We all know how OCE just love their predictions.
It’s nice that everyone can happily agree to disagree, listen and respond to other people’s arguments in a respectful way, and have a nice mature conversation about the Oceanic Pro League and its players that we all love. It’s so nice. It brings the community together. It forces us to interact on Twitter. Predictions are the absolute staple of OCE community interaction. And what better time to embrace all this, than during the upcoming League of Origin? So, in saying that…
Here’s 101 reasons (give or take) why Queensland will absolutely take a shit on everyone else and get the victory in this year’s League of Origin in my humble, yet knowledgeable, opinion.
First, we’ll start off with the acknowledgement that yes, we lost last year’s inaugural League of Origin. Yes, we didn’t make it through to Semis or the Final. Yes, we didn’t win a single game. But I’m going to let you all in on a little secret – it was all part of the plan from the beginning. Ever heard the story about the tortoise and the hare? Yep. That’s us. Slow and steady, boys.
As Queensland’s GM of last year and now this year, the ex-pro now-LPL caster, the faithful and passionate, smart and handsome, big and strong Zack “Rusty” Pye, says, “We’re like Leonidas in 300; it’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog. And I will fight them.
“We’re like Moana when her family is like ‘no don’t be a hero’ but she’s like ‘screw you guys,’ and those guys are the other teams and Moana won and that’s us.
“We’re like Elsa from Frozen moments before we let it go on all the haters.”
And frankly, that’s all you need to know about Queensland’s tactics. Actually, if anything we’ve shared too much… (shit, can we edit this part out..?)
So with that, let’s take a look at the formidable roster that Rusty and state coach Denian – the coach responsible for this year’s winning OCS team Chiefs Academy – have assembled to take the crown in this year’s League of Origin.
Rusty: “The star of the Queensland show who will take no prisoners on the road.”
A veteran of the Oceanic scene with experience in more than one lane and more than one Grand Final, and someone who won’t let you forget the hard life he’s had to live to get here out in “Real Queensland.” (Seriously. Try complain about the heat or your internet. Or just ask him about rain on tin roofs.)
Rusty: “Papryze is the Korean soloq god looking to translate those skills to the stage with Queensland, or provide the big brain ideas to his team as required.”
A man who, like so many in OCE, went over to Korea to bootcamp and absolutely stole the show. He hasn’t had a chance to prove himself on a top tier team in OCE just yet, but we’ll hopefully see the “Korean soloq god” emerge with his Sunshine State partners by his side.
Rusty: “Big Bips is an unstoppable force when the balls rolling, don’t let him get on the trot or else.”
From sitting behind Carbon in his previous days, to now being one of the best junglers in the scene; young Babip made an impact in this year’s OPL that he’s ready to continue in the name of Queensland this weekend and next.
Rusty: “The Chazzkebab, the old Chazzle Dazzle, Chazz it up. I just really like nicknames. And I like Chazz’s chances at the tournament.”
Coming straight from the OCS, Chazz is aware there may not be any expectations for him heading into the upcoming tournament. But despite this there is one thing he can promise you all, that “one of the mid laners will be dying whilst I’m playing.”
Rusty: “Aptly named for when he farms enemy champions on the rift.”
From getting picked up last minute for the OCS this year, only to be replaced and picked up by another team, and going on to win relegations on an off-role. Farmer is here to absolutely show up and make a name for himself in the Oceanic scene.
Rusty: “Or ‘Corps’ for short – for when he bodies his opponents and turns them into one.”
A young mind ready to help the oceanic region compete against the greatest regions… “Eventually.” he says. And for his first step, he’s here to prove that QLD is, without a doubt, the best state.
If you take a look from our perspective, this year’s competition is crazy tough. You’ve got winners of both of this year’s OPL splits scattered throughout the other teams, you’ve got teammates playing with teammates bringing an already-established synergy to the table, and frankly, besides New Zealand’s second ADC in Panda, you’ve got teams that are complete with experienced OPL players.
But you know what else they’ve got? As Denian has been happy to remind us all, “NZ have a bunch of retirees, relegateds, and off-roles.” They were the team that too didn’t make it to Semis last year, and the team that will once again repeat those steps. Because they don’t have the tortoise/hare tactic, remember? They exhausted all of their abilities in their ‘attempt’ to win it last year.
Though I suppose there is their star player Raes to worry about; a monster on the rift, the guy who always get pentas in pro games… and the one who can never make his mind up about if a champion is actually good or not. “Ezreal is only good on Sundays, Lucian on Wednesdays and Tristana on Mondays.” says Chiefs teammate Babip about him. So in between him having to share his role with an OCS player and having to pick which champion he’s actually going to play, I guess we’re not too worried.
In the wise words of Rusty, “Land of the Long White Cloud? More like land of the long white flag after we’re done with you.”
Onto our neighbouring state… In the past 10 years, they’ve only won the State of Origin twice. They are constantly falling behind Queensland in so many aspects; rent prices, roads, nightlife. What has New South Wales even got going for them? Not a League of Origin title, for one.
And especially not a team who’ll help them get one this year. They’re lacking in every single lane possible. Well… there is Big Swips in the top lane. The ol’ Rock in the Top. The one who his Chiefs teammate Babip describes as having a “brain like a cup of water – if he has to learn something new, he forgets something else because his cup overflows.” And he is learning something new: how to mesh with his ragged team. So what more can we expect from him this time around than all his previous knowledge of simply ‘knowing how to play the game’ disappearing?
And then there’s Destiny down in support, new to the NSW team this year and replacing their GM EGym’s old position – big shoes to fill, much to Babip’s delight: “He’s so competitive – he got so sad when he challenged me in ping pong and I beat him. He’ll try his hardest to god mode comms to impress the team and will fumble over his heavy handed competitiveness.”
We wish good luck to EGym, watching on from beyond the pro player grave, hoping his team will avenge his loss of last year. But Rusty can understand his plight, so here’s a friendly little tip for the team from his senior: “Your drafts are like your hair – they need some straightening out.”
Last but not least (but still definitely last), the winners of the first League of Origin, Victoria.
The storied Spookz and Swiffer duo are back again, and though the already-established synergy they’ll be bringing to their team is something to envy, it isn’t something to worry about for Denian and the team. “Victoria have old man hands in mid and jungle,” he said. And he’s right – those wrinkly old phalanges won’t be able to keep up with the nimble swiftness of the Queensland’s young rosters spry fingers.
Toplaner Tally echoed the sentiment, saying that “being able to play with such young talented players like Babip and Chaz who aren’t past their expiry dates is a great boon for the team.” They’re flexible and eager to learn; ready to send even the younger faces you see in the rest of the Victorian lineup home from the competition black and (like their toplaner Pabu’s infamous hair) blue.
GM Spawn is quick to claim Melbourne’s position as the best city in the world and drop a fat humble brag about his team winning last year, but things are different this year, and just like his attempt at the overhead press in the ‘Big and Strong like Rusty’ Challenge, he – and his team – will be unable to go on.
And since he wants to follow in the ways of Rusty so badly, here’s some words straight from the mouth of the man himself: “Fourth is a good look for you, Spawn.”
The stage is set, the bootcamps have begun, now all that’s left is for Queensland to head home in 2 weekends time with the 2nd annual League of Origin title under their belt.
Better put on a hat and some sunscreen New South Wales, Victoria and New Zealand, because the Sunshine State is coming for you.