2022 OPSE League of Legends Champions

Western’s League of Legends esports team took home the OPSE League of Legends Championship last week against the Waterloo Warriors in a clean sweep.

The Mustangs are finally back on top after falling short to the University of Toronto last year 3-1 in what was an otherwise undefeated season.

Danny Qiao, known as ‘loyal’ as his in-game name, was named Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the championship, to which he deflects the honour to the rest of his team.

“I think everyone deserves MVP on the team,” said the Toronto native and team captain. “The amount of practice and bonding that we do together really brings out our best selves and we performed when it matters.”

In fact, the team spends countless hours training to perfect their game. On top of their coursework, the team spends around 20 to 30 hours per week practicing, showing their love for the game and dedication to each other.

“We are always friends first and teammates second,” said Qiao. “We build our relationship through laughter and enjoyment.”

And as for the championship, a strategy was put in place to set them up for the best chance at a victory.

“We had successful drafting plans going into every game and did our research on the enemy team,” said the third-year business student. “This is crucial to taking games against good teams. We know what they liked to draft and what they like to play.”

The team expected nothing short of a victory, especially after seeing their practice results and performance against other top seeds outside of the OPSE.

“We hold ourselves to high standards and treat it as a varsity sport,” said Qiao, who was drawn to Western by its business program and high-ranked League players.

And while many on campus might not know about the team, they have been dominating for years. With this season’s success, the Mustangs claimed their fourth consecutive Eastern Conference Championship and qualification for Nationals, along with extending their streak as Canada’s top seed to four years

It is this high standard that keeps the team motivated and pushing for even more, with their main goal this season yet to be achieved.

“Making the top eight in nationals is the bare minimum we want to go for every year,” said Qiao.

Despite the team taking a short break from team-practice to prepare for their final exams, Nationals are waiting just around the corner at the end of the month. The team will be aiming for that top finish, which would see them secure a sponsored trip to Los Angeles from the game company Riot Games for the World Championships.

“We are looking to practice every other day for about four hours a night,” said Qiao on the team's preparations. “That’s pretty standard for our practices to see good results.”

And while the team's commitment and drive has given them great success, Qiao recognizes the importance of outside support in helping them to achieve their goals.

“I’d like to thank everyone who supports us from professors, alumni, staff and students alike,” emphasized Qiao. “We have received love from all over and we really thrive from a supportive environment. We will do our best at nationals to make you guys proud.”

The team will try to do just that as nationals are set to take place on April 23rd to 24th 2022 with Qiao leading the way looking to further assert Western’s stance as one of the top teams in the League of Legends gaming world.