‘Nothing else matters’: Chiefs eye return to the top – OPL Final Preview

Can the four-time champions return to the Oceanic throne?

The Chiefs Esports Club is no stranger to success. They’ve been one of the most dominant Oceanic League of Legends teams over their many years of competing, with both local and international experience.

In recent years, they’ve struggled to find the Oceanic Pro League trophy. It’s been two years and four seasons since they’ve hoisted silverware in a split, and the motivation of the team to reclaim that glory is stronger than ever.

Brandon “Swip3rR” Holland is the titan in the top lane, and boasts the most experience. He’s extremely decorated with victories, with seven Oceanic championships to his name.

Joining as his top lane comrade is Romeo “Thien” Tran. The duo has been a ferocious force in Split 2, with Swip3rR’s 75 percent win rate over 15 games only ousted by Thien’s 89 percent in seven.

“When I get on that stage on Saturday, I’ll be going demon mode,” Swip3rR promised.

There’s more than just the top lane duo carrying the Chiefs hopes, however.

Jordan “Only” Middleton plays jungle, and has a wide champion pool which plays to the Chiefs’ strengths of flexibility. He’s not only able to play assassins, he can also play tanks, engage, as well as AP carry champions like Karthus.

Brandon “Claire” Nguyen has a long history playing competitive League of Legends, continuing the common theme of the Chiefs roster. He’s been playing in Oceania since 2012, where he started on the fledgling myRevenge Australia. Since then he’s gone on to be one of the most respected mid laners, with the ability to perform and have insanely clutch moments, helping not only his team to victory, but also about to inject them with a healthy serving of in-game hype.

Quin “Raes” Korebrits plays in the bottom lane alongside first-year OPL star Bill “Eyla” Nguyen in support, and Andy “Cupcake” van der Vyver in the substitute support role. These three make up the bottom lane of the Chiefs roster, and bring intimidation to their lane.

Looking back on the 2019 Split 2 results, the top three placed teams finished within two games of each other, with Chiefs finishing up with a 16-5 record. Mammoth claimed the same. In a head-to-head matchup, Chiefs claimed advantage – and the MEO bye – with a 2-1 run.

Despite the Chiefs clinching their first-spot finish, Swip3rR knows it could have gone either way in the run-in. The difference was consistency and the Chiefs stability on the Rift. “I’m looking forward to a really exciting and close series,” he said.

“Skill is only a small factor in it, preparation and mentality are just as important,” he continued.

“Best of fives requires an unbelievable amount of prep. In best of one, you can come in with two solid compositions and be pretty much guaranteed to get one in any given game, so you can practice those comps all week and not think much more about it.

“In best of fives though, if something works then you can bet it’ll get banned the next game, and if something doesn’t work then you have to tinker with it or even drop it entirely and have other things prepared.”

Having a gameplan and solid draft prep isn’t all there is, however. The Chiefs also hold another advantage over their Saturday afternoon rivals.

“Our draft edge definitely comes from roster flexibility. Mammoth has to be prepared for Thien and Swip3rR top, Swip3rR and Claire mid, and Eyla and Cupcake support. It’s difficult to adapt to as all these players regularly draw bans.

“We also change our team style quite a lot between rosters, which gives us the ability to adapt if something doesn’t work.”

These games this weekend are the potential to be some of the closest and most intense matches of the Pro League’s history. There’s no doubt the series at Rod Laver Arena will be one to remember. Both teams want the prize, but only one can walk away happy.

“I haven’t won in two years. That is the most important thing for me to overcome. Nothing else matters.”

Brandon ‘Swip3rR’ Holland

Watch the OPL grand final live from the Melbourne Esports Open later today on twitch.tv/RiotGamesOCE.

Follow @snowballesports on Twitter for all of our MEO 2019 coverage.

PhotographyRiot Games
ProducerJosh Swift
Emma van der Brug
Emma van der Brug
After joining Snowball in 2018, Emma "ammeplays" van der Brug is a valued member of our OPL content team. You may catch her inting on Summoners Rift, but luckily for her teammates she left the winning to the pros and started creating content instead.



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