Welcome to Snowball’s OPL Team of the Week!
This column looks to name five of the highest performers across the competition each round, from a hyper-carry performance from the mid lane to a rock-at-the-top outing from a top laner or a perfectly played supporting role.
The man described as “Dracula” by Legacy’s head of esports Tim “Carbon” Wendel on Twitter after he rolled through the Dire Wolves’ roster on Vladimir, Daniel “Papryze” Francis grabs the first slot in Snowball Esports’ Round 1 Team of the Week.
Papryze was a guiding light in Legacy’s 27:58 minute victory over the defending champions, collecting eleven kills and a single assist as he dolled out a huge 16.1k damage – just under 30 percent of the team’s total.
After Legacy fell in their opening match against Mammoth they needed something to kick them into high gear and recover with a victory – Papryze’s gargantuan effort on the Crimson Reaper was just that for the squad, and if he can find that depth of damage again throughout the split he will have a brilliant 2019.
Jordan “Only” Middleton finished his 2018 campaign with carry performances on Legacy Esports to take them on a near-miracle run through the OPL gauntlet. Now heading into the split as a Chiefs recruit, question marks swirled around Only and whether or not the gauntlet-god that had shone in the second split of last year would return.
The Chiefs’ 2-0 record, and Only’s seven kills, ten assists and just one single death across two games and 59 minutes and eight seconds on Summoners Rift – as well as his 2.9k gold lead across his opposite jungler in the Chiefs’ second outing – showed he certainly still has the rising ability in his locker, and has earned his place on the first week’s best team.
Order may have been the tipped favourite when they came up against Avant Gaming on Friday evening – just 16 percent of tipsters backed the eventual winners in the contest – but Ari “Shok” Greene-Young had other ideas as he secured Urgot in the draft.
Between Shok, who raced to an 8/0/2 scoreline in the 26 minute game, and twitch chat-favourite Vincent “gunkrab” Lin, the two key carries for Avant dismantled Order to upset the odds and lock in their first victory of the year. While gunkrab claimed five kills in the match, it was Shok who dominated proceedings, delivering 29 percent of his team’s overall damage, opening the scoring with first blood, bagging himself a double kill and avoiding a single death against the Melbourne esports club.
Greene-Young’s strong Urgot performance wasn’t the only reason for his qualification to the Team of the Week however – in Avant’s 30 minute defeat to the Chiefs he also held his own on Syndra for most of the match, finishing 3/4/4 with the most kills for his team and the second most damage in the game.
In a team built to win the domestic championship, and surrounded by superstars, it can be difficult for any one individual player to stand-out from the pack as they secure dominant wins. For Victor “FBI” Huang, it seems all too easy.
The Bombers AD Carry was put on Kai’Sa for both of his matches in the opening weekend – first against fellow title contenders Mammoth, and then against his former organisation Order on the Saturday – and in both games he was the focal point of the offense, creating chances and finishing teamfights to put his squad in the pilot’s seat for victory.
Most notably, FBI soared to a 7/3/9 finish against Mammoth and current championship ADC k1ng, who fell 1.1k behind Huang as the match descended into an AD vs AD ‘carry-off’. Then, after Bombers’ bot laner claimed that victory on Friday, he moved on to finish 9/0/9 against Order in an even closer game, securing three vital kills in the dying moments of the clash to orchestrate their victory.
The playmaking support rounds out this week’s team, with Mitchell “Destiny” Shaw shining across Mammoth’s 1-1 opening round in the OPL.
Destiny, who made the move to one of the now-tipped title contenders from the Chiefs in the off-season, has once again paired up Calvin “k1ng” Truong in the bot lane in a bid to claim another Oceanic title and so far the combination has looked lethal.
Although Mammoth fell to the Bombers in their opening game of the season, the major clash still saw both teams playing to a high level, with Destiny putting in a 3/3/5 outing on Alistair alongside k1ng’s 5/3/5 Sivir. It was the second match of the weekend that locks Destiny for the team however, as his high-impact Rakan pick saw Mammoth’s bot lane score a combined result of 10/1/18, with 13 of the assists coming from Shaw.
While it was a strong performance across the board, Destiny has often been a leader among the rosters that he plays with, and as he guided the roster with his Rakan engages he proved once more he’s on the path to more of the same, while also proving his place within the Team of the Week ranks.
The Oceanic Pro League returns on Friday afternoon, when Gravitas faces off against defending champions the Dire Wolves in the competition’s second week.
Disagree with the list? Feel another player had a stronger performance and deserved the recognition? Feel free to voice your concerns to @everin_oce – he loves chatting about the best players of the week.