Introducing the 2015 Split 2 OPL Awards!

By Alex Manisier

We’re on the cusp of finding out which Oceanic team will be victorious at Luna Park and move on to represent the region at Worlds qualifiers. The spotlight is currently on Chiefs eSports Club and Legacy eSports, but the two teams only got this far after a grueling split that brought us a bunch of evolving rosters, rapidly shifting rankings, and heaps of big plays. One team will be crowned Oceania’s champion, but there are more things to be celebrated.

Without further ado, here are the inaugural OPL Awards for Split 2 of 2015!

Panel: Alex Manisier, Max ‘Atlus’ Anderson, Zack ‘Rusty’ Pye, Jake ‘Spawn’ Tiberi

Play of the Split

Winner: Calvin ‘K1ng’ Truong vs Sin Gaming - Week 7 
Runner-up: Mitchell ‘Destiny’ Shaw vs Legacy eSports - Week 3 

K1ng is perhaps one of the most entertaining players to watch in the OPL, not least because of his tendency to replace reason with instinct in a tight skirmish. But while his antics made an impression on us in Dire Wolves’ first game of the split, it was their final game of the split that showed K1ng at his best.

Against Sin Gaming, he weaved his way through a climactic team fight, dodging skillshots at point blank with the assistance of Samuel ‘NADA’ Woo. Dire Wolves may have fallen out of title contention, but K1ng’s performance through the whole split has sent a clear message to his opponents: don’t sleep on him.

Upset of the Split

Winner: Absolute vs Avant Garde - Week 4
Runner-up: Sudden Fear vs Team Immunity - Week 6

As Week 4 of Split 2 began, Avant Garde were looking like one of the teams to beat. They had just come off a win against Legacy, and Kieran ‘Warble’ Brown was quickly becoming one of the premier carries in Oceania. Meanwhile, Absolute were struggling against the higher calibre of opponents that they faced upon joining the OPL, able to put together decent drafts but being outclassed once they loaded onto the Rift.

When the two teams faced off, Avant got off to an early lead, but Absolute seemed strangely calm. They maintained a robust vision line and continually cleared waves with Drew ‘Midbeast’ Timbs’ Azir, until their plan became clear - to bait Avant into setting up for a Dragon, only to sneak away Baron from under their noses. With Midbeast at the helm, Absolute finally grouped up and surged to a win off the pushing power of Baron.

Most Improved Player of the Split

Winner: Tae-hyung ‘Ryoo’ Ryoo
Runner-up: Tim ‘Carbon’ Wendel

When Ryoo joined Team Immunity just a few months ago, he appeared to be a respectable role player, supporting aces Daniel ‘Cheese’ Brown and Bradley ‘Tgun’ Seymour with reliable Teleports and consistent tank play. His teammates praised him for his work ethic and team spirit, acknowledging the possibility of a more carry-oriented role for him in the future.

What they didn’t expect was that Ryoo would develop into a fearsome carry top laner just one split later. His champion pool and lane play both accelerated in growth over the course of Split 2 as he added champions like Rumble, Fizz and Ryze to his arsenal of carry picks. Even in Immunity’s defeats, Ryoo consistently looked like a strong performer. Immunity currently face relegation, but Ryoo is looking for a second chance to establish himself as a top-tier player in 2016.

Sixth Man of the Split

Winner: Brandon ‘Claire’ Nguyen
Runner-up: Ryan ‘Chippys’ Short

This split, we saw many more OPL teams actively use their substitutes. While some teams did so out of necessity, others were willing to experiment with different roster configurations and find the one that worked best for them. Legacy in particular found great success with Claire, as he racked up a 3-0 regular season record.

Dire Wolves also saw success as Chippys bounced from position to position, performing admirably wherever his team needed to be, but Claire took it one step further by showing up for Legacy in the semifinals. His team treated him as the core carry of the team, devoting gold and ganks to him, and giving him the responsibility of turning his resources into victory - and he delivered.

Rookie of the Split

Winner: Jason ‘RYmeister’ Ryan
Runner-up: Lawrence ‘Mallek’ David

Having been the top mid laner in the Oceanic Challenger Series, Sin Gaming’s RYmeister came into his first OPL split looking to make an impact, and delivered on every aspect of his play. The moment he stepped onto the Rift for his first game against Chiefs, it was clear that RYmeister was something special, as he outright beat Simon ‘Swiffer’ Papamarkos in lane and rocketed his team to a lead.

RYmeister’s importance to his team cannot be understated, to the point where Sin’s victory often rides on his performance. In the team’s first three wins of the split, RYmeister died only twice, a clear indication of his ability to completely take over a game. There’s no doubt that he will be a player to watch next year, so follow this rookie closely!

Most Valuable Player

Winner: Derek ‘Raydere’ Trang
Runner-up: Richard ‘Perfection’ Su

When discussing the MVP award, we decided it should go to the person who carried the most responsibility for the most success in the split. Last split, there could have been a strong argument for giving the award to someone outside of the Chiefs, as all members were contributing fairly equally to the team’s success. Split 2, on the other hand, has belonged entirely to Raydere.

There are external factors behind his performance, to be sure. Swiffer’s transition towards control mages and more safe lane play has seen Raydere rise in comparison, and Chiefs’ new support Bryce ‘EGym’ Paule has allowed the AD carry to achieve more than he could before. But beyond that, Raydere’s work ethic has seen him become the OPL’s best player - to the point where he had more kills than the entire Sudden Fear lineup at one point.

OPL Split 2 concludes with a best of 5 between Chiefs eSports Club and Legacy eSports. Catch it live at 5PM AEST on www.twitch.tv/riotgamesoceania.


4 years ago


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