Here we are — nine weeks down, with a few interesting delays, and we’ve arrived at the Oceanic Pro League’s regular season-ending Super Week again.
Legacy Esports, The Chiefs, and the Dire Wolves have locked in a top-three seeding, and are now hustling for side selection and the single best-of-five that gives them. Order finds themselves all but locked in, but needing a win for fourth place.
There are a few teams that have already been dumped out of playoff contention, or sit close to it. In particular, defending champions Mammoth have already been locked out, and are left just playing for pride in the OPL’s final round.
This leaves three teams. Avant Gaming, Pentanet.gg and Gravitas find themselves tied at six wins apiece fighting for the fifth, and final spot in the playoffs. Like any good Super Week, all twelve game counts this week, and will likely affect the outcome of the league.
Emma van der Brug, Harry Taylor, and Reece Perry are here to talk about the biggest matches of the week, with the fight to become the last team at the playoff dance starting with Mammoth taking on Avant starting at 4pm AEDT on Friday.
Emma’s Feature: Legacy Esports (15–3) vs The Chiefs (15–3)
Prediction: Legacy defeat Chiefs
The final match of the Oceanic Pro League split will be the most important one for both Legacy Esports and The Chiefs.
They’re currently tied for first spot, and this match has the potential to be the tiebreaker, or a decider if they need a tiebreaker match. Going into this week, both teams are sitting on fifteen wins and three losses.
Looking at both teams matchups this week purely from a placings perspective, Legacy have the seemingly easier matchups in the final week.
They’re facing two teams tied for fifth prior to this match, whilst Chiefs go against third and fifth ranked teams. This could spell a second place finish for the Chiefs.
They’re both looking to get into that first place seed, as the team’s gear up for the new playoffs format for the first split of the OPL in 2020.
The brand new format for OPL playoffs is a double elimination bracket, with the first place seed getting a pass into winners round two, and the winner of that round heading to the grand finals.
This match will be a fantastic way to end the regular split, and both teams will be looking to take out the win. With how chaotic last week’s matches were, it’s as hard as ever to pick a winner. Even the current ladder rankings don’t necessarily determine who is the favoured team in these matchups.
Legacy with the addition of James “Tally” Shute in the middle lane managed to take down the Chiefs the last time they faced, marking their first win against them since 2017 split two playoffs.
Legacy will be looking to take the win, and with their recent success against a variety of teams, they’ll be the ones to claim the win.
Legacy’s match against the Dire Wolves last week saw an absolutely dominating performance by Kim “Topoon” Ji-hoon who played Kennen.
Their match was really impressive, and showed that the roster earnt their 2-0 weekend. To take down the Chiefs, the Legacy roster will need to replicate their early success against the wolves and with constant pressure, not allowing them any slim margin to win.
The rotations by Leo “Babip” Romer on Olaf and Jonah “Isles” Rosario were key, and the timings showed their communication is on point, leading to them taking the win. This will be key in their match against the Chiefs, who can be very dominant in the early game.
With the playoffs in sight and the chance to take that key first place seed, this match has the potential to be the decider between which team takes that seed, and who has to play an extra match in the playoffs.
Legacy are poised to take the split win, and it all hinges on taking this win against the Chiefs this Saturday in the final match after a grueling Super Week.
Harry’s Feature Match of the Week: Avant Gaming (6–12) vs Dire Wolves (12–6)
Prediction: Dire Wolves defeat Avant
Both teams come into this game on Friday night with different motivation for getting the win.
For Dire Wolves, they are trying to get all three wins to give them a chance to lock second-place, and therefore Game 1 side selection in their first-round playoff game. They will need this victory to achieve that, but will be up against an Avant side playing for so much more.
The Avant org had a tragic end to 2019’s Split 2, a 2-12 record after the break after finding themselves tied for first. That second-half struggle turned into a missed playoff berth, and a disappointing end to their Worlds aspirations.
Even with a mostly new lineup for 2020, the org will not want to miss out again and see their international dream fade away once again, so getting this win, as well as getting the wins against Mammoth and Gravitas, are critical for them.
Unfortunately for Avant, I don’t see the win coming. Previous encounters and roster strength will see Dire Wolves win this game. It will be a challenge for both teams.
The Wolfpack have won both games, but neither were in the cleanest of fashions. Avant stretched out their Week 3 encounter to over 40 minutes before Dire Wolves could slam the door.
Avant will challenge the Dire Wolves hard though. They need to win this game to strengthen their claim for fifth, and will be able to stretch out any key battle, even from behind. They have done it before, they can do it again.
In any case, this game will be explosive. Both teams have their motivations for winning and will want to do anything to win.
Reece’s Feature Match of the Week: Pentanet.GG (6–12) vs Order (9–9)
Prediction: Order defeat Pentanet
I’m tipping my hand at the beginning here, I’m calling an Order victory. Let’s have a look at why.
They have, for my money, the only player with a prayer at taking this split’s “Most Improved” award away from Praelus in Haeri.
Watching Haeri remains a delight in bottom-of-the-table matchups – he is usually the best player on the rift by a considerable distance and I am expecting that from him here in this match.
I think rare7’s improvement from the debacle that was the start to his split is a treat to watch. And week by week, Eyla is erasing the dread I felt when I watched him play early on.
This is a bot lane on the rise and collectively this team feels like they are making the changes we needed to see from them after the beginning of the split.
But on the other side of the coin… I have fallen all the way off the PGG wagon after being right up at the front of the carriage at the beginning.
Somebody needs to fix Praedyth’s mouse, because when the teamfight starts his right-click button falls clean off. I’ve taken to counting his auto attacks in some of these fights, and I don’t need to take my socks off to keep counting.
Previously, I’ve defended Praedyth by saying his team needed to do a better job of giving him space to carry – and they did, and they still do – but as the split has worn on, I’ve lost faith in his confidence to make use of any space they do give him.
I hate having to write this. I’d run through a brick wall for Rogue, and it pains me to see this team struggling. But I can’t see where you can actually predict where they get a win from anymore. It almost feels like it happens by accident. Order for me, and comfortably so.
The Oceanic Pro League returns this Friday.