The first half of Oceanic Pro League Split 2 has seen a clear first place favourite, a hotly contested battle from second to fifth, and a two-team race to avoid the ignominious bottom of the table finish for the wooden spoon.
With Legacy being knocked from their perch last week it’s showing that every team in the league can have its day and we’ll be in for a real treat come play-offs time. So, how will the second half of the season play out?
Without further ado, Snowball’s experienced analysts Emma van der Brug, Harry Taylor, and Andrew Wray break down their chosen featured matches for this critical week. Round 5 will begin with Legacy facing off against Mammoth at 4pm AEST on Friday.
Emma’s Feature Match of the Week: Avant Gaming (4-6) vs Gravitas (1-9)
Prediction: Avant win
Both Avant Gaming and Gravitas ended last weekend with a 0–2 record, but luckily both have a chance to snap their losing streak as they come up against each other on Friday night.
Avant faced off the Dire Wolves and the Chiefs last weekend, and the results weren’t exactly in their favour. The Chiefs had a dominant performance over them, with a sub-30 minute win, but Vincent “Violet” Wang was nearly the saving grace on Kai’Sa.
I believe Violet will be the key again for Avant this weekend, and this time he could be the reason the mid-table team can break away from the pack. If we base Avant’s power on how they performed against the Chiefs, Avant should clear Gravitas easily.
The team were able to drag the match out to just shy of 30 minutes, and were able to claim some objectives, taking away three dragons and three towers to give them a fighting chance with some extra gold in their pockets.
This week will be crucial too if either team wants an outside chance at playoffs. Gravitas struggled to find an avenue in their two-game defeats, with Jordan “Praelus” Fernandes the only shining light on two strong Volibear runs.
Avant Gaming will close the widening gap some at the end of this weekend though. There’s not enough that Gravitas have shown over the past five weeks of Split 1 to merit me backing them in this game, and I think Avant will walk away with the win.
Harry’s Feature Match of the Week: Legacy Esports (9–1) vs Pentanet.GG (6–4)
Prediction: Legacy win
Both Legacy and Pentanet will come into this Saturday evening clash with a chip on their shoulders. The bid for the perfect split came to a screeching halt for Legacy on Friday in a bloody affair against Order, while Pentanet saw their four-gaming winning streak shattered by the same high-flying opponent last weekend.
This round, a win means everything for kick-starting Split 2 momentum again for two of the biggest season chances.
For Legacy, their loss was the first chink in the otherwise previously impervable. They have to remind teams how unstoppable they’ve been. The defending champions will want to get the win to keep that aura, and should be able to do this against PGG this weekend.
Pentanet is going to make it hard, however. The Perth org was able to put in a good showing last time they faced Legacy, taking their opponent to a 41-minute war that was only decided by a key Elder Dragon secure from the champs.
PGG weren’t able to get the win, but they were able to push Legacy to their limits. Order has shown the 2020 champions can bleed. Now Pentanet have the chance to replicate that big result again. I don’t believe they will, but I’m certain they will try.
Andrew’s Feature Match of the Week: The Chiefs (7-3) v Order (6–4)
Prediction: Order win
I’ve been very vocal in my Sliding Doors column about Order. Since the start of Split 1 I’ve labelled the organisation pretenders, and nothing more than flat-track bullies in the Oceanic league. However, thanks to last week’s performances, I have to give credit where credit is due; I’ve changed my mind.
Order last week having their first 2–0 week over Legacy and Pentanet showed this team can tussle with the best, and a win over the Chiefs this weekend would provide the foundations for the Melbourne squad to prove they’re true contenders.
With that said, the Chiefs are certainly no slouches. They’re second on the standings for a reason, and have — for the most part — been dominant in this split. With the squad dropping three games this split, however, shows every team is a puncher’s chance. Now the Chiefs sit just a single win clear of the pack in third place.
Both teams on paper have exciting matchups across every role on the Rift, but I personally am most excited to see the two mid laners, Harry “Haeri” Kang and Brandon “Claire” Nguyen, tee off against each other.
League games are dictated by mid priority and how they make their presence felt around the map. If both these lads ended up in a Syndra/Orianna matchup, who would you back?
I believe Order will win my Match of the Week pick, but it could easily be a Chiefs’ victory come Friday night. What is certain for Pro League fans is that they’re in for a treat as the two Oceanic teams clash in a key split showdown at the end of the week.
The Oceanic Pro League returns this Friday.
Follow @ammeplays, @ImHarryTaylor & @AWray7 on Twitter.