By Alex “Alexicon” Leckie-Zaharic.
Coming into the Gauntlet, the Chiefs League of Legends team hadn’t taken out a top 4 team in a best of 3 all split long. After SIN Gaming took out Avant Gaming in a 3-2 slugfest the previous day, the Chiefs were set up for a rematch with the team that put us out early last Gauntlet. SIN had momentum were on the up while Chiefs desperately needed to come away with the W to have a chance to be Oceania’s first representatives at Worlds after coming close multiple times.
Chiefs hadn’t beaten SIN since the regular season of Split 1 2017, and now was the time to rectify that. After being down 4k gold and 5 turrets at 20 minutes, as well as 4 kills, Chiefs spotted out SIN rushing Baron and went in for a fight. Peeling off Baron, SIN leapt onto Spookz’ Gragas and wiped him off the Rift, but a supremely well timed Gnar + Orianna ult from Swip3rR and Swiffer decimated the SIN backline and turned onto Baron with 3 kills in hand. From there, the Chiefs demolished SIN’s 6 outer turrets and broke open the base in the bot lane, and it was all over. A 13k gold turnaround enabled Raes’ Tristana, at this stage 7/0/7 to poke all of SIN full of cannonballs and not long after the Chiefs ended the game.
The start of Game 2 followed the same script as the first, SIN took an early lead, but despite being down 3 Dragons and a kill, the Chiefs’ superior map rotation catapulted them to a 5k gold lead with 6 of SIN’s turrets reduced to rubble. Ryoma’s nostalgic pick of Azir into Swiffer’s Cassiopeia seemed to work, but a teamfight initiation from Juves on Sejuani onto Swip3rR’s Gnar completely backfired and our Kiwi ADC shredded SIN on Xayah with her magic feathers to claim the first Pentakill of the Gauntlet. Snowballing to a 12k gold lead, SIN couldn’t come back and the Chiefs closed it out in 34 minutes.
By Game 3, SIN had lost all of their will to fight, and the bot lane duo again proved why you shouldn’t give them the lovers duo of Xayah and Rakan as they put together a spectacular performance to carry the team to a 24 minute victory and a ticket to E-Classico the next day against long time rivals Legacy Esports.
The Chiefs began E-Classico with plenty of momentum, and that showed in Game 1. Swiffer on Cassiopeia made a case for the Serpent’s Embrace to be the MVP of the Gauntlet as he went 6/0/12 on the Lady of the Snakes and enabled the on-fire Raes to unleash. With the ADC going 11/1/7 on his Kalista, Chiefs put up the first W of the evening very convincingly.
Game 2 threatened to go the same way as the Chiefs picked up first blood and turret, but Legacy fought back and slowly worked their way ahead with a 6k gold lead. Claire’s Zed became fed and for a moment many could have mistaken it for solo queue. The pieces for a monstrous fight began to came together but Cupcake’s Tahm Kench devouring Carbon’s Maokai and leaping into the fray caused a bug to occur with his character model.
The game was paused and after much deliberation, League Ops were summoned to Chronobreak the game back to 7 seconds prior to the bug occurring. This dramatically took the momentum and the course of the fight in the wrong direction and closed the book on what could have been an amazing team fight. As the game closed in on an hour, a Baron fight erupted and some stellar teamfighting allowed them to separate and pick off the members of Legacy, and with the death timers exceeding a minute, the Chiefs ran it down for a 55 minutes victory.
With the Chiefs on match point, Legacy were dead on their feet and they were quickly steamrolled Game 3 with some great teamfight play, with Swip3rR’s Gnar again being a great pickup. With the win, the Chiefs booked their ticket to the OPL Grand Final against the Dire Wolves for the chance to go to Worlds 2017.
Catch all the action live on twitch.tv/opl at 5pm AEST, as the Chiefs battle out for the 5th Oceanic Pro League title in what’s bound to be a blockbuster match!
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