Following their second to last place finish at the conclusion of the 2018 Oceanic Pro League season, and a required 3-2 thriller against the now-relegated Tectonic in the promotion tournament, a fresh roster leads Avant into 2019 as players are gathered from all levels of the Rift.
With the exception of former Mammoth top laner Chippys, Avant Gaming’s roster hails either from the relegated Tectonic or from OCS champions Chiefs Academy’s former roster. With a majority of the players having been on teams with one another in the past, the team is more likely to click from the beginning, having an immediate advantage over lineups with no prior history.
In terms of matching against other teams in the league however, things aren’t looking fantastic due to the large gap in experience when compared to other teams heading into 2019. However the return of OPL veteran Rusty to the scene as their coach and the proper utilisation of the double jungle in the upcoming single fixture format, there’s potential for them to surprise the mid-tier teams with their play.
Top Lane: Ryan ‘Chippys’ Short
Jungle: Ryan ‘Swathe’ Gibbons
Jungle: Lachlan ‘Sybol’ Civil
Mid Lane: Ari ‘Shok’ Greene-Young
AD: Vincent ‘Gunkrab’ Lin
Support: Ryan ‘Aladoric’ Richardson
Coach: Zack ‘Rusty’ Pye
Stage coach: Kai ‘Kai’ Stewart
Who will provide major impact
The seasoned players of the Oceanic scene will be key in leading the team to victory, especially with the combined experience of Chippys and Sybol. In particular however, another OPL veteran in Rusty is making his coaching debut in the competition after making his return from the League of Legends Pro League in China. This will give the squad a crucial mentor with valuable experience brought back from a world title-winning region and exposing the rookies on the roster to a fresh and valuable perspective of the game.
Dark-horse in the squad
The decision to double up on junglers in Sybol and Swathe is an extremely interesting choice for Avant, with both players bringing experience from a variety of teams that have been led to success. With the newly established single-fixture format now introduced in the coming split, Avant is able to pick their starting jungler based on the strengths and weaknesses of their opponents as successful teams in international competitions like the LCS and LEC have done in the past.
With the ever-present possibility of it backfiring entirely in terms of team communication, if the team is able to play in accordance with their junglers’ playstyle, it could prove extremely advantageous for them in the long run.
After their disappointing slip into a relegation dogfight last season, Avant has a long road ahead of them. The new roster will look to establish themselves as a threat in the competition, and their first test comes in their opening fixture – a showdown against Order. The boys from Melbourne are set to give them a run for their money, and that opening challenge is followed soon after by the experienced roster of the Chiefs Esports Club. The following week, their limits will be truly tested in their match against Chippy’s former organisations in Mammoth, followed by the fellow rookie roster of the Dire Wolves.
As they go up against some of the Oceanic League’s stronger teams, their true potential may not be shown in their debut fortnight, especially as they attempt to find their footing in the league, and settle on their path forward with the duo-jungle strategy they are bringing to the competition.
? Coach Profile: @RustyLoL
“I do sincerely hope that all of our fans continue to rally behind the new direction we have taken. There’s a lot of shifts, a lot of new faces and star players gone…”
— Avant Gaming (@AvantGaming) January 6, 2019
TEAM will have a strong split if
If one assumes the resources at their disposal are correctly utilised, Avant could have a strong split and easily contest the other mid to lower tier teams, with hopes they would be well clear of the relegation scrap they slipped into in 2018. As improvements in skill are seen, and if the dedication among the players remains, they could even give the stronger rosters a run for their money. If they maintain the correct mentality and don’t tilt after their difficult opening fixtures in 2019, the organisation be able to maintain a steady and humble position in the rankings.
Pass mark for Split 1
With the current roster, Avant must aim to fix the mistakes of the last split, after a ranking that was far too close to relegation for comfort – their aim is to not repeat their mistakes. At least for the first split of this season, they’ll be looking to show Oceania that Avant Gaming is here to stay, needing some ground before they’re able to establish themselves as a bigger threat in Split 2.
A complete revamp of the roster from the top to bottom of the Rift occurred following Avant’s placement at the end of the 2018 season. Avant looks to switch things to a new formula to avoid their past mistakes, with the addition of Rusty as an unproven coach and the bold move to bring two junglers to the roster.
Will their coach’s experience in casting and analysing China’s LPL be in the key in Avant’s success, or is Rusty too far from the OPL’s chaotic playstyle? Are the two junglers going to be their greatest weapon – fueled by the power of Ice Break (Real Coffee) – or will they remain as unutilised potential?
Snowball Esports predicted finish
7th or 8th.
The OPL returns Friday 18 January and Avant Gaming will go toe-to-toe in their first match against Chiefs, Saturday 19 January. Watch live on the new RiotGamesOCE Twitch channel, find more information and the full fixture schedule at oce.lolesports.com.
Follow Avant Gaming on Twitter.