OPL Shuffle – Split 2 2018

POSTED BY Alex Leckie-Zaharic June 4, 2018 in ArticlesEsports, League of Legends, Top Post,
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We’re halfway through the year, and it’s time to shake up the rosters! OPL Shuffle will be covering all the roster moves, trades and signings of the offseason as we get ready for the second Oceanic Pro League split of 2018!


Player – Jordan “Only” Middleton
Position – Jungle
Team Left – Avant Gaming
Team Signed – Legacy Esports

After jumping ship from TM Gaming to become the starting jungler for Avant Gaming following the departure of Lachlan “Sybol” Civil, Only follows in the Legacy jungler’s steps yet again by also signing with Adelaide Football Club-owned Legacy. The first split of the year was a good one for the traditionally aggressive New South Wales jungler, with more damage-focused junglers like Jarvan IV and Olaf making strong appearances. This is a good pickup for Legacy who are still rebuilding after only Claire was left on the 2018 roster from the 2017 team, and I expect Only to step up and enable Mimic and Claire’s carry playstyle.


Player – Jordan “Praelus” Fernandes
Position – Jungle
Team Left – Dire Wolves
Team Signed – Avant Gaming

The Dire Wolves sub has obviously used his time well under Shernfire and the Wolfpack, and has reaped the rewards of hard work to be awarded a starting position on Avant Gaming. Praelus only played 5 games this season for the Dire Wolves, standing in for Shernfire who was on a two week suspension. He played well, winning four of the five games with 3 on Shyvana with impressive stats as well as a slightly weaker Evelynn game. It’ll be interesting to see how much the student emulates the master when we get to see Praelus’ first game as a starter up against Tectonic on June 9th.


Player – Alejandro “DarkSide” Oyonate Gonzalez
Position – AD Carry
Team Left – Team Cappadocia
Team Signed – Avant Gaming

The first import signing of the midseason for Oceania, the player formerly known as Ladooscuro has an impressive resume. Since the start of 2014, he has played for 15 teams in multiple regions, including stints in Europe, Turkey and Spain, with his most recent stint in the TCS, just narrowly missing out on qualifying for the TCL. Most famously he played for European team Origen in their 2017 EU Challenger Series Summer campaign, placing 5th. The 22 year old Spaniard is a bit of an unknown quantity for Oceania, and with his favourite champions including Sivir, Tristana and Corki, I’m curious to see how well he matches up with the rest of the ADCs in the OPL.


Player – Ronan “Dream” Swingler
Position – AD Carry
Team Left – SIN Gaming/MAMMOTH
Team Signed – Intuition

The only removal from the OPL in this list, Dream is moving from the former SIN Gaming lineup into the OCS on Team Intuition, playing alongside established talent such as Richard “Phantiks” Su, formerly of the Dire Wolves and most recently as Chiefs coach. Dream played solidly in split 1 alongside Cuden in the botlane, commonly playing Ezreal, Tristana and Varus with most of the wins coming off his Ezreal play. Moving into the OCS isn’t necessarily a downgrade, as especially Intuition has a good support structure for growth with the veteran Phantiks, and I expect him to do very well in the Challenger scene.


Player – Brandon “Mash” Phan
Position – AD Carry
Team Left – Echo Fox
Team Signed – Mammoth Esports

The renamed SIN Gaming picked up two imports for the upcoming split, the first one being a pro player who’s been around for quite a while. Mash started playing profession League of Legends in March of 2011 and has played on teams with many storied players, including CLG toplaner Darshan, Shiphtur, Goldenglue, Jesiz and Froggen. His first splash came under team Good Game University, which before this year was the only non-powerhouse team in North America to make an NALCS final, doing so in 2013 Spring but falling 3-2 to TSM. More recently, he played in Phoenix1 with current SKT midlaner Pirean, as well as a tenure in the NACS with Gold Coin United as well as his last stand in the NALCS with Echo Fox where they placed 8th with a 5-13 record. Coming to Oceania, Mash is set to make waves amongst ADCs, and don’t be surprised if he’s the instrument in which his team create their pun-worthy mammoth comebacks, especially when he’s on his comfort champion Twitch.


Player – Kim “REMIND” Hong-ju
Position – Mid
Team Left – Unsold Stuff Gaming
Team Signed – Mammoth Esports

The third and final import of the season, REMIND was part of the LJL squad that took down OCE and GPL at Rift Rivals 2017. Most recently, he was a member of the Unsold Stuff Gaming side that placed fourth in LJL Summer 2017, during which he played a numerous amount of champions, and although Syndra, Orianna and Corki were frequently seen, REMIND was seemingly reluctant to have a comfort champion. He’s played professionally since 2016, including a brief stint as a toplaner. Hailing from South Korea, a language barrier is most likely in place, so I’m interested to see how Mammoth overcome this challenge (I was sorely tempted to make it a mammoth challenge….). All in all, he looks like a good pick-up for the fledgling squad, but it remains to be seen what impact he has down here in Oceania.


Player – Brandon “BioPanther” Alexander
Position – Top
Team Left – Dire Cubs
Team Signed – Dire Wolves

After the shock news that Ryan “Chippys’ Short had left the the team he had made his name with, as well as 3 OPL titles, the Wolfpack were on the hunt for a new toplaner. It seems they’ve opted for a rookie to go up against the wealth of toplane talent in Oceania, signing BioPanther to their roster. BioPanther was originally signed to the Dire Cubs, the Wolfpack’s Challenger series team, but upon Chippys’ move to Mammoth, he was promoted to the OPL side. He looks like he plays by the meta, with his most played champions consistently being the ones that are strong at the time, including Ornn, Gangplank and Gnar. It’s great to see more homegrown talent rise up amongst the mass of imports coming to Oceania, and I look forward to watching him develop as a player.


Player – Ryan “Chippys” Short
Position – Top
Team Left – Dire Wolves
Team Signed – Mammoth Esports

Chippys is one of those players that doesn’t need an introduction. Starting out in the scene in 2015, the veteran toplaner made his name at the Dire Wolves with his consistent play and split-pushing skill. As part of the Wolfpack that won the last three OPL titles and competed at two Mid-Season Invitationals and Worlds 2017, Chippys provides a wealth of experience to an already stacked team with the likes of Juves, Mash and Remind. He’s an insanely versatile player, just as happy to play a tank as he is to dash around the map on champions like Fiora and Irelia. Praedyth is already in the toplane position for Mammoth, so we’ll have to wait and see if Chippys has signed on to share time with the young toplaner or instead in a coaching position. Mammoth have really stepped up this off-season and should be in contention for a Gauntlet run if the team chemistry kicks in.


Player – Lachlan “Sybol” Civil
Position – Jungle
Team Left – Legacy Esports
Team Signed – Tectonic

Tectonic have completely rebuilt their roster after a last-place finish in Split 1 with at least three new players coming in, and they’ve opted to take veteran jungler Sybol after he left Legacy Esports to be a rock in the jungle for the fresh-faced team. Sybol has played professional League of Legends since early 2014 and has done stints on many of Oceania’s enduring teams including the Dire Wolves, Avant Gaming and Legacy. In 2018, Sybol helped lead Legacy to a third-place finish, knocking off both Avant Gaming and super-team ORDER in the Gauntlet to set up El Classico against the Chiefs which they lost 1-3. Playing four different champions in the series, it summed up Sybol’s split, where he wasn’t afraid to play any champion that his team required. An extremely versatile player, Sybol is a strong addition to Tectonic, and hopefully the shakeup allows them to step up this split


Player – Ross “Value” Luppino
Position – AD Carry
Team Left – Zenith Esports
Team Signed – Tectonic

Tectonic have also pulled off a double botlane import from Zenith Esports over in North America, with both Value and Trance joining the squad. Value’s first competitive experience was in 2017, with the North American Scouting Grounds on Team Mountain where was drafted by Team Liquid. However, after not being signed by the 2018 NALCS champions, Value spent two months on Zenith Esports before the team disbanded and subsequently joined Tectonic. With his favourite champions including Ezreal and Jhin, the new imported AD Carry is sure to shake up the botlane dynamic in the OPL. I’m impressed at the effort Tectonic has put in in the off-season, and proves that they’re here to fight, but only time will tell whether this roster can improve on their first split counterparts.


Player – Lawrence “Trance” Amador
Position – Support
Team Left – Zenith Esports
Team Signed – Tectonic

The second import for Tectonic, Lawrence “Trance” Amador has played competitively for quite a while now, most famously on Team Dragon Knights in North America with former SIN Gaming toplaner Flaresz. Starting out in 2014 on “y so E-Sports”, Trance has played on seventeen teams since then over three different names, so he’s been around. He won ESL Pro Series America 11 with Team Fusion in 2015 with current CLG midlaner Huhi, and Carbon Winter International 2016 with Top Dog Gaming alongside current OpTic Gaming jungler Akaadian. He’s also played alongside Value on Zenith Esports, so synergy is already in place for Tectonic’s new botlane duo. A fan of enchanter supports such as Lulu, Sona and Nami, it will make a nice change from the OPL meta of engage supports. This team could be a dark horse this split.


We’re updating this list as new changes become official. Be sure to keep your eyes out on Fridays and Saturdays starting the 8th of June for the OPL, both on Twitch and YouTube!

 

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