Well, that was a week. Oceanic Nationals 2021 got off to a blinding start full of upsets. From Rhythm to ROFLCOPTER, the “bottom-four” have made a case to be considered for playoffs. It makes predicting the games heading into Week 2 that much harder.
If you had told me that Knights would start the OCN 2021 season off 0-2, I would have scoffed. Yet here we are. Despite having scintillating form in APAC South, the favorites for the domestic league have failed to fire.
That, combined with Wildcard’s late roster change, has drastically shaken up the top half of the ladder. While Elevate held on for a 2-0 week, Order fell to Rhythm in a shock upset. There is no bottom four anymore. The race is wide open, even for Bliss and LFO.
So, heading into Week 2, trying to break down the week’s games is pretty difficult. Don’t fret though, our “experts” are here to help. Well, somewhat — based on our tips last week, our titles are up for grabs. Anyways, here’s the panel: Let’s get down to business.
- 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 RoflcopterGG (Sunday 8pm AEDT)
Prediction: Elevate win
The top of the table clash no one expected. Wasn’t that meant to be last Sunday with Elevate vs Knights? Anyways, a week later, the two best OCN teams (for now) are set to face off in an absolute barnburner.
Roflcopter has been the absolute revelation of OCN so far. Fresh out of Relegations, the squad has made a huge impact already. Joe “Hotshot” Deane has been stellar on his new team, taking up the IGL reins with grace and drilling in a solidly-aggressive team of fraggers.
It makes the matchup against Elevate even better. It could be considered a rivalry, given it’s his old team. But you don’t really suspect there’s a bad bone in Elevate’s body to hold that rivalry. What they do have though is a lot of talent, and as time goes on with Morgan “Fishoguy” Ishizaka on the squad, they’re only going to get better.
The experts have put down Elevate for the win, but don’t be surprised if this barnburner goes to an 8-7 overtime. It’s what this matchup deserves, but Elevate’s experience and form should just edge out Roflcopter.
Order vs Knights (Monday 8pm AEDT)
Prediction: Knights win
This match is going to be a very big turning point in the season for both Order and Knights. It could, ultimately, be the difference between a high placing or missing playoffs.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: My personal belief is that APAC South shouldn’t impact OCN performances. Especially if you’re playing other APAC South teams. Looking at you, Knights. While they have been tearing it up overseas, they had a very poor opening week. Just watch the final round of their game against Roflcopter. It was calamitous.
Order will be hungry to prove their worth after a shock upset loss to Rhythm. Their six-man roster didn’t pay off in Week 1, and if they sub out Ryan “Speca” Ausden again, things could get dicey. Nathaniel “Naate” Williams is good, but Speca is the glue of that team.
You’d be stupid to not consider Knights the favorites for this game. They are still Oceania’s best team, and they’ve proven that in APAC South. However, they need to start converting their form domestically, else risk the embarrassment of potentially missing OCN playoffs.
Rhythm vs Bliss (Sunday 9:30pm AEDT)
Prediction: Rhythm win
Bliss and Rhythm both performed well in Week 1, and their Week 2 matchup will be crucial at determining which one of them is locked into the hunt for a playoffs spot.
Bliss managed to get the better of LFO, putting old teammate Joshua “Sushi” Campion in the bin. It was a stellar debut for Mahdi “Repix” Khoshnam, who was explosive on defense with the Jager and Mozzie picks. They even managed to force Elevate to overtime, netting a cheeky point there despite losing.
Rhythm also proved they were no pushovers against Order. Bodie “Supremesis” Hunt hit the nastiest clutch to force the game into overtime, and from there, the rest of the squad put in work. It was a team effort — rather than the two-man army Order assembled. They looked cohesive and slick, and showed great mental fortitude to come back from 2-5 down.
If they can keep up that momentum and find their Rhythm, you can certainly pencil them in for another win against Bliss. However, it’ll be a close contest regardless.
Oceanic Nationals returns tonight at 7pm AEDT with Knights taking on LFO.
You can catch the action live on the Rainbow Six Bravo Twitch channel.