The Flash Wolves are a team with quite a reputation behind them. Not only a team that's been domestically dominant for multiple seasons, but also one that has a track record for impressive results at international events. Every time Flash Wolves are in a tournament line-up there's almost an air of mystery surrounding them, no one's ever quite sure how well they'll match up against the other regions and the common opinion is often wrong once the results are all said and done.
So far this season Flash Wolves are off to a stonkingly good start, currently 4-0 in the LMS standings and have only dropped a single game in a bo3 vs AHQ, another powerhouse squad from Taiwan. While this is impressive, it shouldn't be all too surprising as the Flash Wolves have won the last two consecutive splits of the LMS as well as the Taiwan Regional Finals prior to that. This is certainly a team with a pedigree of success that have been waiting for an international win for quite some time.
Now to touch on that superstar Jungle/Mid combo of Karsa and Maple who are renowned for their synergy and control of the map. With how focused the meta is currently on the mid and jungle roles, you'd think having two of your strongest players sitting in those respective positions would be a massive boon. However with a less than impressive Worlds result, the duo have to prove that they are a force to be reckoned with once more and show the best of their ability in Katowice!
The roster isn't quite the same as it was last season, but with only one roster swap the coordination is still well and truly intact, as they've proven within the LMS so far. The only player that stepped down is NL, the old AD Carry, named "NeverLose" in homage to his laning prowess. Big shoes for the new kid on the block to fill, but DoubleRed comes with some credentials of his own. Coming from the Flash Wolves academy team "Flash Husky" he's been part of the core practice regimen for a long time and even attended IEM Oakland with the Flash Wolves as a substitute for NL last year. On paper he might be a fairly new player, but he's proven his salt already and at this point rather than building a name for himself, he'll be setting that reputation in stone.
So how will Flash Wolves match up to the competition?
As always, it's difficult to directly compare regions and accurately predict who will be strongest and how the play styles of different regions matchup, but I do have a lot of hope for the Flash Wolves. The team's performance at Worlds certainly left something to be desired, not making it out of groups with an unfortunate 2:4 scoreline, however it wasn't all "doom and gloom" as they were also the only team to take a game from SKT pre-playoffs. This is an accolade for any team and was a glimpse at what the Flash Wolves could become if they can replicate that success into habit. With this year's korean teams (ROX Tigers and Kondoo Monster) being considerably weaker than SKT, the taiwanese contenders should be feeling confident as they head to Poland and look to settle for at least a slot in the semi-finals!
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Article by: Joe "Munchables" Fenny