The League of Legends Oceanic Pro League finals took place in the big top at Luna Park over the weekend, with teams Legacy and Chiefs facing off for the championship. After a tense four matches, the Chiefs emerged victorious three games to one, taking home the trophy and the chance to represent Oceania in the International Wildcard Qualifier. The Qualifier takes place in Istanbul, Turkey, where they’ll face Japan, Turkey and South East Asia, all vying for a sport at Worlds.
After all the action of the night before, I had the chance to sit down with Derek ‘Raydere’ Trang and Bryce ‘Egym’ Paule after the matches to chat about the victory, playing in front of a huge home audience and what the future holds for the Chiefs Esport Club.Jayden: Firstly, congratulations on your win last night! What was the experience like, playing on stage at Luna Park with a huge audience cheering along?
Egym: It was really good – I’ve always liked playing on stage more than playing at home, it’s just such an amazing experience. It’s not so much that you can hear the crowd, but you can feel the crowd when you make big plays. There’s so much momentum when you’re winning and it’s really hype-y. The stage was really amazing, and the way that Riot’s built up the stages was very cool.
Raydere: Like brad said, it’s a really great experience, especially in front of a home crowd. I never really thought I’d see the day that here in Australia we’d actually have an esports arena, but we do currently. It’s pretty awesome.
Jayden: How did winning that first match set you up and keep you confident to take out the series?
Egym: I think that it was more important for us to win the first match not for our own confidence, but so that Legacy didn’t have confidence – that may sound bad but I feel like they’re very momentum based and them losing the first game gave us a huge advantage. We were all going in confident, and I especially went in confident and sure we we’re going to win. Us winning that first game was definitely worse for them than better for us!
Raydere: We played the first game pretty much perfect, aside from one or two small errors, and from that it definitely gave us even more confidence that if we play our game and play smart there’s no way they can win – it kind of set the tone for us, even when we were down that one match, we knew we could come back and win the series anyway.Jayden: How did losing game three to legacy effect the team and shape your play and drafting for game four?
Egym: I’d like to say it didn’t really change much. Coming off stage after a win everybody’s pumped and talking about what happened, but coming off after a loss we just talked about what went wrong. After every single game we were just reiterating ‘it’s zero to zero’, we’ve just got to play this next game. After our first game we had to reset back to that zero-zero mindset, keep it in context of the match. We really just had to keep it simple, play our game and reset our minds after each match no matter whether it was a win or a loss. I don’t think it effected us too much because we’re very good at bouncing back from a loss.
Jayden: The two of you were fairly instrumental in the Chiefs victories in all your games, what do you think ultimately led to you taking that fourth game? It was a very different match to the previous three.
Raydere: I’ll say this, I think Egym played a very good Alistar – he pulled off some really good combos and having that synergy we showed on stage, we played really well as a team. We had a very big advantage from the draft phase ’cause they picked in to our hands basically, and they gave us very comfortable champions, what we wanted, allowing us to execute it pretty well. There were some huge team fights that were pretty exciting that led us to victory.
Jayden: Were there any big surprises or challenges in Legacy’s draft and play throughout the games?
Egym: The second game probably had the most surprises since they played Lissandra and Tahm – I personally think Tahm is just not good – but they pulled it out, twice actually, so obviously they have some history and practice with him, thinking he’s very solid. Lissandra hasn’t been in meta for a very long time, but I feel like we had the upper hand in all but game three. We kind of shot ourselves in the foot in the drafting phase in game three, but other than that misstep where we picked into their hands we drafted pretty well.
Jayden: What were your highlights or top moments from the matches?
Egym: In the last game, the fight mid where we got the four man Alistar combo into the shockwave completely decimated their team – it was just crazy. You could just hear the crowd roar up as it happened, it was really cool.
Raydere: That was pretty much the highlight for me too. It was interesting, I didn’t actually see it because I got eaten by Tahm, making my screen black out. I didn’t see what was going on I could just hear my team going crazy. Over the other games though the highlights were just a lot of small advantages we picked up rather than any big, flashy plays. The rest of the games were definitely more textbook.Jayden: What’s next for the Chiefs after this victory and leading in to the International Wildcard Qualifier?
Egym: A lot of practice and preparation! I don’t think all the other teams are locked in yet for the wildcard region, so we don’t 100% who we know we’ll be playing. Obviously up until finals we’ve been preparing against OCE teams, so now we just have to try to work on our game and improve as much as we can – hopefully try to get some practice overseas in international competition. Since a lot of regions play in different leagues it’s important to have that experience. basically, just trying to set ourselves up for the best performance in Wildcards so we can make it to Worlds.
Jayden: You’ve managed a lot of success as the League of Legends team, but what do these victories mean for the Chiefs Esport Club as a whole?
Raydere: Well it’ll definitely boost our exposure, and our president and sponsors will be really happy about that. It also means a lot more funding for the team. Talking about the organisation as a whole, it’ll give us a better opportunity to get us to Worlds like we’ve always wanted!
Jayden: Thanks for chatting with me. I wish the you and the rest of the team the best of luck in Turkey!
You can follow the Chief’s journey to Worlds and all things League of Legends over at http://oce.lolesports.com/.