Chief Among Chiefs

By Alex Manisier

When Chiefs eSports Club announced their rebranding in August 2014, a knowing smile crept upon the faces of a handful of Oceania’s esports veterans. At the centre of this group was mid laner Simon ‘Swiffer’ Papamarkos: one of the founding Chiefs.

“People would change their name to Chief [ID], and we’d all follow along for laughs. A few of us became quite good friends and we found out that we did really well as a team.”

This team was made up of Minkywhale, Intrepid, Rusty, Rosey, Swip3rR, Spookz, and Swiffer himself. Although the Chiefs eventually went their separate ways to pursue more substantial dreams, they would find themselves reunited in some unusual circumstances.

Andrew ‘Rosey’ Rose and Brandon ‘Swip3rR’ Holland were called up to join Team Immunity, while Samuel ‘Spookz’ Broadley and Swiffer found themselves on Exile 5: Eclipse. These rosters would later merge to form the new Team Immunity - an experience Swiffer remembers well.

“[Spookz and I] had played with Swip3rR and Rosey already. Raydere was the only wildcard, but because of his mechanical skills, I had no qualms playing with him.” Before they knew it, the Chiefs were reunited - with Oceania’s best AD carry in tow.

Left to right: Rosey, Raydere, Spookz, Swiffer, Swip3rR

Chiefs are certainly the image of friendship, especially considering the history that the players share with each other. “It’s easy because everyone gets along. Occasionally, I have to rein people in, especially when the ‘solo queue tilt’ gets out of hand...I guess it’s a role where you need respect from your peers to get your job done. That’s something I think I’m privileged to have,” said Swiffer.

Indeed, Chiefs’ success over the last year can be attributed to the mutual respect that the players have for each other, and the low level of conflict within the team. Spookz agrees. “It’s rare for Simon to exert his assertiveness as captain. However, when he has something to say, everyone listens. He probably has the most influence amongst the team.”

Swiffer counts his leadership over Oceania’s best bros as a blessing, but he also felt the burden when Chiefs lost to Legacy eSports in 2014’s Winter Regionals - their ticket to the International Wildcard qualifier. “I came from a history of being dominated by Immunity when I was on x5, and it didn’t affect me then. It was only until [Spookz and I] were on Immunity, when we thought we were finally the stronger team, but then we lost. I just felt...numb.”

It didn’t get much better for the 20-year-old as he saw his Oceanic rivals head to the international stage at Gamescom. “Watching Legacy instead of us, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel envious. At the same time, I wanted them to do well. It was bittersweet.”

Swiffer picked himself up, and resolved to come back stronger for it. The goal of going international is what drives him - something that extends far beyond his League of Legends career. Outside of the game, Swiffer is like many League of Legends fans around Oceania: a university student with a casual job and an above-average interest in the exotic. “I like other cultures and I have ambitions for international relations,” he beams. Succeeding in Oceania and representing the region overseas seems to therefore be a natural fit.

Casual Chiefs fans may be surprised to see the other side of Swiffer: the hungry athlete who chases victory and recognition above all. Make no mistake, however. The goofy, fun-loving image that he presents to the public is the genuine Swiffer as well.

For anyone who has been annoyed by his solo queue antics in the past, take heart - his teammates have gone through much worse, and Spookz is witness to that. “We were staying in a hotel in Perth once, and the fire alarm went off at 2am. I was sharing a room with Rosey, but somehow we both knew it was Swiffer who had set off the hotel fire alarm. He had put the electric kettle on the stove.”

Thankfully for Swiffer, he has teammates that forgive his mistakes in and outside of the game - not just to move onto the next challenge, but because he is a leader they trust. Such is Swiffer’s charisma that he has even managed to earn the trust of the normally icy Rosey. “Simon is a loveable person and easy to get along with. He’s fun and spontaneous to be around.” Long-time teammate Spookz agrees. “He loves being the centre of attention, but he’s one of the most genuine people I know. It doesn’t seem like it, but he definitely has a soft spot.”

Chiefs are hoping that this soft spot won’t come out against their OPL opponents.

Catch the Chiefs in action at when OPL continues on Mondays and Thursdays from 6PM AEDT.

Alex Manisier is a contributing writer. You can follow him on Twitter here!

4 years ago

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