The OPL returned with a new look for its new era. CS:GO is also up and running again with MDL (though I won’t cover that today), and Ties’ column is back with the first column of a new decade.
I came away really impressed with Minsu “EMENES” Jang. I know I’m not alone there; many others were as well. Don’t mind the broadcast where he arrived to mixed reviews, with Skimmy beginning day 2 by commenting on his day 1 performance that he was “not as convincing as he may have wanted to” before following up with “When you put that much hype into somebody you need to see more convincing results at that level”.
So apparently EMENES needed to pack multiple good games into his first game. If someone can hit me up on Twitter with how the heck he was meant to do that, I’d appreciate it.
Looking at that first game, though – it really shows the more subtle ways that great players are great. On the Orianna, and – let’s be honest – with his bot lane doing a baby int around him, EMENES quietly built himself an impressive early game. His team helped him out by getting him the kill on the top road, and he paid them back in kind, handling a 1v1 against Dragon “Dragku” Guo on the back side of the team fight despite getting caught off-guard by the Mordekaiser out of the bush.
The thing that I liked most out of EMENES was that he built an impressive game without a highlight-reel Command: Shockwave. Few things change a game quite like a huge Shockwave, and to have the impact that EMENES did on his Orianna without hitting a game-breaking ultimate shows a no-fuss way of going about his business that in my mind showed impressive poise in his first stage game.
On that overlay
Look, I don’t want to go in too ham on this, it’s been done to death. To me, it looked like a conscious decision to hide the part of the spectator client that shows the champion stats and buffs. The issues are twofold to me: 1) It’s just such a large, pulsing blue around it that it really stands out and takes attention away from the action. And 2) Is that even something we want in the first place?
I spoke with an OPL fan outside my normal echo chamber of friends I discuss esports with, who lamented the loss of the champion stats/cooldowns/buffs/etc panel, and they pointed out that with the release and popularity of Senna, that having the panel there to see her stacks of mist would be really helpful.
Initially I wasn’t too sad to be rid of this panel as I have a vague memory of it blocking out something important in a teamfight one time. But after hearing this, which I hadn’t first considered, I’m now in favour of being able to see it again.
I’m sure Riot got the message on the Week 1 overlay loud and clear, so let’s see if we can get something a little more minimalistic, as opined by Brandon “Juves” Defina.
I think the LCK overlay is a good example of less is more. Clean and can see important bits of information.— Brandon Defina (@SINJuves) February 5, 2020
I’ll say it again, less is more.
The rest of the weekend
- I came into this split worried about Avant, and an 0-2 week isn’t going to help this at all. I don’t think Dragku is a player they should have been building around and nothing he showed me so far has changed that.
- I like the edge Dire Wolves have going into preparation for future weeks. If Kai doesn’t know what he’s going to do before each game, how can the opponents be expected to predict it?
- I want to see more games from Pentanet and Chiefs before I’m completely confident with how I feel about either
- I was impressed with Gravitas. I expected a disaster, and at times they looked more organised than a lot of other teams.
- NichBoy continues to be a delight in my life.
GG great OCE banter
It was great to see some hard-hitting banter go around the league, led by Chiefs coach Chris “SeeEl” Lee who had this to say post-match after Pentanet.GG coach Scott “Westonway” Farmer vowed to hand him his first OPL loss ahead of their Friday meeting:
He definitely had the last laugh with the win. Congratulations to SeeEl on the win, and a bigger congratulations on his fourth career competitive victory taking his tally past his career competitive rulings. See you on stage in Week 3.
Big Stat Energy
I’ll close with this week’s edition of Big Stat Energy, which is all about the numbers that I find interesting around the scene. And it’s a quickie today.
Had Order not punted a monster gold lead on Saturday, the following stat would have been true:
Since the Rift Rivals break last year (5th & 6th July 2019), not including games against each other, Avant and Legacy would have been a combined 0-24.
Pour one out for Rift Rivals, by the way. Raise your #RipRivals.
With rare exception, the first week of the OPL was just as fun a watch as it has always been, even with the myriad new faces. Beyond our prediction feature matches, I have my eye on Dire Wolves/Gravitas as the match most likely to be fun. The Wolves should handle them comfortably at full strength, but “should” is a funny word when it comes to winning in the OPL.
See you in a couple of weeks with more Ties’ Takes!
Follow Reece “Ties” Perry on Twitter.