This is it. The final dance of the LCO season is upon us: the league’s best come face to face, with the victor moving on to Europe and the bright light of the World Championships, and the defeated spending the offseason thinking about what could have been.
Tonight, Oceanic juggernauts Pentanet.GG will meet resurgent Peace in a Split 1 Grand Final rematch of epic proportions. With both teams eyeing off the title and the chance to impress on the biggest stage League of Legends has to offer — the World Championship — nothing will be left on the table.
These two teams have had very different roads to the final.
For the defending champion, their path was the shortest possible. It started for them in the upper bracket final, taking on the Dire Wolves. Hours passed and the Perth-based org came out victorious in a swift 3-0 against the Wolfpack, in relative standard fashion. They kept their picks to their chest and didn’t really let all too much out of the bag.
For the challengers, the road was far longer.
Starting the lower bracket, Peace has had to win three series against three different opponents to make it to this stage. While their encounters against Chiefs and the Dire Wolves may have been 3-0s, their series against Order went the distance, seeing them adapt and change constantly over the series. Peace have had to expose themselves to get this stage, showing what champions they like to play, what they are comfortable playing against, as well as what they don’t want to play, and what they don’t like playing against.
This will play into the hands of PGG. More data is always valuable, and could be key in cracking the code of the Peace and their recent top form.
Also for Pentanet, they come into this contest rested.
Nearly two weeks off from stage play should see the team come into this game in tip-top shape, with a honed book of strategies for this important series.
Even with the break, the extra data, and the time to work out a strategy or two to get the upper hand, Pentanet will need to bring their absolute best. This will be the most difficult opponent this team will face in Oceania this year, so not being at their top form could prove costly.
All of the matchups on this map will be critical.
Everyone in this matchup has proven they can come out of nowhere to win a game, putting their teammates on their back and become an absolutely unstoppable force on the rift. Each matchup, be it in a solo lane, the duo lane, or in the jungle, will want to stop their opponents from popping off and becoming that unstoppable force, whilst keeping their window open to do the same.
This will be the most critical down in the bot lane. Bot laners Mark “Praedyth” Lewis and Vincent “Violet” Wong have both provenly carried games for their teams, sometimes from a disadvantage. With both half of this matchup flanked by supports not afraid to engage, winning this matchup is a key to success.
One factor that should be in Pentanet’s factor is their consistency in many different ways. They are consistent in their playstyle, keeping to the same tried and true method, only adapting it as the meta says to.
They are also consistent in their lineup.
Peace has gone through nine players and six different iterations of their roster this split. While they have decided to stick with the same five since the last week of the regular season, this recent shakeup will not bring the benefits of a consistent roster like Pentanet has.
With the Split 1 champs using the same team all year, they have been able to build up experience playing with each other, learning how each player on the roster plays the game, what are their strength, weaknesses and quirks as individuals, and how to mould all those factors together to make a well-balanced team that fires on all cylinders.
PGG should also get the early advantage in the drafts.
Charlie Wraith has put out consistently great draft this year, whilst those of the self-declared Draftlord Xiao “Midlord” Yusheng has been sometimes lacking. A bad draft can easily put your team behind so drafts will be critical and I favour Charlie to come in clutch.
Pentanet should take the win here today, but to do that they will want to play to their brand. Aggressive meta picks, whilst keeping their signature sprinkling of some off the board picks, going fast early and keeping up the intensity should get the team the victory.
The LCO final starts at 4.30pm AEST with the countdown and a show match, before the main event kicks off at 6pm AEST, live on the official Twitch channel.