The OPL offseason kicked up a notch this week with another flurry of signings and re-signings, many of which filling the breaches created with the signings reported on last week. So without further ado, let’s get into this week’s edition of OPL Shuffle!
Player: Lawrence “Lost” Hui
Team left: Legacy eSports
Team signed: Echo Fox Academy (NA)
The biggest news coming out of the offseason so far is that Legacy’s AD Carry Lawrence “Lost” Hui had been picked up by North American team Echo Fox to play in their Academy team in the upcoming 2018 season. After both him and James “Tally” Shute were selected for a boot camp and a trial with the Echo Fox organisation shortly after the conclusion of OPL Split 2 2017 (in which they placed third), the news that an Oceanic player is to now make it big in one of the biggest regions in the world is extremely welcome and bodes well for the future of Oceanic League of Legends.
Hailing from New Zealand, Lost started out on Team VGR in 2013 under the name Zero before taking a break from the competitive scene for 2 years. He returned to join Chiefs Black in the Oceanic Challenger Series, going almost undefeated in the first split of 2016 to gain promotion to the OPL and then being transferred to Tainted Minds. Joining Legacy for the 2017 OPL, he became a phenomenal force in the bot lane when coupled with Andy “Cupcake” Van Der Vyver, contributing to Legacy’s second and third placings in 2017’s two splits. One of, if not the first, Oceanic player to sign overseas, I wish Lost the best for his 2018 season.
Player: Julian “Raid” Skordos
Team left: Abyss Esports Club
Team signed: Legacy eSports
Legacy were quick to spring upon arguably one of the players with the most potential to succeed on Oceania, signing Julian “Raid” Skordos to take over from Lost’s migration to North America. The entire of Raid’s competitive career has been on Abyss Esports Club, starting out as a substitute for the first half of 2016 before being promoted to the starting roster for the beginning of Split 2 2016 and remaining so for the remainder of 2016 and the entire of 2017. Placing 5th and 6th in 2017’s splits, Raid will hopefully place higher in 2018 and establish himself as a top AD Carry in the region. The signing now leaves only Carlo “Looch” La Civita as an official signing on the newly acquired Abyss roster, after their team was bought out by storied AFL team Essendon FC.
Player: Daniel “Decoy” Ealam
Team left: Team Regicide
Team signed: Legacy eSports
Fresh out of relative obscurity and onto one of Oceania’s premier League of Legends teams, Daniel “Decoy” Ealam started out on SIN Academy for the first half of 2017 and moved onto Team Regicide as a substitute, playing 6 games for the side with a record of 1-5 in the second split of 2017. At the time of writing, Decoy is currently 5th on Oceania’s Challenger Ladder, which should begin to dispel doubts about his gameplay ability. As was mentioned by Legacy in their announcement post, this isn’t an immediate star power signing, Decoy is someone that will have to be developed in order to unlock his true potential, and I look forward to see how much of a playmaker he becomes.
Player: Min “Mimic” Ju-seong
Position: Top Laner
Team left: Millennium
Team signed: Legacy Esports
The big import signing of the offseason so far, Min “Mimic” Ju-seong has played in multiple regions, starting out as a substitute on Korean superteam KT Rolster, and then making his way through multiple European and Korean teams before arriving at French team Millennium. With Millennium, Mimic won Challenge France 2017 Spring and qualified for the European Challenge Series Qualifier. Coming into Legacy with a treasure trove of experience, Mimic is definitely a good signing for the Adelaide Football Club-owned side.With his stay in Europe, hopefully a language barrier won’t be an issue and Legacy can keep their reputation for clean communication. I’m curious to see how this will turn out for Legacy and if they can remain competitive with only one player from their 2017 squad playing on into 2018.
Player: Lachlan “Sybol” Civil
Team left: Avant Garde
Team signed: Legacy eSports
A mainstay of competitive League of Legends in Oceania, Lachlan “Sybol” Civil rounds out the rest of Legacy’s squad for 2018 after it was announced earlier in the week that current Legacy mid laner Brandon “Claire” Nguyen has re-signed for the upcoming season. Sybol started out as a Heroes of Newerth player, and moved onto League in May of 2010, however he only started playing ranked in Season 3 (2013) and made it to Diamond 2.
This caught the attention of some teams and he made his competitive debut with Team Unlimited in May 2014, moving through TU, Qlimax Crew and Legacy Genesis before making his name at the Dire Wolves, playing for the side from May 2015 to February of this year. Transferring to Avant Garde, Sybol was one of the standout players for the side, and the promotion to Legacy is just reward for his effort. I fully expect him to take a leadership role within the team, and having an experienced player in the jungle will be supremely beneficial for the cohesion of the new Legacy outfit.
Player: Mitchell “Destiny” Shaw
Team Left: LG Dire Wolves
Team signed: Chiefs Esports Club
This offseason has been dominated by the movement of supports, and our final shuffle for this edition is no exception. Mitchell “Destiny” Shaw was a rock in the bot lane for the Dire Wolves in 2017, being an unsung hero for the side that knocked off the Chiefs atop the position of Oceanic dominance, managing to win both splits this year. With those wins, he also represented Oceania at MSI and the Worlds Play-In stage, so he isn’t a stranger to international play. He joins Quin “Raes” Korebrits in the Chiefs’ bot lane as a worthy replacement for Bryce “EGym” Paule (who moved on to casting at Riot), and I fully expect that the Chiefs will be title contenders in 2018.
As previously mentioned, both the mid laners for Legacy and Abyss have re-signed for the 2018 season. Carlo “Looch” La Civita has had a definitely good season, re-signed to Abyss side, with jungler Sebastian “Seb” de Ceglie yet to re-sign. Veteran player Andrew ‘Rosey’ Rose also announced he has re-signed to Abyss last night. Brandon “Claire” Nguyen also had a stellar season, and there’s no reason he can climb to new heights in 2018. The final re-signing is that of the Chiefs Esports Club top laner, Brandon “Swip3rR” Holland in his new capacity as captain. What this signals for any unreleased changes on the Chiefs is unclear, but the Armoured Titan should have another great season carrying the shield and can even climb to new heights in 2018.
News also broke on Sunday night that Legacy top laner James “Tally” Shute is departing the side as Min “Mimic” Ju-sung was announced as the team’s new top laner, however with no information on where he may be headed. I’m sure a player of his calibre will be playing in the OPL next year, the only question is where.