Time flies when you’re having fun. That pretty much sums up Oceanic Nationals Stage 1 2021 — a whole load of fun. It’s been unpredictable at every turn, which has made our lives hard. Hopefully Week 4 won’t have as many curveballs, right?
Well, in reality, it’s still really hard to pick. Everyone is still in playoffs contention — yes, even LFO have a chance (albeit a slim one). Four points separates first from seventh with two games to play. It’s a shame two of the squads will have to miss playoffs.
There’s so many crucial matchups this week that could determine where teams end up. Big regional rivalries coupled with big playoffs-defining matches will make for some explosive Siege.
To help you make some sense of it, I’ve employed the help of my fellow OCN experts to try and break down this week’s action.
- 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
Without further ado, let’s dive into it.
Chiefs vs Order (Sunday 8pm AEST)
Prediction: Chiefs win
It’s a storied matchup we’ve seen across CS:GO, League of Legends, and now we’re finally getting it in Siege. Oceania’s big dogs in esports, Chiefs and Order, will finally face off against each other in Rainbow Six for the first time. Who would have thought this six months ago?
While the organisations may be new, the rosters aren’t. They have faced off numerous times as Elevate and Okami. Now, they’re fighting for first place in OCN — and the winner of this match is in good stead to lock it in.
It’s Order on Sunday, which means Speca will be playing. The squad has, funnily enough, had a bit more success with Naate in the squad on Monday, having beaten Knights and LFO. Naate even received MVP honors last week for that LFO matchup, looking clean on the Ash. Speca, on the other hand, hasn’t been firing on all cylinders, but you can never count him out.
The Chiefs are a hard one to read. After a rough couple of game days with losses to LFO and Rhythm, they’ll be hungry to keep one hand on first place after letting it slip. Worthy is having a stellar 2021 so far, but it hasn’t been enough. Fishoguy’s honeymoon phase is wrapping up, and expectations now lie on him heading into playoffs to step up like he did on Noble.
Our experts have Chiefs pipping Order at the post, but the real winners should hopefully be the fans who want to see 15 rounds of this thriller. Yes, it’s the ultimate copout answer, but get the popcorn ready for this barnburner, because it’s going to be exciting ANZ Siege at its absolute peak.
Bliss vs Wildcard (Sunday 9pm AEST)
Prediction: Wildcard win
Looking at the start of the season, this match probably meant nothing. Many would have expected, by this point, that Wildcard would be locked Top 4, and Bliss would be just one hurdle in the way of an easy Top 2. Except now the reverse is true.
Bliss, by some fate, are the top of the OCN ladder. We say fate, but they’ve earned it with huge wins against the likes of Order and Roflcopter. Now, Wildcard and Knights remain, and if they can beat the first of them on Sunday, they’ll be in good stead to take first place.
Wildcard have shown glimpses of brilliance, taking down Knights in APAC South. However, they are wildly inconsistent. It feels like they’re not just one man down without Diesel but at times two, with Pat having to take up the calls instead of fragging hard like he did in 2020. Less explosive power in OCN is a curse and not a blessing compared to more structured leagues.
That doesn’t mean Wildcard can’t win against Bliss. Theoretically they should, and our experts think that too. They are just the better team on paper, and when they show up, they’re untouchable.
Always having that fear in the back of your mind about what Wildcard could show up does impact big games like this, and Bliss will need to kick that to the curb. It’s just a case of if they can.
LFO vs Rhythm (Monday 10pm AEST)
Prediction: Rhythm win
The OCN regular season will wrap up with LFO and Rhythm on Monday, but it’s a match that could have huge playoff implications depending on Sunday’s results.
If LFO wins their Sunday game against Roflcopter (spoilers: Experts believe no), then Rhythm vs LFO on Monday could be the fourth place decider depending on other results. What a wild ride this season has been, huh.
Rhythm once again proved to be the giant slayers, taking down Chiefs in overtime 8-7 on Gameday 5. The one thing that rings true with Rhythm is that all of their games have been a team effort. Whether it’s been Novaix on the hard breach stepping up or Supremisis on the entry, any man on that roster can have their day.
The same can be said for LFO though. Don’t you forget about Jigsaw’s insane game against, funnily enough, Chiefs again on Gameday 4.
Ultimately, this could come down to a powerlifting contest, but Rhythm has always won those this season. Across the board their young but impressive firepower has proven the goods, and with playoffs in their sights, they aren’t going to let this opportunity slip.
Oceanic Nationals Stage 1 2021 returns on Sunday, April 11 at 7pm AEST with Roflcopter vs LFO.
You can catch the action live on the Rainbow Six Bravo Twitch channel.