Legacy Esports may have scored a 2–0 weekend to kick-start their Oceanic Pro League campaign, including a come-from-behind win over Order, but they’re not getting ahead of themselves… not yet.
It was a fantastic offseason for the perennial OPL challengers, who recovered from a blip in 2019 to lead the pack of preseason favourites.
Gone are the rookies and juniors that strung up a rough 1–20 campaign in Split 2 last year, and set the record for most consecutive defeats. In their place, superstars like Quin “Raes” Korebrits and Leo “Babip” Romer have donned the green.
Their performance on Summoner’s Rift on Friday was right up to the mark too, as they barrelled past Avant Gaming in 31 minutes. In particular, the team’s Korean duo Kim “Topoon” Ji-hoon and rookie Jang “EMENES” Min-soo played key roles, running the show in the 13–6 victory.
The next evening, a tougher challenge awaited: a geared-up Order, also 1–0, and armed with new recruits like Brandon “Swip3rR” Holland and Harry “Haeri” Kang.
Although it looked like Ronan “rare7” Swingler had delivered the Melbourne squad victory with an explosive early game on Xayah, Legacy was able to hold firm and turn the tides late on to clinch their second win, 22–19 in 40 minutes.
Now, the trees sit atop the Pro League standings alongside long-standing rivals the Chiefs, who also notched an undefeated start to their Split 1 run with wins over Avant and new kids Pentanet.GG.
They may have settled themselves as early frontrunners, but Legacy aren’t looking too far ahead just yet — at least, that’s the message head of esports Tim “Carbon” Wendel delivered to his star-studded squad in the opening round of the league.
“When you come off a big offseason, people have big expectations of you, and we have big expectations of ourselves, but at the core, we’re just looking to have a good group of guys that perform their best on stage, and want to win.”
“Me, personally, I’m very happy with how the first week went, I’m stoked. It was important to put out a strong showing, and we put a lot of effort into the offseason, so it might have been a bit of a disaster if we had dropped those games,” he said.
That’s not to say it’s win or fail, Carbon added. Far from it — with a mix of veteran Pro League stars and rookies in the team, the Legacy helmsman knew there’d always been a growing phase. It just helps a little when you start 2–0 as well.
“We had that 2–0 weekend, yeah, but I think the boys still have a lot of work to be done to get to a place where they’re happy with their performances. I’m happy, but I know the boys were a bit frustrated they couldn’t do it in a simpler fashion,” he said.
“That Order game especially was hard work, and it took a bit of heroics to get over the line, but the resilience is important, and they don’t have to play from behind so often. They just want to play perfect, which is fair enough.
“In the end, I draw a lot of positives from this weekend. Yes, it was messy and it was hard work, but I think a team who can win despite that, imagine what it will look like when it’s not messy. I’m happy with the first week, onwards and upwards.”
For now, however, Legacy are just keeping their eyes on the weekends ahead, Carbon said. If they get too far ahead of themselves that is “never a fruitful exercise,” especially when there’s so much expectation swirling. They don’t want to get complacent.
The team, and Legacy, aren’t too overawed by the expectations either though, even if they’re not a big fan of the ‘superteam’ moniker some have slapped them with. According to Carbon, they’re ready for the challenge, through the OPL split and beyond.
“We’re going to strive for perfection, we can have these weekends too of course, but we’re aiming to land high. I know the guys have their hearts set on not only the OPL title, but beyond. A few of these guys have won the league before,” he said.
“I wouldn’t call us a super team though, no, we had a good offseason, but we’re not of the same ilk as ‘superteams’ of the past like Order with Tally, Spookz, Swiffer, FBI, and Rogue. I just think we can achieve a lot this year with a great group of guys.”
Elsewhere on the weekend, as Legacy and Chiefs collected their 2–0 results, Avant and Mammoth both dropped to 0–2 records early with back-to-back defeats in the Pro League’s opening day.
A pack has already formed in the middle of the table too, with the Dire Wolves, Pentanet, Gravitas, and Order all claiming a win and a loss apiece on Friday and Saturday. They will look to move into the frontrunners pack next weekend, and peel themselves away from the 1–1 glut.
The OPL returns on Friday, February 7, when Mammoth (0–2) come face to face with early title contenders Legacy (2–0) from 4pm AEDT.