We’re at the halfway point of the OPL split, and things are starting to clear up at the top of the table as we saw the Dire Wolves pip Sin and the Chiefs continue to open up their lead at the top of the table. This week we saw Tainted Minds sub, Pabu, make some OPL big plays on Renekton, the Dire Wolves slugged it out with Sin in a mid-table clash and Spookz continued his dominant form.

All this and more in Respawn Ninja’s OPL Week 5 recap!

Abyss eSports vs. Tainted Minds

2 – 1 Tainted Minds

Tainted Minds were reeling off the back of the loss of four of their starting players and had to quickly assemble a team. That meant that Praedyth had to lane swap into the mid lane and honestly it didn’t go too badly for the ragtag squad.

This was an absolute mess of a match as Abyss managed to throw several leads showing just why they are struggling in this OPL split. Even if they somehow garnered leads, they showed poor decision making and team fighting to make the series much more difficult than it needed to be.

Pabu was the standout for the Tainted Minds lineup as he absolutely manhandled Pacman on his favoured Renekton pick in the first two games. He opened up massive leads in lane and went godlike in the second game to lead them to victory. Unfortunately for Tainted Minds, Abyss took that as a hint to get rid of the crocodile, and the third game was a much easier affair for Abyss. Raid’s Jhin was certainly a shining light in the series for Abyss as he showed great play on the champion in all three games to register himself a 14.0 KDA and Abyss their first win of the split.

Chiefs Esports vs. Avant Garde

2 – 0 Chiefs Esports

In the OPL match of the week the Chiefs showed far too much class for Avant Garde to register a 2-0 victory and push their unbeaten run to ten games. Avant Garde went into the first game with one of their most common red side game plans as they tried to pinch Spookz’s champion pool and then drafted to ensure a favourable matchup Gangplank into Shen matchup for Ceres.

Unfortunately for Avant Garde, they were unable to allow Gangplank to scale as Spookz took an aggressive path towards the top side to ensure Ceres had to back at an unfavourable time and then returned again to find a kill on Ceres. From then on Swip3rr was able to completely shut him out with smart wave control, and with superior map control with the Shen, the Chiefs were able to run away with the game for a quick 27-minute win.

Game 2 was a much closer affair as Avant Garde went with an AD heavy composition with Ceres switching back to a tank in the form of Gangplank. The Chiefs, however, had the extremely potent Kha’zix/Shen combo and they also managed to snare away LeBlanc for Swiffer. While Triple managed to get a lot of work done on the Zed in the split push, once team fights came into play, he was nullified by the Tahm Kench and Shen. After a few misplays from AV in the mid game, the Chiefs were able to seal a 2-0 win and Avant Garde were sent back to the drawing board.

For Avant Garde, this will be a crucial lesson for them as they head into the back end of the split and for the Chiefs, well once again they’re the team to beat, and that’s exactly where they like being.

Watch the day one matches here:

Legacy vs. Exile 5

2 – 0 Legacy Esports

Exile 5 were certainly the underdogs against Legacy and watching this series you could certainly tell why. While Crayzee and TGun were able to match their counterparts in lane, Guts wasn’t able to match Carbon’s Rengar.

With strong mid lane pressure from Claire and smart pathing from Carbon they were able to open up a massive lead in farm and experience, and if it weren’t for a mistimed Bard ultimate from Cupcake in the 7th minute, the game would have gone even more pear shaped for Exile 5.

In the second game, Exile 5 went for a heavy CC composition with Warwick picked up for Guts, and they managed to find some openings in the early game, picking up an early kill on Claire. However, Legacy quickly adapted to this mid pressure and were ready for the next attempt with a great roam from Cupcake and a well-timed TP from Tally resulting in two kills for Legacy and from then on Exile 5 had no answer to what Legacy was throwing at them.

Dire Wolves vs. Sin Gaming

2-1 Dire Wolves

In the big mid table matchup of the week, Sin and Dire Wolves came head to head with both teams reeling off of disappointing losses. Dire Wolves seem committed to their rotating squad member strategy, and they took it one step further this week by rotating Shernfire into the mid lane for Phantiks in the first game.

This series was exactly what you would expect from a Sin series. It was filled with bloody, team fight heavy, topsy-turvy games and for the most part was a complete coin flip. Game one was decided by a poor engage from Sin and a brilliant Rumble ultimate from Chippys. Some poor decision making and macro play from the Dire Wolves in game two meant that Sin was able to take down several towers and eventually close out the game.

The Dire Wolves went into game three with a similar macro plan, once again prioritising Baron over their towers and this time they managed to come up ahead in their delicate dance with Sin. A second and then a third baron buff went the way of the Dire Wolves, and eventually, Sin succumbed to the Dire Wolves to lose their second series in a row and leaving them with some ground to make up in the second half of the split if they want to make the playoffs.

Watch the day two matches here:

Player of the Week – Spookz

There were a couple of players in contention this week, but ultimately, we’ve got to give it to Spookz. While he didn’t get to play Graves this week, he did pull out the Ivern and once again he showed why he should be feared on the champion. His intelligent pathing in the first game meant that Avant Garde was behind the 8-ball right from the start of the series and his map control is head and shoulders above any other jungler in the OPL right now.

With the ability to play both supportive junglers and the carry oriented junglers, Spookz is simply dominating games with superior pathing and was the rightful MVP in the Avant Garde game, and he’s in great form heading into the Chiefs’ big matchup against Legacy next week.