Monday saw the return of the LCO with Split 2 kicking off in cracking fashion. Week one closes out today, and by close of business, one of our heavyweight favourites will keep a perfect Split 2 record, while the other will be left licking their wounds.
The opening day of Split 2 of the LCO started with a flyer as returning MSI reps Order swiftly secured the win over Gravitas in under 25 minutes.
Gravitas will be seeking to bounce back against the new look Dire Wolves, who joined them at 0-1 after succumbing to Peace in 32 minutes, despite securing a massive early advantage.
Kanga opened the split with a loss to Pentanet. The opening roster saw the Split 1 bottom lane of Sami “Leemas” Kip and Matthew “Lionel” Desa shifted into the support and jungle positions, respectively.
One wonders how they will shape up against Peace this evening – and for how long the role swaps will continue.
The match of the evening belongs to the LCO Split 2 Grand Final replay between Order and The Chiefs, and bringing you their thoughts and predictions is the newest member of the Snowball Predictions team — none other than League of Legends coach and analyst Callum “CDM” Matthews.
Matthews’ Pick of the Week: Order (1-0) Vs The Chiefs (1-0)
LCO Split 1 grand finalists Order and The Chiefs picked up impressive wins over resident bottom dwellers of the LCO Gravitas and Mammoth in yesterday’s season openers.
Order comes into this matchup from a disappointing Mid-Season Invitational performance, falling 0-8 in the group to Evil Geniuses and G2.
Despite the team’s poor performance, star jungler Shane “Kevy” Allen was acquired by CLG Academy, with former Dire Wolves jungler Jeong “Goodo” Min-Jae stepping in to fill his shoes for Order. A significant stylistic difference between these players shapes up to be a challenge for Order in the short turnaround from MSI.
Expect to see Order play for a strong mid 2v2 match up, prioritising securing a lead for Bao “Kisee” Vo. Goodo has found strength and comfort on aggressive picks, such as the Lee Sin played last night, that find themselves supporting this expectation.
This is in contrast to the jungle-centric style that was shifted to by Order in the Split 1 playoffs, which allowed Order and Kevy to dominate, running through the lower bracket competition–and The Chiefs–to lift the Split 1 trophy.
The Chiefs will be seeking revenge for the loss in a hard-fought five game series and to continue their strong start to the Split.
The Chiefs come into this match with a roster change of their own, replacing long-term support Dragon “Dragku” Guo with returning 2021 Split 2 LCO winner Ryan “Aladoric” Richardson.
Player for player, it is expected that this shift will have a significantly lesser impact on the play style of The Chiefs compared to Order, and most certainly should be considered an upgrade for the Split 1 runner-ups.
Expect to see the Chiefs play through the bottom side of the map, attempting to exploit Order’s bottom lane duo of Nathan “Puma” Puma and Ian “Corporal” Pearse, in the same likes that Vincent “Violet” Wong and Aladoric were capable of demolishing the 2021 competition.
It is probable that the Chiefs, expecting the stylistic shifts required from Order, will ensure a facilitative position for James “Tally” Shute. One which allows him to absorb pressure while opening up the opportunities on the sides of the map — a prominent position of strength for Tally.
Considering the respective matchups and expectations of how the game will pan out, The Chiefs are expected to be victorious in the grand final replay and are considered to be the favourites to take out the competition.
Despite the strong performance last night against Gravitas, I think Order will require a little more time to retool their playbook to accommodate new jungler Goodo against stronger competition if they are to return to the world stage.
Matthews’ Week 1 Day 2 Predictions
Peace def. Kanga
Dire Wolves def. Gravitas
Pentanet def. Mammoth
The Chiefs def. Order
LCO Split 2, Day 2 begins tonight at 6pm AEST, with the Split 1 heavyweights Order & Chiefs set to kick off at 9pm AEST. Catch up on all the split details in our ultimate coverage hub.