Looking for the hottest tips ahead of the Oceanic Nationals this week? Our experts have broken down this week’s games, and there’s already plenty on the line for playoffs.
Our Rainbow Six predictions for Oceanic Nationals are finally back! I don’t mean to alarm anyone, but I think someone has leaked my homework to the other panellists, because everyone seems to be yoinking my tips. Suffering from success I guess.
It could be that, or it could just be that this season is going to be one of the tightest in ANZ history. I’d tend to agree with the latter. The off-season roster shuffle has seen some teams fare better than others, and that’ll all come to a head on Wednesday.
With a potential spot at the Six Major on the line, as well as the November Major online too, every win in Oceanic Nationals will count. The best-of-one format does lend itself to some upsets too — remember how many draws we had in Six Masters?
Before we dive too deep into this week’s predictions, let me give you a reminder of who is on our Oceanic Nationals expert panel. Six of ANZ Siege’s brightest minds (plus me) will be running you through the big storylines this season, right here on Snowball Esports.
- Brandon “Raven” Langiano: Oceanic Nationals caster
- Michael “Guzz” Gurrie: Oceanic Nationals caster
- Jake “Zenox” Brander: Oceanic Nationals caster
- Rob “Manic” Munday: Oceanic Nationals caster
- James “Devmarta” Stewart: European & APAC North caster
- Alex “Skye” McCallum: Caster and observer
- Andrew “Ducky” Amos: Snowball Esports journalist
Because there are eight games a week this season, I’m only going to break down the three games our experts have highlighted as the must-watches. Obviously, every game is going to be crucial for the Oceanic Nationals season, but these are the ones you cannot miss.
Wildcard vs. LFO
Wednesday at 8pm AEST
Prediction: Wildcard win
It’s the most unlikely of rivalries, but somehow, we’ve found ourselves in this position. LFO are seemingly Wildcard’s kryptonite.
They were the only team to take a map off of the Six Masters champion at all last season in a surprise no one saw coming. They also handed Wildcard their first series loss in seemingly forever in the XP Esports Rainbow Six Spring Sweep — their first game without Ethan on the roster. It wasn’t close either — 7-3 on Coastline, 7-2 on Kafe.
Who would have thought an Open Qualifier team would do this much damage to the team so widely regarded as the region’s best? Will the trend continue? Perhaps, but it’s unlikely. On paper, Wildcard should be the best team. However, there’s always something about their matchups with LFO that make for tantalizing viewing.
If anything, this should be a great first look at whether Wildcard are going to mount a comfortable title defense without Ethan, or if Vincere can’t quite fill the Six Masters MVP’s big boots. If they struggle here, they might just stumble near the finish line.
Elevate vs. Pittsburgh Knights
Wednesday at 9pm AEST
Prediction: Elevate win
Pittsburgh Knights are one of the new shining lights in ANZ Siege. Their run through the end of Six Masters with Jsh was nothing short of remarkable. Then, in the August Major, they managed to take it to Wildcard in the final after first beating Okami. There’s a lot to like about this roster.
However, the experts are hesitant to tip in their favour against Elevate, and I think there’s one major reason: losing Stryder. The veteran was a huge part of their late-season resurgence, being the rock of a squad that dealt with a roster change mid season (albeit a planned one).
There’s also plenty to like about Elevate. This will be a good gauge for them with Hotshot — a complete rookie — on the squad. If he’s as good as Dgtl talked him up to be, we could be on for something.
Elevate should have had the upper hand against the Knights last season, but alas, nothing went Elevate’s way in Six Masters. This time in Oceanic Nationals, they’ll be looking to start on the right foot, and if they do with a win over the Knights, they’ll be already in good stead to make playoffs.
Wildcard vs. Noble
Friday at 10pm AEST
Prediction: Wildcard win
To round out this week’s action, we’ve got a bit of a barnburner on our hands. As far as top-tier squads vs top-tier squads, this is probably the game of the week. We spoke about Wildcard a bit earlier, although we didn’t really dive too deep into what they’ve been up to outside of losing to LFO in the Spring Sweep.
Losing Six Masters MVP Ethan is, without a doubt, a huge blow. However, they are a team that can adapt, and if any team is going to deal with that big of a roster shift, it’ll be Wildcard. Their number five isn’t confirmed yet, but let’s be real — if it’s not Vincere, I might…do a thing for the clout.
Speaking of Vincere, if he does show up for Wildcard, that’ll make this match against Noble even more feisty. The team formerly known as Melon Cat formerly known as SiNister lost their hard fragger, but replaced him with young gun Presidnt — a fresh-faced 18 year old with plenty of tier 2 experience.
This is one of the games that’ll define the entire Oceanic Nationals season. If Noble eke away a win against Wildcard, it’ll change the tides of every game following on. However, if the ship stays true to course with a Wildcard win, it’ll be a case of how hard Noble lose to gauge their hold on the rest of the competition.
Rhythm vs Okami (Wednesday 7pm, Okami win): Rhythm have been quiet throughout this offseason, but losing Spruce doesn’t bode well for the squad. Okami should have an easy first outing with Speca — a nice warmup into his return to ANZ Siege.
Ferox vs Noble (Wednesday 10pm, Noble win): Noble should be able to get a decisive win on their first outing under the org’s banner, although all eyes will be on Presidnt who has big shoes to fill in Vincere’s absence. If he performs here, it’ll be a good sign.
Ferox vs Okami (Friday 7pm, Okami win): Ferox’s first week doesn’t get any easier with Okami up-second. However, with the return of Odah and Nazgul, this opening week will be a good eye test for whether Ferox will be able to make it into the playoffs.
LFO vs Pittsburgh Knights (Friday 8pm, PK win): The Knights should still be riding their high off the Six Major into this game, but if they get pummeled by Elevate on Wednesday, all bets are off.
Elevate vs Rhythm (Friday 9pm, Elevate win): While this is a battle of the cellar dwellers from last season, Elevate have proven they are a force to be reckoned with before, and will be seeking to show that Six Masters was only a speed hump in their rise.
Oceanic Nationals kicks off on September 16 when Rhythm (ex-Kanga) takes on Okami at 7pm AEST. You can catch the action live on the Rainbow Six Twitch channel.
Be sure to follow Snowball Esports on Twitter for everything Oceanic Nationals throughout the season, including tips, analysis, and interviews.