Week eight of the first LCO split of 2022 is upon us, and our eight playoff teams have been locked in. The next two weeks will decide seeding for the finals as the hunt continues for our LCO Mid-Season Invitational representative.
Pentanet, still within striking distance of overtaking Peace for second, but also with Order hot on their tail, will open up this week’s play as they take on the Dire Wolves, who are still looking for as many wins as possible as they try to push themselves into the top four.
The Chiefs will be looking to all but lock up first place as they take on Kanga, who should spend these next couple of weeks finding their strongest starting five, as they reset for Split 2.
Closing out the day will be Mammoth and Gravitas. This game is nothing more than for pride, and maybe a chance for Gravitas to try yet another roster combination.
Game of the day honours belong to the second match of the day, however, as Peace take on Order.
Taylor’s Pick of the Week: Peace (13-4) vs Order (10-7)
Okay, I promise I’ll write more than 86 words on Order this week. With the playoffs contenders locked up these next two weeks will be a battle for seeding, with this contest between Peace and Order proving to be one of the more critical ones.
Peace will be looking to hold onto the thin grasp they have left in overtaking the dominant Chiefs line-up in the standing, but are more realistically looking to lock up second place.
With both Pentanet and Order still within striking distance of being able to overtake them, Peace will need to stack up as many victories as possible in this next fortnight to guarantee a top two spot, and side selection in their first upper bracket game.
Peace will also be looking to build up their confidence; having gone 3-3 in the last 6 games, including losses to the Chiefs and Pentanet, as well the upset of the split against Gravitas, the ship has seemed to be somewhat rattled at the Peace House and vulnerabilities are starting to show.
A couple of questionable drafts have been put forward recently from the defending champions, and if the self-appointed draft lord Xiao “Midlord” Yu-Sheng wants to keep his title, that part of their game will need to be cleaned up.
Order find themselves coming into this game looking to move into the top three and obtain the second chance lifeline that comes with it. The Melbourne based organisation has been a solid contender so far this split, finding themselves one game behind Pentanet in fourth place coming into the final two weeks of the season.
Whilst they have not yet taken a game against either the Chiefs or Peace, even though there have been some close contests, they have taken a game off Pentanet in week five in convincing fashion, whilst also consistently beating the teams below them in the standings.
Order has deployed a tried, tested and proven strategy similar to what we saw in split 2 of 2021 — a carry focus mainly running through either the reigning LCO MVP Jungler Shane “Kevy” Allen and his aggressive jungle pool, or the more traditional carry in bot laner Nathan “Puma” Puma, with the rest of the team taking a more supportive role.
This strategy was key to their run to second place in the regular season in Split 2 of 2021, so it seems beneficial to bring it forward into this year, even if Kevy isn’t quite at his MVP form.
What they hope that they didn’t accidentally want to bring with them into this year is their poor record in bracket play, where they failed to win one best-of-five and only two individual maps — both coming against Peace in split 2 — across both playoffs in 2021.
Coming into this game I’m firmly in the side of Peace getting the result but this game can easily go both ways. An ideal draft or an early lead could easily swing this into the direction of the Melbourne team. And with the stakes higher in this, the pressure is on, and so are the chances of falling to it.
Taylor’s Week 8 Day 1 Predictions
Pentanet def. Dire Wolves
Chiefs def. Kanga
Peace def. Order
Mammoth def. Gravitas
LCO Week 8 begins tonight. Peace and Order clash at 8pm AEDT. Catch up on all the split details in our ultimate coverage hub.