verybody loves a good underdog story. Consider Steven Bradbury, every Mighty Ducks film, or (more recently) Mexico’s victory over Germany in the FIFA World Cup. Now, the Oceanic Pro League has the makings of its own rags to riches fairytale, and they are called Tectonic.
Last split, Tectonic set up camp at the base of the OPL leaderboard. They failed to win a single match and only picked up two games overall. This split, a new look trans-pacific Tectonic roster has shaken the foundation of the OPL leaderboard with a week two win over Order (who were 3rd place after round robin last split). Many OPL tippers considered it be a shock upset, but Shok came away from the match anything but upset.
Earlier this week, I caught up with the core-5 Tectonic players to find out how it feels to finally secure a win, and why other teams should be quaking in their Ninja Tabis.
Present for the chat – Daniel “Papryze” Francis, Lachlan “Sybol” Civil, Ari “Shok” Greene-Young, Ross “Value” Luppino and Lawrence “Trance” Amador.
Congratulations on your win! It has been a long time coming. How does it feel to finally get a win?
Shok: It hasn’t really sunk in. I think we’re still in shock.
Sybol: It’s weird to look at the standings at the moment.
What has changed since last split?
Shok: We have three new players – Lachlan (Sybol), Ross (Value) and Lawrence (Trance). They bring a lot more experience to the roster. Previously, many people on the team were newer to the game than I was, which was quite scary… because I don’t know what I’m doing, so they probably didn’t either. Now, there are a lot of people around me with a lot of experience. Our quality of practice and preparation is higher.
Papryze: I definitely agree with this. Probably the biggest thing for me was that I got a lot of my confidence back during the Korean boot camp.
Tectonic picks up a 2-0 win against ORDER in week 2 of the OPL.
So, Papryze and Shok were on the Tectonic roster last split, but Value and Trance are from the NA region, and Sybol has floated between multiple OPL teams. How did this team come together?
Value: I was in talks with Jonny “Saiclone” Weatherly (Tectonic’s Coach) about joining. He was looking for a whole bot lane. Lawrence (Trance) and I have played together on teams in the past, so if I was going to move to Tectonic with anybody, it would be him. We work well together, so it seemed like a good opportunity to show that we’re a good bot lane, to experience a new culture and have fun while doing it.
Sybol: I had just come off being replaced by Legacy, so I was looking to see what options there were in the OPL. Praelus was picked up by Avant Gaming, so I saw my only options were to join Sin – but they didn’t want to part with Juves – or Tectonic. I didn’t really want to join a team that was destined for relegation, so Jonny and I talked a lot about what would be needed for me to join. I knew that there was a lot I could bring to Tectonic, but it’s a team game and so high level individual parts across the board are important. I told him that I thought imports were necessary. Now that we’re here, we’re aiming much higher than to avoid relegation.
How long has the team been together?
Value: I got here on Friday…
Papryze: Yeah, Ross (Value) hasn’t been here that long. Ari (Shok) and I have been in the house about 9 months…
Shok: No, not that long.
Papryze: It has been that long!
Shok: You got here at the start of the year and there haven’t been nine months in the year yet, Dan…
Trance: Quick maths
Papryze: Hmmm… Well, Lawrence (Trance) and Lachlan (Sybol) have been here for about a month.
Who is the shot-caller?
Trance: Yes, I’m the shot caller of the team.
Is that reflected in the house as well?
Trance: Well, I’m the oldest – I’m 25. The next oldest person on the team is 21, so I’m like peak male performance level of maturity.
Inside of the game is like a reflection of what it’s like on the outside. For example, I’m the first one awake and I get all the dishes out of the dishwasher, make sure everything is ready to go everyday.
Sybol: Can’t argue with that.
What do your families think of your competitive League of Legends careers?
Papryze: My Mum watches the games as much as possible. I taught her the basics of it and she will watch and will know if I’m winning or losing and whether it was a really solid win.
Sybol: Neither of my parents are ones to play games at all. It took a long time until they would allow me to play more than one hour of computer games per day. Eventually, they let me play more and more. They saw that I was enjoying it and it was where my passions were. They became quite supportive once I was paid to play, my face was on Twitch, and I was being interviewed… Now they are asking me questions like “what’s a Dragon?”.
Trance: I got into playing a lot of video games after a break up with my then girlfriend. I started hermit-ing and playing video games. As I was in college, my parents did not agree with it. It was a source of serious disagreement. My parents finally turned around when I was asked to join Team Fusion. They basically said “Oh, you’re making money, you must be doing okay.” Now, with regards to coming to Australia, they’re like “Follow your dreams, follow your passion,” but also “you only have a couple years left, so consider going back to school.” So it’s a backhanded comment…
Shok: My parents started to become supportive when we had the New Zealand Gaming Championships and there was a live audience – that opened their eyes to what esports could be. Now they watch all my games.
Value: I’ve been a competitive gamer in multiple other titles – never to the highest level. I always had a passion for competing, even in traditional sports like basketball and baseball. There was always a bit of resistance from my parents because it had affected my studies, but then they started to see the tangible successes of it – for example, I had played collegiate and received a scholarship. They’re very supportive of me.
What do each of your gamer tags mean?
Trance: I really like electronic dance music. I used to rave a lot, so Trance fits.
Sybol: My surname is Civil. At school, one of my friends used to put on an accent and call me “Sybol”, and it just kinda stuck as an in-game nickname.
Papryze: Papryze is not related to Ryze the champion – just putting it out there. It’s actually a reconstruction of Papyrus – which is a character from Undertale.
Shok: When I was coming up with mine, I was looking at all the Korean names- they were all short, punchy, and shocking…. So I thought, oh I’ll just pick Shok I guess. Without a C, it looks cooler.
Value: I can relate to that. I wanted a short, condensed name. I thought Value fit that requirement and it’s good for branding. Also, in school I was interested in finance and investing, and I feel like it’s important to have an internalised value system to be able to stay disciplined and focused.
What would you say to the other teams who might still doubt you guys?
Value: See you on game day.
Sybol: I’m not one to go out and try to say things to try to change people’s perception of us. We’ll let the results talk.
And finally, do you have any final comments, anyone you'd like to thank?
Trance: I would like to shout out to my personal fan base. The TranceFam.
Is that going to be a hashtag now?
Trance: Yes. Let’s make it a thing.
Thank you to the Tectonic OPL team for taking time out of their schedule to have a chat.
But questions remain… Does Papryze understand the Gregorian calendar? Will #TranceFam take off? How will Tectonic fare against the top of the table Dire Wolves? Let’s investigate the last question together at 5pm on Friday, June 22nd when Tectonic kick off week 3 of the OPL with a match against the Dire Wolves.