review
OPL Split 1 2020 Review

Following an exodus of the region’s top players led by import changes to NA’s LCS, the Oceanic Pro League was expected to be as closely competed as ever as top teams came out with new look rosters for Split 1 2020

Lee "Couple Sodi Pops" Jones
Freelance Esports Writer
28th Apr, 2020·☕️ 6 min read
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Following an exodus of the region’s top players led by import changes to NA’s LCS, the Oceanic Pro League was expected to be as closely competed as ever as top teams came out with new look rosters for Split 1 2020. Three months of battling later and the latest OPL champions have now been crowned.

Tournament Winner: Legacy Esports

Prior to the start of the split, Legacy Esports were the bookies’ favourites to finish at the top spot, and rightly so. Ex-MAMMOTH top-laner Topoon and jungler Babip both joined having won 2019 Split 2, while the league MVP from the last split, Raes, also joined as ADC.

legacy win

Despite not being one of the favourites ahead of the split, four-time OPL winners Chiefs Esports Club proved to be fierce competition for Legacy as the two finished with an almost identical record in the regular split. The triple round-robin saw Legacy drop only 3 matches while picking up 18 wins, as Chiefs fell to 4 losses and 17 wins. The games between the two proved to be the decider in regular season seeding, with Legacy winning 2 of the 3 battles to earn the top spot.

Finishing the regular season in first place gave Legacy Esports a playoff bye to the 2nd round of the winner’s bracket, where a best-of-five 3-1 series win over Chiefs qualified them for the grand final.

Chiefs’ loss moved them down to the lower bracket in a matchup against Dire Wolves, who they had previously beaten 3-1 in the winner’s bracket, for the last final place. Despite losing their first encounter, Dire Wolves had clearly gone back to the drawing board as they managed to take down Chiefs in a five-game, 3-2 victory to book their place against Legacy.

Legacy’s dominance throughout the split had shown no signs of slowing in the playoffs and the grand final was no exception. Two decisive wins, in which Dire Wolves only managed 10 kills in total, started the series in the perfect fashion for Legacy Esports and put them within 1 game of taking the title. Though Dire Wolves had not managed to take a game off of Legacy in the regular season, game three of their final series began to turn the tides as the four-time OPL winners managed to claw the series back to 2-1.

screen cap legacy sw

Game 4 was more of the same for Legacy, who had maintained a steady gold lead in the early-mid game. Dire Wolves did their best to throw a spanner in the works, as Chippys managed an unfathomable baron steal using Poppy’s ultimate in order to prevent Legacy from taking over the game. Unfortunately for Dire Wolves, the baron did not prevent a final defeat but rather prolonged the inevitable.

Legacy got things back on track and continued to snowball the game, eventually taking a baron of their own in the later stages of the match and concluded their well-earned win and deserved OPL title.

Featured Match: Legacy Esports vs Dire Wolves (Playoff Final)

As with most competitions, the final is always the most hotly anticipated match and that between Legacy Esports and Dire Wolves for the OPL trophy was no exception. Clocking in as the most-watched game of the split (peaking at over 12k concurrent viewers), the final battle was the first series between the two this year as most had expected Chiefs to be Legacy’s opponents. Seeing Dire Wolves qualify against the odds brought the question of whether or not they could upset the apple cart once again.

dire wolves

It ultimately wasn’t to be for Dire Wolves, as despite putting up a valiant fight against Legacy, the former were simply not up the level required to take down the regular-season winners. For Legacy themselves, the off-season gamble to pick up top-tier talent (likely for premium prices) paid off perfectly, as their dominant split and equally impressive playoff performances earned the first OPL title in the organisation’s history.

Featured Player: Croc (Chiefs Esports Club)

Despite not having played in a competitive roster for some years, jungler Croc took the OPL by storm in his rookie season, picking up both MVP of the spit and rookie of the split awards.

When compared to his fellow junglers, Croc’s stats speak for themselves The Korean boasted both the highest number of average kills for any jungler (3.76) as well as the highest CSPM (5.92), showing his ability both to set up plays while also farming the jungle efficiently to ensure he stays as strong as possible.

croc

His importance in Chiefs’ Split 1 run cannot be downplayed, with their reliance on him highlighted by his league-highest (for a jungler) gold share of 20.2%. This shows how he was relied upon with the amount of resources not normally designated to a jungler, however his ability to carry games meant that Chiefs were able to allocate resources in this unusual way with great success.

Best Bet

Legacy Esports to win the OPL

Although they were bookmakers favourite before the split had even begun, Legacy Esports was not an organisation who had experienced much success in the past and their new-look roster was headed by coach Jensen, who had not led a team as a head coach for a number of years.

Luckily for Legacy, they more than lived up to the hype, and fans that were willing to back the OPL superteam will now be reaping the rewards.

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