Playdays 5 and 6 await us in Oceanic Nationals 2021 Stage 3. With playoffs around the corner, Week 3’s action will be crucial in not just defining the race to the top, but also the rush to avoid Relegations.
If you had told me at the start of Stage 1 we’d be eyeing Wildcard seventh, Order eighth in Stage 3 with a potential for both to be pushed into Relegations — despite being in APAC South — I would have laughed.
As time goes on though, the possibility of that only gets more realistic. Sure, it’s maybe shifted from 0.001% to 1%, but that’s quite the shift. I know for a fact two panellists (outing Manic and I here) are looking forward to the chaos.
There’s plenty of key races across the standings though: First is almost locked thanks to Bliss’ incredible best-of-one form, but every other position is up for grabs. If there was a week to turn your Stage (and for some teams years) around, this is it.
To help me break down the action as we approach the pointy end of the 2021 OCN campaign, I’ve got seven bright minds to assist me.
- 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
- Isaiah “Vast” Patterson: Former Chiefs player & OCN caster
- Mandy “Rappel” Powers: OCN observer
- Alex “Skye” McCallum: Caster and observer
- Andrew “Ducky” Amos: Snowball Esports journalist
Without further ado, let’s crack on.
Knights vs Bliss (Friday 9pm AEST)
Prediction: Bliss win
Can anyone beat Bliss in best-of-ones? Well, across Oceanic Nationals 2021, you have to look back to Stage 1 Playday 7 for the last time the rising stars actually lost in the regular season. Who was it to? The Knights.
Bliss has only lost two best-of-ones this year, and not even the Chiefs (the only other squad to do so) could stop them last week. There’s something about the way that Bliss approaches the game in a best-of-one setting that works for them: They are constantly hot out of the gates, and don’t take a few rounds to warm into things like other squads.
The Knights… aren’t like that. They’re a best-of-three or five powerhouse, usually putting aside a slower start to run teams down 7-1 in later maps. Close calls to Overt and Roflcopter off the back of those sluggish starts this Stage epitomizes that.
Make no mistake of it: Knights are likely the more rounded out Siege team — they won APAC South last stage for crying out loud. But no one can hold Bliss back in a best-of-one, and it’s likely this’ll be a similar affair to Playday 2 where the Knights got demolished.
Rhythm vs ORDER (Friday 10pm AEST)
Prediction: Rhythm win
What a world we live in. Rhythm finally posted their first win in six months, but good things should come in threes right? They got their second in a row against Wildcard, and ORDER are in line to be their third.
The Rhythm that we saw last week was a far cry from Stage 2 cellar dwellers who gave LFO a nice parting gift before they disbanded. They have a swagger in their step — and I wonder how much is it due to the fresh blood?
Who the hell is this Dragoes dude, and why the hell is he only in OCN now? You can’t even say it’s because he was underage. We’ve seen our fair share of rising stars in 2021: Worthy, Boydy, Jigsaw are the big three. Dragoes is making a late-entry for the fourth off the back of that Wildcard game.
A week ago, you’d never tip ORDER to lose to a team like Rhythm. However, as the veteran squad continues their slide, another loss here (which is the likely scenario) could be the tipping point — for both the organization and its players’ future. The game is 95% mental though, right?
ROFLCOPTER vs Overt (Saturday 9pm AEST)
Prediction: ROFLCOPTER win
This is a playoffs defining battle between Overt and ROFLCOPTER. The two teams currently sit fifth and sixth respectively, so getting the maximum three points off each other is key to their post-season ambitions.
Both teams have the exact same run home: Chiefs and Wildcard in two of their last three games, and then playing each other. Both teams have shown a bunch of promise — ROFLCOPTER’s 7-3 loss to Rhythm was uncharacteristic, while Overt have been keeping their head above water (which is all you can ask of a new team in the league).
Personally, I want to cheer for Overt. The possibility of them making playoffs, winning the Stage, and avoiding playoffs — it’s the cinderella story to end all cinderella stories. Better yet, with the ladder shaping up to be Wildcard seventh, Order eighth, there’s a chance both APAC South squads get sent into Relegations.
However, that’s a pipedream if I’ve ever seen one. It requires Overt to win the Stage. Realistically, ROFLCOPTER should be able to bounce back after a dismal Week 2. They’ll be hoping to prove that the honeymoon phase with their new roster isn’t over, and to be honest, it looks like they’re still some petrol in the tank.
Oceanic Nationals 2021 Stage 3 returns tonight, September 24, with Overt vs Wildcard at 7pm AEST.
You can catch the action live on the Rainbow Six Bravo Twitch channel.