The Oceanic Pro League has seen its first week of play come and go, with some teams picking it up from where they left off, whilst others have seen their fortunes change, for better or for worse.
While it’s too early to determine if this past week will be an indication of how their split goes, flags have been planted and teams will want to work on either defending them or advancing them to higher places this week.
Join Snowball’s experienced analysts Emma van der Brug, Harry Taylor, and Andrew Wray as they break down their chosen featured matches for this week.
Harry’s Feature Match: The Chiefs (1-1) vs Order (1-1)
Prediction: The Chiefs defeat Order
Splitting their opening week, both Chiefs and Order will come into Week 2 wanting to get a convincing 2-0 to show they are worthy of contending for Legacy’s title.
The Chiefs saw an unexpected change in the bot lane as it was announced that former Avant Gaming top laner Dragon ‘Dragku’ Guo would be stepping into the support role after the departure of Kang “KoreaCK” Cheol-gyu who had to return home for family reasons during the midseason break.
The Chiefs had mixed results in Week 1, partially due to this change. The last-minute nature of this change meant Katsurii and Dragku lacked a bit of synergy, as well as the whole team. Between this, and an unexpected fiddlesticks jungle pick from Pentanet.GG that was able to bring sustained pressure to all three lanes, saw the team fall in the season opener. Saturday fared better for them with a clean victory over Gravitas.
Order opened their account with a win against an undermanned Gravitas, with captain Jordan “Praelus” Fernandes out. Saturday saw them come up against the defending champions in Legacy, who continued to show they were a cut above the rest of the field, easily taking down the Melbourne-based team.
I see the Chiefs as the favourites, despite their changes down in the bottom lane. The Chiefs seem to have Order’s number this split, especially on the top half of the map, and I don’t really see this changing over an indication of one week’s play. The battle between mentor Brandon “Swip3rR” Holland and protege Romeo “Thien” Tran is one that will always be a focal point, and the winner of that lane matchup should gain the advantage in the game.
Emma’s Feature Match: Dire Wolves (0-2) vs Pentanet.GG (2-0)
Prediction: Pentanet defeat Dire Wolves
This matchup — based on their current records — seems pretty cut and dry. The 2-0 team should beat the 0-2 team. However, you have to consider that those results are only after one week of competition, and teams are still finding their synergy after the off-season.
Dire Wolves arguably had the harder week, with both of the teams they faced sitting on 2-0 after the weekend. They weren’t graceful in defeat though. Their losses were both 35 minute matches where they slowly bled out through objectives and couldn’t climb back.
Pentanet.GG had a much better showing over the weekend. In their games, they were able to get to the mid game in a more even position. They had good objective focus, and it showed through their calculated setups and strong teamfighting. Against The Chiefs, they had a small hiccup after claiming the dragon soul where the Chiefs capitalised on their mistake, but that was really it.
Pentanet will defeat the Dire Wolves this week. However, the Wolfpack need to show that they’re not all bark, and bring their strengths to the table and work as a more cohesive team. Pentanet look fearless in their teamfighting and those skills will go a long way against the Dire Wolves.
Andrew’s Feature Match: Avant Gaming (2-0) vs Gravitas (0-2)
Prediction: Avant Gaming defeat Gravitas
Now I know what you’re thinking: “He’s taken a pretty easy tip here with equal-first against equal-last.” While form certainly is important and Avant’s win over Dire Wolves is a big scalp, I’m not quite ready to throw my pre-season rankings out the window just yet.
Gravitas had a tough first week coming up against Chiefs and Order and weren’t expected to pick up a win. This is why their matchup against Avant is an important game for the Gravy train. It’s the first game they’re expected to challenge their opposition. Will they have enough firepower to knock off Avant? That’s the beauty of best-of-ones — a few things fall your way and then you’ve secured a victory.
A strong jungle-mid synergy is demanded at the highest level of competition, and coincidentally for these two teams, that’s where their strengths lie. The heartbeat of Gravitas comes from Jordan “Praelus” Fernandes, and he will be there when his team mate Lo “Siuman” Pak Man needs him to keep Jesse “Chazz” Mahoney down and accountable. Meanwhile, Thomas “LeeSA” Ma needs to be in the thick of the action to support his mid laner, who was a menace to the opposition last week.
Gravitas could come away with a win this weekend, but after Chazz’s performances last week, the game is in Avant’s favour.
The Oceanic Pro League returns this Friday.