Mammoth have been crowned Oceanic Pro League champions at the Melbourne Esports Open, breaking a host of long-standing records for the league in the process.
Most notably, the second-seed contenders were able to knock over the Chiefs Esports Club despite the “top-seed” lineage that had established itself in the competition in recent years. Since the founding of the gauntlet system, only the first-placed team had claimed glory.
Now, that record has been shattered, and with it, a potential new era for the Pro League has been heralded. Where once the Chiefs and Dire Wolves ruled with iron fists, each claiming four titles in a row, Oceania has now seen two new champions in the same calendar year.
That’s not to say that the Mammoth roster is fresh to the title battles. When Calvin “k1ng” Truong lifted the Oceanic trophy in Rod Laver Arena, he became the first player to claim the OPL crown five times. The joy was painted on his face, though afterward, he was far more humble.
“It’s late in my career, so I’m more glad than I am happy to get this win,” k1ng explained. “I didn’t lose, and I finally won. I didn’t want to come into the game making any predictions, last time I was locked in to a result in my mind I got disappointed. I wanted to keep my mind open.”
Whatever k1ng and the rest of the star-studded Mammoth roster did clearly worked. The orange-adorned squad may have finished behind the Chiefs on their regular season head-to-head record, but come the grand final that was left in the dust.
The Mammoths scored a 3-0 victory in front of the cheering MEO crowd. It was the first time k1ng had recorded a clean-sweep finals win in his career, and according to the veteran marksman, the win was all the sweeter after the tribulations of Split 1.
“Losing the first split like we did felt like everything went wrong”
“We didn’t want to have that happen again. We all grew from that first split, and honestly it was inevitable that we were going to run into something like that in our careers eventually. Now we’ve got over that, and come back bigger and better for it,” k1ng said.
While the Oceanic Pro League story has now wrapped up for another year, Mammoth’s 2019 campaign is far from over.
The new-look organisation has now achieved its goal of making it to the world stage, and with international stalwarts like k1ng and Stephen “Triple” Li in the squad, there’s every chance Mammoth will arrive in Europe as one of the greatest hopes the land down under has had.
Many fans are thinking it. K1ng and his team believe it. They have complete faith in themselves.
“Group stage is our goal. This is the most well-rounded team I’ve played on. I feel really, really confident in how we play the game,” Truong said.
“On the Dire Wolves, I was more of a roleplayer, and this time we’ve figured out a better way to approach the game. The stakes are bigger now, and we know less about the other teams. We won’t know about them until we start looking at them. There’s a lot of stuff on the fly now.”
Mammoth’s path to the 2019 World Championship group stage begins at the LEC Studio in Berlin during the tournament Play-Ins. The first matches of the qualifying stage of the year-end competition begins from Wednesday, October 2.