Team Bliss have broken their curse in Oceanic Nationals 2021. Finding themselves in their first playoffs race for quite some time, Madhi “Repix” Khoshnam is hoping to prove in his debut season that they are a real regional contender — not just a one-stage wonder.
Bliss has been somewhat of a revelation in OCN 2021. Their issues before now have been well-documented, but while many had the former Ferox roster outside of the Top 4, they’ve proven all the critics wrong.
The Bliss boys were only one point shy of securing first place, eventually seceding the top spot to Knights on the final playday and stumbling to third.
Part of the puzzle that has seemingly solved most of Bliss’ issues in the server is Mahdi “Repix” Khoshnam. The rank demon turned lethal entry fragger has turned heads on his OCN debut with his flashy and explosive plays.
Repix’s addition required an entire role shift from the Bliss roster though. Considering he was replacing Joshua “Sxshi” Campion, the team’s former hard support, the rest of the roster had to make sure Repix could click into the role he’s notorious for in Oceania.
It worked a treat.
“In the offseason we had to get used to different roles such as Odah on more support roles and Nazgul was put on more flexible roles,” he told Snowball.
“After a few scrims we clicked and we had already adapted to the new changes, so going into Stage 1 we were already comfortable.”
Without any out of left field roster changes, Bliss finally put together their best split yet as this core. They have made playoffs for the first time — although it was of no surprise to the players, who saw this coming all the way from the Relegation tournament they had to climb through to make it back into OCN.
“The results we have been showing come to no surprise to us as we knew we could beat every team. We didn’t expect to be top contenders for first place and falling short by one point, but we knew the top four was definitely reachable.”
However, Repix himself was worried if he could stand up to the pressure of Pro League, and live up to those expectations. He’s learning with every official, but he’s gaining confidence in his own abilities not just as a player, but as a teammate.
“Heading into my first season of pro league was nerve wracking. Transitioning from ranked to competitive is a very hard thing to do but with the help of my teammates I was ready by Stage 1.”
“As a player I feel like there is so much more I can work on. There’s a lot of different aspects of my gameplay and our teamplay that we have goals for that we are working hard on to improve heading into Stage 2.”
While some have sliced up Bliss’ rise to be a symptom of some of the overloaded APAC South teams, it’s clear this team has deserved their spot at the top — at least for Stage 1. They looked, for some time, on another level in terms of coordination and pure firepower.
The flame was snuffed out by the Knights eventually ahead of playoffs, but they had the number of Order (8-6), Wildcard (7-5), and nearly Chiefs (6-8) in the regular season. Saving strats or otherwise, Bliss proved they were no pushover.
“We knew teams were definitely going to be playing more reserved and saving strats, but teams still need to win to maintain their spot in OCN. We’re working just as hard as them to win,” he said.
Now, they can cement a strong start to 2021 with a good showing in the Gauntlet. They’re guaranteed a top four finish, but they can beat one of Order or Roflcopter to make it at least one better.
“We all believe that ORDER will win [vs Roflcopter in the first Gauntlet match], however with the performances Roflcopter have shown, anything can go. Order have always been the top dogs and shown a lot of team coordination though.”
“We are currently happy with where we are placed finishing top four, but we think we can finish the playoffs in the Grand Final and bring it to the knights in a best-of-five.”
Bliss take on the winner of Order and Roflcopter in their first Oceanic Nationals Stage 1 2021 playoffs match on Saturday, April 17 at 6pm AEST.