Changes to the OPL rosters for 2018
A lot of big plays happened off the rift between the 2017 and 2018 Oceanic Pro League (OPL) competitive seasons. The Oceanic Challenger Series (OCS) was overhauled, every one of the eight teams in the OPL had at least two roster changes, one team was bought by an AFL team, and one OPL player was picked up to play in North America. To save you time trawling through social media, here is an article with everything you need to know about the changes to the team rosters for the 2018 OPL season.
Dire Wolves were the team that dominated the OPL in 2017. Following investment from Guinevere Capital, the Dire Wolves won both splits and represented Oceania at MSI, Rift Rivals, and the World Championships play-ins.
In a message to fans on October 15th, Dire Wolves’ managing director Nathan ‘Rippii’ Mott promised that 2018 would be even better.
Shortly after, it was announced that Shern ‘Shernfire’ Tai had re-signed as Jungler for the Dire Wolves. He would join Calvin ‘K1ng’ Truong and Ryan ‘Chippys’ Short on the active roster.
Richard ‘Phantiks’ Su announced that he had parted ways with Dire Wolves with the hope of building his own Oceanic Challenger Series (OCS) team, while ‘Destiny’ was also moving on (though question marks hung over whether this was a move to retirement or another OPL team).
Replacing Mitchell ‘Destiny’ Shaw in the bot lane was (now former) Legacy Esports support Andy ‘Cupcake’ Van der Vyer. Stephen ‘Triple’ Li (now formerly of Avant Gaming) would step in to fill the mid lane boots of ‘Phantiks’.
— LG Dire Wolves (@direwolvesgg) November 21, 2017
If this experienced roster was not enough to have you tipping the Dire Wolves for a win every week in the OPL tipping contest, consider that the Dire Wolves now have access to their own high-performance training facility in at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
— LG Dire Wolves (@direwolvesgg) December 7, 2017
Coach: Curtis ‘Sharp’ Morgan
Top: Ryan ‘Chippys’ Short
Jungle: Shern ‘Shernfire’ Tai
Mid: Stephen ‘Triple’ Li
ADC: Calvin ‘K1ng’ Truong
Support: Andy ‘Cupcake’ Van der Vyer
Legacy announced that they are establishing their own high-performance training centre for Esports. Located at the West Lake Headquarters of the Adelaide Football Club, this facility will “make it easier for [the teams] to connect with the club’s high-performance coaches, sports scientists, nutritionists and alike.”
Training in that facility would be a whole new Legacy Esports line-up for the OPL. On September 18th it was announced that team Captain Tim “Carbon” Wendel would be retiring as a player, and moving to the position of Head of Esports at Adelaide Football Club. Hear Carbon speak about his new role here.
On October 9th Legacy confirmed that Lawrence “Lost” Hiu and James” Tally” Shute had travelled to North America to participate in a training camp at the Echo Fox headquarters. Ultimately, Lost was successful in earning a spot as the ADC on the Echo Fox Academy roster. On December 10th, James “Tally” Shute announced that he would be moving to another OPL team. He and Lost will join support Andy “Cupcake” Van der Vyver (who moved to Dire Wolves) on the list of Legacy alumni.
We thank James ‘Tally’ Shute for his efforts in our League of Legends team and wish him all the best for 2018!
➡️ READ: https://t.co/ieGIPqj3HP
— Legacy Esports (@LegacyOCE) December 10, 2017
Over five days, the 2018 Legacy Esports OPL roster was announced. There first two announcements were no surprise- Luchio ‘Soulstrikes’ Park had re-signed as the coach, and Brandon “Claire” Nguyen had re-signed as mid.
Replacing Carbon in the Jungle is Lachlan ‘Syb0l’ Civil (formerly of Avant Gaming and Dire Wolves). In the associated press release, it was noted that Syb0l’s “wealth of experience and leadership” were key considerations when bringing him on board. It was also noted that sub-jungler from 2017 Split 2, Leo ‘Babip’ Romer, had been accepted on to a yet to be announced OPL roster.
Honoured to have been offered the spot on Legacy to fill such a big role. Excited for the year ahead. https://t.co/FKtw2RcAF5
— Lachlan Civil (@Syb0l) December 8, 2017
Legacy’s bot lane for 2018 will consist of Julian ‘Raid’ Skordos (formerly ADC for Abyss Esports) and Daniel ‘Decoy’ Ealem (formerly support for Team Regicide and Sin Academy).
Top Min ‘Mimic’ Ju-Sung rounds out Legacy’s roster for 2018. At the beginning of 2017, Mimic competed for the French Esports association Millenium (in the EUCS). He has previously been a sub on the South Korean team, KT Rolster.
Coach: Luchio ‘Soulstrikes’ Park
Top: Min ‘Mimic’ Ju-Sung
Jungle: Lachlan ‘Syb0l’ Civil
Mid: Brandon ‘Claire’ Nguyen
ADC: Julian ‘Raid’ Skordos
Support: Daniel ‘Decoy’ Ealam
Chiefs Esports Club
It all began with an announcement from Bryce ‘Egym’ Paule that he was leaving Chiefs to become an OPL caster. Given Egym’s ever-increasing on-air time as an in-game caster and analyst over the past couple of splits, it was a matter of when rather than if this transition would be made. As Matthew ‘Fish’ Stewart, Zack ‘Rusty’ Pye, and Jake ‘Spawn’ Tiberi are set to take no role/ a reduced role in casting the OPL for the 2018 season, it makes a lot of sense for Egym to permanently don the casting headset now. Soon after the announcement, Twitter began speculating that Mitchell ‘Destiny’ Shaw (formerly of Dire Wolves) would fill the role of Chiefs Support.
Then the floodgates opened, and the Chiefs core was split apart. On December 13th, it was announced that long-time Mid Simon ‘Swiffer’ Papamarkos was parting ways with the Chiefs. Four days later, Jungle Samuel ‘Spookz’ Broadley also announced his departure.
All good things must come to an end. Thank you, @ChiefSwiffer, for everything #WeAreChiefs
📺 Watch Simon’s Farewell Video here: https://t.co/07nJy4LRGG
— The Chiefs Esports Club (@ChiefsESC) December 14, 2017
Unlike Legacy, the Chiefs were not completely redefining themselves. Both Brandon ‘Swip3rR’ Holland (top lane) and Quin ‘Raes’ Korebrits (ADC) announced that they would be re-signing with the Chiefs for 2018.
To replace Spookz as jungle is Leo ‘Babip’ Romer (formerly a Legacy sub); to replace Swiffer in the mid lane is Tommy ‘Ryoma’ Le (formerly of Sin gaming); to replace Egym as support is Mitchell ‘Destiny’ Shaw (formerly of Dire Wolves).
Chiefs LoL 2018 pic.twitter.com/9oBjdfwFte
— The Chiefs Esports Club (@ChiefsESC) December 24, 2017
Top: Brandon ‘Swip3rR’ Holland
Jungle: Leo ‘Babip’ Romer
Mid: Tommy ‘Ryoma’ Le
ADC: Quin ‘Raes’ Korebrits
Support: Mitchell ‘Destiny’ Shaw
Announcements about the Sin gaming OPL roster for 2018 came later than most teams, with little fanfare, and with no mention of the departing players… but at least the reveals came almost all at once.
Through the announcements from other OPL organisations, the world learned that three of the five players on the 2017 Sin Gaming OPL roster had transferred to other teams in the OPL.
On December 20th, Sin Gaming confirmed that Brandon ‘Juves’ Defina would be remaining as Jungler, Mark ‘Praedyth’ Lewis (formerly of TM) had signed as top, Dmitry ‘Bdoink’ Botov (formerly of Sin Academy) as Mid, Ronan ‘Dream’ Swingler as ADC, and Michael ‘Cuden’ Le (formerly of Abyss Academy) as Support.
Cats out of the bag, here’s to 2018. I’m no stranger to rebuilding and proving people wrong, it is what it is. Look forward to working with young players who will be the future of OCE one day. ✌️
— Juves (@SINJuves) December 15, 2017
Coach: Calvin ‘Vicarius’ Lee
Top: Mark ‘Praedyth’ Lewis
Jungle: Brandon ‘Juves’ Defina
Mid: Dmitry ‘Bdoink’ Botov
ADC: Ronan ‘Dream’ Swingler
Support: Michael ‘Cuden’ Le
Avant Gaming was the first team to publicly announce their complete roster for the 2018 OPL season. Over three consecutive days, it was announced that Lachlan ‘Sybol’ Civil and Evan ‘Ceres’ Mascarenhas would be parting ways with Avant Gaming, while Stephen ‘Triple’ Li was moving on to join the Dire Wolves.
On November 27th, it was announced that Jayke ‘Jayke’ Paulsen had resigned as captain of the #AvantArmy under a two-year contract. A day later came the announcement that Myles ‘Blinky’ Irvine would be retaining his role as Ad Carry for Avant Gaming during the 2018 OPL season. This didn’t really come as a surprise given that both players were actively involved in spruiking Avant Gaming at PAX Aus 2017 a few weeks earlier.
To replace Sybol in the jungle, Avant Gaming drafted Jordan ‘Only’ Middleton– formerly of TM gaming.
“I think Jordan has the potential to go down as one of the greatest junglers in OPL history and i look forward to helping him achieve that.” CEO Wesley Collier
To fill the position of top, Jackson ‘Pabu’ Pavone (formerly of Abyss Esports Club) was drafted.
And to round out the team, Leon ‘Frae’ Lee (formerly of Abyss Esports Club) was announced as Triple’s replacement in the mid lane.
The team retained their coach, Charles ‘Pinch’ Wraith, and spent their pre-season training and bonding in South Korea.
Avant LoL 2018 all together!
The boys are straight into it with a pre season trip to South Korea!
— Avant Gaming (@AvantGaming) December 3, 2017
Coach: Charles ‘Pinch’ Wraith
Top: Jackson ‘Pabu’ Pavone
Jungle: Jordan ‘Only’ Middleton
Mid: Leon ‘Frae’ Lee
ADC: Myles ‘Blinky’ Irvine
Support: Jayke ‘Jayke’ Paulsen
On December 14th, Snowball Esports broke the news that Team Regicide’s spot in the OPL had been bought by a new team, ORDER. Suddenly, all questions about the remaining OPL free agents were answered. Under general manager Jake ‘Spawn’ Tiberi, the team includes five of the best OPL players in their respective roles and looks set to challenge the Dire Wolves for top spot in the OPL.
— Max Laughton (@maxlaughton) December 15, 2017
Top: James ‘Tally’ Shute
Jungle: Samuel ‘Spookz’ Broadley
Mid: Simon ‘Swiffer’ Papamarkos
ADC: Victor ‘FBI’ Huang
Support: Jake ‘Rogue’ Sharwood
On December 7th, it was announced that Essendon Football Club had acquired Abyss Esports. As part of the acquisition, Abyss Esports rebranded to become Bombers, and the team relocated to Melbourne. Raid (now of Legacy Esports) and Pabu (now of Avant Gaming) would not be part of the transition to Bombers.
Instead, the team would comprise of three former Abyss Esports players- Jungler Sebastian ‘Seb’ De Cegile, Mid Carlo ‘Looch’ La Civita, and Support Andrew ‘Rosey’ Rose. Joining the team would be Tunisian-born Alan ‘Tiger’ Roger as ADC (formerly of the ROG Gaming House), and Finnish-born Christian ‘Sleeping’ Tiensuu in the top lane (formerly of SK Gaming).
Get ready to see an Essendon Football Club team in Esports next year.
— Essendon FC (@EssendonFC) December 7, 2017
Coach: Scott ‘WindowsMonkey’ Farmer
Top: Christian ‘Sleeping’ Tiensuu
Jungle: Sebastian ‘Seb’ De Cegile
Mid: Carlo ‘Looch’ La Civita
ADC: Alan ‘Tiger’ Roger
Support: Andrew ‘Rosey’ Rose
Beginning this season, Tectonics will replace TM Gaming in the OPL. Only two of the former TM Gaming players will feature in the new Tectonics line-up, as jungler Only moved to Avant Garde, Top Praedyth moved to Sin Gaming, and support Bradley ‘tgun’ Seymour moved to the Legacy Esports StarCraft 2 team.
— Tectonic (@tectonicopl) December 22, 2017
Coach: Jonny ‘Saiclone’ Weatherly
Top: Daniel ‘Papryze’ Francis
Jungle: Ryan ‘Swathe’ Gibbons
Mid: Ari ‘Shok’ Greene-Young
ADC: Omar ‘Low’ Abouelkheir
Support: Isaac ‘Tilting’ Bellamy
Find out how well these new team rosters gel by tuning in to the OPL 2018 season when it kicks off on January 20th. A full schedule of the matches can be found here.
Do you think Dire Wolves will maintain their spot at the top of the ladder? Or will the shake-up of existing rosters or the newly created ORDER knock the Dire Wolves down? Let us know in the comments.