It was a dreary and wet Wednesday afternoon but spirits were high as I sat down with Spookz, Swiffer, Swip3erR and their manager, Amy, of The Chiefs eSports Club after their spectacular win if the Oceanic Pro League (OPL) League of Legends final. On the bill was a little about their lives as professional League of Legends players, the past weekend where they took the Best of 5 series against Legacy eSports and the future for team as they planned to head out to Turkey for the International Wildcard Tournament.
Adam: First of all I’d like to congratulate you all on a ridiculously good split, obviously there is no better team than you guys in Australia so congratulations!
Everyone: Thanks man!
So can we start off by you guys telling the readers who you are and what positions you play?
Swiffer: I’m Simon Papamarkos and I play mid lane, I’m also known as Swiffer.
Spookz: I am Samuel ‘Spookz’ Broadley the jungler.
Swip3rR: And I am Brandon Holland, I am the top laner and in game name is Swip3rR.
So can you guys tell me a bit about yourselves in the real world? What you do with yourself outside of League of Legends?
Swiffer: I just graduated (Arts), but next year ill be starting my next degree.
Spookz: I also attend university for media and communication, also known as arts but media and communication sounds better. But yeah that’s my life.
Swip3rR: I’m pretty much Full-time League at the moment, I am going to do I.T, but for the moment I am full time League.
Can you give us an insight into your team as a whole, I know there is 5 players and a coach, but who is behind the scenes to help you guys as a team?
Spookz: We have Full-time coach in Jish or Josh Carr-Hummerston. We also have the managing support staff of owner Sangy or Frank Li and manager is Amy Sigils or Amy Lau. We also get part time support from Razzleplasm (New coach of Dignitas EU). So yeah we have amazing support staff especially for OCE (Oceanic), and they all pretty much volunteer their time.
What is your schedule like, What sort of hours do you do put into the game with scrims etc, to stay on top?
Swip3rR: So pretty much we all play SoloQ in our own time, probably for 3-4 hours a day. Then from about 7 pm, 4-5 days a week, we play for about 5 hours in scrims. And its pretty much always against other OPL teams or challenger teams.
So, because you guys are a part of the overall professional scene, do you get much from the other regions? Do you all sit down and watch the LCK (Korea) or North American or European LCS together?
Swiffer: We don’t sit down to watch the other regions. We adopt ideas from other regions. Like, we will sit down and think about why things are working overseas and if we can make them work.
So how did you guys get into League of Legends? I mean we all played video games growing up but what turned you to League in the first place?
Spookz: I know myself and Swiffer played DOTA, like I was awful at DOTA. But I guess that’s what got me into MOBAs, My brother introduced me to League. I maybe put the game down for like a month, but I’d say since right after the beta version of the game I haven’t stopped playing it. We have all been playing since the NA server only days.
Lets get more into this past weekend. Obviously you had a really good split. Everyone was talking about Fnatic and SKT’s win streaks but you guys were substantially past that. How did you guys feel coming into the final against Legacy? Were you confident?
Swiffer: Leading into the weekend I think we all started feeling nervous a couple of days before it, we haven’t played in front a crowd like at the big top, and the last ‘Best of 5’ we played against Legacy we lost so I think that played a part too.
Did the fact that Legacy have been in the International Wildcard Tournament for worlds before play into the nerves?
Swiffer: A little, I mean the fact they have been there before and they beat us last time in this situation, that weighed in on our minds a little, but not too much. I think we were reasonably confident. We beat Legacy 4 times throughout the year, it just happens that they beat us in the best of 5 last time.
So game 1 you guys picked up Sivir first, obviously she is a highly contested pick, but Legacy second round drafted Azir and Kog’Maw at the same time. Was it reactive for you guys to take the Twisted Fate and Annie or was the sort of the original plan going into game 1?
Spookz: So Sivir is probably the highest priority pick at the moment for ADCs at the moment, her Ult allows you to do so much and her wave clear is really strong. But we took the TF, Annie as a reactive choice to the Azir Kog’Maw to try and play a strong early mid game. Twisted Fate Ult allows you to be so proactive around the map.
So for game 2 I must ask, during the broadcast Atlas and Spawn both said that Swip3rR will always first pick Elise because you refuse to play against it, it that true?
Swip3rR: I think it was Swiffer aswell, i think we both dont like playing against Elise.
Swiffer: I don’t mind.
Spookz: I heard that it was actually Swiffer that said that, i think we are all tentative to play against Elise.
Swip3rR I think the main objective behind it was we don’t like playing against high aggression junglers, That’s like Carbons (Legacy jungler) play style is to always try to snowball his solo lanes, so we’d rather not let him have it.
So you’d rather play against his Nunu than his Elise?
Swip3rR: Yes, that is correct.
Now in game 2, your first 2 rotations of champion select were quite quite but you seemed to slow down after Legacy took the Tahm Kench, did that throw you guys off or was it something you were expecting?
Swip3rR: Alright so when Tahm first came out I spammed him for like 2 weeks, My objective in it was to try and get Minky (MinkyWhale is the top-laner for Legacy) interested in it, and i think i did. so we did try it in scrims and didn’t like it and obviously they tried it too and must have enjoyed it. So we were definitely expecting it. And it sort of just played into my evil hands.
So obviously you played the match up of Fizz into Tahm a few times, and was it your decision to try and get them to play it, so you could shut it down. even though they had a Vayne and Lissandra was it your plan to get the split pushing fizz into the game and shut down Tahm by doing so?
Swip3rR: I like to think of Tahm as like a Dr. Mundo, if you have a really strong split pusher you just run all over the champion.
So for game 3, what bought in the change of play style with the support Janna being picked. is taking a more disengage style support just something you prefer to do on red side?
Swiffer: So we noticed by there bans, and we thought that they were going to make a composition similar to the one they did in game 1, like a late scaling comp, so we thought disengage would be a good tool for it.
I don’t know if its me being analytical but by you guys taking Janna and then a Lulu i was really expecting the hyper-scaling ADC of Kog’Maw, but you took the Lucian instead. What was the thought process of taking the Lucian over the scaling Kog’Maw?
Spookz: So we knew at the time we still had our top lane pick available, and we could take a champion like Hecarim. Lulu Hecarim as pretty insane synergy with the movement speed buff. I believe at the time we wanted the dash out of Lucian. we took Lucian because it allowed us to be more aggressive in the bottom lane and we could let top lane carry with Hecarim.
In game 4, you’ve probably been asked this before, is Alistar always going to be a first pick for you guys in the current meta if he isn’t banned?
Spookz: Not really, I mean there is still good match ups into Ali, like Janna can tornado he Ali head butt-pulverise combo. We wont tunnel on Ali if we know we could play a different style.
Egym is an amazing Alistar, but with the targeted bans at Swiffer, was the “Cow-Ball delivery system” discussed with Orianna at the point of was it discussed later on?
Spookz: We definitely have practised the Alistar + Orianna combo before.
You guys pulled it off once in game and it was incredible to watch.
Spookz: Yeah, the composition is a really good hard engage comp, and they had already taken Sivir.
Do you think you were forced into the Orianna with the bans and Viktor being taken away?
Swiffer: Orianna is what we wanted to play, I think as soon as we took the Alistar we decided to take the Orianna. At least i think that’s what happened.
So what did you guys think about playing in front of approximately 5000-6000 people at Luna Park?
Swip3rR: Its a pretty surreal feeling, like sitting in front of that many people. All year we played in studios so it was good to be in front of a live crowd. And I’m really glad we didn’t suck.
Do you think playing in front of a live crowd affected your play at all? Could you hear them?
Swip3rR: Yeah we could definitely hear them scream like when we made a big play we all waited for the crowd to catch up because there is about an 8 second delay, and we could hear them go crazy. Last year we played in front of a smaller crowd, and i think it affected Legacy more, they seem to play better in front of a crowd.
Would you like to see the OPL move to playing in front of a live crowd every week like the premier regions?
Spookz: The atmosphere is insane, i think if the OPL could pull crowds like that every week it’d be awesome.
How long are you guys over in turkey for the International Wildcard Championship Tournament (IWCT)?
Amy Lau (Manager): About 2 weeks, we are going over early to try and get scrims with some LCS and EU challenger teams to make sure we get rid of any jet lag and are well practised for the tournament. Days of competition are the 26th, 27th and the 29th of August and we fly home on the 30th.
What do you think your chances at the IWCT are? With current form in mind, how do you honestly think you will go?
Spookz: We are feeling pretty confident heading into wild-cards. We have the experience from MSI wild-cards, and on top of that we feel a lot stronger since adding Egym to the roster.
Does it worry you at all that last years wild-card winners in turkeys Dark Passage are waiting for you there?
Spookz: I have a torch on my phone. *laughs*
Have you paid much attention to dark passage as a team?
Swip3rR: Well the original Immunity line up (Former team name) we actually beat them at 2013 Gamescom, so I think we can do it again. But in all seriousness I think if we play to our strengths I think we will win.
So guys i know you’re all busy is there anything else you’d like to add before i let you guys go?
Spookz: I like to make a big shout-out to our sponsors Logitech, nVidia and G2A.
Swip3rR/Swiffer/Amy: .com (in unison)
Spookz: Yeah, G2A.com. they help us out at the event, they always make sure we are comfortable, have everything we need. All of our peripherals are good. They put on some events for us, they took us out for lunch. They do heaps for us and we are grateful for it. And another huge shout-out to our fans, in which we met a lot of you at Luna Park on the weekend. And a shout-out to Mum.
How do your sponsors help out?
Swiffer: Well Logitech provide us with all of our peripherals.
Swip3rR: Our sponsors threw us a party after we won, like they hired out an apartment for us and the fans to celebrate! It was really cool!
Thank you all for your time, I bet you’re all very busy preparing for Turkey. We would like to wish you all the best of luck and hope you take down the IWCT and do us proud!
Everyone: No Worries! Awesome, thank you.
I want to personally thank the guys (and Amy) for taking the time to sit down and talk with me. It was an awesome experience and for how much they have on their plate, they were all really great people.
We here at OK Games will be covering their journey at the IWCT. We wish them all the absolute best of luck, and hope that they know, regardless of the the outcome, they have earned themselves fans for life. We will be watching with baited breath and our Chiefs eSports flags waving high.
If you would like to support the guys directly, you can grab some of their merchandise here and follow them all on Twitter.
Amy Lau: @SigilsLoL
Cheifs eSports Club: @ChiefsESC
You can read Adam’s full wrap up of the OPL Finals here!