Mammoth have had a rough ride through the first round-robin of the Oceanic Pro League’s first split of 2020. Aside from a victory over struggling Gravitas, the defending champions’ refreshed roster has suffered nine defeats.
That’s going to change though, the team’s rookie mid laner Tristan “Lived” Fulcher promised when speaking to Snowball Esports following their first win. With the 0–21 record no longer possible, they can play with more freedom.
Beyond that, there’s been near-zero expectations on the team stacked with rookie players who graduated from the Challenger Series between 2019 and 2020. It’s a far cry from the roster that 3–0’d the Chiefs in Melbourne, but that’s fine with them.
What it has meant, Lived explained, is that no one is worried about Mammoth. As the team settles into life in the Pro League—from getting used to matchdays and even just playing on-stage—they’re growing. Soon they’ll be a threat.
“We want to have this mentality that we can always win games, no matter who we’re facing every weekend. There are some tougher games, of course, like Legacy or the Chiefs, but we want to believe we can take any of them down,” Fulcher said.
With the freedom of knowing they’re working their way through a development year, the new Mammoth lineup can become a banana peel for the teams battling at the top, Lived added. If the big boys don’t take them seriously, anything could happen.
Gravitas may be near the bottom of the table, but that may have happened last week anyway too. Mammoth made the call to swap their bot lane, and Matthew “Mboma” Desa and Andy “emelg” Chen. They picked up their first win of the year.
As well as the “big help” that came from getting Mbomba onto the stage—Lived’s old Emprox squadmate has apparently been acting like a coach for the team as well as a sub up to this point—the team has just hit a new level, the mid laner said.
“We were pretty confident we were going to win that one [against Gravitas] because of how scrims had been going, and how we’ve been improving. We’ve improved a lot since the start of the split, our teamwork has gotten a lot better,” he told Snowball.
The roster change was big for us too. Mbomba is like the brains of the team. His impact alone has changed so much. We’ve been doing things a lot more… thorough. Practicing things over and over again, getting good at them.”
Re-watch one of the key teamfights that led to our victory on Friday against @Gravitas !— MAMMOTH (@MAMMOTH_OCE) March 3, 2020
Insane Tempered Fate from our support @emelg__ that led to a huge CC chain. Let's not talk about the @LivedOCE part though 🤡 #TUSKSUP@OPL | #IAMOPL pic.twitter.com/KxXarCaRlx
Now, Mammoth are ready to unveil their new roster, one that has finally begun to calm the nerves of settling into the Oceanic big leagues, and finally helmed on-stage by their guide and leader Mbomba. It’s almost a new dawn.
“You’ll see a different Mammoth, we’re getting more comfortable on stage with our bot lane. It will all be uphill from there, and I think we have a lot more to show the OPL before the end of Split 1,” Lived promised.
Now there’s just one thing left to do — play the iconic David role in one of their upcoming top-vs-bottom battles. They missed a chance against Legacy last weekend, much to Lived’s chagrin, but there’s always other matches.
“We would have loved to get a win against Legacy, but unfortunately that didn’t happen,” he said. “That game wasn’t what we were hoping for, which is unfortunate, but hopefully next week against Chiefs we can get an upset. That’s the plan.”
The newly-refreshed Mammoth, as well as a confidence-infused Lived, take to the OPL stage again this Friday when they face Avant Gaming. Then comes the next chance to play David — the defending champs play the Chiefs on Saturday.
The OPL returns on Friday, March 6 from 4pm AEDT.