We’re going off-schedule with an exciting look at who Legacy could turn to in the aftermath of EMENES departure, and we break down the longest games in OPL history in today’s #BigStatEnergy
There was just too much that unfolded since I penned my last column to make you wait the full fortnight for that.
Legacy’s mid-lane sensation Min-su “EMENES” Jang has spectacularly left the roster in the middle of the split. The wording of Legacy’s release suggests this was relating to out-of-game behaviours and attitudes, specifically towards training. That much, at least, is clear to me.
With talk behind the scenes swirling around the approach to practice, it does make you wonder if he is linked to that, but I have no information to confirm that in either direction.
While mindlessly speculating as to what exactly went down to get us to this point might be fun, that isn’t the kind of mindless speculation I’d like to entertain you all with. Today’s flavour of mindless speculation involves where Legacy may turn to for their next mid-lane option.
Let’s look at five names, each with varying levels of likelihood, of being the next Legacy mid laner.
The clear front-runner is former Mammoth Academy mid James “Halo” Giacoumakis. Halo has been almost good enough for two years now in OCS – almost good enough to take down the Dire Cubs in last year’s grand final, and almost good enough to make the playoffs with the Legacy Genesis Revival tour.
There isn’t really a better active domestic option out there who is a natural mid laner. At least of those, who are active players (ooh, foreshadowing). He seems to play everything and the only players he struggled against are currently in the OPL.
The only thing you’d want to be cautious about is passing a player behaviour check, and not necessarily in-game. The reason he isn’t in the league already is salary expectations – as in, he wants one. Which is fair enough. But he’s spent considerable time in Twitch chat talking an inordinate amount about the players who did elect to play on the lower salaries this year. Doing these kinds of things in Riot’s broadcast channel is not likely to endear him to any decision-makers.
With that said, given who has passed checks I can’t see that stopping him, and so he is the odds-on favourite to finally show up or shut up.
I don’t think this next one would be overly likely considering he was already considering a role-swap to a different role. But, given that he’s talented, available, popular, and the lines between top and mid lane are becoming ever blurred, we must at least consider Jackson “Pabu” Pavone.
The two-time all star had arguably one of his best years on Gravitas last year on a roster that struggled at times, and with his regular content on Twitter, his stream and here on Snowball Esports, you know that he’s current in both his playing skills and OPL knowledge.
Ultimately, I don’t know if this one is too likely as I’m unsure if the role swap situation between either he or Topoon would lead to enough likelihood of success to satisfy either Pabu himself, or Legacy GM Tim “Carbon” Wendel.
“Fine, I’ll do it myself”
Part of me, and I don’t think it’s too bold of me to suggest that a part of us all, wants to see Carbon himself… and his “signature” Riven find its way into Legacy’s mid lane.
I don’t know if he can play mid. I don’t know if he wants to, and I don’t even know if it’s allowed under Riot’s rules. But the heart wants what it wants. And this is what mine wants.
The Prodigal Son (again)
This one I quite like because it involves a role swap that was teased in rumours that were circulating before the start of the split. They involved James “Tally” Shute rejoining the fold alongside OG prodigal son Leo “Babip” Romer.
Now, this callously robs us of half the co-stream power duo and that’s a definite downside, no question. But to return back to Legacy in his old role of AD Carry would free up Quin “Raes” Korebrits to play in the mid lane he was rumoured to be swapping to preseason. And that’s the part of this that interests me. It’s one of the better options Legacy have in the mid lane just to minimise the drop-off in raw talent alone, though it would be a compromise of sorts on talent in ADC.
Tally is an option that I see appealing to Carbon’s traditional sports heart. He’s familiar to the organisation, talented, a good teammate and has played the role before – for Legacy no less. In addition, he also understands the importance of the rivalry with The Chiefs – so between him and Raes wanting to stick it to his old team, their veteran presence would provide a real boost to the younger players as this rivalry plays out across the top of the OPL ladder.
I’m fairly confident that I want this to happen more than it is actually likely to happen, but there are parts of this that make sense across a number of levels.
The “Galaxy Brain” Choice
While we’re talking about returning old players and role-swapping them… how about Legacy have the plane pick up an old friend on the way back from Korea?
Former Legacy top laner Ju-seong “Mimic” Min would be a wild choice. To be honest, I don’t even know if he’s still playing. He may have gone to do military service, and with the coronavirus outbreak causing havoc in Korea it may not even be a good idea.
But if those concerns can be handled, it’s a wild choice that just may work better than anyone would have thought. We know that Mimic is an excellent player, and the points in Pabu’s favour are also in Mimic’s – he had a great season when we last saw him and top lane champs are basically all mid lane champs now, too.
This would be a “rich man’s Pabu” option that I just can’t see Legacy, and more relevantly the Adelaide Football Club justifying the expense for. Unless their mandate is “just go for the title” – which is antithetical to the measured approach Legacy have had for two years, if you were going to transplant a top laner it may as well be Pabu or Tally.
The Dark Horse
I wish I could take credit for this one, because it’s a really interesting option that I would implore both parties to consider. But when Snowball’s own Harry Taylor came to me with this name that he’d seen on the list of available free agents my eyebrows arched high with intrigue over this name that I’d thought was inactive.
After having a cup of coffee with 100 Thieves, OPL winning coach Richard “Phantiks” Su would tick a lot of boxes for Legacy. Let’s go through them:
- He’s a natural mid laner
- He’s, as far as I know, available (from a League of Legends standpoint)
- He has working experience with the entire roster (though once removed with former Mammoth Academy support Isles)
- He can be immediately plugged in as a viable option to a team trying to contend for a title.
Phantiks represents the best choice they could make in my opinion. This is a player who exists on excellence. He needs it like we need air and water. That kind of drive is exactly the right kind of replacement for the mentality and approach Legacy are claiming fits their values.
As a coach, he’s expanded on his already impressive game knowledge and would give Goh “Jensen” Quian Sheng and James “Denian” Goddard a third coach out there on the rift.
I love this option. It’s the one I want to see the most, and it would really shake up the league to see Phantiks back terrorizing the mid lane.
Big Stat Energy
This time on Big Stat Energy we explore the longest games in OPL history.
Pentanet.GG GM Pete Curulli brought up that his team had just taken part in the longest game in OPL history last Friday in their nail-biting loss to the Dire Wolves. Thanks to the boffins over at Leaguepedia, I was able to comb the OPL archives to see where the game had placed among the league’s longest games since its inception at the beginning of 2015 and the trip back through time yielded some interesting finds. Let’s take a look at the most interesting of them.
The longest game ever was one I was – indirectly – involved in during my brief stint as an analyst. Tainted Minds took down Sin gaming in an hour-and-five-minute slugfest that saw current TSM Academy player Lawrence “Lost” Hui triumph alongside OPL throwback Michael “Zahe” Dunn, who will feature regular appearances among these games.
The Pentanet.GG/Dire Wolves classic came in at the sixteenth-longest game at 51:11. Much like Zahe, the Dire Wolves are a regular contributor to this list of the sixteen longest games, having appeared in half of them with a 4-4 record.
Legacy and Avant were next, each with four appearances, though with disparate fates as Legacy went a perfect 4-0, and Avant a more pedestrian 1-3. Tainted Minds were 2-1 in their relatively brief stay in the OPL, and three teams had two appearances, with the Chiefs’ 2-0, Immunity’s 1-1 and Mammoth’s 0-2 creating a symmetrical record across the teams with two games. Abyss, Bombers, Infernum, Order, Pentanet, Sin and Tectonic all had one showing each.
What I want to highlight here as being really interesting is the absolute dominance of red side in these long games. 12-4 is overwhelming odds, with the Dire Wolves being half of those blue side wins (including last Friday gone).
The red side win rate of the fifty longest games in LoL’s competitive history was only 54% so it’s hard to know if 16 game sample is not big enough or if there’s something to be looked into there in terms of global win rates, how they shift over time within a game, and whether that’s something that teams should be drafting towards.
I won’t list every player who appears, but I do want to highlight a couple of regular and interesting appearances. Only Swip3rR and Tally among top laners have appeared more than once and remained perfect, with BioPanther being there three times and lost twice.
Carbon, having been a career Legacy player was always going to be perfect, being 3-0 and is joined by Spookz on that mark. Spare a thought for Sybol who is 1-3 on this list.
If you’re noticing a pattern here you won’t be surprised to learn that ChuChuZ and Swiffer are each 3-0, while Getback and a surprising Phantiks are each 1-2.
Lost is 2-1 among his three appearances on the list, offset by the 1-2 of Chenyboy, who is not a name I expected to write about in 2020.
Across our supports we see a 1-2 record from Cuden and a perfect 3-0 from EGym.
With one exception, in all of these roles I’ve left out the most regularly appearing player. These six players (due to a tie at support) are the longest of the long, the princes of patience, and the sultans of slow play.
Here is our All-Time Long Slog Team:
James “Tally” Shute: 4–0*
Michael “Zahe” Dunn: 3–2
Stephen “Triple” Li: 2–3
Calvin “k1ng” Truong: 2–3
Andrew “Rosey” Rose: 3–2
Jayke “Jayke” Paulsen: 2–3
*Includes two of his ADC games
There’s much more to dig into with these games, we haven’t looked at long games vs slow games (ie long game with no kills), nor champion impacts. But those are stories for another time. So, with this jam-packed bonus edition of Ties Takes in the books, I’ll be back next week with the mid-split OPL review!
Follow Reece “Ties” Perry on Twitter.