he State Theatre in Sydney is currently host to three teams from the SEA Tour, LJL & the OPL in an exciting 4 days of international competition. Defending champs, the Japanese League, hope to tag ‘CYA’ to their competitors as they did last year to show which region really rules the ocean. OPL and SEA came out of the gate last night though with some strong showings, both ending up 2-1 headed into tonight’s games.
Representing Oceania we have first seed the Dire Wolves, second seed The Chiefs and third seed Legacy Esports. These teams have been powerhouses in the league since its inception however this split has proved interesting to say the least. Being 4 weeks into the split Oceania has shown some interesting compositions and certainly not being afraid to try new strategies. Patches 8.11 and 8.12 have thrown a spanner in the works in the most entertaining way for audiences and it’s shaken up the region’s rankings.
While some teams have chosen to embrace the meta quickly choosing unconventional picks and strategies like funneling methods and almost waving goodbye to traditional ADC’s, other teams have lagged behind. The roster changes across the OPL between splits and the new patch has resulted in teams that previously sat at the bottom of the ladder rising up and taking matches off the best teams in the region showing that this is truly anyone’s meta.
Due to region proximity this is a rare occasion for the OPL teams to compete against international teams outside boot camps during the off-season. The other regions are in proximity to other servers like the Korean and Chinese servers which affords a luxury that the geographically isolated region of the OPL cannot experience. Let’s look at the three teams hoping to take home the trophy for OPL’s first victory in Rift Rivals history.
Legacy Esports has been the trunk of Oceania since its inception in 2014. Recently, the organisation was acquired by AFL club the Adelaide Crows, which was the first major move into esports from the traditional sporting world in Australia. Throughout the history of the OPL, Legacy have been a consistent Top 5 team, although they are finding it hard in this new meta to get series wins in the OPL.
Carbon’s prodigy Only will look to pop off this tournament as he has shown some promise in the jungle for Legacy so far this split. Claire is their remaining branch from the days of ex-players Carbon and Tally, and is truly a force to be reckoned with. He has experience and a wide champion pool. Raid and Decoy are an efficient and interesting bot lane duo who aren’t afraid of spicing it up with new picks like Vladimir. However they tend to stay more traditional with Decoy well known for hard engage supports like Braum and Alistair.
The Chiefs Esports Club are the legends of Oceania. Although they lost their mid laner and jungler at the beginning of the year to ORDER, as well as EGym to casting, their new and seemingly improved line up has shown progress in keeping the Chiefs firmly in the top 2 of the leaderboard. They brought in rookie jungler Babip, former Sin mid laner Ry0ma, and veteran support Destiny. Babip is showing to be the key pick up here, his ability and skills are phenomenal in the jungle, making him a true terror on the rift.
Though in the last week they suffered an unfortunate loss to Tectonic, the team that has in the last few weeks come out of nowhere from the bottom of the standings to take series from some of the strongest teams. They have the rock in the top lane Swip3rR to keep the traditional Chiefs mentality alive and hopefully this roster will see Chiefs finally seeing success on the world stage.
The Wolf Pack have been on fire since acquiring Shernfire at the beginning of 2017. They’ve taken all 3 national titles since and have represented the OPL at Worlds as well as 2 Mid Season Invitationals. With a minor roster shake up between the splits, replacing top laner Chippys after an underwhelming MSI performance, they have started off Split 2 strong, currently topping the OPL standings.
Shernfire has been the heart and soul of the team since entering, showing consistent performances and being a strong in game leader. In the top lane, they have the rookie BioPanther, who entered the OPL with a bang after shining in the OCS. Triple in the mid lane has also shown strength, being a rock for Oceania at MSI when the rest of the team crumbled, but Shernfire takes his solo laners to the next level. The traditionalist bot lane has ADC K1ng and support Cupcake to round out this unstoppable composition.
Oceania’s representatives are looking like firm favourites to hoist the Rift Rivals trophy and it will be great for the region to finally take a win on the world stage in front of a home crowd. With some strong contenders and fierce competition, it is likely to be 4 days amazing games between these regions and some entertaining and chaotic team compositions to watch as we’ve already seen.
Rift Rivals continues tonight for day 2 of the Group Stage, with OPL’s Legacy Esports facing up against the LJL’s Unsold Stuff Gaming at 5pm AEST on Twitch.