Last night saw the conclusion of the first round robin, and the standings remain tight. The fight in the middle of the ladder sees Order, Peace and Pentanet all sitting at 4-3 in what would be considered disappointing starts to the split for each of these teams.
All considered title contenders to open the split, each are struggling to get the ball rolling early on into the season.
This leaves the three within striking distance of Kanga & Mammoth, who sit at 2-5 as the split continues tonight. Both will be looking to take some upset wins to put them into the top five and secure a playoff position.
The evening begins with what should be two very one-sided and swift victories for Order and the Chiefs, who take on Gravitas and Mammoth respectively.
We are closing with a vital clash between Dire Wolves and Peace, as Peace looks to finally capitalise on some momentum gained from last week’s victory against Pentanet. Will we see the return of Vincent “Violet” Wong this evening, or will Peace continue playing Wang “Chayon” Yun-Cheng?
The match of the evening, however, belongs to the clash between Pentanet and Kanga.
Matthews’ Pick of the Week: Pentanet (4-3) Vs Kanga (2-5)
The clash between Pentanet and Kanga sees the replay of Split 2 Opening Day.
Then, Pentanet edged out an understrength Kanga roster who were awaiting the additions of Foreigner and Tieng Sii, being forced to play Lionel in the jungle position alongside the bot lane of Styled and Leemas.
Since this match-up, Pentanet has struggled to reach the level that is expected from the roster, who narrowly missed the grand final in Split 1.
Starting the second round robin off strong against Kanga will be important to building momentum to climb the ladder and widen the gap from the bottom of the ladder.
Kanga come into this game performing as expected in the first round robin, clearing a 2-5 score line and picking up victories vs Mammoth and Gravitas, whilst losing to the teams above them.
However, this is not necessarily an accurate reflection of the performance of the sixth placed squad, who have been able to put up fighting performances against their peers and would be disappointed to not walk away with at least another victory to their name.
Kanga will be looking to capitalise on the downturn of Pentanet in their attempt to claim an upset win and start the second-round robin off strongly.
Kanga will have an added boost moving into this match-up, recently acquiring new head coach Calvin, who will be seeking a winning start to his tenure.
The acquisition of the former Order coach could be crucial in turning the fortunes around for Kanga, who thus far have had a disappointing and unstable start to their time in the LCO.
Cohesion, in particular, has been a lacking trait for the Kanga roster, and alongside the introductions of Foreigner and Tieng Sii, this acquisition will almost certainly help move this team in the right direction.
However, it may have come too late to have meaningful changes that reflect on the scoreboard.
This match-up despite how it may seem on paper, I expect a close match between these two teams, with Pentanet taking the victory.
Matthews’ Week 2 Day 2 Predictions
Order def. Gravitas
Chiefs def. Mammoth
Pentanet def. Kanga
Dire Wolves def. Peace
The LCO Split 2 resumes tonight at 6pm AEST, with game of the day Pentanet vs. Kanga set to kick off at 8pm AEST. Catch up on all the split details in our ultimate coverage hub.