With Rift Rivals over, I thought I would recap my experience working alongside Legacy as well as the other Oceanic teams. Picking it up from where I left off right before our game against Ascension Gaming, we felt that they were a much weaker team. Finishing the game under 30 minutes we knew that SIN Gaming’s match against Unsold Stuff Gaming from Japan would determine if we were 1st or 2nd seed heading into the finals. Unfortunately after a long hard fought series, SIN fell and OCE was placed 2nd seed. It was time to head to bed and prepare for the semi final ‘King of the Hill’ format tomorrow.
The semi final format was very unique and involved both SEA and OCE 3rd seed teams to face off, the winner progressing on the verse the next seed of the opposing region. If SIN Gaming were to fall, Legacy was ready to step in. Dire Wolves, SIN Gaming and Legacy all acknowledged that SEA’s 1st seed team ‘Gigabyte Marines’ were the powerhouse of the tournament. Throughout everyone’s preparation, we also put time aside preparing for when we faced them.
Semi final day had arrived, Legacy was eating breakfast together and started building a focused mindset heading into potentially a long day of League of Legends. We spoke to SIN Gaming wishing them luck as our front runner and headed to our green room to fit in some solo queue games. I remember sitting there watching them practice and reviewing our opponents feeling that this day would ultimately determine if we had another shot at defeating DetoNation Gaming. The Legacy boys were eager to have that rematch but knew they had to beat the formidable Gigabyte Marines. The first game arrived, SIN Gaming against Mineski. SIN won the game in 17 minutes, the fastest game of League of legends any Oceanic team has ever produced. They progressed on to face Ascension Gaming, a game that was going back and forth for over 50 minutes until ‘Rogue’ hit a monumental Thresh hook securing OCE’s second win against SEA. Finally the moment everyone had waited for; Gigabyte Marines walked on stage and prepared themselves. It felt as if they knew this moment would arise, their two inferior seeds losing to SIN and they would have to clean sweep our region.
The game started with an outstanding early game by SIN’s bot lane. OCE had a 2k gold lead, we proved to out rotate a world stage team up until ‘Optimus’’ Orianna hit a two man Shockwave catching out FBI who failed to use his ‘Flash’ summoner early. Our 2k gold lead shrunk to 1k and then we were 3k down. In the matter of minutes, Gigabyte Marines had turned this game on its head and secured their first win. We were up, Luchio ‘SoulStrikes’ Park developed a unique approach putting our top laner ‘Tally’ on Lucian hoping to catch out Gigabyte’s arguably worst laner in ‘Archie’. After holding a 1k gold advantage and Carbon consistently nullifying ‘Levi’, a poorly executed Bard portal gave up a small advantage to Gigabyte. As shown previously, a small advantage is all this team needed to snowball their lead into victory. We lost shortly after they secured Baron and pushed down our bot lane ending the game around 30 minutes. Dire Wolves were OCE’s last hope, I was sitting next to them throughout the SIN and Legacy matches and they had started to notice patterns and weaknesses in GigaByte. They entered the draft confidently blind picking two of their solo lanes on their key champions in Kassadin and Camille. Once again the game started well for OCE with both solo lanes securing a kill on their opponent, shortly after off screen we see both Dire Wolves solo laners getting solo killed. We were in trouble, Shernfire attempted to mend the damage by sacrificing farm and putting more map pressure but a well fed Levi put the nail in the coffin. Dire Wolves lost under 30 minutes and Gigabyte had done it, they had reverse swept OCE.
With our hopes crushed we went out to dinner to acknowledge our efforts. Heading to bed that night was difficult for me, but I can only imagine how it felt for the players. We were out of the tournament, we placed last, there was going to be no rematch against DetoNation Gaming but we woke up a headed to our practice room to review our game against Gigabyte. After a very constructive practice session, the boys headed downstairs to watch the finals between JPN and SEA. JPN was victorious, with their 1st Seed ‘Rampage’ finally shutting down Gigabyte. We headed out that night to an event Riot Vietnam had organised and managed to socialise with our international opposition. We met numerous players and staff and wished them the best and to hopefully meet them again on the rift someday. We headed home early in preparation for our early wake up call at 5AM. All the teams were still upset and kept to themselves throughout the flight back home.
I remember waving off not to only just Legacy but to Dire Wolves and SIN as we all went our own ways. It was an extraordinary experience collaborating with these teams and putting aside our competitive nature to each other. As I sit here typing this recap, I feel that OCE grew a lot today. Although we didn’t perform to our high expectations, there is a lot of good feedback we received and will transition to OPL.
I would like to tell you all that OCE isn’t irrelevant, we are a very strong region that holds immense talent. Statistically we haven’t performed the best, but with the gaming houses implemented this year alongside the emphasis on support staff OCE is growing much faster than previous years. Time for Legacy to prove it in OPL!