As the third week of the LCO closes, we draw near the end of the first round robin. The first three weeks have provided a litmus test of how the teams are performing — setting the bar for success this split.
The evening begins with Order and Kanga facing off in what is likely to be a close match up. Order have been underperforming expectations since returning from MSI.
They will need to return to form swiftly and build momentum against Kanga, breaking from the current 2-3 midfield.
Mammoth and Gravitas then play-off in a bottom of the table clash. If Mammoth are to eyeball a play-off position for the first time since 2019, they will likely be required to defeat Gravitas this evening — and in the two subsequent matchups later in the split.
Closing the night, in a night of generally close games, Peace take on Pentanet, with Peace still struggling to find form. The current play of Peace has been a far cry from their Split 1 performances despite the return of star ADC Violet, and they’ll need to show a good performance this evening to show they can still contend with the top teams.
The third game of the evening, however, is my game of the day, as the table topping Chiefs play the emerging contenders Dire Wolves.
Matthews’ Pick of the Week: The Chiefs (5-0) vs Dire Wolves (4-1)
The Dire Wolves have been on a hot streak since losing to Peace in week one (THAT Teemo game) and will be looking to take an upset win against The Chiefs to claim first position.
The Dire Wolves have been performing above expectations after the departures of Nathan “Kyose” Bacha & Minjae “Goodo” Jeong were expected to dampen play-off hopes for the team.
However, with the notable current form of Order and Peace, The Dire Wolves are certainly beginning to shape to be the third place team in the LCO.
It is of my belief, that a significant factor in the current hot-streak of the Dire Wolves is strength of schedule — they’re yet to have played either The Chiefs or Pentanet in the opening round robin.
This evening will be a litmus test for how strongly they are truly performing, as despite leads against Order and Peace, they have struggled to close out games against what are likely to be the teams contesting them for the top three as the season continues.
They will at the very least be required to show something different, with success coming from a small array of picks that The Chiefs can prepare for and punish.
The Chiefs will be seeking to make quick work of the Dire Wolves, maintaining their perfect record.
The acquisition of Ryan “Aladoric” Richardson has proven to be a masterstroke and has provided Chiefs the boost needed from the support position and has been a factor in the improvement of the teams fundamentals having levelled up significantly.
The match of the evening status puts the spotlight on the Dire Wolves — a strong performance this evening, even if it ends in a loss, will begin to separate themselves from the rest of the pack.
If not a victory the Dire Wolves will be at least attempting to take The Chiefs to the 30 minute mark for the first time this split, a challenge in and of itself.
I expect to see another approximately 25 minute win coming from The Chiefs, as they are currently head and shoulders above the rest of the league and I do not believe that the Dire Wolves, despite a strong record, currently provide a strong enough opponent.
Matthews’ Week 3 Day 2 Predictions
Order def. Kanga
Mammoth def. Gravitas
Chiefs def. Dire Wolves
Pentanet def. Peace
The LCO Split 2 resumes tonight at 6pm AEST, with game of the day The Chiefs vs. Dire Wolves set to kick off at 8pm AEST. Catch up on all the split details in our ultimate coverage hub.