In an almost poetic series of events, the grudge match between Legacy and Chiefs culminated in a spectacular 5 game series that had everyone on the edge of their seats.  I had the pleasure of viewing the fantastic final from HOYTS Broadway amongst a large crowd that felt evenly split between Legacy and Chief fans. Whenever a team would take the advantage on the rift the crowd would answer in kind. Clash of styles and Oceanic veterans / Chiefs and Legacy play two different styles

Game one began with a ban phase that many saw coming. Chiefs denied Legacy’s eSports top laner James ‘Tally’ Shute from picking high damage tops in Gangplank and his signature Ekko as well as denying Tim ‘Carbon’ Wendel and Tally from picking Graves. Legacy answered these bans by eliminating both Nautilus and Trundle from Brandon ‘Swip3r’ Holland as well as Bryce ‘EGym’ Paule’s terrifying Alistair.

Legacy ran an engaged team composition into a well-thought out poke comp by The Chiefs. Chiefs entered game one with a composition that had Simon ‘Swiffer’ Papamarkos on Varus middle and Derek ‘Raydere’ Trang on Jhin in the bot lane. To protect this backline sniper duo, Swip3r first picked the highly sought after Poppy and EGym selected the equally important Braum.

Legacy went with a more engage/disengage heavy comp consisting of several comfort picks. Tally picked Lissandra for crucial lock down from the Frozen Tomb, Aaron “ChuChuz” Bland picked Azir for his impactiful Emperors Divide, Curtis “Regret9” Schembri selected the always reliable Tresh and late minute substitute Harry “Cardrid” Archer picked Sivir. The stand-out pick of the composition was Carbon on Kindred, a champion he previously had yet to play competitively.

OPL Split 1 Final low res 4

The first game started dreadfully for Legacy who gave up two early kills to Swiffer off the back of a horrible fight for Legacy in the top side river. Legacy’s poor luck didn’t improve in the mid game as Swiffer picked up another kill on ChuChuz’s Azir after a missed emperors divide and Carbon was caught out soloing dragon, giving over a free kill to Poppy and a dragon to the Chiefs.  Chiefs not only took an early kill lead but also dominated map pressure despite being down in turrets and controlled vision, planting deep wards into Legacy’s jungle. The game took a turn for the worst for Legacy when a team fight erupted near Dragon pit at the 17-minute mark that put Chiefs 2 thousand gold ahead. The fight also allowed them to drop Legacy’s middle turret and secure an important second dragon.

Chiefs continued to dominate the game and Legacy quickly realised that Swip3r’s Poppy was near un-killable as he freely dived Legacy’s base killing Tally beneath a turret. The Chiefs went on to claim a commanding victory against Legacy and ended the game with an impressive 17-3 kill score over their oceanic rivals.

The question running through most viewers minds at this point was would the Chiefs 3-0 Legacy? Game two definitely suggested so.  Chiefs ran a composition reminiscent of Legacy’s in game one with both Sivir and Azir. Chiefs mixed it up however, running the obscure Moakai support whilst simultaneously picking Trundle to confused Legacy during pick and ban phase to keep them guessing who Tally would have to face in the top. Legacy however had an answer for this…an extremely strange answer. Tally locked in Master Yi top. Like the Chiefs players on screen I, and the rest of the crowd, burst into laughter only to seconds later fall silent in confusion. Would this be a pick that brought the series to a 1-1 stand-off? Nope.

OPL Split 1 Final low res 8

Game 2 started much like game one for Legacy, with a disastrous fight that left Carbon and Chuchuz dead and Swiffer with an early lane advantage on Azir. The fight was nearly identical to the first engage in game 1, and even resulted in the same deaths for Legacy. Reminiscent of the first game Chiefs launched to a massive lead, crushing every lane match up and shutting down Tally’s YI before he got anywhere near rolling. Chiefs clinically dismantled Legacy, picking them apart in a mere 25 minutes.

Now game 3 is where things got real interesting.  In an unforeseeable twist of fate, or a poor ban phase, Legacy’s top laner Tally was able to first pick his signature tank Ekko and showed why The Chiefs should have banned it. Legacy came out swinging in game 3 in a…well, Legacy fashion with confident aggressiveness securing them first blood for the first time in the series. The game was fairly even in the mid game with both teams sitting around the 30k gold mark before Swiffer was caught out of position behind dragon pit by Legacy’s entire team. Chiefs managed to pick up a kill after this evening the score out to 6-6 but Legacy managed to again capitalise in another team fight soon after, out fighting the Chiefs with help from Tally’s amazing Ekko play.  From here Legacy lead by Tally’s Ekko dived into Chiefs base, constantly fighting and picking up the win at 30 minutes.

The Chiefs wouldn’t make the same mistake they did the game before, banning out Ekko in game 4 denying Tally from his most comfortable pick. Chiefs baited an early Azir pick from ChuChuz and opted to play a composition similar to their game one with heavy poke but instead swapped Varus for Twisted Fate in the mid lane. The game was a constant back and forth of passive play that resulted in only a single kill for the first 20 minutes of the game until Legacy pulled the trigger at the 27-minute mark, running over the Chiefs with their damage heavy composition. Swiffers Twisted Fate was noticeably unimpressive in the remainder of the game, failing to use Destiny to apply any pressure on Legacy’s side waves or to assassinate Legacy’s back line. Every team fight that broke out would result in blinking life bars across the board but no deaths. The straw, or should I say Twisted fate that broke Chiefs back came late in the game at the 40-minute mark when Swiffer was caught out by Legacy in an awkward position. Legacy took this opportunity and rolled through Chiefs base for the win, tying the series up 2-2.

OPL Split 1 Final low res 11

In an almost scripted fashion, Chiefs and Legacy found themselves in a do or die position. Not only would the winner take the OPL split 1 championship but they would represent Oceania in the International Wildcard Tournament.  Chiefs intelligently banned out Tally’s Ekko but Legacy were allowed to Pick Gangplank and comfort picks on nearly every member. Chiefs went for a less gold dependent top laner with Nautalis and Swiffer tried to regain form with a tried and true pick in Viktor. Spookz also looked to mix things up my introducing the first Jungle Nidalee pick for the series, a pick that would prove to be crucial to the result of the game. The game started in the perfect way for Legacy with a Carbon picking up multiple kills by out jungling Spookz and setting up perfect ganks for Tally on Lissandra. The game looked grim for the reigning champions, but Chiefs all-star carry Raydere had another thing in mind, eclipsing Cadrids farm by 60 minions at the 15-minute mark. The game was a long one that had back and forth exchanges that had everyone on the edge of their seats. The constant brawls all came to a head and culminated however in a poetic ending at the 40-minute mark when Raydere Penta killed Legacy on his monstrous Kalista. Legacy were visibly broken and Chiefs finally broke the curse of game 5 defeats to Legacy.

The series was a marathon that displayed top-tier play from both championship worthy teams. For now, the oceanic community moves their sights from the local scene to the daunting international wild card tournament, a tournament full of heartbreaking memories for Australians. You can catch the Chiefs in action at IWCI here.