Papara SuperMassive has gone through controversy, a rebrand, and a roster rebuild in its 2020 season in the Turkish Championship League leading up to its World Championship qualification.
SuperMassive, as the organization was known before rebranding to Papara SuperMassive after signing a sponsorship deal with the Turkish digital wallet company, is no stranger to international events. The organization attended both MSI and the World Championships in 2018 and is looking to improve on that run by making it to the group stage of the tournament.
Controversy and changes at SuperMassive
Papara SuperMassive started its 2020 campaign with controversy after its support player, Mustafa Kemal “Dumbledoge” Gökseloğlu, released a statement online detailing years of homophobic behavior by other players in the TCL and on his own team, most notably his bottom lane partner Berkay “Zeitnot” Aşıkuzun. The aftermath of the allegations saw Dumbledoge leave the team and Zeitnot release a statement of his own denying the allegations.
From there, the team would see its Academy support Emre “Fastlegged” Fraser play for a few games before signing Bahadır “Japone” Çolak just a few days later. The squad would go on to place third in the regular season before getting knocked out in the first round of the TCL Winter Playoffs.
Before the TCL Summer Season even began, Papara SuperMassive lost its coach, Şükrü “CristoL” Aykut Yeşilkaya, to fellow TCL side Galakticos and while Japone went to 1907 Fenerbahçe Esports. The team would then be joined by a trio of Korean players, two as players on the active roster and one as a coach.
In June, Lee “KaKAO” Byung-kwon and No “SnowFlower” Hoi-jong joined the organization as players with Lee “GBM” Chang-seok coming in as the coach. The trio would join a 1-3 team and bring it to an 11-7 regular season record, which was good for another third place finish in the TCL. The squad would go on to qualify for worlds by winning the TCL Summer Playoffs after defeating 5 Ronin in a five-game series.
How does Papara SuperMassive play?
Even with the new additions, Papara SuperMassive’s playstyle general remained the same, with just a few improvements to the teams skill level and a meta shift that better suited the players and team. The TCL’s top seed likes to play through bot laner Zeitnot and mid laner Onur “Bolulu” Can Demirol. Those two are normally put into favorable matchups, Zeitnot with a playmaker such as Caitlyn, Aphelios, or Kalista, and Bolulu with Zoe, Galio, or Azir.
The Korean duo has the most impact in the early game, with KaKAO picking his signature early game jungle champions including Nidalee or Olaf, and Snowflower choosing roaming engage supports such as Nautilus, Sett, or Pantheon. The team plays a strong mid lane-jungle duo that, more often than not, controls the early game while waiting for Zeitnot to scale and take over the game.
What are SuperMassive’s chances at Worlds?
The team is in the toughest of the two play-in groups with LCS third seed Team Liquid and the LEC fourth seed MAD Lions, along with representatives from the OCE region and Brazil. With the way the stage is structured, this squad does have the chance at making a run through the play-in bracket, but has to stay out of last place to do it.
Papara SuperMassive is filled with veteran talent and has a roster that has been to the play-in and group stages of Worlds before. Collectively, this team’s best-of-five and high-pressure game experience could push it through the play-in bracket. INTZ, Legacy Esports, and MAD Lions have not been in those situations before, and most of their players are coming into their first international event. Based on experience alone, Papara SuperMassive has a decent chance of making it out of the play-in stage of Worlds.