Hailing from Taiwan, the yoe Flash Wolves qualified for MSI after defeating rivals AHQ esports in the LMS finals 3-0. Flash Wolves are no strangers to the international stage having impressed audiences worldwide during the 2015 World Championships, coming first in a group containing NA’s CLG, future semi-finalists Koo Tigers, and Wildcard hopefuls Pain Gaming. Despite being knocked out by EU’s Origen, they definitely made a statement and showed that Taiwan is a region to be reckoned with. FW have only made a single roster change coming into MSI from Worlds, replacing fan favourite Steak with rookie player MDD, and look to continue their region’s tradition of exceeding expectations on the international stage.
Flash Wolves’ newest addition, MDD has already began to make a name for himself as one of the best toplaners in his region. So far in the regular season, he has filled the utility role opting for Poppy, Nautilus and Lulu in the regular season, and Ekko and Maokai in the playoffs. Although MDD often falls under the radar when talking about Flash Wolves, as stars Maple, Karsa and Swordart often take the spotlight, he is not to be underestimated. His Poppy is professionally undefeated, and he sports a monstrous 51.0 KDA on the champion across 5 games played. A fact which teams will have to take into consideration in pick/ban.
Karsa plays a high tempo game of League of Legends. MDD fills the role of tank/utility on the team, which leaves Karsa open to go for more carry oriented aggressive picks which suits his playstyle down to the ground. His synergy with Maple is excellent and the pair often go roaming together to pick off targets with the assassin style champions the two are famous for. Elise is his most played champion this split, but he has also shown skill on AD carry junglers playing both Kindred and Graves in the playoffs to fantastic effect, scoring a KDA of 11+ on both champions.
Flash Wolves’ star player is Midlaner, Maple. Known for his assassin plays, he showed the world his skills on Le Blanc during the 2015 World Championships and has continued to dominate the competition on this pick as well as his feared Zed during the regular season. However, Maple is far from a one trick pony. He has a wide array of champions at his disposal from gangplank to Lulu and Vasus to Midlane Nautilus. In a tournament stacked with midlane talent, Maple may fly under some player’s radar, but he is unafraid of any competition, and is definitely a player to watch out for.
Flash Wolves’ AD carry is NL. Like MDD, he often goes overlooked when talking about Flash Wolves but he is a sturdy player who has excellent positioning, and a knack for finding Pentakills, scoring one this season, and another during the World Championships. During said World Championships, he made a name for himself as a fantastic Jinx and Caitlyn player, but he has diversified this season and has shown to be an excellent Lucian and Kalista player. He has just come off the best split of his career and leads the pack in both KDA and Kills per minute and is a key part of YFW’s success.
Behind the curtains, there’s Swordart. The team’s primary shotcaller, and is responsible for much of his team’s success. Trademark of FW’s play is the roaming squad of Swordart, Karsa and Maple, which can devastate the map during the early game, and gain Flash Wolves a lead. A resilient player, with a lot of experience, Swordart is ready to show the world, once again, why Flash Wolves are the best team in Taiwan. Flash Wolves come into the tournament as underdogs, with big names like SKT, RNG and CLG taking up the spotlight, but be ready to be surprised by them. I consider Flash Wolves a dark horse, and team to watch at the Mid-Season Invitational. They play their first match against Europe’s G2 Esports at 8AM GMT on Wednesday the 4th of May.