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.
It was excitement across the Chiefs Esports Club’s 36 minute win over Bombers on Saturday evening when the team’s rock turned to the croc. Setting the stage for a dynamic and explosive top lane with his Renekton pick, Brandon “Swip3rR” Holland came face to face with Ju-seong “Mimic” Min on Aatrox and came out the better of the two.
Despite not a lot of chances coming his way in the early game, and both junglers only arriving in the top lane a handful of times, Swip3rR turned up the heat in the later stages of the match. An aggressive back-line dive, complete with a mountain of damage from the Butcher of the Sands, decided a fight in front of Dragon pit, before Big Swips capitalised on an inch-perfect three man shockwave from Brandon “Claire” Nguyen to close out the game in crocodile-like style.
Swip3rR also changed it up on Friday evening with a Jarvan IV game against Order, collecting a 2/1/7 scoreline in the win against their southern opponents.
Two key wins for Mammoth as they move closer and closer to a possible Rift Rivals position and a chance at the Split 1 grand final came off the back of Leo “Babip” Romer’s playmaking Jarvan IV games on Friday and Saturday.
Up against fellow top four rivals Avant Gaming, and cellar dwellers the Dire Wolves on Friday, Mammoth knew they had to lock the 2-0 to keep in the hunt for that crucial high-placed finish, and Babip certainly delivered from the jungle. Recording 30 assists over the two games – 28 and 32 minutes in total – Babip was also responsible for the collecting of five drakes and three Barons, as well as both Rift Heralds across the weekend. The Mammoth jungler also managed to lock his opposite numbers – Udysof and Swathe – out of both games, removing their chances to bring their teams back into the game as his fight-starting Cataclysms turned the tide of the victories.
Although Order have struggled to put results on the board in recent weeks, falling off after a five game win streak put them right back into the mix, it’s not been through lack of effort from Simon “Swiffer” Papamarkos. The former Oceanic champion has found himself playing Zoe in four of the last seven games the Melbourne esports club has contested in the OPL, and once again the veteran mid laner delivered on the Aspect of Twilight.
Coming up against Legacy Esports on Saturday evening, and looking to bounce back from a half-hour loss to the Chiefs the day before, Swiffer netted his first kill just ten minutes into the game as Order claimed a three-for-one skirmish, and he never let up from there.
Dishing out 24.5k damage to champions, and collecting five long range kills to go with his eight assists, Swiffer’s Zoe pick rained long-range magic damage down from afar. The Paddle Star/Sleepy Trouble Bubble combo that has made Zoe infamous in professional play and solo queue didn’t fail the 24-year-old, as he dictated the game from the shadows and guided Order to a much needed win in their quest for a playoff spot in 2019.
As Gravitas continue to bid for a place at the gauntlet table in the OPL, Julian “Raid” Skordos is right at the head of the charge. Coming up against third placed Avant Gaming on Friday evening, the team’s marksman chose Ezreal as his weapon of choice, and delivered.
Ending the game 6/2/1 and with 2.7k more gold in his pocket than his rival laner on the flavour-pick of the month Neeko, Raid dished out non-stop damage with Ezreal, eventually finishing on a massive 24.6k dealt to champions. For reference, Avant’s highest damage dealer for the game was Ari “Shok” Greene-Young, who delivered 15.5k damage to champions on notorious poke champ Jayce.
Skordos rounded out his shining performance in the team’s critical 2-0 weekend with a Vayne performance, though the marksman never truly had the chance to shine in the pacey 26 minute game. Raid eventually finished 2/0/9 against the Dire Wolves, but the game was decided before the late-game carry could fire into high gear.
It’s so easy to forget that the Chiefs’ rookie support is playing in his debut OPL split. For Eyla, however, his dominant bot lane plays in the Oceanic Challenger Series for the team’s academy squad meant it was only a matter of time before he was playing with the big boys.
This past weekend, Bill Nguyen proved he was ready to make the step up to the starting roster, as his subtle and solid outing on Braum alongside Quin “Raes” Korebrits on Lucian against the first placed Bombers solidified his bid for a potential rookie of the split berth.
Eyla was the rock that the Chiefs built upon to secure their second upset victory over the Bombers in three meetings. Nguyen’s early roams first allowed Jordan “Only” Middleton the freedom to dictate the tempo of the game on his favoured Kindred pick, before mid game Glacial Fissures on the Heart of the Freljord swung enough fights in the Chiefs’ favour to grab control of the contest and eventually close out the 36 minute victory.
Adding in Eyla’s 0/0/8 performance on Thresh against Order the day before, which saw the Chiefs sweep aside the Melbourne squad in a 13-5 win in 34 minutes, and the rookie support is more than deserving of the Most Valuable Player of the week.
The Oceanic Pro League returns on Friday afternoon, with the first placed Bombers taking on fellow Melbourne squad, Order, kicking off at 4pm AEDT.
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.