Two more gamedays, and still plenty to play for in Oceanic Nationals Stage 2. The throne is still up for grabs — but Bliss could put an end to it this weekend. The same goes for the tailend of playoffs, where Roflcopter and Wildcard are neck and neck.
Regardless of what end of the table you’re looking at, there’s set to be some big movers and shakers in the penultimate game day for Stage 2.
While no one has joined Bliss in the “locked for playoffs” club yet, Chiefs and Knights are only just a point away from doing so. The latter will face some stiff competition this weekend though, with a playoffs contender still looking to get their hat in the ring.
To break down all the action, I’ve once again enlisted the help of the 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
Knights vs Wildcard Friday 7pm AEST)
Prediction: Knights win
What a banger to knock off work for. First off the docket is a total barnburner against a Knights in hot form versus a Wildcard fighting for playoffs.
Both teams have a lot to play for in this game. When these two teams last faced off, Knights scraped together a desperate Laundry defense on Oregon to win in overtime 8-7.
A positive result here means a lot for both teams too. Knights are still in the hunt for first place, and if results go their way with Bliss (read on for more), they are in with a fair shot of it. Wildcard are on the edge of playoffs, and really need maximum points to cement their spot.
It’s hard to look past the on-form team in Knights though, who are tearing it up in APAC South. It feels like they have a new carry every game, and they are a very cohesive unit. Unless Vincere has finally gotten out of his lull, you can’t go past the Knights keeping their streak alive.
Order vs Rhythm (Friday 8pm AEST)
Prediction: Order win
Order and Rhythm are two teams on opposite trends. The latter only seems to be getting better as time goes on, and Rhythm have — politely putting it — struggled to live up to their name in OCN Stage 2.
It was a far cry from what we predicted, but it looks like the crunch time workload paid off in Order’s favour. They’ve found themselves in some form across both OCN and APAC South, and are finally living up to the potential we know they can.
At this point, it’s become an inevitable reality that Speca will never be his blistering best again (if you can remember his Dark Sided days, he was arguably the best entry in Oceania). He’s good, but just not as consistent as he once was. However, the rest of the squad is definitely picking up the slack now, including Bailey, who has come into his own on entry.
Against a Rhythm — who are now eliminated from playoffs contention entirely after their Roflcopter loss — Order can really start to build up the steam heading into playoffs with a dominant performance here. It’s their best chance.
LFO vs Chiefs (Friday 9pm AEST)
Prediction: Chiefs win
Much like Order and Rhythm, LFO and Chiefs are a bit of a mismatch. However, unlike Rhythm, LFO have a lot to play for. A loss here — even in overtime — will eliminate them from playoffs contention entirely.
Therefore, you can expect the orgless boys to come out and fight for all the chocolates against the Stage 1 champions. They proved they have the bite in them in Week 1 against Roflcopter, but have struggled to replicate it.
The Chiefs are looking like their Stage 1 best again though, even if the scoreboard is a bit shaken up from our usual expectations (didn’t stop Worthy from dropping 19 last week, but that’s become less of the norm in Stage 2 in OCN, not so much APAC South).
Experience should win out for Chiefs, but LFO won’t go down without a fight. Getting into playoffs means everything for the squad, who are desperate for points after their poor Stage 1, if they want to avoid relegation.
Roflcopter vs Bliss (Friday 10pm AEST)
Prediction: Bliss win
Well, apparently Bliss do bleed. Order pushed the undefeated squad to the edge last week in Oceanic Nationals, but didn’t quite have enough juice to topple them in the tense 8-7 affair.
This sets up a potential reality check against Roflcopter, who are known for taking a scalp or two when you least expect it. If there’s any team that can beat Bliss in a heads up gunfight, it’s one with both Bouncin and Boydy on it.
The last one has been struggling for form in OCN Stage 2, and hasn’t been able to back up his Stage 1 heroics. However, with the rest of the squad now pulling through, Roflcopter look like a real threat for the seasons to come (if they stick together).
That doesn’t mean they’re a surefire win against Bliss. Anything but, really. However, if this was one game the ladder-leaders should be worried about, it’s this one. When it comes to raw aim, there’s hardly going to be a better game in this region. Get the fireworks ready.
Oceanic Nationals Stage 2 2021 continues tonight, July 16, at 7pm AEST with Knights vs Wildcard.
You can catch the action live on the Rainbow Six Bravo Twitch channel.