By far the most entertaining match up of the split so far, last weekend’s games of Avant vs Legacy provided us with an absolute nail biter of an ending to game two, and threw a spanner into many peoples power rankings.

It was also the debut of Legacy’s top lane Mimic, and it would be Avant Gaming’s own Pabu who would be treading the water first against this player with a lot of hype behind them. It can be slightly unnerving going up against a new foe for the first time, and I wanted to know how Pabu felt ahead of time and if he prepared anything specific for their match up.

“Our game vs Legacy was really quite important to me since the hype around Mimic was so huge, and I really was eager to prove myself after last week’s loss to the Chiefs.” explained Pabu. “I wasn’t exactly nervous, since I’ve played against better players when I was in Korea myself, and we didn’t prep anything for him specifically apart from banning Gangplank and Camille both games since they are his most played. I just wanted to play my own game, and not fall into playing his.”

After the first game ending just before the 25 minute mark, we saw that Mimic was unable to gain his footing, and despite attempting to engage in team fights several times, ultimately didn’t have much of an impact. After seeing this, you’ve got to wonder how one would reset and change their mentality going into the next game.

“I didn’t really change much up for game 2.” Pabu started. “Game 1 felt good, but it is a series, and after a hyphy end to game 1, I really had to work on resetting for game 2. My heart rate was through the roof and my breathing was insane, so once I fixed that, I went into game 2 with a similar amount of confidence I went into game 1 with, except with the knowledge that if we play like we did, we will win.”

In both games Avant focused on an early fast-push team composition, somewhat similar to what we’ve seen come out of Order recently, which really threw Legacy – who don’t often play a strong early game – for a loop. When asked about this plan and whether it was specifically planned for their Legacy matchup, Avant’s support Jayke had this to say:

“Going into a new patch, especially here in Oceania where we are the first competitive region to play on it, always comes with struggles such as getting a read on the meta before we get to watch the more established regions play. With the nerfs to Relic Shield in the bot lane, we were thinking of ways to abuse some of the weaker laners that people would most likely still pick, and Caitlyn fit perfectly into that. This style wasn’t necessarily for Legacy, although they do have a very stagnant early game normally. We have had good success with this against many teams.”

Whilst game 2 was almost double the length of game 1, both the early games were heavily in AV’s favour; with a lot of bot lane pressure from Avant jungler Only, game 1 saw first brick being taken before 10 minutes, and game 2 saw a first blood to ADC Blinky at 2 minutes. When also asked about their playstyle over the weekend, Blinky had similar sentiments to Jayke:

“Honestly [Pabu] and I just decided that Caitlyn was the strongest ADC on the patch at the moment so we started practicing it, influencing 2 other teams to pick it up as well, and knew that Caitlyn was one of my most comfortable and best picks. We thought we’d be able to get a strong lead against Legacy’s bottom lane with this – we knew that Raid and Decoy play for lane a lot, so of course if we pick a stronger lane they’re going to feel uncomfortable.”

They weren’t wrong there; game 2 saw a Caitlyn ban come out from Legacy and therefore a Tristana pick out of Blinky, and though Legacy brought back the fight and almost looked like they would take the 2nd game, their attempt at trying to tolerate AV’s bot lane were ultimately futile. Those last few minutes of game 2 were edge-of-your-seat entertaining: Legacy were breaking the base, Claire had taken down Frae in seconds, and only Pabu and Blinky were left to defend their nexus.

“After seeing Mimic teleport back into our base, I knew the game was done. I can’t remember too much but I remember thinking that Blinky can stop their bases, and just focused on what I was doing.” says Pabu, whose quick thinking won them the game.

Blinky went on to explain, “The 2nd game was super stressful after mid/early because I personally played bad and threw a few teamfights, and once they broke our base I knew that if I died then we lose, so I tried my best to just stay alive and hit whoever I could until our team spawned. [Pabu] said if Gnar teleports back then he’ll teleport and end, so I just tried to do as much damage as I could whilst staying alive.”

“Relief filled my mind,” continued Pabu. “We had almost lost, and I was thankful that we’d managed the 2-0.”

This weekend Avant go on to take on Tectonic, who currently sit at the bottom of the ladder, and they’re pretty confident that they’ll get the win this weekend.

“Our game against Tectonic should be a pretty straightforward win; all of our players are individually better, without going into the teamwork side of it.” says Jayke. “Tectonic are known to pick off-meta things such as Urgot, so we’ll definitely have to be on our toes to ensure they don’t pull of anything cheeky.”

Whilst their games won’t be as stressful as last weekend, I think it’s safe to say that we’re all excited to see more of Avant and what else they can pull out this split. They’re first up this weekend, playing at 2pm Saturday AEDT on – tune in!

Photos source: Avant Gaming Twitter