After the marathon series that was the Oceanic pro league split one finals I was fortunate enough to speak to the reigning champions Chiefs support Bryce ‘Egym’ Paule and Brandon ‘Swip3r’ Holland coming off the back of their nail biting win.

I just want to start off by congratulating you on your hard yearn win guys, is the victory a little sweeter because it’s over Legacy?

Brandon ‘Swip3r’ Holland: I guess a little bit, it’s always good because it cements us in first place. If Legacy had lost to Dire Wolves in the semi’s there would have been that question of ‘maybe Legacy are still better than us’. But I think that series showed that we are still the best, it’s very close.

Bryce ‘Egym’ Paule: I completely disagree with you; you’re down playing it because I’m like fuck yes! We had a really rough to the split right and then I guess, well it seems really petty but on twitter Legacy are like ‘Are we the best yet? Will we win the finals?’ It just makes the win so juicy, it feels so good.

Those first two games were obviously commanding victories and then of course Legacy switched it up taking the next two games in classic Legacy style, what was going through your head during those games and did it change for game 3 and 4 or did you guys keep the same mindset the entire series?

Brandon ‘Swip3r’ Holland: After the third game I thought okay we’ve just had a hiccup; we will just win the next game. We always do the thing where we throw just one random game and it ends up being a 3-1.

Bryce ‘Egym’ Paule: Yeah he’s right we never win 3-0 we always 3-1. Even finals last year was 3-1.

Brandon ‘Swip3r’ Holland: So yeah when we lost the third game I was like yeah this is fine, something went wrong let’s just move onto the next game. But then the fourth game was a bit of a disaster as well. I was feeling fine personally, a little nervous but not as much as I have been in the past.

Bryce ‘Egym’ Paule: I think I was pretty good with the nerves, and obviously last time this situation happened I was on Legacy and I came out victorious as well. We all went upstairs to the green room after the game and Simon and Derick were looking super rough. Tim ‘Carbon’ is very loud and when they were getting kills all we could here was Woo and cheering and stuff. Sam ‘Spookz’ does it as well, so coming up stairs, I was on Legacy when we won but I was feeling that everyone was thinking oh no its going to happen again. Not like this. Nerves were getting to everyone but we just tried to reset every single game. We would go upstairs and just think its 0-0, let’s play our game.

OPL Split 1 Final low res 10

Well you guys essentially had a comeback within a comeback, because not only did you turn the series you turned game 5, which started with a nasty gank middle.

Bryce ‘Egym’ Paule: Yeah it was a shaky start, but we came good.

Did the pick ban phase play out every game you guys planned? Because as a viewer I saw some confused phases at certain picks and bans.

Brandon ‘Swip3r’ Holland: Yeah I actually laughed when Tally picked Master Yi. Weirdest champion and I’d never played against it before in a competitive match. I think we got lucky with them picking red side because it let us get the blue side when we wanted it, so the blue side draft ended up working out perfectly for us in the first two games. The red side was the one that was hard because we had to leave up a champion for Tally.

Bryce ‘Egym’ Paule: The biggest issue throughout the series was Azir had come back into the meta right, and Azir being the meta is really obnoxious because if Azir is in the meta the meta has to revolve around Azir. It’s really stupid because he just eave clears for days and he’s so safe. What developed through the series was that we had really good answers for Azir specifically, we played the Varus poke comp, we play Zed and a bunch of other things into Azir. So we’re not afraid of that, it’s more the fact they got the Azir wave clear with Tally on a counter pick to split push top. So Tally obviously really good mechanically on those carry top laners, so we basically have to blind pick into that on the red side and we weren’t willing to first pick Azir. So we gave them both Azir and split push power, so it was really hard to punish the split push. So them in the last game banning Azir was very helpful.

I noticed you guys only let tally get Ekko once and that’s all it took; you didn’t let that happen again.

Brandon ‘Swip3r’ Holland: Yeah it’s all because of the way we play top lane, its completely different to them. We’re like the tank style with low resources and I just survive off that. Tally is the opposite, also Ekko is a tank killer and as soon as he items he can delete back lines.

Bryce ‘Egym’ Paule: *laughing* It’s actually so rough for you, you’re the tank who gets zero resources and Tally is the carry who gets literally everything.

OPL Split 1 Final low res 6

I want to touch more on the master Yi pick, at first you said you laughed but I noticed in game he hit you with a couple of Alpha strikes early and actually really hurt you, did you maybe think oh no I’ve made a mistake?

Brandon ‘Swip3r’ Holland: *LAUGHING* Well it’s kind of funny because I levelled another account to 30 like two months ago and I actually played Master Yi top for a lot of the games, it was disgusting. I actually thought it might have been good because of the titanic hydra rush and the E proc in lane. It’s actually quiet dominant. We’re one of the only teams in the world that flex pick Maokai so I think If I was playing that I think the Yi might have actually worked. Us swapping Trundle top is what got them, I got ahead because I froze well but you are right it was a hard lane at first.

How are you planning to prepare for the International Wild Card tournament? Scrimming any big named teams?

Bryce ‘Egym’ Paule: We will be looking to boot camp the two weeks before the IWC against some American teams. We’re not certain who we will be scrimming because that stuffs up to management but our coach used to work with a lot of American challenger teams so we have a bunch of contacts through there. Our former coach also now coaches Dignitas so maybe there might be something there.

Unfortunately for the OPL champions their performance at IWC was less than stellar, only managing to claim one game in the entire tournament. This means the team failed to qualify for the semi’s and would have to return home to star preparing for next split. Hopefully though, with more international experience the oceanic region can grow stronger and potentially look forward to a better showing at the next international tournament.