After a rocky start to Split 2 of the Oceanic Pro League, the Chiefs have stormed to a 2-0 weekend with victories against Legacy and Order to put their season “back on track.”
The Chiefs opened their undefeated weekend in Round 3 with a 35-minute victory in the storied El Clasico matchup against Legacy. It was a close battle in the kill-count, with Chiefs edging Legacy 13-7, but gold-wise the victorious roster was in the ascendancy from the 7th minute.
The now-third-placed Chiefs then claimed sweet revenge against Order for their 3-0 defeat at the hands of the Melbourne representatives in the Split 1 Gauntlet. It was the first time the team had played with confidence on stage since their ego-shattering sweep at the hands of Order in the playoffs, bot laner Quin “Raes” Korebrits said of the 20-10 victory.
“Recently it’s felt like after what happened in the playoffs last split we’ve been playing scared, and haven’t wanted to make plays in case we threw the game,” Raes explained to Snowball Esports after the Chiefs victorious weekend. “We’re refinding our confidence.”
“Against Order, we felt a lot better. After the first two weeks were write-offs for us, we’re pretty happy to get the win. Added to that, it’s important to get the wins, but even more so what matters is that we’re happy with how we played, and I think we’re getting back there now.”
If Raes hadn’t been playing with confidence in the team’s opening four fixtures, those problems melted away in Week 3. After a 3/0/4 performance on Ezreal where he dished out a game-high 23.2k damage to champions, Raes locked in Lucian alongside Bill “Eyla” Nguyen’s Yuumi.
The choice paid dividends for the Chiefs as they looked to get back to their confident best. Even more so for Raes, who believes he’s a “far cry” from his performances from Autumn, as he cleaned house with a quadra-kill in one of the game’s defining skirmishes.
In a dance around dragon pit with an earth drake on offer, all ten players on the Rift had assembled in the bot river. As the game’s focus moved to mid, Brandon “Claire” Nguyen dived into the middle of Order’s Samuel “Spookz” Broadley and Jayke “Jayke” Paulsen.
Raes saw his opportunity, flashing forward with Lucian’s Culling cutting through Ronan “Dream” Swingler. The Chiefs ADC cleaned house, cutting down Lux and Ezreal, before finishing off Jarvan IV and Jayce before turning to the Baron.
According to Raes, who is no stranger to quadra-kills in the Pro League, his dive-in “shouldn’t have worked” because of his opening miss-play.
“I actually thought that I was dead when I dived in. I was meant to kill Ezreal first before killing Lux but it didn’t go like that, so I took a lot more damage than I maybe should have,” Raes admitted.
“Luckily I had my team behind me, so I was able to make it work. Yuumi [who Eyla linked onto Raes at the tail-end of the fight] just makes any carry so much more of a threat, whether its bruisers or carries. She just amplifies the champion’s ability so much.”
Now the Chiefs have steadied their rocky ship from the start of the split, and sit on a 4-2 record behind just Mammoth and Avant Gaming, both of whom have clocked up five wins.
With first place back in touching distance, Raes is much more confidence of the Chiefs ability to march towards the Melbourne Esports Open at the end of the split. More importantly than anything else, however, is his mission to “rebalance” himself.
“Because of how we came into the split, there’s been a lot of pressure that we’ve put on ourselves, and I’ve suffered a lot because of the confidence drop,” Raes said.
“I’ve just started focusing on myself, and wanting to get myself to the place that I need to be when the playoffs roll around. The game against Order really helped my confidence, most of the game I was pretty happy with the team fights. There were a few slips, but overall it was good.”
Also in the third round of Split 2, Avant returned to the top of the Pro League standings with their own 2-0 weekend, ousting Dire Wolves before defeating potential title rivals Mammoth to close on Saturday evening. Former Oceanic MVP Ryan “Chippys” Short shone in the battle, claiming nine kills and two assists as he was untouchable on top lane Camille.
Mammoth had defeated the Dire Wolves the day before to make sure they only chalked a 1-1 record, while the Wolfpack bounced back from their Friday defeat with a 35-minute, 11-11 victory over defending champions the Bombers.
Gravitas and Bombers both secured 1-1 weekends, after the Bombers defeated Gravitas 13-4 on Friday, while Legacy and Order were both slapped with 0-2 weekends off the back of defeats to the Chiefs, as well as Gravitas and Mammoth respectively.