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.
Jihoon Kim – Mammoth
Mammoth’s rookie top laner – who made his name with the Dire Cubs in the Oceanic Challenger Series last season – may not have opened his weekend with the strongest performance, as his team tumbled to a surprise defeat at the hands of Avant Gaming, but his rebound performance left Legacy Esports struggling to find their way back into the game on Saturday evening.
After a 6/3/6 game on Akali against Avant, Topoon was put on Aatrox in their 25 minute clash with Legacy, and the South Korean solo laner was quick to remind spectators why he was one of the strongest OCS talents coming into the Oceanic Pro League this year.
Topoon led the way with the Darkin Blade, dishing out 1.6k more damage than the next closest player in the game, and finishing with five kills and 11 assists as the entire team charged to a 21 kill to six victory.
After a disappointing 0-2 start in the OPL, Order were keen to make amends as they came into the competition’s second weekend – a goal they easily cleared with two strong victories over the Chiefs and Gravitas.
While both of the Melbourne organisation’s wins came off the back of entire team performances, veteran jungler Samuel “Spookz” Broadley was a standout as he combined with his long-term mid lane partner Simon “Swiffer” Papamarkos to lead Order to their opening two wins of the split.
Spookz claimed a 5/2/4 scoreline on Kha’zix as the Melbourne club battled their way to a 33 minute win over the Chiefs to surprise the former Oceanic champions, before his 2/0/15 game on Zac to open Saturday’s proceedings locked his Team of the Week slot.
Creating or being involved in 74 percent of Order’s kills in the 23-9 match, Spookz scored first blood and kept the damage rolling from there, playing a crucial frontline role with the team to tank nearly 30k damage and give Swiffer and young AD Carry Ronan “Dream” Swingler, as well as top laner James “Tally” Shute a gooey platform to round out their perfect weekend and slingshot their team into the mid-table mix two weeks in.
Entering the 2019 records as the first player to be named in two consecutive Team of the Weeks, Ari “Shok” Greene-Young’s early statement performances have seen Avant Gaming move level with the Chiefs and the Bombers in first place, and his out-of-left-field selection of Mordekaiser against Mammoth’s veteran roster instantly made the 48 minute victory a classic Oceanic battle.
As the Zack “Rusty” Pye-formed roster continues to throw off the shackles of their 2018 relegation, Shok has been the leading light in the centre of the early Avant-renaissance, even living up to the organisation’s former name with his experimental selection.
If Avant Gaming continues to knock boots with the big boys come the turn of the first round robin, expect much of it to be off their reinvigorated mid laner, who is still out to prove he’s one of the best in the region.
The Chiefs Esports Club may have grabbed a one win, one loss record over the second weekend of the OPL, but despite their 33 minute loss to Order on Friday evening the Chiefs’ bot lane shone bright in both contests.
Quin “Raes” Korebrits was one of the strongest parts of the Chiefs’ first match, finishing 5/2/2 on Kai’sa but unable to swing the game in their favour alongside Brandon “Claire” Nguyen’s mid lane Vayne pick.
On Saturday it was a different story – once again put on the Kai’sa pick, Raes and his duo partner Bill “Eyla” Nguyen (playing Thresh) raced to a combined 12/0/15 scoreline, with Korebrits taking 11 of the kills to snowball the clash heavily in the Chiefs favour. Playing opposite Victor “FBI” Huang, who last week was named Snowball Esports’ Most Valuable Player of the week, Raes showed he has to stay in the discussion for one of the region’s best bot laners as he was involved in all but two of the Chiefs’ 17 kills against the early season favourites, earning 65 percent of the team’s eliminations.
Eyla is the second Chiefs player to enter Snowball’s second Team of the Week roster, but it seemed amiss to break up the dominant blue and white bot lane. Nguyen, who was part of the Chiefs Academy roster that gained promotion into the OPL with a 3-0 victory over the tumbling Tectonic at the end of 2018, has continued his strong support role with the organisation’s main roster, combining with his New Zealand teammate on Saturday evening to deliver Oceanic ‘super-team’ Bombers their first loss of the 2019 season.
Despite the Friday defeat, Eyla also had a strong outing on Alistair against Order, assisting seven of the Chiefs’ 13 kills and attempting to drag the top team back into the contest to the very last hit on their nexus.
The Oceanic Pro League returns on Friday afternoon, when Mammoth face off against the Dire Wolves in the competition’s third 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.