In their match against 100 Thieves in Week 4 of the 2022 League of Legends Championship Series summer split, rookie top laner to FlyQuest Philip “Philip” Zeng put on a veteran-like performance on Sejuani. With his numerous engages that allowed FlyQuest to open up the game, Philip helped lead FQ to their third straight win which boosted FQ into second place in the standings.
But for Philip, despite going 1/0/7 on Sejuani, he thought he could have played even better.
“I’d be happier if I were stomping [Kim “Ssumday” Chan-ho] in lane, because of that I would say if I want to become a top LCS player that’s something I need to get better at,” Philip said. “I would say my performance was maybe average or below-average.”
In his rookie split, FQ are putting their hat into the ring as one of the region’s contenders for Worlds 2022 qualification and for Philip, his hunger to improve every week could be the catalyst to push FlyQuest to Worlds after missing out last year.
Outside of his clean team fighting with Sejuani, one of Philip’s biggest player strengths is his humility. With a down-to-earth mindset, Philip understands that League is a team game and how important it is to rely on veteran leadership. That was apparent in their latest win as well.
“I’m not the most knowledgable player,” Philip said. “So in that game, I would suggest plays but it’s always [Zaqueri “Aphromoo” Black], [Brandon Joel “Josedeodo” Villegas] or [Johnson “Johnsun” Nguyen] that give me the green light.”
Philip executed those orders well; with his mind set on giving his team the best chance of winning through team fighting and the aftermath, Philip might not appear confident but that’s something that is growing with time thanks to his motivation. Philip is hooked on the idea on playing on the big stage and never wants to let that go.
“When you get that adrenaline running and you end up winning and winning again, I don’t think it’s like confidence but it’s just the strive to achieve that again,” Philip said. “Winning on stage feels so good.”
He is putting that motivation to good work already. In the extra week off between Weeks 3 and 4, the FQ team went to Disneyland to bond even more but unfortunately, it led to Johnsun and Josedeodo contracting COVID-19 which derailed the teams’ scrim schedule. But Philip took no breaks. Instead, he focused on grinding in Solo and Champions Queue.
“I think applying everything I learned from the LCS into my Solo and Champions Queue games, I noticed an improvement in myself,” Philip said.
Everything seems to be going right on the rift for FQ entering the second half of Week 4. But again, Philip is level-headed and knows that it’s a “marathon not a sprint” which is something his Academy support player “Diamond” once told him. Right now, he thinks there are better teams in the league, but knows that FlyQuest can be at the top if they keep marching forward.
With that said, Philip does have ambitions outside of just winning. With players like Gabriël “Bwipo” Rau inspiring him, he wants to be known as a player with a deep and unique champion pool and one that focuses on carry champions. Although Sejuani carries in her own way, it’s not very flashy. Going off of Philip’s motivation, he truly wants to live for the big moment. On carry champions so far in his very young LCS career, Philip is 2-0 on Camille.
“A lot of these top laners, their best champs are very similar like Gnar, Ornn and Gwen where other regions you see Camille, Jax, Irelia and those types of champions,” Philip said. “I’m hoping in a way I can bring that over here because that’s one aspect that’s missing in the LCS is having someone who plays those kinds of carry champions.”