The Chiefs have a target on their back in the Oceanic Nationals 2021 Stage 2 playoffs. The reigning regional champions have plenty to prove after missing out on APAC playoffs. Raine “Dgtl” Wright is ready to give his 110% so they can go back-to-back in 2021.
The Chiefs may have missed out on APAC glory this Stage, but there’s still hope for them in Oceanic Nationals.
The Stage 1 champions come into the playoffs with a target on their back and plenty of play for. After a mixed season, they’ve got a full head of steam just at the right time coming into playoffs.
Dgtl is still rueing the losses over in APAC South that saw them miss playoffs by just a point, but he’s also not the kind of player to just reflect on his losses. The sentiment of just keeping on moving forward is one that has led the Chiefs to some great successes already in 2021.
“We’re not overly disappointed. We know where we went wrong, and it’s always that case, so no worrying signs. It’s just a case of talking it over and knowing where we went wrong. That’s the start of the solving of all problems,” he told Snowball.
“We’ll take a break, put all our energy into the OCN playoffs, and focus on Stage 3. We didn’t do overly bad, we’re just looking for a really strong Stage 3, and we’re confident.”
After a slow start to yet another season, marked by sub-par individual performances and a little bit of rust on the teamplay, the Chiefs have pinpointed that as one aspect they need to work on for next season.
“The one thing we need to get better at is the start of our seasons. That’s a thing we’ll be focusing on. Last stage and this stage we had really sh*t starts and it took us a while to get underway,” he admitted.
“I want to say four quarters of footy, because that’s my sort of lingo, but we want to bring a full competitive season because we feel like we aren’t really competitive at the start of the season and it takes a little time to get warmed up.”
The team, however, is improving day by day, ramping up to perhaps match the successes of their Mexico-bound rivals Knights on the international stage. They just need to find that consistency.
“I love that within our team, everyone on our team has seen moments of success individually. If we can find consistency within ourselves then we will be an even better team. I think with just dedication and time together, we’re only improving,” he said.
“It’s cool to see those little moments to know you’re not taking one step forward, two steps back. You’ve just got to find that consistency in bringing it to game day.”
However, that’s a step ahead. For now, playoffs are in sight, and the only thing on their mind.
They have two teams in their path, their rivals in the Knights, and the rising stars in Bliss. It’s no different, however, to their run last season, starting in the penultimate game of the Gauntlet.
There’s pros and cons to this position, Dgtl said. He originally started by saying having the warmup series into the grand final is nice, before scratching that position entirely.
“Obviously the ideal position is first so you have to play the minimum amount of games, but we’re no stranger to the position we’re in, and I’m confident we can replicate what we did last season,” he said.
It goes to show that really, Chiefs are in a position to strike, no matter where they start from. The Knights after five maps yesterday might be fatigued. Bliss aren’t really accustomed to long best of fives, unlike the Chiefs.
If Bliss were in their position, and they were the ones awaiting the lower bracket opponent, it could come down to a case of the gunners just being on fire by the time they reach the third or fourth map of the day. It’s a short ranked session in comparison, although with a lot more marbles on the line.
Even with all that talk though, Chiefs did just wipe Bliss in a cheeky 7-4 to finish off the Oceanic Nationals regular season.
“[Bliss] are playing well, but I do feel like teams fear them and that might affect their play. We just went into that matchup having zero fear and we got the dub. They did fall short last season, so it’ll be interesting to see with their new roster what they do.”
If Chiefs find themselves in that position again, climbing back into the Grand Final, they aren’t ready to let the chance slip.
“Last stage when we won, it didn’t really hit us that we won. We felt good I guess, and we don’t want to undermine it, but we don’t want to overvalue it too. It’s cool being the Oceanic champions, so it’s something that we’re going to give it our 110% to keep it that way.”
The Oceanic Nationals Stage 2 playoffs finishes today, Sunday August 1. Chiefs first take on Knights at 1pm AEST. You can catch the action on the Rainbow Six Bravo Twitch channel.