Although the Howling Abyss would be more fitting for the new Wolfpack, Vertex will commence their maiden voyage into the Summoner’s Rift on Monday.
The removal of Peace during the last split allowed the org to acquire their slot shortly after DreamHack. With a decorated history of FPS teams, they’re looking to do the same with League of Legends.
“Our first point of call was that we wanted to find a coach as we thought that we could build the roster around that foundation,” Vertex Operations Manager, Lachie “Charisma” Hughes told Snowball Esports. “They could have a read on where the scene is at.”
Seasoned Oceanic pro Gian “styled” Leon has been brought on to make his coaching debut.
“He’s been a key part of us assembling the roster,” Hughes elaborated on the decision. “He has a nice calm presence. We like what he has to offer in terms of personality and willingness to engage in our org’s values.”
Their foundation is fuelled by experience as they’ve also brought in an analyst by the name of Medica, who previously did some work with Peace.
Additional support has been provided by another Oceanic powerhouse–Jake “Hysterics” Osypenko, current LPL English caster and Vertex’s performance coach.
In this role, he’ll “really focus on helping the players develop healthy lifestyle habits outside of the game so they can perform well inside of the game”.
Before the search for their roster even began, they had their eyes locked on one specific midlaner: Duncan “Chirp” Zehnder. With a dominant presence in the amateur scene, the LCO is the next “level up”.
To field the remainder of their roster, Vertex ran four nights of best of three trials, sifting through a variety of fixtures and combinations of players.
Eventually, they managed to narrow it down–the result was a combination of League veterans alongside up and coming rookies.
In the top lane, Tomas “Tomasino” Pereira is described as a “mechanically gifted” player, with Hughes hoping that: “with some good finetuning and support systems he’ll turn into a good toplaner. In scrims, he’s shown that he can really lock into the game once he’s found his rhythm. It’s going to be about us helping him find that.”
The last of the rookie players is an unknown named Liu “4Ever” Yue. A Chinese student currently studying in Australia, this will mark his first competitive League of Legends experience. Despite the language barrier that he’s slowly conquering with the help of Duolingo, “his willingness to learn and grind is second to none in this team.”
The team’s support is a league “old dog” that Oceanic OGs would be familiar with: Andrew “Rosey” Rose will be making his return to pro with Vertex (something that Snowball resident Ducky is very excited for). With years of OPL gametime behind the support, Hughes commented, “Rosey’s been a really good voice to bring that experience which some of the other players lack.”
As Rosey’s duo trusty botlane partner, Alvin “Danteh” Wong has been bought out from Ground Zero where he resided during Split 1. While Danteh will be rounding off the team as their starting ADC, his coach will be his stand-in for the first week of the split.
With the LCO only a couple of days away, Hughes reflects on the post-DreamHack announcement: “It’s been a little emotional in a way–how we were received into the league.
“I guess myself and Jamie weren’t quite sure how it would be received because we’ve never been in this space before but a lot of people were really excited.
“Just a massive shoutout to the LCO fans. They’re absolutely incredible. They make us feel so at home already.”Lachlan “Charisma” Hughes, Vertex ESC
“Team Bliss has been big supporters of us as well. When we were frantically figuring out how to go about getting started, they were a really big help to us.
“They’re still our mortal enemies in the LCO,” he affirmed.
“There’s a lot to be excited for Vertex going into Split 2 2023.”
Vertex will make their debut against The Chiefs in the opening match of the split on Monday at 6pm.
Want to familiarise yourself with the rosters before things kick off? Check out our ultimate LCO Split 2 coverage hub for rosters, standings and more.