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After the Chiefs eSports Club’s thrilling OPL grand final victory over Legacy eSports, I sat down with Bryce ‘EGym’ Paule, the team’s support, and Brandon ‘Swip3rR’ Holland, the Chiefs’ top-laner.
We talked about the match, the International Wildcard Tournament in Mexico City, and that pentakill by Raydere which sealed the final game of the series.
Russell: So it’s the rivalry match, the ‘El Classico’ of OCE (Oceania). How do you prepare yourself for a match like this?
Swip3rR: Going up against Legacy, I guess it’s a bit nerve-racking because we never practice against them and we have no idea how they’ve been playing. But at the same time I think we’ve always had the upper hand going into a series against them, so, I always thought that they might be more nervous than us.
I struggle a bit with nerves, I’m always like, struggling a bit at the start, but when the series goes on it’s just the same, you know, it’s just like playing any other team.
R: (To EGym) What’s it like going up against your former team?
EGym: For me going against Legacy, I guess I try my best to treat it as another game. I just want to keep my mind on my own gameplay, like, we just want to focus on ourselves and play our game rather than playing towards our opponents or anything, but I guess it’s a bit different considering I played on a team with them for like, two years and I know them really well.
Seeing them before the game, like, saying hello, I’m just like, “Here we go again!” It’s a bit rough. I guess nowadays it’s been a while since I’ve joined the Chiefs, so the added pressure of playing against Legacy is kind of falling off a little bit.
Like when I first joined the Chiefs, in our first OPL [Oceanic Pro League] game we versed Legacy, I was shitting bricks. It was a rough time, I was really trying to focus but it was real hard, I was like, “Oh my God, I can’t lose, it’ll be so embarrassing”, but yeah, it’s not quite like that anymore, I just try and treat it like another game.
R: Are there anything you’ve picked up on your former teammates, things you can use against them, stats, that sort of thing?
EGym: Yeah, I guess so. It’s more personality, like, people have sort of trends. Last time I played with Legacy, the meta would’ve been completely different, so the specifics of the game, not so much, but I have a better understanding of the style of players they are.
Like Carbon [Legacy jungler] is a really aggressive jungle, Tally is a formidable carry top-laner, I have a better inside understanding of the styles they play as opposed to any kind of specifics, I wouldn’t really know nowadays.
R: It was a five-game series, after how many hours of playing, how does it feel to finally come out on top after so many games?
Swip3rR: I didn’t actually know how long we played, so we started around seven and then when the series finished, it was like, 12am, and I was like, “Oh my God, we just played that long,” but we’ve never actually won a fifth game in a best of five.
Swip3rR: Yeah. We’ve always either lost or we just haven’t gotten to five games, so having that feeling… it was just surreal. After we started our fifth game, I was like, “Oh no, no please no”, and then when we started turning it around, we all just started losing it towards the end and it was a really good feeling.
EGym: Last time we went to five games, I was on the winning team as well! I have good experiences, but it’s really, you’re really overwhelmingly happy but really exhausted cause it’s mentally taxing, sitting underneath the bright lights and playing, trying to concentrate straight on for five hours is pretty rough.
R: So there was no real time for a post-match celebration?
EGym: We did go out, we went back and had a shower and freshened up a little bit and we went out for a little bit.
Swip3rR: Nothing big really.
EGym: Yeah, nothing big, really, but we did have a celebration.
R: So the first two games, I thought it was going to be a clean sweep, but then they came back winning the next two games, did you think that maybe they could’ve won in game five because they were riding a wave of momentum?
Swip3rR: I think they definitely had the advantage going into game five, if we weren’t as experienced as we are, like, how much we’ve played in these situations, we probably would’ve caved and lost the series from that point.
I actually didn’t feel the nerves at all, I was a bit sick because I was struggling that day but, in terms of nerves and everything, I was completely fine, I think the team were as well. I was more worried about Raydere [Chiefs ADC] and Swiffer [Chiefs mid-laner] because I remember in the Bangkok [wildcard tournament] final, the nerves really got to them because it’s a high pressure situation. I was more concerned for them, but Raydere showed up really big and carried the game in the fifth game.
R: I wanted to talk about that fifth game, because of Raydere’s pentakill. How was everyone’s reaction to it?
EGym: Throughout the series, I guess Derek [Raydere] and myself got put in losing bot match-ups, like, for the most part, we were getting shoved in the bot lane for the entire series, farming under turret while Sam [Spookz] did things on the other side of the map.
In the last game, after we were 2-0 up and then we lose two games in a row and Legacy had the momentum, me and Derek were sitting there, like, “Give us a good bot match-up”. We were sitting in the green room upstairs and we’re like, “Okay, we can do this, we’re gonna do this,” and then we get the, we call it the ‘Derek Safety Net,’ the ‘Derek Kalista Safety Net,’ and man, he just came up huge.
There was an early fight in top lane where he got a double kill. I face-tanked a cocoon for Derek and he just kills two people and Spookz just went absolutely nuts. In the pre-game, Riot played the video where he’s like, “There We Go!” and it was literally just a repeat of that, Sam’s just going off chops, it was so funny.
Swip3rR: When he [Derek/Raydere] gets a double kill on Kalista especially, you can feel like he can just 1v5.
EGym: You actually feel like there’s a weight off your shoulders.
Swip3rR: When he’s on other champions, it doesn’t feel like that, it’s just Kalista. I don’t know, like, he calculates his Rends so well and he always carries when he gets his hands on Kalista.
R: So you guys are heading off to Mexico City for the International Wildcard Tournament, are you going early for some boot camping and preparation?
EGym: We do have plans at the moment, I don’t know the specifics.
Swip3rR: It’s up to the management at this point.
EGym: Yeah. But we need to need to win OPL before we can do any of that, that was a struggle. We’ve been focusing on that and now we’ll look onto Wildcards.
R: Are there any teams that you’re looking forward to facing?
Swip3rR: Yeah, well like, it’s pretty much the same teams, the same players that end up at the Wildcard, like, they’re on a few different teams and there’s few different players. In the end, it’s majority the same teams [as previous years].
For me, I want to beat Bangkok Titans, which is the team that beat us in the finals. I know Raydere really wants to get his revenge on Lloyd [Bangkok Titans ADC] because, at the finals, he was just on another level, so he really wants to take that back from him. I enjoy going there because I’m really good friends with the Japanese teams as well.
EGym: Yeah, they’re so nice.
Swip3rR: Yeah, they’re sort of our friends.
R: No worries, well, that’s all the questions I’ve got for you today, thanks for sitting down and having a chat, congrats on the victory and good luck in Mexico City!
Swip3rR: No worries, thanks!