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The Oceanic Pro League has come to a close for the year but an exciting buzz still lingers in the region. Perhaps it’s a blind optimism that an OPL team may finally turn heads at Worlds. But it’s more likely that local esports fans are still reliving an exciting weekend of League of Legends action at the Melbourne Esports Open. On the final day of the event on Aug. 31, Mammoth were crowned the OPL champions after beating Chiefs 3-0.
The standout play of the final series was Quinn “Raes” Korebits’ quadra kill on Lucian. But instead of highlighting what’s already been clipped hundreds of times, a play with a greater storyline developed just moments after that.
At this point in the game, Mammoth were down 4,000 gold and eight kills. Their only saving grace was the number of dragons that they accumulated, including two Infernal Drakes. When Baron spawned, it seemed likely that Mammoth would have to contest the important objective. But Mammoth realized that they’d lose a fight around Baron to a much stronger team. Instead, while their opposition marched toward the Baron pit, Mammoth moved to the Elder Dragon.
After realizing that Mammoth weren’t going to contest Baron at all, the Chiefs decided that they couldn’t afford to give up the Elder Dragon and chose to teleport to the bottom lane. But their efforts were in vain because Mammoth already secured the objective.
Despite being down in gold, having such an enormous boost in teamfight damage thanks to their objective-oriented play helped Mammoth immediately turn on the segmented Chiefs. Mitchell “Destiny” Shaw’s Alistar lagged behind the rest of his team to act as a shield, and after Stephen “Triple” Li claimed a kill in a scrappy fight, the support player hit a crucial knock up on the incoming enemies.
With a kill, an objective, and great teamfighting power, Mammoth began to play a more aggressive style. A few successful teamfights later, Mammoth were marching down the mid lane to claim the league trophy. Sometimes it isn’t the mechanically-spectacular plays that alter the outcome of a match, but rather fantastic decision making.