Snowball has been extremely fortunate to be able to speak to Jake “Spawn” Tiberi and Bryce “EGym” Paule fresh off their cast of Game 1 of the Finals for Rift Rivals 2018 in Sydney.
I’m here with Spawn and EGym after Game 1. Unfortunate loss for the OPL. What was your quick reaction?
Bryce “EGym” Paule: I’m honestly surprised. Coming into the day, I think Mineski were good but they were untested vs the seed 1 and 2 teams. Dire Wolves absolutely romped over group stage. They had some rough early games but to see them get completely owned from level 2 onwards was certainly a surprise.
Jake “Spawn” Tiberi: I’m a little bit less surprised because I thought Mineski of the South East Asian teams had the best grasp on the meta. And I think that the reason Dire Wolves and Chiefs looked very comfortable in their group performances is when they also played around the meta. But I thought that how they were going to be tested into that similar style of composition isn’t actually determined by individual outplay. It’s determined by how well your team plays together and how decisive you are on your team fight moments. And Mineski, the entire time, looked decisive. I mean, you don’t have to outplay anyone on Fiddlesticks or Swain to be able to win a teamfight. So I think the fact that just given that they were so aggressive and willing to take the fight to the Dire Wolves had them in pretty good stead.
I was intending to ask this question to you before even game one started, but now it looks like revisionist history. Would you guys have also led with the Dire Wolves for game 1 or would you have gone with another of the teams?
EGym: I think I would have gone with the Dire Wolves straight off the bat. I think starting off with momentum in a best-of-series. This is blind with multiple teams competing so having momentum for your region. Like, having coming in as maybe the third seed and a 0-2 would be very rough. So I think leading with Dire Wolves is OK.
Spawn: Yeah I think I would have done the opposite. I think I would have gone LGC-CHF-DW-DW-CHF. You want your best team to play back-to-back games so they have momentum going into the second game so I think that there is a little bit of mind games going on here. If you go down 0-2 sure that sucks but they have to have at some stage trust that someone is going to take a game otherwise we just lose this competition. So I think that Dire Wolves coming in at 3 and 4 would have been the right call.
Dire Wolves have historically been a fairly resilient team. Obviously they reverse-swept in the finals of split 1. How do you think this loss will affect them, where will there be any troubles bouncing back?
Spawn: Yeah, I don’t think they’ll really care. The best thing about the Dire Wolves is that they view the game really black and white and they can compartmentalise different parts of the game. Shern would say “I got shut out very early. I got forced off of first red buff, had to start Rift Scuttler. That isn’t how I want to play and I couldn’t get any aggression going.” so he’ll probably eat a lot of the blame. They are very good at going “I just won’t do that again.” I think that in a standard game against Ascension or KLH they should still be the favourite.
EGym: I agree for the most part. From my experience they have that TSM-like mentality where Shernfire will go back and say “I got shut out, I couldn’t do anything.” The fact that they just go back and immediately will say “This is the problem, etc etc” and then they can reset I think the resilience will show.
As we publish this, Legacy have just won the second game in this already hectic blind relay. Tune in on Twitch right now to see if OCE’s hopes stay alive.