The final day of the regular season has arrived, the playoff slots are all but locked — and one of these teams has nothing in split one to play for. So what makes this matchup so captivating?
We will start the day with The Chiefs taking on Dire Wolves — the Wolfpack have overtaken Order for fourth by snatching the tiebreaker from them, and need only match Order’s finish to remain there.
That may be a harder task than first imagined, as Order themselves take on Mammoth, who have slumped to where they were predicted to finish after Kanga overtook them.
Pentanet.GG have one final roll of the dice at the fastest game of the split as they look to speedrun Gravitas.
The main event of the evening — the final match of the regular split — has my eye, as there’s lots to play for as we look forward over the landscape of the rest of the year and Worlds on the horizon.
Perry’s Pick of the Week: Peace (Form Trending Like The Ruble) vs Kanga Esports (Does Anybody Else Remember That Fighto Was Chippys’ Thing?)
After galloping out of the gates, Peace have come to a screeching halt.
Their 6-0 start has given way to a 5-5 finish which includes two losses to lowly Gravitas. They’ve tumbled down the ladder and are at a risk of losing their second place seeding to Pentanet.GG.
A casual look over their losses and one could be forgiven for thinking that they’re “just trying s**t” after securing playoffs. And that may very well explain some of it, especially the non-Chiefs losses.
I’m worried that the David “Beats” Nguyen-Dang that we know and love from earlier in the year has given way to the Beats that I despised watching last year. He seems to have been relegated to a rather mediocre Tahm Kench more often than not.
Wang “Chayon” Yun-Cheng is a shadow of his former self. He can’t seem to find a comfort pick whereas before he was good on everything.
Yao “Apii” Jian-Jing can’t find a win on a meta mage, and Romeo “Thien” Tran can’t seem to find a meta pick.
I think they need to simplify their game and their plans. I liked the one against The Chiefs last week; at least with Thomas “LeeSA” Ma’s Nocturne you could see the semblance of a plan, especially in their recent win over Order.
They like to fight, and with Thien they have a dangerous 4-1 any time they want to present it. I think they should use this game to perfect the 4-1 approach and improve their skirmishing/teamfighting. I’d rather this team be a team of one kick practiced a thousand times, than a thousand kicks practiced once.
Kanga sure are a weird bunch, aren’t they? I mean, to watch. I’m sure they’re all lovely guys.
Since the departure of Jordan “Only” Middleton to a coaching role, I’ve felt like they have looked better and better. But then you look at the results and it’s beating Gravitas and Mammoth back-to-back and then stacks of losses in between.
It was at this point I began to wonder if Kanga really was any better at all. But then I realised that with Jerome “Chungy” Chung in the mix, they weren’t even beating Gravitas and Mammoth…
Around the time of the swap for Dmitry “
bdoink fighto” Botov, The Match Fix mentioned that the champion pool issues weren’t really solved by the swap, and the only thing that changed was which champions Kanga’s mid was restricted to.
I think the big difference in Kanga since the Chungy-for-fighto swap can be seen in why I disagree with this. I think Kanga changed significantly in intent with this swap. The champion pool part of it could very well be right — I’ll defer to the knowledge of Ari “Shok” Greene-Young on how well each mid plays their picks any day of the week.
But for my money the main thing that changed is Kanga’s inclination to proactivity. They went out and met the game, instead of waiting for the game to happen to them. Sure, it didn’t always work and their team fight coordination is behind everyone else’s because they’ve made two roster changes. But they weren’t losing matches for fear of wondering why.
Indeed it was a case of fighto by name, fighto by nature.
It gives Kanga the seedlings of an identity, whereas before you would argue they didn’t have one. “Let’s Hope Only Carries” doesn’t count.
And so that brings me to why I’m compelled by this matchup. It’s not for the result, but I think it’s a chance to signal future intent for both squads.
Peace are in desperate need for some momentum, and as I mentioned I’d like to see them get it with some good, old-fashioned 4-1. When teams have to worry about Chayon AND Thien, it gives both more room to operate, and gives Apii even more so.
Kanga have been preaching development and growth all split long. Cynically I might say “show me someone talking about development into Split 2 and I’ll show you someone with a fistful of losses”. But, if we give them the benefit of the doubt and take that intent at face value, then a match like this is where they’ll show the Kanga faithful that there’s hope in the future.
Make a strong showing of this match, maybe even sneak a cheeky dub and the pieces will be there and ready for a play on Split 2.
But those pieces will still need a new AD Carry, for the record.
My Pick: Peace in a bot gap. But Peace can snatch defeat from the jaws of victory as Kanga did the reverse yesterday, so I reserve the right to fence-sit by adding “unless there’s a massive throw” as a semi-predictable caveat.
Perry’s Week 7 Day 1 Predictions
Chiefs def. Dire Wolves
Order def. Mammoth
Pentanet.GG to commit unspeakable violence against Gravitas
Peace def. Kanga
The first split of the LCO concludes its regular season tonight as The Chiefs & Dire Wolves kick things off from 6PM AEDT. Catch up on all the split details in our ultimate coverage hub.