It’s been a hell of a ride in this condensed LCO season. The cream of the crop has risen to the top, and the fight to remain in the top five has all but played out — save for each team’s final three matchups this week.
The top of the table with their positions locked are Pentanet.GG, Peace and a late surging Dire Wolves. Behind them, still chasing every win is Order and Chiefs, who currently occupy the coveted forth and fifth position respectively — with the two contenders set to be the first battle on Summoner’s Rift come Wednesday evening.
Stakes are high for the two remaining positions to compete in the postseason playoffs and presents a rare opportunity to represent Oceania and its new look league at the 2021 Mid-Season Invitational — an opportunity only reserved for the reigning LCO Champions.
So with the end in sight, joining me to make heads or tails out of the final week of the regular split action are Snowball’s favorite Magic 8-Balls, Harry Taylor and Reece Perry.
Without further ado, here are Snowball’s predictions.
San’s Feature Match of the Week: Pentanet.GG (11–0) vs. Peace (9–2)
Prediction: Pentanet win.
As we near the end of the LCO’s inaugural split, we run the comb over two breakout squads who have defined the league’s early days — Pentanet and Peace.
These two hold tight grips on first and second place coming into the last round of regular season play, with PGG chasing a perfect split as the cherry on top. It should come as no surprise to anyone then that they come into this clash as favourites.
Mark “Praedyth” Lewis has been displaying exceptional form week after week — and still it looks he can run wild and unchecked. Between Dire Wolves, Legacy and Chiefs he remained deathless over Week 4.
He’s hardly the only threat, however; from top to bottom the Pentanet lineup has gone from strength to strength. Solo laners Brandon “BioPanther” Alexander and Jesse “Chazz” Mahoney have a knack for absorbing pressure and balancing out comps without fail.
Peace, on the other hand, have absolutely established themselves as a scary prospect to face in the final week of a supposed spotless season.
Their bot duo, Vincent “Violet” Wong Ryan “Aladoric” Gregory Richardson, have been highly regarded as key factors in their success. Violet farms at an incredible clip before he starts digging into champions and Aladoric has shown a preference for Rell, adding to his pool of deadly engage-heavy champions.
In a macro sense, Pentanet and Peace play somewhat similarly both have huge late game threats in Praedyth and Violet who are just waiting for the opportunity to pop off.
I feel the keys to the big matchup lie on if Yao “Apii” Jian-Jing and/or James “Halo” Giacoumakis can make more of an impact than their opponent — BioPanther and Chazz — who despite being quieter elements of the Pentanet machine are no less dangerous.
Harry’s Feature Match of the Week: Chiefs (5–6) v Dire Wolves (7–4)
Prediction: Dire Wolves win.
While the Split 1 playoff teams should be locked in by Friday, the lineup of which team will start where is yet to be determined. With the Dire Wolves locked in and the Chiefs only needing a single win and a single Legacy loss to lock in playoffs, by Friday we are more likely looking at a battle for locking in the highest position possible.
Chiefs will be looking at round 5 to bounce back from a winless round 4.
Their performances against top dogs Pentanet and Peace are nothing to write home about, falling behind early on both occasions and never being able to truly get into the game. Their game against Order proved to be a closer affair, but a standout Jerome “Chungy” Chung on Corki saw their mid game lead evaporate, and eventually become a loss.
For the Dire Wolves, Week 4 saw a two and one week, showing that they have improved once again but still a step behind the top two.
Sure, they obtained decisive victories against Mammoth and Order, but showed flashbacks to their week one from against Pentanet, misfiring on every cylinder and not able to get ahead, something they would want to fix before playoffs.
Coming into this game, I have the Dire Wolves coming out as the victors.
The Wolfpack has improved from their slow start, and bot lane is starting to become a next-level pairing and a key to their success. The Chiefs bot laning struggled in week 4, and if that trend continues, this game may be doomed for the boys in blue.
Reece’s Feature Match of the Week: Order (6–5) vs. Pentanet.GG (11–0)
Prediction: Pentanet win.
Looking purely at the standings, this matchup may look like it won’t be too compelling of a match, and you can’t be faulted for thinking that this will just be another straight-forward Pentanet.GG victory, and I can just dust off my hands, send the prediction, and jump in the hammock.
But this is the match where Order will need to sense the opportunities on offer.
To keep pace with Dire Wolves — they are not out of the race for third – to put distance between themselves and Chiefs for fifth, and to show the growth that they have been trying to display all season long.
Make no mistake about it, standing in their way is the titanic presence of Pentanet, and at the risk of not talking about one of the combatants in this match, the smart money is on a convincing Pentanet.GG win and that is where I am planting my flag as well. But there is more at stake in this game than meets the eye.
The biggest opportunity for Order might just be that they can accomplish a lot from this game without even a win. A win would send a message tattooed in shockwaves across the LCO that this roster can rumble with the big dogs in the league.
But a strong showing, and some adept team fighting will also send a clear signal that in this league Order are not to be trifled with. Their best bet is through their starlet ADC in Puma, despite the training weights that Order insists he lane with.
The League of Legends Circuit Oceania returns today.