The Split is heating up. With only 6 games left and every team in the league still mathematically able to make playoffs and no one locked in as of yet, every game this week and next week is a must win for both teams involved.
A win here could be the difference between securing a top playoff seed, starting in the lower bracket, or not making it at all.
With Pentanet.GG streaking ahead and only way they dont secure the minor premiership is to have a monumental collapse, the fight is on for the other top positions in the playoffs. The Dire Wolves finally getting it together as a unit, and the battle is intensifying with more demand than supply in the upper bracket.
Join myself and two of Snowball’s finest analysts, Alex Leckie-Zaharic and San Hoàng, as we break down this week’s biggest matches.
Harry’s Feature Match of the Week: Dire Wolves (5–3) vs. Pentanet.GG (8–0)
Prediction: Pentanet win.
Tuesday may start with Gravitas and Legacy, but it’s going to end with a barnburner. The on-form Dire Wolves will face the unstoppable Pentanet GG in a match critical for both teams’ success.
Coming into this week Pentanet have all but locked playoffs, needing a single win or a single Legacy loss to guarantee it. This match is more important in keeping up their streak as they try to get first place, and the benefits of only needing to win two best-of-fives to go to Iceland for MSI.
Dire Wolves won’t be a pushover though. After a cold start, the Wolfpack has finally started clicking and looking like the challenger we expected them to be. They come into this match with four wins on the bounce; dispatching Gravitas, Chiefs, and Peace with ease last week.
Despite the Wolves’ hot form, Pentanet are still pretty unstoppable and are my favourites to win this. No true weakness in their gameplay has been found thus far, and they are adaptable, playing towards whoever has a better time in the early game to push their win condition.
For Dire Wolves to win, they would need to find multiple weaknesses in Pentanet’s gameplay and capitalise on it immensely, which is going to be a tough ask to pull off.
Alex’s Feature Match of the Week: Chiefs (5–3) v Order (4–4)
Prediction: Chiefs win.
Chiefs have a very rough week ahead. They face the undefeated Pentanet before taking on Order and then have to do battle with Peace on Friday (who are still a formidable force despite dropping a second game to the Dire Wolves).
Order has it slightly easier with a game against Mammoth to start their week, but their 4-4 scoreline means if they can’t topple either of the Chiefs or Dire Wolves (both 5-3) this week, they may have to get comfortable with their fifth place.
Last time these two teams faced off, Chiefs jungler Ryan “Swathe” Gibbons took over the game on the now-banned Viego, with midlaner Ronald “Kisee” Vo and ADC Matthew “Mboma” Desa having strong presences on Syndra and Heimerdinger respectively. Swathe should be looking to pick another aggressive jungler like the Evelynn that mauled Legacy, allowing him to snowball his team to victory.
The shining light for Order was Nathan “Puma” Puma, running a 10/2/5 game on Kai’Sa and nearly clutching out the win himself. Despite the team being nearly seven thousand gold behind by the time the Nexus went boom, Puma had the most gold in the entire game. If he can get going like that again with a less oppressive team composition from the Chiefs, Puma may just take over the Rift.
This is a must-win game for either team, but Chiefs should be favoured over Order in their second clash of the split. Order have slipped up before against teams like Legacy, while Chiefs haven’t been exposed like that. While you shouldn’t count Order out, their inconsistency could be their downfall.
San’s Feature Match of the Week: Peace (6–2) vs. Legacy Esports (2–6)
Prediction: Peace win.
Peace versus Legacy sounds like a pretty lopsided affair on paper; we’re getting to the pointy end of the season after all. Legacy will be looking to rack up wins to hopefully be within striking distance of Order in fifth.
On the flipside, Peace is sitting in second, with a lot more wiggle room. However, coming out of Week 3 they shed the mystique of being undefeated right at the end of the first round robin. Could there be a dent in the armor? I doubt it.
While Legacy has been able to occasionally pick up a cheeky lead through Lachlan “Sybol” Civil the early game, playing through Daniel “Incursio” Brkic’s favoured assassin picks like his signature Katarina, they have clearly struggled to close games. James “Halo” Giacoumakis, on the other hand, leans on safer control mage picks to suit Peace’s AD-centric playstyle.
When they crossed in Week 2, Legacy had a dream start to the game. Andy “emelg” Chen nabbed the first blood bot, and Legacy pushed the pace. However, they couldn’t finish the job, with Halo and Vincent “Violet” Wong mounting an impressive comeback.
Legacy’s feast-or-famine identity stretches beyond midlane as well, with top laner Kim “Winterer” Dong-geun opting into as many carry picks as he has tanks, and has struggled to find his footing on either.
Across the board, Peace has a team of talented laners who generate leads quietly. It’s hard to see a position where Legacy can win from. They did so last week against Order, but Peace is a cut above.
The League of Legends Circuit Oceania returns today.