Another 1-1 week kept us only one game behind Avant, the Chiefs and the Bombers at the top of the OPL table, but with our upcoming games against the latter two, this week would be a huge test for our fledgling side, the biggest yet for Gravitas in the OPL.
The first battle of the week was against OPL veterans the Chiefs Esports Club, who at 3-1 was looking extremely strong. In the draft phase we drafted a very all-in style composition, with Vladimir for Pabu, Kindred for Praelus, Lissandra for Haeri and Ezreal and Alistar for Raid and Decoy. The Chiefs, on the other hand, also did pick up elements of a teamfight composition but tempered it with poke in the Zoe and Lucian for Claire and Raes.
The game was relatively silent for the first ten minutes, with only a Cloud Drake going over to the Chiefs alongside a minuscule gold lead after the boys in blue created minor CS advantages over the early course of the game. At just past 11 minutes, Haeri, Praelus and Decoy initiated onto an overextended Only and Claire but some clutch invulnerability unfortunately gave Eyla time to arrive and take down all three of our boys to put us down 2k gold.
The Rift Herald also went over to the Chiefs and the situation was starting to look dire for us. With the bot lane outer turret dropping courtesy of Shelly and a second Cloud Drake being taken, the gold deficit was rapidly increasing and we started looking for a play to bring us back into the game. By the time the game had reached 15 minutes, more towers were dropping and the entire Chiefs lineup dropped into the top lane to kill Decoy then Praelus.
Unfortunately, it went from bad to worse as Haeri’s initiation onto two members of the Chiefs failed to yield a kill, with Swip3rR’s Rumble only surviving on single-digit HP and the Chiefs turned it around to leave only Haeri alive and the team down 7k gold. 20 minutes heralded another initiation from Decoy, flying in to knock up Claire, Only, and Swip3rR, but the gold from the 4-0 turret lead proved too much of a dissuasion and the teamfight evaporated into thin air with no one dying.
Claire by this stage was absolutely monstrous, with a fully stacked Mejai’s Soulstealer as well as a scoreline of 6/0/3, and two kills onto Decoy and Haeri handed over a Baron. With the raw strength from the big purple worm, the Chiefs shattered our base before wiping Haeri and the rest of the team to take the game in dominating fashion. It was our hardest loss yet, but our next game was a chance to redeem ourselves against another table-topping team, the Bombers.
— Gravitas (@GravitasOCE) February 1, 2019
The Bombers were also an extremely strong team, having already picked up a win this week and were looking to take us down to keep a firm grip on that first placed position. In order to stop that, we put Pabu onto Sion, added another source of damage with Praelus on Kha’Zix as well as Haeri’s repeat performance on Lissandra. This time, Raid picked up Lucian but Decoy remained on the Alistar for the second game in a row. The Bombers had a multitude of damage threats and would come straight at you with Mimic on Urgot, BalKhan on Camille, ry0ma on Ryze, as well as FBi and Rogue on Viktor and Tahm Kench.
Our first kill of the game came as Praelus sat sneakily in the right brush in the mid lane, waiting for an enemy to appear, and it was BalKhan who fell to our jungler to give over First Blood. There was a quiet spot in the game, but it was the Bombers who equalised the kill count as both ry0ma and BalKhan helped Mimic grind down Pabu’s Sion. It was just before 10 minutes when Praelus picked up a Mountain Drake for the team and the gold differential of 500 in favour of the Bombers was simply due to the monstrous lead that Mimic’s Urgot had built over our top laner.
A brawl in the topside jungle lasted an extraordinary amount of time as Haeri was traded for the lives of ry0ma and BalKhan to make another indent in the small gold deficit. Decoy’s rotation was stellar and appeared once more back near his ADC to set up his pick off onto Rogue’s Tahm Kench. Another kill onto ry0ma meant that by just past 12 minutes, we now had a 600 gold lead, and a kill lead of 5-2, four of which were on Praelus’ rapidly scaling Kha’Zix.
Haeri fell in the next teamfight before Rogue fell to Pabu, but it only took a few more seconds for the Bombers to empirically win the fight as Pabu went to the grey screen. With the gold completely even at this stage, it was open season all over the map, but it was the Bombers who were first to the play and knocked down two turrets quickly before we equalised with the mid lane outer and then the top lane outer.
With the game at 20 minutes, the teams were extremely close, the only difference being 3 extra kills on our side and the Bombers’ singular Drake being a Cloud as opposed to our Mountain. A fight erupted around the Baron and ry0ma was killed off, but the exchange was our entire team with the late attempted intervention of Haeri of the Bombers’ baron take as well as the aforementioned Baron. Ry0ma got picked off once more in the jungle, but a lucky escape from BalKhan avoided a second kill being given to us. By the time 24 minutes had passed, the gold lead was 3.5k in the Bombers’ favour, the Baron buff playing huge dividends.
Praelus sat in the bush next to the mid lane set up the teleporting Haeri but the fight was rapidly turned around by the Bombers as we were cleanly aced and turrets started falling left and right. Falling further and further behind, we spent a few minutes stabilising against the waves of super minions and the state of disrepair the last teamfight had left us in. With the map control, BalKhan and ry0ma teamed up to secure the Baron despite a steal attempt from Praelus.
With the Bombers knocking at the door, they ran in through the top lane and took down an exposed Praelus and then Pabu before Haeri, Decoy and Raid also went to the grey screen. We didn’t go easily though, as FBI, Rogue and BalKhan also died and the remaining two members of the Bombers abandoned the open nexus because of Praelus’ respawn. The reset was all the Bombers required as they once again went into our base and wiped the entirety of our team to win the game in just past 31 minutes to end our week 0-2 in the toughest week we’d had yet.
Here’s a post-match chat with Praelus