Six months ago, Thomas “Deptra” Larder was unceremoniously dropped from the Ferox roster after Six Masters. After a season in the second-tier, he’s back for Oceanic Nationals 2021 with ROFLCOPTER, and he’s ready to show what he’s made of.
Ferox was Deptra’s big chance to break into the top of Oceanic Siege. He had been grinding for years, and finally found himself on a top-tier roster to try and push towards a potential upset.
Instead, Ferox floundered in sixth. A promising start, with wins against Okami and the Knights, as well as a 15-round overtime nailbiter with Wildcard, instilled some hope in Ferox’s fans and players that they could nab that fourth playoffs spot. But it wasn’t to be.
Deptra then found himself on the lurch after a particularly rough debut, heading straight back down into Challenger League. However, he’s managed to assemble a squad of misfits to try and get his revenge.
To celebrate our rosters qualification for OCN, we thought we would put together a video of us at our absolute braindead best, accompanied by a ground breaking roster announcement at the end. Enjoy the PG version of best of ROFLCOPTER 🙂 pic.twitter.com/JwoYziUyJb— oj (@warmoj) December 1, 2020
ROFLCOPTER is the only new squad joining Oceanic Nationals in 2021. The orgless five managed to take down Rhythm in a close 2-1 series to knock them out of the ecosystem for 12 months, and set themselves up for a run at the region’s best.
“We were pretty happy, to say the least. Time went by really quick, so we were trying to stay composed. It was a feeling of relief more than anything though. The hype came a bit later, as well as that realisation that we actually made it, but in that moment it was definitely relief like ‘thank God we’ve done it,’” he told Snowball.
“Realistically, we did see ourselves making it through. We thought we’d be better than Ferox, and we thought we’d match up against Ferox a lot better than we did Rhythm. We felt disappointed after losing to Rhythm on the first playday. We didn’t play to the best of our abilities and we lost. We thought we had Ferox and PC419 covered though, and we were moreso worried about Rhythm.”
Ah well all good things come to an end. The @TeamFeroxGG guys and I have decided to part ways, BOL to them in their future endeavors. I will now be a free agent seeking out other opportunities within the scene.— Deptra (@Deptra_) July 20, 2020
Deptra looks back on his Ferox debut with mixed emotions. While he was in and out in less than three months, he garnered years of experience that he never had at the top-flight before then, allowing him to finesse his game. That doesn’t mean he wants to see his old roster do better than him though.
“I’m thankful for the opportunity. During the season it was obviously really fun, and everyone was happy to work together. It was a really good learning opportunity for me because before then I didn’t have much exposure to Tier 1 Siege outside of scrims. Learning about the mistakes that you can and can’t make — it was a learning opportunity that structured me into the kind of player I am today. All experience is good experience.”
“There’s definitely a bigger issue within the team that I see rather than just changing players. I think they’ve gone through eight players in the last four seasons, and that alone says enough about their decision making. They’ve gone from like sixth to seventh, then back to sixth and down to seventh again, so they’ve been stagnant. We will play better than them this season, and I’d be pretty smug if I overtake them after getting dropped by them.”
“For myself — it’s not a revenge tour, but it’s definitely a return. I want to prove to Ferox that they made a mistake [by dropping me].”
The ROFLCOPTER squad does feature some familiar faces — Campo was on the old Kanga squad, while OJ has been beating around the bush for years. However, Rigba and Boydy are coming in completely fresh-faced.
The “weird” irony around Deptra’s veteran status in this squad isn’t lost on him. He has had to elevate ROFLCOPTER to the next level, using tips he learned from his days on Ferox. It’s not the in-game stuff that matters the most either — to get to this level you have to be pretty skilled. It’s the team bonding skills that only come with time at the top.
“It has been good to use that experience I got when I was on Ferox and transfer that to the boys, but at the same time we all try to help each other with little things here and there. The big thing that I took away was keeping a calm head and rally the troops. As long as we’re all moving forward and improving, that’s the main thing,” he said.
“We’re five players that are really committed to the game. We’re known for our aggressive playstyles, and we can definitely swing things to go our way. At the same time, we’re looking at implementing a bit more structure for next year. Nevertheless, we’re going to try our best.”
ROFLCOPTER aren’t just here to fill numbers in Oceanic Nationals either. Deptra’s first goal is to take down his old squad in Ferox. Then, from there, it’s onwards and upwards. While their top-four mission may seem lofty, he believes it will be a realistic one once the off-season settles.
“We set ourselves the goal this year of getting to OCN. Our goal for 2021 is a top four. It may not sound realistic as the rookie team. As the new roster changes come out though, we feel like we’ve got a strong line-up. We’ve been together for longer, and we like our chances as individuals and as a team. We can win some big games next season.”
There’s also another pretty big goal that ROFLCOPTER want to achieve off the server — getting an organization. If they can commit their time fully to Siege, instead of stretching themselves thin across work, uni, and life, Deptra firmly believes the squad can grow into a true title contender.
“I’m working three jobs, and we’re looking into orgs to help us grow. If I manage to grab a pretty good salary where I’m comfortable letting go of my jobs then sure I’ll commit full time to Siege. This is my passion and my dream, and for the last two years it’s been all I’ve thought about. I want to be the best I can at Siege. I’m not sure how realistic [quitting my job] will be, but we’re trying our best.”
You can follow Deptra on Twitter.