In the shadow of the Australian Open sunset, the LoL Circuit Oceania launched into its inaugural week of play. Even though the new league was missing many of the household names that are close to the hearts of Oceanic LoL fans, the new season came with the air of hope and optimism of the first warm day of spring.
As I similarly kick off the newest season of Ties’ Takes, I thought I’d go through some of the winners and losers from the first two match days to see what reactions and overreactions we can take from week one.
Hitting the ground running was Pentanet.GG. They told us (well, Pabu told us) it was coming, and they duly delivered. Tuesday was a statement game for them, as they demolished Mammoth in under twenty minutes.
I’ve long said that the mark of a great team is that they batter bad ones, and PGG certainly made that case emphatically to start the league off. Things were looking a little dicey early in their match against the Dire Wolves – and research had shown that the matchup trend between Jackson “Pabu” Pavone and Jordan “Only” Middleton as jungle opponents was about to continue, but they fought themselves (literally) out of it superbly.
The most encouraging thing about PGG for my money is that Brandon “BioPanther” Alexander looks like he could gap the tops in the league as hard as Kim “Topoon” Ji-hoon or Ibrahim “Fudge” Allami have in seasons past.
Optimistic start for the Chiefs
On the rift, at least. They overcame Legacy – a match they were expected to win on paper for sure, but it was good to have the win in the back pocket, especially one that wasn’t clean. It showed resilience, which is always one of the harder traits to build so it’s nice to show it early.
I was relatively happy with their loss to Peace, as well. On paper, Peace are a top team and I expected Chiefs to be even a level further back than they showed, comparatively. I was pleasantly surprised. I still think there are concerns over Tristan “Lived” Fulcher as a top laner; I am not thrilled with his early games at all.
However, I expect this roster to grow over the year, and if they can show that same growth but start it ahead of where I thought they would be, then it projects to finish as an interesting unit.
Dr Gravitas or Mr Glory?
On paper Gravitas didn’t look like picking up many wins. They’ll be stoked to have grabbed one early to build from. They looked ordinary against Order (Order-nary…heh) but looked much better against a shambolic Legacy.
I won’t be counting too many chickens from that opponent, but what I want to see from them is progression. Their mid-jungle has been feisty which I like, and I am optimistic for the development of Reuben “Piglet” Salb. Let’s see more Wednesday Gravitas from them, and see if their better players can improve.
Of Flora and Fauna
I’m worried for Legacy. The roster didn’t look good on paper, and while the competition isn’t what it was last we saw him, I still don’t think Gian “Styled” Leon can cut it here.
The shining light for them is Daniel “Incursio” Brkic, who has played well and exceeded the reputation he came in with. He made a tragic mistake at a dragon fight against the Chiefs while they were still in it, but he’s been their best for my money.
The most worrying sign has been Lachlan “Sybol” Civil, who was all but invisible on his signature Elise. I expected that they’d be good whenever he found his spider, and if he could chip in some good games on other champs they would accrue enough wins to threaten playoffs, at least if it’s 5 teams like previously. But if he can’t have an impact on even Elise, then what are we doing here?
Dire Wolves are the standout underperformer from week one, when all is said and done. Ari “Shok” Greene-Young was only okay and I expected him to turbo-smurf. Brandon “Claire” Nguyen has looked like a fish out of water – but that’s fine, I expected that early, though maybe not to the degree he has showed. I think Claire will be fine in the end.
What’s really bothered me has been Andy “Cupcake” van der Vyver, who I thought was going to be to the LCO like CoreJJ is to the LCS. He’s looked closer to Kiwikid, though.
Keep in mind Dire Wolves had the hardest opening weekend schedule, so I think they will end up fine. Their stars need to up the performances because Jordan “Only” Middleton has been their best player by a country mile and they need to give him more help than they have.
That’s all for this week. Check back next week for more Takes as the Oceanic esports year continues to kick into gear. Stay safe, be well, and don’t fight fans on twitter.
Fight follow Reece Perry on Twitter.