This is part 1 of an interview series with players competing in Split 2 of the 2016 Oceanic Pro League scene. Please check my author page for other interviews as they are posted. In the interest of full disclosure I assist the Sin Gaming LoL team on a volunteer basis.
Qualifying into the OPL in 2015 Split 2, Sin Gaming created an immediate impact by putting a giant scare into the Chiefs. Paced by eventual rookie of the split in midlaner Jason “RYmeister” Ryan they managed to avoid the relegation scrap in their debut season and entered 2016 looking for some additional carry potential behind traditionally supportive players Brandon “Juves” Defina and Harry “Cardrid” Archer.
Arguably Sin found their second carry in the most unlikely of places: A rookie support, Jake “Rogue” Sharwood. I was able to speak with Sin’s young up-and-comer to talk about his debut split, support picks, how Sin’s 2016 has gone and how he’d like to see it go.
Rogue, or as he claims to be sometimes called “this is a disaster,” was second among starting (at least 10 games played) OPL supports in both KDA and Kill Participation, lead all starting supports in Kills per match, all the while receiving less gold share than all but two. It was a strong entry statement that this was a player to be reckoned with. “I think my debut into the OPL went fairly well” Rogue said. “I feel like I had a strong start and carried that through.”
Sin started off with a loss to regular-season champions Legacy before taking down Trident in week two. Another loss to playoff team the Dire Wolves before a third in a rematch with Trident left the team stunned at a 1-3 record, and at a bit of a difficult spot to evaluate, as they’d only played Trident and teams widely tipped to be holding down positions one to three. With elements of the team being quite confident pre-season in their performance, such a record may have been disheartening to some, but Rogue explains that wasn’t the case. “Spirts always remained high on the team as we all knew what our potential was. Even when losing it never felt like we were out. Our last loss felt like a wakeup call to try give it our all one last time to make semis so we trained harder and put in the time and as a result pulled through a third place seed into Semis.”
One of the things that Sin are known for thematically is how their play revolves around star midlaner RYmeister. One of the things that was said about them when it came to their playstyle was the “Sin Wombo” – and that was to never let them get a wombo comp. Early in the split it was enabling a Yasuo pick which only went 2-1 in the split but was banned against them a whopping 13 times. As the split endured, they began to ease the damage load on RYmeister by putting their AD Carry Cardrid onto picks like Kog’Maw – always a high-damage carry, yet its fragile laning leads it to needing a great deal of care from its support – especially in the Oceanic region where they love to skirmish or outright teamfight as much as any other region, sometimes without cause. While Rogue says that he does “like a good bot lane fighto” he was more than ready to shoulder the extra burden of babysitting a Kog’Maw through lane phase, having built a strong working rapport with Cardrid in the duo lane. “I know that my teams’ expectations of me are high and I like to think I deliver” he said. “As we began practice during pre-season, months before any other team began practice we found the playstyles that suited us as a team.”
Sin’s first Kog’Maw game matched up with Rogue’s first Braum game of the year, and (perhaps to his chagrin) he’s become somewhat synonymous with the champion in Oceania. A five-game winning streak with it including a win over Split 1 champions the Chiefs and a pair of 2-0 victories over Infernum and Hellions. The Sin Braum then saw a nearly 100% ban rate to close out the season, with the only game not seeing it banned was when their opponents had been docked a ban. Sin duly picked it and won. Speaking on behalf of support mains everywhere, my ego would fluff up like a gas giant if one of my champions drew target bans like this, but Rogue offered a more measured response to drawing Braum bans. “We had a huge amount of success on the champion towards the end of the season so like anything else it could be expected.” He pointed out that he also drew Alistar bans at the start of the season, and also that drawing target bans sometimes “sucks because you like to play the champions you’re best on.”
Despite eventually falling to the IWCI representative Chiefs 3-0 in the semifinals, Sin showed competitive games throughout the series, putting up a stern fight in the face of seasoned LAN competition. Despite being rocked with the surprise retirement of Cardrid who had impressed with some strong substitute play upon being called upon to fill in for Legacy in the finals, Sin are gearing up what they aim to be an even more successful Split 2 om 2016. Rogue said that with a new AD Carry in tow, “I’m hoping to have a better opportunity to impact the team with a strong marksman to back me up.” Whoever Sin have lined up (author note: revealed after the interview was conducted to be Aaron “Raps” Tran) can rest easy knowing that they’ll have one of the best young supports in the region ready to back them up.
At the end of our questions, Roguey was kind enough to answer the rapid-fire round of quick questions.
How many ties do you own?
I have a purple one?
What is your favourite Champion that your team won’t let you play?
Tank corki support
On the flip side, what is your least favourite meta champion that you have to play?
BRAUM EVERY GAME
And finally: recommend an anime to an aspiring weeb.
I don’t watch Anime, I watch cat videos
I’d like to thank Rogue and the Sin organisation – in particular Sin’s manager “ShoTzz” for their cooperation in organising this interview. You can follow them on twitter at @RogueOCE, @SinOceania and @ShoTzzAu respectively