The energy is beginning to swirl around the arena, pulling iridescently at emotions gone awry. The sold out arena was rocking, with decor and ambience silhouetting the stage.
The live broadcast was settling in, with HD broadcast trucks parked outside. DJ Sona was even in the house. An epic battle was in store for this afternoon.
The location was the Courier Mail Piazza, snuggled up along the coast of the Brisbane River in panoramic Queensland, Australia.
The scene? Over 2,000 people packed into their seats, anxiously awaiting their entertainment of the night. Another 10,000 would be watching live from their homes.
On the stage were ten nervous players, awaiting their chance to make history.
The game was of course, League of Legends, one of the most popular eSports pioneers of this century. The match was the final of the Oceania Pro League (OPL). The winner of this series would claim supremacy in Australia and New Zealand, representing their region in the World Championship Qualifier taking place in Brazil.
The two teams taking to the Rift have a rich history already. You can say, a budding rivalry is emerging. The Chiefs and Legacy have spent the entire year building up to this point. All of those 12 hour days practicing, endless hours watching videos and pouring over strategies with coaches would come to a culmination here.
One team would move on, the other’s season would end.
Chief’s recent dominance is extended in ANZ
These two teams both played each other at last year’s OPL grand finale, with the Chiefs taking the series 3-1 against Legacy.
The Split 1 playoffs were even closer between these two teams. Chiefs showed vulnerabilities for the first time, and Legacy was in prime position to make them pay for it. Then the Chiefs showed their championship pedigree in game three, and the series was over 3-2.
Was this finally the moment that Legacy could rise up and dethrone the Chiefs? The answer was a resounding no. After two quick defeats in less than 30 minutes to the Chiefs, Legacy was clearly distraught. They put up a decent fight in game three, but they were already emotionally defeated.
With the Chiefs sweeping Legacy, they now carry Australia and New Zealand’s aspirations for Worlds to the IWC. Legacy now must go regroup and prepare for another long journey next season.
Chiefs just miss out on International Wildcard Qualifier Playoffs
After finishing group stage 3-4, the Chiefs were tied for 5th place and just on the cusp of reaching the playoffs. This is a stepback for Chiefs eSports compared to their performance at last year’s International Wildcard Qualifier, where the team finished 4-2 and atop their group.
The Chiefs showed moments of lackluster play during the regular season this year, finishing in third placing heading towards the OPL Playoffs. The same mistakes surfaced again at the IWQ in Brazil. One of the best teams in Australia at gaining early leads, the team has struggled with their macro play this year.
This is still the best team in Australia until someone forcibly removes the crown from them. The team has also just recently moved into a gaming house. The time together and increased ability to practice will only further help extend this teams dominance.