By Adam Martin
Ever woken up to the thought of “If I win a video game tournament, I could be representing Australia?” Neither have I, but that is how the guys from Chiefs eSports Club woke up last Saturday. After dominating the league this year, they had one last Best of 5 to win, to be representing Australia and the Oceanic region at the International Wild Card Tournament (IWCT) in Turkey.
Thanks so much to Swip3rR, Swiffer and Spookz for the interview!
Chiefs had won their last 26 Games Straight leading into the finals, so confidence should have been very high. However, their opponent in Legacy eSport had beaten them in their last best of 5. I had the privilege to speak to some of the guys and they did let me know that “facing them (Legacy) did increase the nerves”, and rightly so. Legacy were definitely a formidable opponent for Chiefs, and represented Australia last year at the IWCT. The teams were to face-off at The Big Top at Sydney’s Luna Park, in front of thousands with a sell out crowd in attendance.
Chiefs took a composition that “allowed us to be very proactive around the map” said Spookz. Facing a late game scaling composition of Azir and Kog’Maw on the side of the opponents, Chiefs used their composition very well. Swiffer’s Twisted Fate used his Destinies almost flawlessly and Raydere’s Sivir was near on unstoppable ending the game with a KDA of 16.0. Ending Game 1 in just over 37 minutes, 15.2 K gold up with a very dominating performance, Chiefs lead the series 1-0
Champion Select left us all excited for this game. Elise was left open and was first picked by Chiefs for Spookz. Legacy took another late game composition of Vayne and Lissandra as well as a Tahm Kench for Minkywhale in the top lane. Swip3rR said: “When Tahm Kench was released, I spammed him for a couple of weeks. We tried him in scrims, but didn’t like it”.
He knows the match up well and took Fizz into it. Early into the game, we saw why with repeat ganks on the Tahm Kench, securing kills for both Elise and Fizz. Holding down the Tahm Kench and feeding the Fizz lead into a 24-minute downed Inhibitor for the split pushing Fizz. Even with 4 item, Vayne and Lissandra Chiefs couldn’t be stopped with a mixed poke and siege composition, finishing the game in 33-Minutes. Chiefs took the series lead 2-0.
Chiefs were at the final hurdle! 1 more win to win the League and secure their spot in the IWCT. Game 3 Bought on a switch of sides and Chiefs were now to play from the red side, giving them the opportunity to counter pick. Chiefs took an early Janna and later picked up a Lulu, leading me into thinking they’d pick a “protect the Kog’Maw” style composition.
“I think at the time we wanted to take the Lucian for the dash… We took the Hecarim for Swip3rR because Hec and Lulu have good Synergy with the movement speed” said Spookz when asked about how the composition came together.
Carbon bought out the Lee Sin and we also got to see ChuChuZ mid lane Varus, and did they deliver! They secured First Blood before the 3-minute mark onto the Varus. Legacy took hold of this game and never let go, ending the game within 28-minutes holding a near 10 K gold lead. Chiefs lead the series 2-1.
With Legacy winning the last game, it broke a 28 game win streak for Chiefs, and it was their first loss since adding Egym to the roster (a former Legacy member). Chiefs were playing back on the blue side and had the opportunity to end it here and take home the title. Legacy targeted the Chiefs mid lane in their bans, banning out Swiffers Twisted Fate and his Jayce. This left Alistar for Egym (arguably his best champion) who throughout the OPL Finals was 100% picked or banned.
“He (Alistar) isn’t someone we will always take”, said Spookz.
In the next rotation, Chiefs picked up Orianna for Swiffer. Now, as some of you may know, Alistar and Orianna have fantastic synergy together, as well as the headbutt-pulverize-shockwave combo labelled as the ‘Cow Ball Delivery System’. I asked Swiffer if the synergy was something they have put time into practice: “It is something we have practised, I think as soon as we took the Alistar in champ select, I said we should just take the Orianna”.
By far the closest game of the series, 2 kills a piece at the 12-minute mark, Legacy held a 200 gold lead. However, it didn’t take too long for the Orianna to come online and Chiefs began to take the lead not only in gold, but in presence on the map. At just under 20 minutes into the game, the ‘Cow Ball Deliver System’ came into play, securing Chiefs 3 kills and the dragon. Neither team was in a hurry in this game. Almost everything was slow and controlled. With just under a 4 K gold lead at 34-minutes, Swip3rR’s fizz was over extended and killed and Legacy tried to push the advantage taking a 4 v 5 team fight in the mid lane. However, the one thing you should never do against an Orianna is group. And what did Legacy do? Yep, they grouped.
They allowed the Orianna the get spell rotations out onto them. Swiffer picked up a Quadra Kill and the teams secured the baron. The game steadily fell into the hands of Chiefs and they took down the final Nexus of the series after 42 minutes. Chiefs eSports Club had won the Oceanic Pro League Final 3-1 over Legacy eSport.
So what’s next for the Australian champions? They fly to Turkey this weekend in preparation for the IWCT, which competition dates are 26th, 27th and 29th of August. Team manager Amy ‘Sigils’ Lau said: “They’re hoping to get to scrim some LCS or EU challenger teams in the lead up to the tournament”.
When I asked the guys, what they thought of the prospect of playing last years IWCT winners in Dark Passage Spookz jokingly responded: “I have a torch on my phone“, but they did mention that with current form in mind they do believe they have a good shot at taking this tournament down, which would secure them a spot into the League of Legends World Championship. After the past split domination, I do believe they have a really good chance to be the first Australian team to get a spot into worlds as well. The guys extended their thanks to their fans who turned up in droves for the final, as well as their coaches and manager. They would also like to thank their sponsors in nVidia, Logitech and G2A.com for the continued support throughout the year and into the future.
On behalf of OK Games, I would like to congratulate Chiefs eSports Club on their win, we will be supporting them through the IWCT and we wish them the best of luck!
Stay tuned for IWCT updates towards the end of August