Welcome to Snowball’s OPL Team of the Super Week!
This column looks to name seven of the highest performers across the competition this week in the OPL’s massive Super Week, 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 third place team in the OPL had a mixed ending to their split, clocking up just a single win in their three Super Week games as they fell to the two teams above them in the standings. For team top laner Ryan “Chippys” Short, it was three strong performances on the Rift however.
His highlight game came in the second last regular season clash of the split, as his hard-carry performance came in the form of a 7/1/14 scoreline on Jarvan IV in the top lane. Contributing to more than 80 percent of the kills on the Exemplar of Demacia in the match despite playing the team-role most likely to sit on an island. As Avant Gaming prepare to battle their way through the gauntlet and prove they deserve their lofty finish in the split, Chippys is sure to play a catalyst role for the org. Expect big things from the veteran solo laner in the coming gauntlet conflict.
It was life or death for Order as they entered the OPL Super Week, sitting in a precarious position just outside gauntlet positions. With the org facing their first postseason without League of Legends to play, someone had to step up in a big way.
Enter Samuel “Spookz” Broadley, who stood tall alongside James “Tally” Shute and Simon “Swiffer” Papamarkos in Order’s most vital game of their split against Gravitas to clinch a 9-12 record and potentially fifth place in the competition.
Dominating across the game on his Jarvan IV pick, Spookz finished 7/2/9, two levels and 3k gold ahead of his opposite number Jordan “Praelus” Fernandes, and led the way for the resurgent Order lineup to carve a path into the 4th/5th place playoff in the gauntlet. Spookz’s massive leadership performance in the battle was a key moment in Order’s season, and made him the most valuable player in Snowball’s final Team of the Week.
Fourth place has been confirmed for Mammoth as they head into the opening match of the gauntlet, and Stephen “Triple” Li had a statement round in Super Week ahead of the elimination best of five.
Although their season ended with a loss to the first-placed Bombers on Saturday, Mammoth’s Friday matches were two of their best. Before downing place-rivals Order, Mammoth opened the round by defeating Legacy Esports in a 21-18 battle that saw Triple lock in his much-loved Azir pick and march to an 11/4/6 record, dealing a game-high 34k damage to champions. A second game on the Emperor of the Sands against Order had less damage – just 15.3k to champions – but it was still the second highest in the game only losing out to Calvin “k1ng” Truong’s Lucian which recorded 15.4k.
Victor Huang – Bombers
In every league and competition around the world there are players that achieve at such a high level for so long that fans and viewers become accustomed to greatness. Victor “FBI” Huang has become that for the near-undefeated Bombers outfit as they soared to a final 3-0 weekend, locking the top spot in the OPL and confirming their place in the Split 1 grand final.
FBI played three different champions in his three outings in Super Week – Kai’sa, Ezreal and Vayne – but the results were all the same. Bombers’ bot laner collected a massive 22 kills across his three games, adding another 14 assists and dying just five times in more than 85 minutes on the Rift. Look to FBI to be the X-factor in the upcoming final, no matter who the team faces, as the dominant ADC continues to make strong arguments for the MVP of the entire split.
Coming into 2019, and off the back of a less than ideal split on Tectonic, Mark “Praedyth” Lewis made the call to forgo the island of the top lane and move into the bot lane for Legacy Esports.
There were question marks, for sure, when it came to the 19-year-old’s choice, especially after he had been playing in the solo lane as far back as with Chiefs Black in the early months of 2016. In the OPL Super Week, and to close out Legacy’s split, Praedyth proved everyone wrong.
The team may have won just one game in three, but Legacy’s bot laner stood tall in all three clashes, even keeping the team in their final fight against Avant Gaming when all else seemed lost. With Avant’s team pushing onto the Nexus, Praedyth found a flank from the bot lane inhibitor on Vayne, grabbing himself a quadra-kill nearly single handedly and pushing the third placed team out of his base. It may not have saved the game as Legacy fell in 30 minutes, but it spoke volumes of what the young top laner-come-AD Carry is capable of.
Earlier in the same day, his efforts paid off for the victory too. Facing off against the Dire Wolves mostly for pride, Lewis was able to clock up a 9/1/7 scoreline on Lucian as he dolled out nearly 25k damage to champions. It was his statement match to close out the split, and one that’s sure to be on everyone’s minds as the Lega-trees’ marksman heads into the second season of 2019.
Bombers captain Jake “Rogue” Sharwood was all laughter after the team locked first place in the OPL off the back of victories over Avant Gaming, Gravitas and Mammoth, but on the Rift he was lethal. Playing out two games on fresh support pick Galio, and one on Braum, Rogue saw his screen turn grey just four times over more than an hour and a half of League of Legends, chipping in a kill, and being involved in more than 70 percent of the team’s kills across the entire weekend.
With many already talking about the possibility of the Bombers-Chiefs matchup being the grand final for Split 1 of the OPL, the fact that Rogue and Chiefs support Eyla are both heading into the postseason in red-hot form speaks volumes for the quality of the bot lane clash we could see in a fortnight. It will be a battle of the young blood in Eyla, coming up against a multi-year veteran of the OPL. As Rogue prepares for his first grand final, the memories of his Sin Gaming run of the past may play on his mind, and we’re sure to see plenty more of the Bombers captain at his leading best come the big dance of Split 1.
Big Brandon “Swip3rR” Holland may be the ‘rock in the top’ for the second placed team, but rookie support Bill “Eyla” Nguyen has become the foundation that Chiefs victories are built from.
Combining with Quin “Raes” Korebrits to rocket the club to one of just two 3-0 records in the Super Week, Eyla played Braum twice and Thresh once. The young utility player made sure he was involved in the entire team play, providing 33 assists across his three games, and dying in his frontline role just six times against Avant, Gravitas and the Dire Wolves. As a potential candidate for Rookie of the Split, Eyla sits in an interesting position as a player in the running to potentially crack into the top three places for an MVP berth. Eyes on Eyla in the coming gauntlet matches and beyond will be key if you want to see how the Chiefs play out their critical best of five series.
The Oceanic Pro League returns on Thursday afternoon at 4pm AEDT, when Order and Mammoth lock horns in the opening clash of the postseason gauntlet. Also keep your eyes peeled for a Team of the Season ahead of the season’s grand final.
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.