OPL Predictions: 2020 Split 1, Week 6

It’s been an eventful week in the Oceanic Pro League, and the games haven’t even started yet.

Mammoth took their first win, Legacy lost their star mid laner and now it’s looking even more likely that the Chiefs are in the driver’s seat to win their first Oceanic title since 2016.

Emma van der Brug, Harry Taylor and I are here to talk about the biggest matches of the week, with playoff positioning already on the line as Order take on Pentanet.GG on Friday at 4pm AEDT.

Emma’s Feature Match of the Week: Dire Wolves (7–3) vs Legacy Esports (9–1)

Prediction: Dire Wolves defeat Legacy

Starting the split off with three 1-1 weekends in a row to start the split, the Dire Wolves have stepped up their game and have just completed their second 2-0 weekend in a row.

This puts them comfortably into third position overall in the Oceanic Pro League – just 2 wins behind second place Legacy and three wins above fourth placed Order and Pentanet.GG.

Legacy had a surprise announcement during the week after another 2-0 weekend. Their rookie mid laner Jang“Emenes” Min-soo announced his departure from the team. His replacement at the time of writing is yet to be announced.

This week will be a test of how well the Legacy roster can overcome losing such a key player in their team. The remainder of their roster is established in the team and the bottom lane will retain their synergy. Legacy is under the guidance of Tim “Carbon” Wendel and will make the correct and best decision they can go into the week’s matches, regardless of the outcome.

This is the week for Dire Wolves to take down Legacy. With the big change of the loss of Legacy’s mid laner, it’s going to be a huge test to see how they can bounce back.

This is the time for Dire Wolves to pounce, and with two 2-0 weekends in their pockets with solid performances across the board, they’re looking solid.

Their last match was very much in Legacys’ favour, but with the loss of Emenes, it’s time for the Dire Wolves roster to show that they are not just all bark.

Sett has emerged as a consistently strong pick, and with Ryan “Chippys” Short playing the champion, it fits into his playstyle well. Park “Mir” Mi-reu was chosen as the Snowball Team of the Week for good reason.

His recent performances on Sylas have really shown how adept he is at playing him. He consistently makes the most of his kit, using the versatility of his ultimate to be as effective as possible in any situation.

These key reasons are how Dire Wolves will take down the Legacy roster. The roster is still not to be underestimated due to the strength of the other players, but due to the reliance on their past mid laners performance, it will take some time to adjust to the changes.

Harry’s Feature Match of the Week: Order (4–6) vs Pentanet.GG (4–6)

Prediction: Pentanet defeat Order

Week 6’s play kicks off with a mid-table clash full of implications when Melbourne-based Order meets Perth representatives Pentanet.GG.

The two squads find themselves tied at 4-6 apiece in a tiebreaker for fourth place coming into the start of the sixth week of play, with Pentanet breaking the tie on head-to-head with their week 3 victory. A win here will elevate the victor away from the other⁠—even if just temporarily⁠—on the standings.

This match is really close. With both teams wanting to put their best foot forward to break away from each other, it’s hard to predict who will win. Ultimately I do see Pentanet taking it in what should be a close affair.

Pentanet takes advantage in both terms of recent form and previous meetings.

Last week saw Pentanet hang with the now third place Dire Wolves in a close 51-minute thriller on Friday night which saw both sides trade the advantage before the Wolfpack secured a second Baron Nashor, as well as a four-stack Elder Dragon, to secure the victory.

Order’s Week 5 saw their 1-1 curse broken… but not in a good way.

Faced with the monumental task of going up against a powerful Legacy team before facing the undefeated Chiefs the day after, the week was going to be tough for them, and it proved to be, handed two lopsided losses.

The players of both teams have seen recent changes in their personal contribution and form, but the Pentanet players seem to be in a better position to pick themselves up, and re-find the consistency they need to show their best.

On the other side of the Rift, Order players have seemed to be a bit lost and getting outshone by their opponents. Whilst a lot can change in a week, I’m not convinced that the change will come straight away. Instead, it will be a process, giving Pentanet the edge this weekend.

Alex’s Feature Match of the Week:  Mammoth (1–9) vs Avant Gaming (3–7)

Prediction: Avant defeat Mammoth

This would have been easier to just write off as an Avant win in literally any other week so far. Yet Mammoth did what some thought would be impossible and claimed a win.

Although the win was over their fellow wooden spoon contenders, Gravitas, it’s an improvement considering their loss to them earlier in the split.

Avant are just lagging behind the playoff cut, only a win away from joining Order and Pentanet.GG in a three-way tie for fourth. Their fate is in their own hands, as alongside Mammoth, they have a matchup against Order to play.

Order are currently staring down a three-game losing streak, and failing to fire against Pentanet and Avant on Friday completely reshapes the league. That chaos is exactly where Avant wants to be, and can force their way into fourth with a 2-0 week.

This means it’s the kind of week that Avant won’t be happy with a scrappy victory over Mammoth.

This game isn’t just about beating the last-place team, it’s a launch pad to completely turn around their season. A fast, decisive victory with composed rotations and manoeuvres will set them up to take the fight to Order later in the day.

Mammoth, on the other hand, shouldn’t get too ahead of themselves. They’re still sitting dead last in the standings, but the win is a good start to somewhat salvage the season.

If they can play some calm and collected League of Legends, and choose their battles carefully, it’s not outside the realm of possibility for them to double their win record.

However, at the end of the day, you have to put faith in the scoreline. Avant has already beaten Mammoth once this split and they’re favourites to make it a double on Friday.

For Mammoth, this is their best chance to build some momentum by taking a win against the other team in the bottom three.

This game could get messy depending on who fires up on the day, but this week the safe bet is on Avant Gaming to take the win and keep themselves in playoff contention.

The Oceanic Pro League returns this Friday.

Follow @ammeplays@ImHarryTaylor & @Alexicon13 on Twitter.

Alex Leckie-Zaharic

The first Kiwi addition to the Snowball team, Alex "Alexicon1" Leckie-Zaharic is a keen League player, but will happily watch all kinds of esports given the opportunity. Alex is an up and coming young writer who has written for multiple Oceanic esports publications.

PhotographyRiot Games
ProducerSan Hoàng
Alex Leckie-Zaharic
Alex Leckie-Zaharic
The first Kiwi addition to the Snowball team, Alex "Alexicon1" Leckie-Zaharic is a keen League player, but will happily watch all kinds of esports given the opportunity. Alex is an up and coming young writer who has written for multiple Oceanic esports publications.



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