LFO steal Oceanic Nationals playoffs spot from Ferox, Wildcard finish first

Wildcard, Knights, Elevate, Okami, Noble, and LFO are your Oceanic Nationals 2020 finalists.

The playoffs battle in Oceanic Nationals wasn’t decided until the very last map, but it came down to the wire. LFO managed to cement their place in the playoffs off the back of a miracle run after starting the season 0-5, while at the top end, Wildcard staved off a late attack from Okami to claim top spot.

While the battle at the top of the Oceanic Nationals table was fierce, with playoffs spots locked for five teams, the real fight was at the bottom between LFO, Ferox, and Rhythm. 

LFO and Ferox duked it out in the final game of Gameday 7 to confirm who would secure that seed, but Rhythm had the chance to play party-crashers against Knights. If they won against Knights, it would have forced a three-way tiebreaker that likely would have fallen Ferox’s way.

However, they fell short once again ⁠— in overtime, no less. While they managed to split their attack and defense halves, the cards came tumbling down in what would become their fourth overtime loss of the season 6-8. 

This setup the centre stage bout between LFO and Ferox. The winner would make it to the playoffs. The loser would be condemned to Relegations. And it seemed like God’s plan was to send LFO to playoffs.

Ferox were forced to play a man down in Round 1 after a late DC mid-round. Then, they were plagued with rehost issues all throughout the game, stunting any momentum they were slowly building. However, that’s not to discredit LFO’s outstanding performance on Oregon.

On the back of veteran Savas “Soggz” Hiras’ 14-3-8 performance, LFO managed to break out to a quick 4-2 lead after their attack half. While they struggled on defense ⁠— especially on Basement, where they had a 1-3 record ⁠— they managed to finish it out in regulation 7-5.

It wasn’t where LFO expected to find themselves at this end of the season. According to Soggz, LFO were aiming for a top three finish after an explosive entry onto the scene in Six Masters.

“We started off Oceanic Nationals aiming for top three. We knew Wildcard were going to be up there, we thought Okami were going to be second, and we thought we could snag that third spot. That came from our confidence from Six Masters,” he told Snowball.

However, starting off the season 0-5 really took a hit to the team morale. As long as there was still hope though, LFO weren’t going to go down without a fight.

“Up until we played against Rhythm, we kind of knew we were going to make the playoffs. When we lost to them, we thought ‘okay, it’s kind of done there’. Our team morale was down, but when we crunched the numbers, we realized we still had a chance.”

“Making playoffs with all the stars aligning ⁠— we had to rely on the Knights beating Rhythm, so we were unsure right up until the last hour that we were going to make it.”

LFO’s rocky start came after replacing Narran “Nasty” Ping with Nathaniel “Naate” Williams between Six Masters and Oceanic Nationals. It wasn’t that Naate was a downgrade, but the team had to tackle some major issues.

“I was the hard IGL ⁠— whatever I say, goes. In scrims, it worked out well for him taking Nasty’s role, but Hills is also pretty vocal, and Nate is very vocal ⁠— so while our operator line-ups improved, our communication took a hit,” Soggz admitted.

It ended with a mid-season roster change with Angmoh stepping down and Nasty coming back up. The team’s fortunes turned around instantly though, taking home crucial games against Elevate and Ferox to secure the sixth and final seed.

“Our poor performances were due to a lack of confidence, and that snowballed. It got to a point with Angmoh where that affected him the most, and that was a weak chain in our team.

“Nasty is mechanically the best, so we knew that if we brought him in he’d get some frags, open up rounds for us, and that’s what he showed against Elevate and Ferox. His fragging ability.”

Now that they’ve made it to the playoffs, LFO are ready to show off why they said they were going to finish in the top three. With the competition tighter than any season before now, they don’t see themselves as miles off the competition, even if their regular season record says otherwise.

“We don’t see any team better than any other team. At this level, any team can beat anyone. We found the Rhythm game more difficult than our Wildcard game, because you can kind of expect what the likes of Wildcard and Okami are going to do ⁠— they stick to their gameplan,” he stated.

“We know what each team brings, but we don’t qualify them differently. We play best if we play our Siege, and a lot of teams don’t know what our Siege is. We’ve got a plan ⁠— sometimes it seems very spontaneous, but it works.”

“We’re just happy to make the playoffs. We’re not going to be happy with a loss against Elevate, but I do see us playing against the Knights. If we make it there, I’ll be happy.”

“It’s very reactive. We’ve got default strats, but we find that it’s better to play against their defence than to force your attack to fit.”

In Week 4’s other results, Wildcard secured first seed after taking down Okami 7-5 on Oregon. This condemned Okami to a fourth-place finish, behind Elevate who took down Noble 8-6 to secure their top three spot.

Oceanic Nationals playoffs kicks off on Friday, October 16. 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.

ProducerJosh Swift
Andrew Amos
Andrew Amos
After joining Snowball in mid-2018, Andrew "Ducky" Amos has fast become one of our region's best esports writers. Cutting his teeth in Oceanic Overwatch, he now covers all kinds of esports for publications globally. However, his heart still lays at home, telling the story of Aussies trying to make it big.



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