Flash Wolves announced last Friday that they had decided to disband their League of Legends esports team after six years of competitive play. The news comes in the wake of some massive changes within the team as well as in the regional LoL scene.
Once one of the most feared teams in the world, Flash Wolves have gone through tough times this year. Not only did they fail to win the LMS Summer Split for the first time since 2015, they did not even qualify for the second stage and finished at a disastrous sixth spot in the regular season.
Their poor results were brought about by the departure of some key members during the 2018 off-season, when their support player Hu “SwordArt” Shuo-Chieh and mid-laner Huang “Maple” Yi-Tang left to continue their careers at Suning in the LPL. The Taiwanese team had already lost star jungler Hung “Karsa” Hao-Hsuan in late 2017.
After parting ways with Karsa, Maple and SwordArt, Flash Wolves were left without any real quality in their team. However, their roster issues were not the only thing that contributed to the team’s disbandment,
As already revealed in late September, the LMS and LST will merge to form the Pacific League Championship Series (PCS) in a bid to make the region more competitive on the global stage. However, financial restraints and lack of funding have taken a significant toll on teams and players from weaker leagues such as the LMS and OPL.
Flash Wolves’ venture into the competitive LoL scene started in April 2013, when yoe IRONMEN were formed by drafting nine players from the Taiwan eSports League Draft. Their first official tournament was the TeSL Professional Challenges in July the same year, where yoe IRONMEN placed dead-last with a 4-21 record.
Despite their dismissal results, the team was invited to the Season 3 Taiwan Regional Finals, where they went on to qualify for the playoffs. However, due to the departure of four members, yoe IRONMEN were unable to continue competing in the tournament and had to drop out.
In October 2013, yoe IRONMEN reformed their roster by signing the recently disbanded Gamania Bears and rebranded themselves as yoe Flash Wolves. They held onto that name until 2015, when they dropped the sponsorship and became known simply as Flash Wolves.
The same year, Flash Wolves participated at the LoL World Championship, where they went above and beyond all expectations. Seen by many analysts as one of the weakest teams at the tournament, Flash Wolves not only made it out of the group ahead of KOO Tigers, paiN Gaming and CLG, they also became the first team in two years to finish above a Korean team in the LoL Worlds group stage.
That run to the quarter-finals remains Flash Wolves’ biggest achievement on the international stage. Other notable results include their IEM Season 11 World Championship title, third-fourth finishes at MSI 2016, 2017 and 2018, and seven LMS titles, making Flash Wolves the most successful team in LoL Master Series history.