Not a week has passed since the conclusion of the OPL Split 1 Playoffs, yet the off-season is well underway with Jackson “Pabu” Pavone transitioning to a jungler and signing to a Pentanet.GG roster that failed to live up to expectations in their debut split. This also means that Paris “Souli” Sitzoukis will move to the bench.
Pentanet’s GM, Pete Curulli, commented on Pabu’s acquisition. “As we continue to grow as an organisation and evolve not just our pathway but also the definition of what we stand for, I'm really excited to welcome Pabu into the organisation. His performances throughout split one impressed us and I look forward to the energy he'll bring to the team.”
He also noted that Souli is remaining with Pentanet.GG for the time being, saying that “Souli is a charismatic, passionate, and talented OPL player. He is giving his future with Pentanet.GG some thought, and we will continue to support his professional development by establishing the appropriate LoL and content coaching around him until such time as he makes a decision.”
“It is a balance between what we can provide and where he personally wants to take his career, so if Souli decides to chase opportunities elsewhere we will support the decision, but my hope is that he stays and continues to make the most of what we can offer,”
Pabu sat out the beginning of the split, instead choosing to grind solo queue, however he was called in to try and salvage Gravitas’ season. Languishing outside of the playoff cut, Gravitas improved with Pabu on their squad but failed to pull through and make it into playoffs.
However, on Pentanet.GG he has been given a new lease of life and an opportunity to flex his skill on the rest of the OPL’s junglers. Pabu noted that “It’s going to be embarrassing when players who have been playing this role for almost a decade get rolled over by me.”
He continued, saying “I’m super keen to finally play a role with so much influence over the game. The team is super talented and I’m hoping I can bring them the direction and confidence to take them to the next level.”
Role swaps have gained more prominence in professional League recently, with the most notable examples being that the tag team duo of Luka “Perkz” Perkovic and Rasmus “Caps” Winther. Both players have done time as G2 Esports’ ADC, with Perkz returning to the mid-lane this year to allow Caps to try his hand at the marksman role.
Closer to home though, OPL fans have recently seen James “Tally” Shute swap to mid-lane to replace Jang “EMENES” Min-soo, leaving his stronghold in the top-lane to help Legacy win their maiden split. Swapping between solo-lane or from the mid-lane to the bot-lane allows a player to preserve some of their champion pool, however in order to be an efficient jungler Pabu will have to be a little more adaptive.
His League resume certainly suggests he will have little problem adapting however, as he’s played jungle to a high level on multiple solo queue accounts, on some occasions climbing high into Challenger solely playing the role. With Souli failing to consistently fire during Split 1, Pabu could easily be the breath of fresh air Pentanet.GG needs to break into playoffs.
The most successful role swap in history was Kang “Ambition” Chan-yong’s move to the jungle, a decision that netted him a world championship with Samsung Galaxy. Like Pabu, Ambition was originally a solo laner, and with the talent Pabu has demonstrated both domestically and on the international stage, he definitely has the skill to make this swap work. Pentanet.GG fans should be eagerly waiting to see whether he’s up to the challenge come the return of the OPL in a few weeks.