The Dire Wolves were the surprise package of the Split 1 2020 playoffs. With their backs against the wall playing Order in the lower bracket, they managed to fight their way out to make the grand final, only falling to Legacy at the final hurdle.
This time around there won’t be any second chances. They’ll have to start in the lower bracket after having a rocky split finishing fifth. For Chippys, this playoffs run feels similar to last split’s. The key difference, however, is in Split 1 it felt like they were winging it. This time they have their own identity and plan ready from the outset.
“It feels very similar to the last split, however last split we were winging it and honestly didn’t have it all figured out until we were 0-2 vs Order and then we found our identity and it all clicked,” he told Snowball.
From an outsider looking in it can seem foolish as a lowest ranked team entering playoffs to be so confident in you and your team’s ability to get the job done when you’ve had mixed success throughout the split. But for Chippys, the Dire Wolves have felt in control for most of their games, but have made a few costly errors.
“We’ve started strong early and faded. We throw away a lot of our leads — we’ve had games with 9,000 gold leads. But we know what those mistakes are and have been working hard to fix them,” he said.
Having won the OPL previously in Split 1 2018, Chippys was able to reflect on whether there were similarities this time round to when he last tasted success.
“These playoffs feel very different to when I last won the title. When I won it, I was a carry-only player with the goals of trying to help carry my team over the line. This time I’m trying to be more supportive and let them be more involved.”
One of those teammates feeling the full effect on a more rounded Chippys is Dire Wolves mid-laner Ari “Shok” Greene-Young. Shok has been a crucial part of the Dire Wolves wins this split and continues to impress.
“I’m really high on Shok, I really wanted him as a teammate when moving to the Dire Wolves, I have worked with and know most of the OPL players and he’s worked the hardest, I’m really confident that the hard work will get to show”Ryan “Chippys” Short
With this plan and the sense of identity coming into this playoffs, you can tell Chippys has bought into the notorious Wolfpack system. His confidence is arguably at an all-time high, and Dire Wolves are ready to make their (potential) fifth chance at international play count.
“I think we have the highest chance of winning except for maybe Legacy. I think we’re above 90% [chance of winning], but we’ll see who’s better on the day,” he stated.