Santorin and FlyQuest beat Cloud9 3-1 in their 2020 LCS Summer Split playoff series. He even earned Player of the Series honors for having sky high kill participation with 18 kills and 28 assists in the match.
The 23-year-old veteran talked after the series about his second chance to prove himself at Worlds, his opinions on C9’s current form, the improvements FlyQuest had to make in the middle of the Summer Split, and the difficulties around earning the trust of the LCS faithful.
“I know after the game [against C9], I had basically no reaction, but that’s because I just couldn’t take it in,” Santorin said. “It’s been five years since I made it to Worlds and this is all I’ve been wanting for so long. I want to go back to Worlds and prove myself as a player, because last time around, I wasn’t ready and I didn’t perform.”
This matchup was huge for both teams and it understandably brought a ton of pressure. Santorin said FlyQuest needed to deal with keeping their composure in the face of such an important series, especially since they were 0-7 against C9 in 2020.
Eventually, they proved that they were the better team this time around by outplaying them from drafts to execution. Santorin also pointed out that in this series, C9 kept opting for a scaling composition with champions like Nocturne, Ezreal, and Yuumi, which had never been a playstyle that brought them success.
“It’s always been them playing aggressive, them being like, ‘Why the hell are these teams playing scaling? We’re just going to crush them in the early game,’ but that just isn’t the team anymore,” Santorin said. “I’m not sure if the meta changed and that’s why, or they simply just don’t feel as confident.”
“I’ve never been a big fan of six-man rosters because the whole team identity changes with one player, [and] your communication changes,” Santorin said. “Even if one player is better at certain things, as a team you improve a lot faster when you’re playing with one specific player. I’m just happy we all started practicing even harder and really trying to double down on improving as a team.”
FlyQuest might be locked in for Worlds, but Santorin knows his team still has to put in a lot more work to gain the respect he knows they deserve. He believes, for example, that he belonged on the LCS All-Pro first team this season, but people aren’t usually focused on the “other teams” in NA.
“I know this organization has had the same mindset as me—we both feel really underrated and want to prove that we’re here to compete and dominate,” Santorin said. “Hopefully, we can keep this up and become one of those teams that people will actually recognize.”