Order haven’t exactly found their stride in 2021. A few roster changes threw the team’s equilibrium out. Heading into the Oceanic Nationals Stage 2 playoffs, Bailey “Bailey” Murdoch is confident they’re ready for the big test to prove Order can turn 2021 around.
It’s the world’s easiest pun to make, but things certainly haven’t been in order over at Order in 2021.
The team has made a roster change each Stage — first with Jayden “ItBeStyle” Franken stepping back into a coaching role in Stage 1, and then James “JKR” Boland hanging up the mouse and keyboard just before Stage 2.
It doesn’t seem like much, but the two changes have forced Order to completely change up their playstyle, Bailey admitted.
“With the departure of ItBeStyle we lost a lot of fragging power and the randomness we’d have of aggressive plays from him which made it difficult for us to fill that void. He was one of the best fraggers in APAC South and OCN at the time,” he told Snowball.
“With JKR it was a support player we lost. Whoever was taking his spot had to learn all the do’s and don’ts such as where to plant, how to know when he can and can’t plant, communicating to the team when they want to, and what needs to be watched.”
Things were on shaky ground across Stage 2, best emphasized by their inconsistent performances across APAC South (losing 7-3 to QConfirm one week, flogging Invictus by the same amount the next).
However, despite the lack of results — culminating in a last-place finish for APAC South Stage 2 and fourth in OCN Stage 2’s regular season — the team hasn’t felt like they’ve struggled.
They’ve put up some close games, and that, along with some good scrim performances, is enough to keep the fire lit.
“[In Stage 1] we didn’t secure a lot of wins but the majority of our games went into OT which shows we can play with the best of the region,” he said.
“It was a bit difficult at the start purely for our consistency. In scrims we were always doing well, but when it’d come to game day something just wouldn’t click for us and we’d crumble.
“[Ahead of Stage 2] we had a slow offseason due to work and study commitments which meant we were behind the pack. Once it started leading into the end of the season, you can obviously see the results picking up.”
That final sentence is very much true, with Order picking up big wins against Rhythm (7-2) and the Mexico-bound Knights (7-1) to round out OCN.
It’s come with a bit of reimagination too.
The fragger formerly known as Cutiee (the name change brought on by time as he “never really knew what to change my name to” after his first team thought his original name “BaileyIsACutie” was funny) has been pushed onto entry in ItBeStyle’s absence.
He’s off the soft breach and all eyes are on his frags. His stats show that’s played massively in his favour, but Siege is a team game.
The addition of Erik “Nikoh” Ahrenfeld to the starting five gave Order a bit more structure, which helped them stick to the fundamentals across the rocky period.
“We’ve been a pretty loose team and bringing in Nikoh, who was part of a pretty structured team, [forced him to] adapt his playstyle that comes with it, which he’s been phenomenal at,” Bailey said.
“In OCN Stage 1 I was still in my old roles of Soft Breach…[but] moving to Stage 2 I switched to iana and Zofia which helped me end the stage on a 1.65 KD which is a drastic change.
“I’m not the flashiest player or anything but I feel I have a good gauge of where people are and all that kind of stuff so I’m not flicking to 4 angles in a second. I can show my full potential.”
Order’s OCN playoffs campaign will kick off against the winner of Knights and ROFLCOPTER, so securing the top four gauntlet finish — their first of the year — will be a nice momentum booster heading into Stage 3.
However, there’s a lot more this group of veterans want to prove. With all the newcomers blowing up the scene, they want to show they can get back to their consistent best, like the good old days, and snag an elusive international appearance.
“We’ve beaten all the teams in the league and nothing is stopping us from taking first [in OCN]. All the teams are tightly contested, so in my opinion there isn’t any number one big dog everyone wants to take out like previous seasons.”
“It used to be a given us being in Top 3 but we’ve dropped off a bit in terms of that consistency, so coming first would be a good proving that we’re still at the top of our form and fielding the best roster yet,” Bailey said.
Oceanic Nationals 2021 Stage 2 playoffs kicks off tonight, Saturday July 31, at 3pm AEST with ROFLCOPTER vs Knights. You can watch the games on the Rainbow Six Bravo Twitch channel.