Yesterday, LMS crowned their 3-time Spring Split Champions Flash Wolves as they beat out ahq in a score of 3-1. With this win, Flash Wolves are poised to contest the MSI 2017 trophy from current MSI Champions SK Telecom T1.
Naturally, it would be considered more or less blasphemy to claim that any team could beat SKT at this point, especially after their convincing 3-0 Grand Final against kt.
However, while stats are BO1, it is a fact that FW has a professional winning record against SKT of 3-1. By extension, FW has a 5-1 record against LCK teams. This is such a ridiculous statistic no other non-LCK team has yet to replicate that it has become a meme that FW are the Korean Killers (much to the dismay of some of the hardcore LCK/SKT fans).
It goes without question that the core of Flash Wolves have now achieved world-renown. Mid laner Maple and Jungler Karsa have been touted as World Class players by many. To some extent, many also recognize the talent that is SwordArt, who currently resides at the 41st place in the Korean Ladder, ahead of all his other teammates.
New addition Betty has now fully integrated into the team ever since his debut in IEM Oakland as DoubleRed. Taking a more aggressive approach to be a dominant bottom lane alongside SwordArt, he has achieved more in a single split than NL ever has in 2 years.
MMD also achieved his own breakthrough by finally being able to perform well not just on tanks like Poppy, Maokai, Nautilus, but on carry Tops such as AP Ekko, Rumble and Kled. As one would recall, he was the integral part in keeping FW’s hopes alive when H2K ran their Tank comp against them at Katowice.
The Morale Boost
Most definitely, FW’s win in IEM Katowice was noticed all across the globe. A tournament that was supposed to be an easy win for the best European teams was brutally and cleanly snatched away by the top LMS team.
The victory not only brought FW more renown, but also more scrims with the top Korean teams. And FW, shrewd as they are, jumped on that opportunity to jumpstart their growth.
As could be seen in Game 1 of the LMS Finals, the weaknesses of FW have not been fully rectified. While FW was able to capitalize on ahq’s movements early game, they seemingly forgot to make pro-active movements on their own. FW gave ahq the ball and watched as ahq fired shots one after another until they landed a 3-pointer in the mid lane. This was their problem at Worlds last year against IM and C9; it showed against H2K in Katowice as well.
Jungler Karsa is known for his ability to read the map and move with Maple as a unit. However, whenever Karsa falters, he seems to perform his best Mountain impression of staring into a grey screen. Karsa is not considered a weak link by any means, but when his movements are read cleanly, that’s when one of the main pillars of FW starts to crumble. Against the KR Ladder No.1 Peanut, this will prove to be a tall order.
I am led to believe that FW came into the LMS Finals already expecting their trip to Brazil and thus still have a few Trump cards up their sleeve to be played in MSI.
Contenders in MSI seem largely a repeat of last year. If RNG qualifies, 5 out of 6 regions would have the same representative as the last; NA being the only exception. In this case, all players will be looking to rewrite history. SKT would never allow themselves to lose 4 games in a row, much less against their Kryptonite FW; their pride simply won’t allow that.
Thus, as with my other LMS analysts and content creators, the following tweets by Fusilero should explain it all. If you’re on board the FW Hype train, expect a fatal roller coaster ride.
Here’s hoping Flash Wolves do well in the tournament. But I would not be surprised if they did not. Such is the way of the LMS.