The Chiefs have been an Oceanic League of Legends powerhouse for the better part of a decade — but their legacy was marred by a six-year title drought. That changed for LCO 2022 Split 2 as the organization finally broke that barrier, and veteran AD carry Quin ‘Raes’ Korebrits is gearing up for a Worlds return for the ages.
The Chiefs were forever the bridesmaid and never the bride in Oceanic League of Legends. A name synonymous with success in the early days of the scene, the historic organization struggled through a rough patch extending six years in the hunt for their fifth title.
They had come perilously close a number of times. The Chiefs have made five grand final appearances since their last title in 2016 and fallen short. Their 2-3 loss to ORDER ahead of MSI 2022 was the most heartbreaking yet for what many saw as Oceania’s super team heading into this year.
Raes has basically been there through it all. The now-veteran AD carry was just a rookie when he lifted his first OPL title with the Chiefs back in 2016. He played in all five of those grand final losses. While he found success outside of Chiefs — he won with Legacy in 2020 before being exported to the LCS with Immortals in 2021 — the successor to legendary player Derek ‘Raydere’ Trang was forever cursed to never match his four titles with the organization.
That made the win against Pentanet.GG at the LCO 2022 Split 2 finals, in front of a packed crowd at Margaret Court Arena in the thousands, so much sweeter.
The Chiefs were undefeated throughout the regular season, boasting a 21-0 record in the BO1 format. They swept ORDER in the Winner’s Final to qualify for the grand final, and they were on track for the unprecedented 27-0 season.
After Game 1 and 2 of the final, it looked like a done deal. While Pentanet eked out an early lead in the first game, the Chiefs were more polished in teamfights and macro. Game 2 was a whitewash — the quirky comp with Karthus jungle and Ezreal mid served up by Pentanet was easily dismantled.
However there were signs of a comeback in Game 3. Pentanet got an early lead — like they did in Game 1 — and capitalized on it. Chiefs’ undefeated run was over, and in Game 4 the series looked to be turning into PGG’s favour.
But Raes, the hero of the series, stood up. His stage performances at the top end had left something to be desired in the past, but playing Xayah with a bevy of supports by his side like James ‘Tally’ Shute’s Seraphine mid, he put the team on his back. It was a performance for the ages, living up to the name he replaced on the Chiefs six years ago, and finally breaking that title drought.
As the blue-and-gold confetti fell with Korean import and former Hanwha Life player Park ‘Arthur’ Mi-reu lifting the title first for the Chiefs, there was one main feeling for Raes: relief.
“The Chiefs as an organization hasn’t won in six years and I was on that team for four of those years,” he told Dexerto after the match. “I came back from the LCS after proving myself and we built a super good roster in my opinion — one of the best rosters ever seen in Oceania — and we failed at the final hurdle against ORDER at MSI 2022. That weighed on me, thinking I couldn’t possibly win with the Chiefs.
“That was five finals in a row I lost with the org, and it sucked, but I’m so relieved to have finally won in front of a crowd like this.”
While the crowd was there in their thousands — including Raes’ parents, who flew in from New Zealand — it wasn’t very Chiefs-favored. Pentanet received the loudest cheers at DreamHack Melbourne, Australia’s first major LAN in three years.
“We were favorites but the whole crowd, you could feel as a player — everyone wanted Pentanet to win. When they did something, even a small thing, there were massive cheers. I wanted to shut them up of course,” he laughed.
“It just adds pressure and when it comes to pressure, it helps me a lot as a player. I’m in my element when the pressure is on so I felt like I could play 100%.”
Raes was one of the region’s brightest exports when he went over to North America with Immortals. Having always boasted consistent performances in Oceania, there was a lot of hope surrounding his debut alongside his old support Mitchell ‘Destiny’ Shaw.
The Immortals project didn’t work for the AD carry though, and left him a bit defeatist. The big fish in a small pond looked like a fish out of water for some time. He never reached the peaks he boasted in Oceania overseas, getting into his own head.
“I’m probably the most consistent player to ever play in Oceania. I’ve consistently won the regular season and this is my fourth win, so I put a lot of pressure on myself to be the best player and my role requires me to carry my team to victory,” he said.
“I rate myself very highly in just how I think about the game and my skill on champions so I put a lot of weight on myself to be the ultimate carry for any team I’m a part of and if my team doesn’t win, then I always blame myself first.
“I had a really bad mental [state] when I was in North America. I lost faith in myself and gave up on myself and blew my confidence. Towards the end I felt really good about my skill level compared to the other AD carries, and coming back to Oceania I knew if I got back to that level there’d be a massive gap between me and everyone else. I think it showed there was a definite gap between me and every other AD carry in this region.”
It wasn’t a complete disaster though. Raes’ play leveled up significantly while overseas, especially his laning phase — and his dominant performances domestically across 2022 is testament to that.
However it’s one thing to be good in Oceania. Transferring that to the big stage at Worlds 2022 is another beast. Raes has been on this stage once before in 2020 with Legacy. Funnily enough three of his teammates are going with him on the return — Kim ‘Topoon’ Ji-hoon and Tally as players, with former jungler Leo ‘Babip’ Romer standing behind them as coach.
With a former LCK jungler on the books too along with Ryan ‘Aladoric’ Richardson, who went to Worlds 2021 with PEACE, Raes is confident this is the best Oceanic roster ever assembled mechanically on paper. The one thing they have to be mindful of is their mentality.
“In 2020 I was pretty prepared, but the biggest problem for teams going to Worlds from Oceania is they are the region’s best team, they end up going overseas and scrimming against good teams that are better than them, get smashed, and then their mental is just ruined,” he explained.
“It mainly comes down to experience and knowing these guys aren’t special. They’re still human and we can definitely match them when it comes to laning, teamfighting, macro. I’ve had good games against good teams in the past. The format is good with two groups [of five] — it’s really favored for Wildcard teams. I’m feeling really confident going into that.”
However if they can overcome the mental hurdle, there’s an air of bravado within the Chiefs camp that they can finally get an Oceanic team to the Worlds group stage for the first time ever.
“I think we can make a blow on the world stage, make an impact.”