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.
Brandon Alexander – Dire Wolves
The defending champions have had a series of struggles early on in the Oceanic Pro League, delivered defeat after defeat for the first two weeks of the competition.
For Brandon “BioPanther” Alexander, who first made his debut into the domestic scene in the midst of one of the biggest dynasties Oceania’s League of Legends story has seen in its short history, the losses may have been a disappointment, or just a learning experience.
To then turn around and take down one of the most stacked rosters in terms of name-talent in the region proved Bio still has what it takes to stand beside the best of them, as the smiling rock in the top lane led the Dire Wolves to a 55 minute marathon victory over Mammoth.
Although his statline in the match was a humble 0/1/6, BioPanther played a key role as the clash climbed to a six-item gamestate, tanking a whopping 53.4k damage as he doled out 17.2k of his own. In the 15-12 battle that dragged nearly an hour on Friday afternoon, the level-headed ability of Alexander proved key, and BioPanther was able to take out the win against his former allies Stephen “Triple” Li and Calvin “k1ng” Truong.
For the first time since the start of the split Ryan “Swathe” Gibbons started both matches in the OPL for Avant, facing down the Bombers and Legacy Esports as the team went 1-1 across the weekend.
The former Chiefs Academy jungler was given the all-clear to pick high-damage champions in the third round, leading off with Evelyn in the team’s 36 minute loss to the league-leading squad.
Gibbons bounced back with aplomb however, taking control of Kayn to lock in a 6/1/5 scoreline in Avant Gaming’s 15 kill to three win over Legacy Esports.
Swathe was able to provide early impact for the team as he locked in first blood against the boys in green, and the double kill he claimed against Eldin “Guts” Skenderovic (Zac) and Jesse “Chazz” Mahoney (Lissandra) set the tone for the snowball victory.
Former Legacy Esports frontman Brandon “Claire “Nguyen took the plunge to join the Chiefs in 2019, signing a year-term contract with the former champions as their objectives aligned: lift the Oceanic Pro League trophy this season.
So far Claire has brought nothing but upsides to the Chiefs lineup, most recently sweeping aside Gravitas with a 6/0/4 game on Zoe before he returned on the Saturday to pip Mammoth at the post and win out over Triple with a 4/2/5 outing on Akali. Notably, Nguyen led the way alongside Brandon “Swip3rR” Holland (Rumble) to keep newcomers Gravitas from recording even a single kill in their 26 minute bout.
As the Chiefs continue to swirl around the top spot in the OPL, Claire will remain one of the key figures in their quest to return to the throne, and already he has proven to be a massive signing for the former kings.
The Bombers’ superstar bot laner Victor “FBI” Huang took a spin on a non-marksman this weekend as he came up against Gravitas, trotting out the Viktor pick with a major degree of success. It’s clear that FBI has staked his claim for one of the best bot laners in the OPL, but if you’ve been living under a rock in recent weeks his dominance can quickly be summarised with some small stats – in 198 minutes on Summoner’s Rift so far this season, Huang has seen his screen turn grayscale just ten times, and been involved in 94 kills in those same games.
Of those 94 eliminations, FBI scored 32 this weekend, first collecting a 6/2/9 scoreline against the darkhorse roster of Avant Gaming, before his Viktor pick secured him a 7/1/10 finish.
The question now stands as he locks in his second Team of the Week performance in the opening two weeks of the league – with the Bombers in red-hot form and FBI certainly leading that charge, can any AD Carry in the competition stand up and bring him down a peg?
Order had a mixed bag to begin their OPL campaign, slipping to a 0-2 record in the first week before bouncing back with two victories in the second to level out their standings.
For the Melbourne esports organisation, the need to prove their second week’s results were the standard and not a deviation from the norm was a key factor as they headed into the third round, and Jayke “Jayke” Paulsen and the rest of the team certainly delivered.
Order’s commanding support played Thresh on Saturday evening, the fifth time Paulsen has played the Chain Warden in sixteen games, but it was his 0/3/12 performance on Nami the night before that really made people sit up and take notice.
Jayke last trotted out the Tidecaller in June of last year as his former team Avant secured a game three win over the now-relegated Tectonic, and he proved he’ll always have a knack for the Aqua Prison and the Tidal Wave as he helped his duo lane partner Ronan “Dream” Swingler to a 20.5k damage haul on Lucian.
The Oceanic Pro League returns on Friday afternoon, when the Chiefs Esports Club and Legacy Esports clash in the competition’s fourth 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.