After the announcement that they would be taking over the Oceanic Pro League slot held by the Essendon Football Club late last year, speculation has been rife about who the new Perth-based Pentanet.GG team would field in the upcoming split of the OPL.
Today, we officially have our answer, as the organisation announces the first five players that will play under their banner in 2020.
As reported by Snowball in December last year, the new Pentanet roster will be headed up by two OPL champions in former Rookie of the Year Brandon “BioPanther” Alexander as well as former Bombers, Order and Sin Gaming support Jake “Rogue” Sharwood. They’ll be joined by a mix of veteran and young talent as Pentanet looks to bring some esports pride to Western Australia.
“Our mission at Pentanet.GG is to develop a new wave of esports talent, with a long-term focus to bring local West Australian talent from the community leagues all the way through to international competition,” said founder and managing director of Pentanet Stephen Cornish.
“I’m extremely proud to have a wholly domestic team of Aussie gamers onboard for our inaugural OPL season.”
That new wave of talent features players like Jarod “getback” Tucker and Paris “SOULI” Sitzoukis, but also veterans like Mark “Praedyth” Lewis whose expertise will hopefully be able to rub off on his younger compatriots as the team prepares for their OPL debut in just a few weeks.
Pete Curulli, Pentanet’s general manager, also chimed in on the new team, mentioning that he’s “excited to welcome our inaugural OPL roster to Pentanet.GG for 2020. I’ve had a chance to speak to them a fair bit over the last couple of months as a team, and individually, and I’m really proud that they’ll be the first professional players to wear our colours.”
“There’s a high standard we’re aiming for at Pentanet.GG, and I’m confident that this group of guys have what it takes to set it and create a benchmark for new players joining our teams and leagues over time. Bring on split one.”
Looking at this roster on paper, there is plenty to be excited about. With two veterans of the Oceanic scene holding down the bottom lane, Praedyth and Rogue have the experience and skill to go toe-to-toe with Oceania’s best, and we’ll get more of an idea of who they’re facing as we count down the days towards the season start.
Getback’s signing to Pentanet marks the first time he won’t be pulling on a Dire Wolves jersey since he was signed to the team in early 2018 after winning “The Next Gamer”. His performance in the second split of 2019 was a shining light on the Dire Wolves roster that placed fourth in the regular season, three wins clear of the Order roster that then knocked them out in the first round of the Gauntlet. The preservation of his existing synergy with BioPanther means he’s not starting from scratch, and should help him ease into his new role.
Speaking of BioPanther, it’s hard not to talk about his explosive entry into the OPL in Split 2 of 2018 and the sheer talent that he possessed. While he hasn’t been able to return to the highs of winning his debut split with one of the strongest rosters in recent Oceanic history, he’s remained relevant in the discussion for the best top laner in the region. That consistency will set him in good stead for his signing to Pentanet, where he is in the same boat as Getback, having never played for a team other than the Dire Wolves.
SOULI is the most unknown quantity in the new roster, having only played one game on the OPL stage after being recruited as the sole substitute for Order in early 2019. However, for him to be signed after playing a single competitive game in the last two years could point to his potential as a player. I, for one, look forward to seeing what a year under the tutelage of Oceanic legend Samuel “Spookz” Broadley has done for the young jungler.
This roster has the potential to trade blows with the best teams in the region, but as is always the case for new rosters, the team has to gel first to have any chance to take the title. It took the Bombers two splits to get it right and win their third split, and there is certainly no reason their replacements can’t do the same if they hit the ground running when the OPL returns.
The Oceania Pro League is returning on January 31, 2020, with games to be played on Fridays and Saturdays from 4pm AEDT.