Week 7 of Split 1 of the LCO finishes today. With five games left the state of the league is as follows: four teams (The Chiefs, Peace, Pentanet and Order) have locked their places into the playoffs and now fight for seeding.
Gravitas once again find themselves locked out of the playoffs and are now simply playing for pride, looking to cause upsets, build confidence for Split 2 and maybe potentially give the chance for all of their extended roster to get time in official games.
This leaves three teams. Dire Wolves, who have all but secured playoffs, and Kanga and Mammoth, still with a chance to make the bracket stage — albeit slim. Even though the Wolfpack look secure, the math says they can still be caught, even if the statistics say it is very unlikely.
Dire Wolves will look to all but wrap up the chase today as they come up against Peace, who are looking to get back into a winning column after falling to Pentanet last night. Mammoth look to keep their slim hope of playoffs success alive today, as they face the aforementioned Pentanet, who are looking to lock themselves a top three spot and keep the challenge up for the second seed.
The Chiefs, having locked up the top three yesterday in record breaking fashion, look to keep their dominant eleven game winning streak alive as they face Gravitas. Game of the day, however, belongs to our first contest as Kanga go into a do-or-die matchup against Order.
Taylor’s Game of the Week: Order (9-7) vs Kanga Esports (4-12)
I’m gonna keep my Order part of this piece brief. A 9-7 record that currently finds themselves in fourth place is about what I expected of this team coming into the season. They have the talent for sure, but they lack a superstar that the teams above have at least one of. They have the potential for a deep playoff run based off of previous results but they would have to harken back to the miracle run of 2019 to make it to the grand final.
Now, Kanga. Oh Kanga. Coming into season 2022 I had you in for in the mix for playoffs for sure. The initial roster was a solid mix of veteran talent and upcoming stars that should have seen themselves make a push for a top four spot and be a feared contender in the playoffs. What we got was a team that can be best described as a bit of a mess.
Put simply, the team has never really seemed to be on the same page. A 1-1 first week turned into a four-game losing streak where each loss seemed to be more of a blowout and embarrassing as the last, which had me legitimately questioning if we would ever actually seem them get a win again.
A shock win to open up week four against the then-league leading and undefeated Peace made it seem like they had righted the course, but it all went wrong once again as they were handed what was at the time the fast loss in LCO history by Pentanet the very next night.
Week five saw the first roster change, with midlaner Jerome “Chungy” Chung heading to the sub bench in place for Dmitry “fighto” Botov, who was making his return to competitive League of Legends for the first time since Split 1 2018, when he featured in the midlane for Sin Gaming under the name bdoink. This change did see games become closer, with a close contest against The Chiefs on day two of the week almost resulting in their second upset of the split.
They did see their first win streak of the season after that, picking up wins against the lowly Gravitas and Mammoth in succession, before two more losses against Peace and Pentanet rounded out their Super Weeks.
Last night saw another roster change for Kanga, this time in the jungle. Veteran Jordan “Only” Middleton stepped aside for Hae Bong “Scott” Lee to step into for their top league debut. The change did not seem to be successful, as the Dire Wolves took a comfortable win in which Scott seemed to be missing in action for large parts of the contest.
At this point, Kanga have lost control of their own narrative. Whilst yes they can still make the playoffs, their run would need to see them win four out of their five next games, whilst seeing the Dire Wolves basically go winless for the rest of the split.
Unfortunately for them, I think any potential chance at an epic run falters right out of the gates when they take on Order. The Melbourne org has already locked up their place in the post season and will probably come into this game more relaxed than their opponents, who are basically in survival mode. Whilst Kanga can and will have to put up a fight, I don’t think it will be enough for them.
Taylor’s Week 7 Day 2 Predictions
Order def. Kanga
Peace def. Dire Wolves
Pentanet def. Mammoth
Chiefs def. Gravitas.
LCO Week 7 wraps tonight with our headline match kicking off the matchday at 6pm AEDT. Catch up on all the split details in our ultimate coverage hub.