FURY come into OCN 2021 Relegations as the favorite from OCL. However, in their path lay an experienced Wildcard and an upcoming Overt. Thomas “Deptra” Larder is confident — not cocky — he can pull out some of his Relegations magic and lead FURY into OCN 2022.
There’s somewhat of an expectation on OCN teams to crush their OCL rivals. However, heading into the OCN 2021 Relegations, the battle feels closer than it has ever been.
It was only 12 months ago when Deptra fought another Relegations battle on ROFLCOPTER, earning himself a spot back in OCN.
However, after being in flux between the two leagues for the better part of 2021, he settled down on FURY, helping the side push to an OCL Stage 3 victory after coming close in Stage 2.
“It was a change of pace going from ROFLCOPTER, where every week you had to prepare for a higher quality of teams like Knights and Chiefs,” he explained to Snowball.
“In OCL you’re prepping for a different game. It’s a bit more unstructured and there’s more chaos, which is easier in some aspects but harder in others because it’s so unpredictable. You have to change the way you play.”
His OCN experience — alongside Jacob “Presidnt” Kirton’s on Noble in OCN 2020 — has helped cement FURY atop the OCL ladder.
Of course, their younger fraggers like Tuhan and Quiz certainly have a bit of flair about them — the latter especially exhibiting qualities we’ve seen from the likes of Jack “Jigsaw” Gillies this year in OCN.
Giving them the guidance is Deptra’s job though, and it’s worked out for them so far.
“Me and Presidnt are the rock anchors of the team. We give the team direction, play those supportive roles, and enable the three younger guys to frag out. We’ll give them all the intel they need and they won’t let us down,” Deptra said.
Performing in OCL is one thing though. Stepping it up to OCN-calibre is another. FURY have put in the hours in OCL, and they’re even quietly confident they’re more prepared than their OCN compatriots.
“We think we work very hard, especially for an OCL team. We put in a lot more hours than all the others — and even some OCN teams. We’re confident in our prep that we can come out on top, but it all comes down to if we can show up on the day and get ahead of our nerves.
“It’s a big proving ground for a lot of people. None of our guys outside of me and Presidnt have played at that higher level, so Relegations is a big step for all of them. It’s also redemption for me and Presidnt to work our way back in after bouncing around for so long.
FURY couldn’t ask for a better first match in OCN 2021 Relegations — at least from a storyline perspective. Up against their rivals in Overt, the team they beat in a close-fought Stage 2 Grand Final, there are some concerns there’s now a gap between the two thanks to Overt’s Stage 3 promotion.
Deptra thinks otherwise though. Not only does he have the experience in these high-pressure games, he outright thinks FURY is the better team on paper. It’s all in the veteran’s attitude, which he summed as “confident without being cocky”.
“I think it’s good they’ve gained experience from playing those teams at a higher level, but we’ve gained a lot during the season because they haven’t been scrimming their competition in OCN so our scrim quality has been a lot higher than theirs. We’re pretty confident with our strats coming into it and we think we’re a better team on paper,” he stated.
Overt is one obstacle, but Wildcard is an entirely different proposition. The once-Kings of Oceanic Siege have fallen from their throne, and are staring down the barrel of relegation.
While the inner workings aren’t necessarily public knowledge, Deptra wants to exploit Wildcard’s current weaknesses and bring new blood to the top.
“I think it’s likely they don’t. I don’t think they’re in the greatest form, which has shown all year after losing Diesel in Stage 1. They took a massive hit there and it looks like they lost a bit of motivation,” he said.
“With that in mind, I see us and Overt taking the OCN spots. I think they’re still good, but it looks like from the outside that they’ve lost motivation.”
Regardless of the result though, Deptra is confident some of his teammates will eventually make it big in OCN. With FURY helping lead the next generation of local Siege talent, he might even consider stepping back into a coaching spot.
“I have a different way of looking at the game. Some people see it as a massive checklist… I see it a lot more about adaptations and versatility than that big checklist. It seems vague, but it’s more than just saying ‘boys, run into site.’”
“We’ve already had discussions inside the team about what happens for next year. We’re already aware of some teams trying to take our players — the usual business. We have options lined up we can consider,” he said.
“I may even consider stepping back into a coaching role if we make OCN because I’m pretty busy outside of Siege, so going back into a coaching role isn’t something I’m opposed to. I’ll stay if the boys need me, but we’ll play it by ear.
“There’s some up and coming teams in OCL — shoutout to Kraken and 1620 Kings, they have a few players with a lot of potential. I think as a whole, as a Siege community, it stems down from that highest level. If APAC North and South continues to grow, talent will keep developing and people will keep grinding to reach the top. There’s some OCL teams that could catch some sleeping OCN teams.”
There’s a job to do though, survive Relegations. And much like “Big Sam” in the Premier League, Deptra is one guy you can call on to do just that.
OCN 2021 Promotions kicks off on Saturday, November 27 with FURY taking on Overt in their first outing. You can catch the action live on the Rainbow Six ANZ Twitch channel.