Last time we saw Team Pandamonium, the team pretty much went undefeated throughout split one going into the final with Tainted Minds. Despite Tainted Minds being the underdogs, they put up a challenge against Team Pandamonium but ultimately wasn’t enough to knock Oceania’s best team off the top.

In Split Two however, it’s a different story with Team Pandamonium finishing third on the ladder, a position that we’ve rarely seen the team at. With lots of challenges facing them this weekend, team captain Daniel Rowe is confident his team will put up a fight to defend their LAN title.

“The team has had a fair number of challenges throughout this split with roster changes, role swaps and some absences – but! I actually believe we’re back to our old momentum resembling our 2015 streak.”

Rowe knows this LAN will be their toughest yet but the team loves a challenge and it seems that is their key to motivation going into this weekend.

“With only four nights of practice using our final roster there’s no doubt that this is going to be a tough event… thankfully a challenge is what motivates us the most, and I’m confident we’ll show up strong.”

“Thankfully a challenge is what motivates us the most, and I’m confident we’ll show up strong.”

Reflecting on the split, Daniel has mentioned it has been a great learning experience for the team. “Our core members settled into their specific roles outside of the obvious Conquest roles, causing our practice structure to shape up tremendously. As a leader I’ve learnt a lot about building and maintaining a solid work environment for the roster, so I’m excited to continue to work into Split Three.”

With a few new teams rising through the ranks such as Legacy who are the team to beat this weekend, the final for Split Two seems to be the most competitive yet. I asked Rowe about what he thought about the newcomers and constantly changing shifts within the scene

“It’s been great to see new teams rise up into the OPL, especially teams from the Challenger Cup like Legacy has. What people don’t see is the work put in behind the scenes, these teams are putting in so many hours above what most would expect.”

“What people don’t see is the work put in behind the scenes, these teams are putting in so many hours above what most would expect.”

He also believes that for competitiveness to continue to rise “we’ll need to see those players set the long term goal for Regionals this year, where hopefully we’ll put on games worthy of a solid international audience.”

The talk of the town has also been that Dreamhack Masters wasn’t on the cards for an Oceanic team while every other region had the opportunity. I asked Rowe about his thoughts on the matter.

“There are several reasons for this and I think a lot of lessons have been learned throughout the process, and thankfully we’ve been hinted at small but meaningful improvements to come in the future.”

Despite being a blow to “most Oceanic competitive player’s motivation” he enforced that “it also motivated some to earn that right to compete – and I’m excited to see the long term results of that.”

The SMITE Oceanic Pro League (OPL) is on this weekend (20th-21st August) at the Australian Technology Park in Sydney. For more information about the event, visit here.