Mammoth as an organisation replaced the cult-followed Sin Gaming in 2018, an organisation known for its “Sinderella” stories. The rebrand to Mammoth felt anything but, as the organisation went on to have a sub-par year with a roster that left a lot to be desired.
This year, however, is a different story. This year feels like it’s a Mammoth year. It’s a star-studded roster, and the team is now in position to be a certain favourite for the Oceanic Pro League crown.
While the top laner Topoon is an unknown player to most people, it appears the squad Mammoth has developed and will be following a similar model to the 2018 iteration of the Dire Wolves, with a serviceable top laner holding the fort while the other 4 members lead the way on the rift.
Babip had an exceptional 2018, helping the Chiefs to two OPL finals, and with Shernfire no longer competing in the league Babip is certainly a name pundits could throw around as the best jungler in the OPL. Triple and K1ng stay together to bring a winning team chemistry with them, while Destiny – a previous champion with the Dire Wolves in 2017 and a double finalist in 2018 with the Chiefs – reunites with K1ng in the upcoming season.
Top Lane: Jihoon “Topoon” Kim
Jungle: Leo “Babip” Romer
Mid Lane: Stephen “Triple” Li
AD: Calvin “K1ng” Truong
Support: Mitchell “Destiny” Shaw
Sub – Support: Mike “Cuden” Le
Coach: Richard “Phantiks” Su
Who will provide major impact
With a roster that has lofty ambitions and is brimming with proven Oceanic talent, it can be difficult to isolate who will stand tall to provide the x-factor to this team. Thinking long and hard about it I think Destiny will be the X-factor for this team. Destiny is a leader on the rift with his communication, and excels when he is playing on play-making supports. Additionally, Destiny has had experience playing with almost every player on the starting five at a competitive level, meaning he will be instrumental in helping the team gel together and hit the ground running.
Dark-horse in the squad
It’s hard to identify a dark-horse in a team that is so well known, and while you could choose Topoon as the player that will fly under the radar, I think Babip had a stellar year in 2018 and with big personalities in the Chiefs 2018 lineup like the rock in the top lane and the penta-kill king in the bottom lane, Babip’s contribution could have flown under the radar for some people. I thought Babip controlled Shernfire very well in the 2018 grand final and with his rival not competing in the OPL this split it’s his time to show he’s a cut above the rest.
Mammoth’s title credentials will be tested early, with the first game of the split seeing them face fellow title contenders the Bombers. Past their major opening clash, they have an exceptionally easy draw in the second week, teeing off against Avant and Legacy before they will be forced to test their mettle in week three against the Chiefs Esports Club, where we’ll have a proper read on whether the Mammoth organisation has been able to take this squad to its maximum potential.
Mammoth will have a strong split if
This team can hit the ground running, especially considering it’s a team stacked with proven talent, but it’s not a playing roster that has stuck together from 2018, and as a result there maybe some communication and player-style kinks that will need to be ironed out as they progress through the first split of the year.
Pass mark for Split 1
The expectation for Mammoth should be to win the league and stomp their name into the history books, but a close grand final defeat would also grant a marginal pass mark. However, these five players have eight OPL titles and twelve OPL finals appearances between them over the last two years, so anything less than touching distance of the title could be classed as a failure in the split.
The only player not to feature in a finals series so far in his career is league rookie Topoon, which raises questions as to whether he will be able to compete against the best top laners in the league, and how he’ll be able to meet his teammates’ demanding expectations.
Snowball Esports predicted finish
If everyone loves a winner I get the feeling we’ll be seeing #tuskup gaining a lot more traction on Twitter – 1st place.
The OPL returns for 2019 on Friday 18 January with Mammoth debuting their new roster against Bombers. Watch live on the new RiotGamesOCE Twitch channel, find more information and the full fixture schedule at oce.lolesports.com.
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