total of 20 MVPs throughout the course of the year. Once again, he has a myriad of Champions at his disposal, most notably his Vladimir and Galio while also being great at Taliyah, Zoe and LeBlanc. It has become impossible to ban out Maple’s Champion pool. MAD Team tried by banning 5 of his champions and he still managed to get a favourable matchup. He has built up synergy with Moojin that rivals that of Karsa which only makes Flash Wolves all the more potent.
Bottom Lane Lu “Betty” Yu-Hung and Hu “SwordArt” Shuo-Chieh are among the best in the World, probably only Uzi-Ming and Ruler-CoreJJ can compare with them. SwordArt has gotten more confident with his calls since MSI while maintaining mechanical prowess. Betty on the other hand, has only learnt to take more calculated risks and have taken aggression to a whole new level. Analysts may have slept on him for MSI 2018, but they would be fools to sleep on him now.
Together, Betty and SwordArt form the core foundation that Flash Wolves usually work upon.
The core strategy of Flash Wolves remains the same; use heavy Jungle-Mid synergy to gain Mid Lane Priority, translate that advantage to Bottom lane and then snowball the game through and through. However, with Hanabi in the picture, they now have a backup strategy of playing around the Top Lane as well. The former Yasuo One-Trick has mechanics that rival that of Khan when it comes to Carry Top Lane Champions and can carry the game when he’s put in a position to. So, while teams start attacking Flash Wolves’ bottom lane, they best not neglect their Top lane or risk getting rolled over.
Looking forward to Worlds 2018, Flash Wolves are still considered only a Mid-Tier team. They may have taken down Goliaths Royal Never Give Up and King-zone DragonX but those were always in Best of Ones. Flash Wolves will have to ensure consistency in their BO5s before they are considered favourites to win any tournament.
Worlds Group Draw will be on 23 September 2018, 8pm