It’s Tuesday evening in Melbourne and I’m still in the process of winding down from the past weekend. I don’t think it’s possible for me to describe the OPL Grand Finals in a way that would do it justice – it surpassed all of my expectations.
Despite having the opportunity to sit in on rehearsals and seeing the stage beforehand on Thursday and Friday, the scale of this event didn’t actually hit me until the final 10 seconds of the stream countdown.
The lights. The crowd. The music. Seeing our logo emblazoned on across the stage.
This was it.
I won’t go into the details of the actual games themselves: all I recall was not being able to sit still and grabbing onto Sangy (owner) and Ottoke (sub/analyst) in moments of excitement and panic.
Those who know me personally are aware that I stress the most out of everyone whenever the team is playing – it doesn’t matter if we’re 10k gold in the lead. I’ll only stop stressing when the whole thing is over.
Game 4 was probably one of the most nerve-wracking games I’ve watched in the team’s competitive history. At the 35-minute mark, when Raydere and Swip3rR were picked off near the Baron pit in what looked to be a team fight against our favour, the events of Winter 2014 flashed through my mind.
But they pulled through. They did it.
The team’s post-game celebratory huddle mirrored that of our staff – though ours was less composed as Sangy, Ottoke, Jish and I jumped up and embraced in a mixture of elation and most definitely, relief.
Winter had come, and gone.
To Riot Games: None of this would have been possible without you guys. I recall being overwhelmed at the first sight of Riot’s booth at PAX 2013. Thinking back to the OPL Grand Final weekend and how far we’ve come together as an Oceanic community – I’m still struggling to process it all as well as desperately trying to commit everything to memory. As a player, spectator and a manager, I can say with confidence that you’ve done Oceania proud. Thank you for your constant support and for everything that you’ve done for us.
And most importantly:
To the team: Sam, Simon, Brandon, Derek, Bryce. Words cannot express how proud I am. We’ve experienced so much together – from the lowest of lows at Winter 2014, to winning Split 1 and going to Turkey, to where we currently stand, ready to embark on our next journey at Wildcards. Thank you for all the great times and the laughs, you guys have the ability to make a 14 hour plane ride bearable Thank you for taking me along on this journey with you, it truly has been an honour. I’m lucky to call you guys my friends and I can’t wait to see what we can conquer next together as a team.
I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank all our fans. We wouldn’t be here today without your support. This win is for you.
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