Only one more playday separates teams from Oceanic Nationals playoffs. With spots still on the line, and seeding still up in the air, every game will be crucial in determining who finishes where.
After being neck-and-neck for the first two weeks, Week 3 of Oceanic Nationals saw a definite drift between the top four and the bottom four forge.
Near the top, Wildcard are being hunted down by three hungry contenders in Okami, the Knights, and Noble. Down the bottom, while Rhythm might be out of the playoffs race, and Elevate are safely in, Ferox and Rhythm are still playing for their lives.
With only one set of games sitting between the team’s and their Oceanic Nationals post-season plans, the pressure is truly on. To help walk you through this week’s games, I’ve enlisted the help of the Snowball Esports expert panel yet again.
- 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
You will be able to find our full, individual predictions on the Snowball Esports Twitter on Wednesday, as well as during the Oceanic Nationals broadcast.
Wildcard vs. Okami
Wednesday at 7pm AEDT
Prediction: Wildcard win
The battle for first place will take place right at the start of the night on Wednesday. The winner of this game will secure first place for themselves, regardless of what else happens. With first place comes much desired seeding for playoffs, and the best chance of making the November Major.
It was only last week that we were starting to rule out Okami after their losses to Ferox and Elevate. However, they bounced back in style with huge wins over top-four hopefuls Noble and Knights. I’ve said it fairly often: Okami looks on fire when Speca and ItBeStyle are fragging, and they did just that last week.
Wildcard, on the other hand, have had an interesting Oceanic Nationals campaign. It hasn’t been as dominant as they thought, but the team feels very well-rounded despite Ethan’s absence. Everyone is chipping in, and that was best seen against Ferox, where Gio dug deep with 20 frags to keep them on top.
This game really comes down to which team can stand up to the pressure better, and based off experience alone you have to give that edge to Wildcard. They’ve got international experience on their roster (so does Okami, mind you), and they’ve dug in when it really counts. However, don’t expect Okami to kneel over.
Knights vs. Rhythm
Wednesday at 8pm AEDT
Prediction: Knights win
Knights had a shaky third week of Oceanic Nationals, but that was almost to be expected in retrospect. They got rinsed by Wildcard, before failing to close out a nail-biter against Okami to go from 4-0 to 4-2.
However, that still puts them handily above Rhythm in terms of the power rankings. While Rhythm showed more glimpses of hope in Week 3 with a win against LFO and another overtime with Noble, their failure to convert close games into wins have really cost them. They’re currently 0-3 in overtimes, which is not where you want to be.
- Read more: Oceanic Nationals 2020 Recap – Week 3
The pressure is off for Rhythm though, who won’t be able to escape Relegations no matter what happens this week. That can truly be the biggest danger for the Knights. A team which has nothing to lose is one that should be feared.
There’s high hopes for this Rhythm roster in the future, but the once-leaders of Oceanic Nationals should be able to take this one with ease. And hell, if it goes to overtime, we’ve seen how that’s gone down for Rhythm this season.
Noble vs. Elevate
Wednesday at 9pm AEDT
Prediction: Noble win
Will Zenox’s curse on Noble continue its terror on their form? You’d hope not against Elevate, else things will get dicey as the post-season nears.
Since Zenox made his bold prediction of Noble remaining undefeated, they’ve won one in regulation, lost two, and were taken to 15 rounds by Rhythm. They’ve, at times, looked really lost. While they have the individuals to put in big performances, they have also looked wildly inconsistent.
Elevate on the other hand have been slowly chugging along. They did lose to LFO this week, which doesn’t bode well for their form. However, when Elevate hits their peak, they can truly contest the top two of Wildcard and Okami.
This game really comes down to which iteration of each team shows up on the day. Will the Elevate that smashed Okami come out, or the Elevate that lost to LFO? The Noble that beat Wildcard, or the Noble that were shredded by Okami? Only time will tell.
LFO vs. Ferox
Wednesday at 10pm AEDT
Prediction: Ferox win
This is most definitely the battle of the week in my humble opinion, and that’s not because I’m an LFO fanboy (allegedly). LFO and Ferox have the most to play for in their bout this week — safety for 2021 in the Oceanic Nationals playoffs, or a dicey Relegations battle ahead.
Ferox’s Week 3 was up and down. They were rinsed by Elevate, but then off the back of Nazgul pushed Wildcard to 15 rounds. Outside of Oceanic Nationals, their results have been up and down too in LPL Pro. It makes it a bit hard to say what to expect from this roster.
LFO on the other hand, bounced back in style after their Rhythm loss. With a whiff of Oceanic Nationals playoffs on the tip of their nose, they’ll be hungry for more. Bringing in Nasty over Angmoh proved to be huge, with the former member popping off in his return against Elevate.
Ferox should be the favourites heading into this one. They’ve been the closest to the middle of the pack all season long. However, you can never count out LFO. They are an enigma (no pun intended), and they aren’t a team who can be taken lightly.
Oceanic Nationals’ regular season will wrap up on Wednesday, October 7. Wildcard and Okami will kick off the night’s action at 7pm AEDT. You can catch it 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.