Creating a Legacy
How Legacy Esports defeated the titans of the Oceania SMITE scene
By Alexander “HughZ” Hughes, OPL Commentator, with contribution from Jordan “Joslimity” Guest, Oceania League Coordinator.
The SMITE Oceania Split 2 Finals was a highly anticipated event for many in the Oceanic scene, with questions surrounding all teams. Which Dark Sided would show up? The squad that took a game off the reigning champions Dire Wolves in Week 2, or the squad that lost at the hands of Kanga Esports in Week 5? Kanga were the wildcard team of the weekend, with many claiming that their impressive performance in the split earning them 3rd seed at LAN was a sign of bigger things to come. The Dire Wolves had questions about their preparation and attitude to the event, and if that cockiness was going to cost them. Legacy was the least talked about team heading into the weekend, with many simply expecting more of the same as we saw in the last two splits. But, the main question on everyone’s lips was – Can anyone beat the Dire Wolves?
Day 1 – Semi-Finals
The Dire Wolves had amassed a 35 – 1 record over the last two splits, being undefeated in Split 1 2017 and at the Intel Extreme Masters exhibition tournament. Only a single draw with Dark Sided marred their record, and there was no doubt that LGDW were the top dogs in Oceania. A 3 – 0 against Dark Sided in the first semi-final was some measure of revenge for this, and seemed to reinforce the untouchable nature of the Dire Wolves SMITE Squad. In 3 games and little over 1 hour of game time, the Dire Wolves imposed their will on Dark Sided, suffocating them with rapid map movement and objective control, and an overall outclassing of their opponents. Only in Game 2 did Dark Sided establish a lead, but that was quickly shut down. Thus, the only team to take a game of the wolfpack all year was relegated to the bronze match and, so it seemed, ended hopes of an upset.
If the first semi-final was an exercise in precision and control by the Dire Wolves, the second semi-final was an exercise in how to obtain a lead and not follow through. In every single game Kanga pulled ahead significantly a good portion of the game, only to take unfavourable fights, overstay at key objectives, and throw away their lives trying to save an out of position teammate. Ultimately, this led to them falling 3 – 0, despite their recent history showing both teams to be evenly matched. Although Legacy walked away with the victory, the players weren’t impressed with their performance, even posting to social media about the poor execution of their plays and the work they needed to do before the grand final.
Day 2 – Championship Day
The bronze match came first with Kanga Esports facing Dark Sided. A rivalry of personality, rather than results, exists between these teams and no mercy was shown by either side. In the end Dark Sided came out on top 2 – 1. Kanga, who many had thought possessed the potential to make the finals against Dire WOlves, finished in 4th whilst Dark Sided claimed 3rd.
The main event was on next, the split 2 grand final with the dominant LG Dire Wolves against Legacy Esports. 5 minutes into the first game and it was apparent Legacy were there to play, with FreeMason, newcomer and LAN rookie, claiming first blood on the much venerated Rowe. Moving around the map with efficiency and playing like a different team from the day before, Legacy kept that first blood momentum rolling and held a lead nearly all game. After a hard fought battle, the first game fell Legacy’s way. The second game was much more tense and kicked off at a slower pace, with first blood not falling until nearly 9 minutes in. Again it was FreeMason claiming the kill, this time onto an unsuspecting Mingyu in the duo lane. It quickly became apparent that Legacy’s carry Liimits on Chronos was also becoming a problem. He played the God of Time in both games and was allowed to free farm until he became too big for the Dire Wolves to take out without giving up the team fight. Game 2 went to Legacy and suddenly the Dire Wolves were staring down the barrel of a finals loss, after losing twice as many games in a row as they had all year.
A break between the games gave both teams time to recover and plan for the next round of action. FreeMason was setting a trend of getting involved early with his Thor pick and again claimed first blood, this time onto Dire Wolves’ mid-laner Ochita on Vulcan. Despite captain iDivine’s best efforts on Thoth, Rowe dominated on Camazotz, amassing an 8/2/8 scoreline and punishing everyone on Legacy. A cold trickle of dread for Legacy’s supporters was felt, was this the beginning of the reverse sweep for Dire Wolves? In the 4th game, FreeMason was not the first to claim a kill, with Mingyu on Cupid in concert with RichardCastle’s Sobek able to take down Liimits. Amidst small outbursts on stage, mostly from Legacy’s LAN rookie FreeMason, Dire Wolves slowly established a lead heading into the mid-game. However, Legacy were able to return the game to after a Dire Wolves defence of a tier 2 tower crumbled, and Legacy managed to destroy the tower and take a couple of kills. 37 minutes into the game a fight in the right hand lane was all Legacy needed to close out the series, picking up the right Phoenix and Fire Giant before ending the game 3 minutes later. They took the series 3 – 1, and walked away as the Split 2 champions.
The end of the season, split 3, is right around the corner and the results from the Hi-Rez Oceania Mid Year LAN makes the contention for that all important SWC spot that much more intense.
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