Championship Sunday, and The Chiefs are in the box seat to secure their first national split win since 2016. Not only that, but should the squad sweep Pentanet today, they’ll have gone undefeated across the entirety of Split 2.
For Quin “Raes” Korebrits, his focus isn’t on finishing The Chiefs’ incredible undefeated streak in LCO Split 2.
It’s about ensuring he’s playing alongside the rest of The Chiefs at Worlds Play-Ins in Mexico City come September, and he doesn’t care how hard he has to fight to get there.
Like many, The Chiefs themselves were stunned when they let slip an MSI berth in a five-game battle with Order, and had to sit and watch as Order represented Oceania in a slot the entire team believed should have been theirs.
- Read more: Order claim maiden LCO Split 1 Championship & ticket to MSI in 3-2 victory against Chiefs
A dominating split with only a couple of hiccups had locked the team in first place by the end of the regular season, and they’d firmly established their championship credentials by prevailing over Pentanet.GG in a five-game upper bracket slugfest.
Despite arriving at the finals as favourites, the road would end in an agonising 2-3 defeat — and so began the long wait until they could try once again to end The Chiefs’ lengthy championship drought.
That downtime resulted in heavy self-reflection on the identity of the team and what they would have to do to lift the Split 2 trophy. Part of that was switching long-time support Dragon “Dragku” Guo for Ryan “Aladoric” Richardson — reuniting the veteran with former Peace teammate and mid laner James “Tally” Shute in the process.
Also reuniting with Aladoric was jungler-turned-coach Leo “Babip” Romer, who after departing Peace following their Worlds run had joined The Chiefs as an assistant coach, but found himself being elevated to the top job shortly before Split 2 began as Mike “Cuden” Le left the team.
Those two roster swaps asked a few questions of the Chiefs, firstly would Aladoric—who hadn’t played since the 2021 Worlds run—slot seamlessly into the side, and secondly, how would a player with only a split’s worth of coaching experience steer the team to victory?
Both of those questions were answered in emphatic fashion — The Chiefs are here to take the crown and won’t settle for any less.
The veteran org put together arguably the most impressive split in Oceanic history, not dropping a single game during the regular season before avenging the sins of the Split 1 final by sweeping aside Order in 3-0 fashion to lock their spot at DreamHack.
The team reaching a new level didn’t happen overnight, with Raes telling Snowball Esports that “there was concern” over the offseason among the team about the way they had lost the finals. He cited their overeagerness to engage as a core reason why they let the Split 1 championship slip away, noting that they heavily focused on cohesiveness for the upcoming split.
But now according to the star ADC, the overconfidence and the propensity for silly plays that proved their undoing in Split 1 is now long gone — replaced by a calm, collected Chiefs lineup who are fully in sync with each other.
That’s also led to vast improvement through all facets of the game, with Raes mentioning that even though his side are one of the “most proactive” early game sides in the competition, he believes that the team’s skill in the rest of the game is unparalleled in the LCO.
The undefeated streak would lend credence to that hypothesis, but the impressive run isn’t playing on the minds of The Chiefs, with Raes saying that no one will remember the fact that they went 21-0 in the regular season if they don’t seal the deal on Sunday.
He’s now ready to make short work of the one team that stands between him and a return to the Worlds stage, and even with Pentanet wanting to play spoiler to The Chiefs’ international aspirations, Raes notes that the team is not concerned about any of the individual players on the roster, not even opposing ADC Mark “Praedyth” Lewis.
According to Raes, despite the Pentanet ADC winning MVP against Order last night, Praedyth was “carried all three games” and “he’s going to look like a bot in finals”.
Chiefs jungler Park “Arthur” Mi-reu is also ready to cement his position as the region’s best, saying that “every time I come up against [Pentanet.GG jungler] BalKhan, I outplay him”.
He’s fully expecting to rein in his fellow Korean jungler, going so far as to question some of his picks during the Order series and telling Snowball Esports that BalKhan is “going to go 5/27/10” in KDA when he takes to the Rift against The Chiefs.
Banter aside, The Chiefs have engineered a phenomenal run of form and are now three wins away from the LCO title. However, when The Chiefs line up on stage tomorrow, Korebrits won’t be looking at the Margaret Court Arena audience.
He’s already imagining standing proud at Artz Pedregal’s Arena Esports Stadium in a Chiefs return to the international stage six years in the making.
The Chiefs go for gold tonight against a Pentanet side equally hungry for OCE’s sole spot at Worlds. Keep up with the action via our coverage hub.