The LCO is now well and truly underway, with the first full game week kicking off this evening. Here’s how Snowball Esports tips the Tuesday-Friday round to play out.
Last time out, Pentanet made the dream debut in the Oceanic league. They logged out on Wednesday evening with two wins to their name — a feat matched by Order and Peace — and now look to capitalise on that early momentum.
Meanwhile, three established orgs, Dire Wolves, Legacy, and Mammoth, all come into Week 2 with an 0-2 record, and will look to mark a win in the second time of asking.
Week 2 marks the beginning of three matches for each team per week over Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. To break down each match days’ key matchups with me are, of course, Snowball’s finest analysts, Alex Leckie-Zaharic and Harry Taylor.
Without further ado, here are Snowball’s predictions.
San’s Feature Match of the Week: Pentanet.GG (2–0) vs. Order (2–0)
Prediction: Pentanet win.
As far as Week 2 matchups go, it doesn’t get better than this. Week 1 set a huge bar for both Pentanet and Order, who came out of the blocks all guns blazing.
For Pentanet, the veteran roster made light work of Mammoth (sub-20 minute, Dancing Herald kind of work); while against Dire Wolves, they came back from an early deficit to clobber who many were penning as their biggest rivals.
That being said, Order are no slouches. They’ll be eager to prove their first week wins were not flukes or based on strength of schedule. Puma has been a huge standout, as well as top-flight rookies Vengeance and Maximize.
Unlike Pentanet’s roster though, there is one particular weakness on Order, and it’s Beats. The role-swapping support (reminder: he signed as a mid laner with Gravitas in 2020 before playing every role but ADC) is still struggling to find his feet, and looks out of sync at times.
Pentanet will be Order’s biggest hurdle to climb, and the odds aren’t in their favour. If Pentanet can keep the pressure up, expect this match to be less of a contest, and more of a launch pad for them to cement their place at the top of Oceania.
Harry’s Feature Match of the Week: Mammoth (0–2) v Dire Wolves (0–2)
Prediction: Dire Wolves win.
If you asked me a week ago if this match was one I would be covering, I probably would have said, “No way, this should be an easy win for the high-ranked Dire Wolves.”
Here we are, however, with the DW in the same position as Mammoth — winless.
For Mammoth, this isn’t so surprising.
On paper, the team is basically a development squad. Not much is expected of them. Not helping their cause, either, is having to play the two best teams right off the bat. Their first outing against Pentanet was a 20-minute bloodbath, dancing Shelly and all.
Their second contest, against Order, was a little closer. Mammoth’s solo laners Dominic “Nectaar” Crothers and Ryan “Wayy” Nicholls were able to take kills and keep it close, but a huge Lillia stun into a triple kill for Order — led by William “Vengeance” Blackmore — sealed the deal against the squad many are tipping to collect LCO’s first wooden spoon.
For the Dire Wolves, they boasted steady starts, but two losses.
The contest against Pentanet was relatively close, but a lack of momentum saw them eventually get overrun by one of the title favourites. Wednesday, against PGG, played out in a similar fashion, before they were slowly suffocated by their opponents.
Coming into this week, the Dire Wolves should, and must, win this game.
They have a roster of top talent who, on any given gameday, should be favourites. The only thing that will stop them is if they don’t sort out how to build off their strong starts. If they let the game get away from them, Mammoth could well sneak a victory.
If that happens, we may have to ask “does experience guarantee success in the LCO?”
Alex’s Feature Match of the Week: Chiefs Esports Club (2–0) vs. Pentanet.GG (2–0)
Prediction: Pentanet win.
Last week was a good week for Pentanet.
They annihilated Mammoth in less than twenty minutes (fulfilling jungler Jackson “Pabu” Pavone’s pre-game prophecy) and were able to see off potential finals competition in the Dire Wolves relatively comfortably to tie at the top of the table with Peace and Order.
The Chiefs, on the other hand, had some ups and downs.
They were victorious in the LCO’s first-ever El Clasico, but squandered the few chances they had to pull an upset off against Peace to end the first week 1-1.
Both teams will be looking to stay on their set course and potentially stay above that all important playoff cut at the end of the round robin, but for Pentanet it’s vitally important to avoid slipping up and show weakness to their close competitors.
Wednesday’s battle will come down to who can get the most done in the jungle to enable the rest of their team. Ryan “Swathe” Gibbons has a tough road ahead against Pabu, but if he can match the PGG jungler’s early game aggression with a pick of his own, he may be able to give his team an edge against the strategically superior Pentanet.
Another place to look is the midlane.
There’s been a lot of hype around Chiefs mid laner Ronald “Kisee” Vo, and he’s got a chance to prove his mettle against a veteran star, Jesse “Chazz” Mahoney. Chazz had a stellar first week and now there may never be a better time to press his case as OCE’s best mid. Expect fireworks from this matchup, and don’t be surprised if that bleeds to other lanes.
While the Chiefs showed a lot of potential in the opening week of the LCO, it’s still too early for that potential to be fully realised.
Against a polished outfit like Pentanet, opportunities to sneak the game out from under their opponents should be few and far between. Pentanet were extremely impressive in their first two games of the season, and if they take down Legacy in Tuesday’s game, they’ll have all the momentum in the world to roll over the Chiefs.
The League of Legends Circuit Oceania returns today.