Ah, it’s good to be back. Oceanic Nationals returns for Week 1 Stage 1 2021 on March 21 (that’s a mouthful). With an entirely new format, join me and the rest of the expert panel as we walk you through this week’s biggest matchups.
Oceanic Rainbow Six is back, baby. Oceanic Nationals has returned for 2021 with $100,000 on the line across the year, as well as a potential chance to make it to the international APAC South league in 2022.
The ladder is distinctly divided as we head into this season. There is a pretty clear expected “top four” and “bottom four,” given Order, Elevate, Wildcard, and the Knights are all playing in APAC South 2021. However, that could mean less time to prep for OCN, and more upsets.
This week’s games will be the real test for how the competition will shape up. With some heated rivalries, and some playoffs-defining matchups already coming in Week 1, don’t tune the telly away when action kicks off on Sunday at 6:30pm AEDT.
Instead, read on with our predictions for Gamedays 1 and 2, lovingly curated by me and the rest of the Snowball Esports expert panel.
- Brandon “Raven” Langiano: OCN & APAC South caster
- Michael “Guzz” Gurrie: OCN & APAC South caster
- Jake “Zenox” Brander: OCN & APAC South caster
- Rob “Manic” Munday: OCN & APAC South caster
- James “Devmarta” Stewart: OCN & APAC South caster
- Alex “Skye” McCallum: Caster and observer
- Andrew “Ducky” Amos: Snowball Esports journalist
Elevate vs Pittsburgh Knights (Sunday 7:30pm AEDT)
Prediction: Knights win
I’m convinced these two teams are probably sick of facing each other in officials (for now). Elevate and Knights will open their OCN season with not only a rematch of the REKT Omen Gauntlet grand final, but also their debut game in APAC South Stage 1 2021.
In both previous affairs (in the last two weeks, may I add), the Knights looked on fire. Having managed to navigate the off-season without a major roster change, they looked silky smooth in every situation. They took Elevate to town on Chalet and Kafe, but Oregen in REKT managed to be a nail-biter.
Mark “Dino” Abboud has been the standout so far across both competitions, and it’s hard to see the Knights train stopping now.
It’s a relatively unfortunate opening for Elevate, who are a team I’ve earmarked for big things in 2021. The pick-ups of Morgan “Fishoguy” Ishizaka and Joseph “Milostka” Kaleske are huge, even if one of them is riding the bench. As they work themselves into the squad, Elevate will become a huge threat.
Let’s hope they can show a bit of fight this time around though. Third time’s a charm right?
Wildcard vs Order (Sunday 8:30pm AEDT)
Prediction: Order win
Oh, and there’s this too. Jeez, aren’t we spoiled for choice. Order (formerly Okami) will make their Oceanic debut against a weakened Wildcard, and fireworks are a certainty.
Both teams started off their APAC South campaigns with heavy losses to 7th Heaven (Order, 3-7) and QConfirm (Wildcard, 2-7). This will only be adding fuel to the fire as both squads, who regard themselves highly not just within Oceania but the global scheme of things, want to prove a point.
There’s a big cloud looming over Wildcard though, and that’s the fact Kyle “Diesel” Renton has been forced to take a step back due to personal reasons. Without their main hard support, both coaches Vinnie “syliX” Tam and Bharath “Fluxx” Sukesh will be subbing in when needed. It’s a massive downgrade no matter which way you put it.
This is probably enough to give Order the advantage in a matchup that has historically been one-sided towards Wildcard. You can’t count out the Six Invitational 2021 representatives though. All it takes is a special game from Vincent “Vincere” Daniele to flip the tables back.
LFO vs Bliss (Sunday 9:30pm AEDT)
Prediction: LFO win
Cue the memes, because LFO’s cheerleader has returned. Am I betting on an LFO win every gameday? No. However, I (and the rest of the expert panel) believe they have a really good chance of winning their first outing against Bliss.
Bliss are a new name in the Siege scene, but their players aren’t: You might recognise them as the Ferox squad that played in the Relegation tournament at the end of OCN last year. They’ve managed to get through the off-season unscathed, and are building a solid platform to launch off in 2021.
For LFO, it’s been much the opposite. They have lost Arian “Mimz” Mimini, who went to MelonCat 3.0 and has since retired after that roster disbanded. LFO have gone through three rosters since December before finally landing on one that looks similar to their 2020 outfit, with the addition of Joshua “Sushi” Campion (Ferox) and “Jigsaw” (Skyfire).
LFO had Ferox’s number in OCN 2020, but this is likely to be a bit closer given how the off-season has gone for both squads. It’ll define how the middle-pack race ends, and a win here could be the difference between snatching a playoffs spot or missing out.
Oceanic Nationals Stage 1 2021 kicks off on Sunday, March 21 at 6:30pm AEDT when ROFLCOPTER takes on Rhythm.
You can catch the action live on the Rainbow Six Bravo Twitch channel.