Gravitas’ debut in the OPL is only hours away. After acquiring the spot of the promoted Chiefs Academy in the OPL, our team of Jackson “Pabu” Pavone, Jordan “Praelus” Fernandes, Harry “Haeri” Kang, Julian “Raid” Skordos and Daniel “Decoy” Ealam are ready to take the league by storm. To do that, however, as in any sport, our early games are crucial and in our first preview of the month ahead we’ll be looking at what we need to do to take the W.
The Adelaide Football Club’s esports organisation had an offseason similar to ours in the fact they were starting their 2019 roster from scratch. With both teams set to play the opening game of the split, the stakes are high, and a win on debut would be a great start to Gravitas’ potential championship run. Legacy’s strengths are in their two veterans, Papryze and Praedyth, and it will be up to Pabu and Raid alongside Decoy to keep them in check.
If they can do that, the team will be able to exert some pressure on the map simply due to the experience of the multitude of veterans Gravitas has and the in game advantages that expertise can offer. With our org’s history rooted in traditional sports, there is no better way than a battle against a team owned by a traditional sports organisation to begin the OPL.
Coming into this split, Mammoth have emerged as the title favourites after they reunited three members of the championship-winning 2017 Dire Wolves side and will be a massive test for our fledgling side. For us to win, it will be through the top side of the map as Pabu will be up against an OCS player, Topoon, who will still be finding his feet in Oceania’s premier League of Legends competition.
Alongside the three former Dire Wolves players on the bot side and their rookie top laner, Mammoth also have signed the 2018 Chiefs jungler, Babip, and this will be a huge matchup for Praelus and the game can easily tip in either side’s favour depending on who wins jungle supremacy. It’s a mammoth game to play the league’s top side, but it is also a mammoth opportunity and a win here will truly announce our presence in the league.
For the past two years, the Dire Wolves have ruled the roost. After dethroning the Chiefs, the side won everything in 2017 and 2018 but now are a side devoid of veterans and what many say to be also devoid of championship potential at this stage. Our matchup against the defending champions will be our first match of Week Two, after we’ve had a chance to reset after these first games and factor our early teachings into our playstyle. This also means that for both teams, no matter how unproven they are, momentum from the first week is massive and could easily push the game into our hands or theirs.
Again, keep your eyes out for the top lane matchup, as BioPanther comes into his sophomore split suddenly as the most veteran of the young side and his already-demonstrated prowess will be a fantastic challenge for Pabu. Raid and Decoy’s experience will put them in extremely good stead against Anderu and Corporal and there’s no reason why we can’t force an advantage there with the assistance of Praelus. Praelus’ matchup against UDYSOF will also be an epic clash of former Dire Wolves’ jungler Shernfire’ protégés as both players have been his understudies as part of the Dire Cubs OCS roster. We have the skill to win, now all it takes is to get out there and do it.
A newly formed org at the beginning of last year, ORDER were helmed by OPL caster Jake “Spawn” Tiberi and successfully made to the playoffs in both splits in third place, but fell short in the Gauntlet and failed to make an impact in the finals. This year, they’ve pulled in a new bot lane to complement Tally, Spookz and Swiffer but with what was hailed as a superteam this time last year, they’ve fallen short of that mark and are now another opportunity for Gravitas to make a statement. The new botlane of Dream and Jayke are well-matched against Raid and Decoy, and if that matchup goes well it eases the pressure on both Pabu and Haeri.
Haeri especially has an opportunity to go big here, as with both his side lanes in winning matchups, he can show his mettle against one of Oceania’s earliest titans. Praelus will need to be smart against Spookz’ intelligent jungle pathing, but we’re sure that Coach EGym, who played with the ORDER jungler for many years on the Chiefs, will prepare him well for the matchup. Our last game of January, a win here is vital to keep us on the right track as we move past the less consequential earlier weeks of play and into the beginnings of the business end.
That’s all for our first Month Ahead preview, be sure to check back on our website for our game recaps coming soon after we play our first games in the OPL! #GravitasGlory