Oh, you thought the Pentanet.GG excitement was over? Not so, says star support Daniel “Decoy” Ealam — expect the LCO champs to “just keep sending it,” in true OCE fashion, as they come up the League of Legends elite.
So we’re here at last; the eve of MSI’s new Rumble stage.
Funnily enough, it’s a different feeling for most of Oceania this time. Usually, a week or two into any international League of Legends tournaments, the OPL dream was over. Not so, this time around. This time, the LCO are bracing for a ten-game run through a glittering six-team group stage, complete with heavyweights like MAD Lions, Cloud9, and reigning LoL world champions Damwon Gaming.
The run, which starts at midnight (AEST) on Friday evening, looks daunting on paper, sure, but so did a three-team duel between RNG, UOL, and PGG in groups.
Pentanet.GG’s mantra has been simple during their Mid-Season Invitational run. They’ve cracked out battle cries like #PGGSMASH, #nocap, and the popular #OCELAND hashtag, but one has rung above the rest — PGG are just gonna send it.
It’s got them this far, star support Daniel “Decoy” Ealam tells Snowball Esports on the eve of the region’s historic Rumble run, so why would they change a winning formula?
Funnily enough, however, it wasn’t even always on the cards.
Decoy says things changed after the first UOL game, when PGG struggled against the Russian representatives. There was “no way” they were bowing out like that, Decoy stated, and the whole team was on the same page.
“It felt really bad actually, we had a lot of tools and a lot of power but we kind of fumbled it and lost. Then we play RNG again [and lost]… so we just said fuck it,” he said.
“After that, the plan was just to send it. We just said “fuck it” and sent it. It was really important, I think, looking back, because we were behind a lot of teams in Iceland from the start and were focusing the wrong picks. We decided we just wanted agency, and easier engage, it just really clicked.”
Now it’s become the team’s core mantra.
The play style came to a head during PGG vs UOL’s fourth meeting, when both Oceania and Russia were playing for their Mid-Season Invitational lives. Decoy locked in Galio. It was a comfort pick, and one that paid off in spades; the PGG support was “flashing on people left and right,” looking for fights, and just trying to bully their Group A rivals off the Rift.
It worked — not only did Pentanet sweep the Unicorns of Love out of the game, they sent them packing from Iceland all together one game later too.
The victory earned Pentanet.GG five more days of world-class League of Legends, against some of the best the game has ever seen. Decoy simply can’t wait.
“I’m just gonna be a sponge, every game!” he proclaimed.
That includes the games against two certified support superstars in Cho “BeryL” Geon-hee and Shi “Ming” Sen-Ming.
Decoy has already gone four rounds against Ming, but to go four more against him and against Damwon’s playmaker, is a rare treat.
“It’s just insane, there’s such more I’m looking forward to learning on-stage,” he said. “Right now, it’s pretty clear that me and Mark’s [Praedyth] laning phase is our weak spot. By the end of this tournament, I have a feeling it may be our strength.”
That’s not to say that Decoy is overawed either. He’s looking forward to the games, but he’s just as eager to “make history again” with more upsets on the world stage.
“We’ve been improving since we got here,” he stated.
“That gives me hope. That gives us all hope. No one expected us to play like we did up against the Unicorns, and scrims have been going better again as well.
“I think the biggest thing now is no one really knows. We promised we’d send it, and we’re going to keep sending it, right to the end. And, who knows, maybe we surprise the world again? Maybe we make a bit more history.”
He continued: “The whole team just wants to be not boring. We’re here to have some fun, play some League of Legends. If others are having fun too, great. If people are loving all our games, and wanting to watch because no one knows what’s going to happen, whether we might upset RNG, DWG, whatever, that’s what we want.”
It’s PGG’s mantra, to the very core. If they’re “sending it,” who knows what might happen on the Rift? There’s a chance to win — even slim — in every single game. Cloud9, MAD Lions, PSG Talon, they’re all right there for the taking.
Even the two LoL titans looming in the wings, RNG and DWG, “can be beaten,” Difficult? Unlikely? “Of course!” Decoy says, “but it can still be done.”
“And, honestly,” the PGG star added, “how fucking hype would that be?”