Two weeks remain! Week 8 of the LCO begins tonight kicks off tonight, and just six games are left for each team to define their split as the regular season winds down.
The Dire Wolves (9-6) will look to guarantee a playoffs spot this week and push for second as they take on the still winless Gravitas (0-15), looking to avoid the ever-likely winless season.
After that, Pentanet (8-7) will continue their push for the playoffs and look to repeat the perfect third round-robin as they did in Split 1 when they face Mammoth (4-11), who will need to win this game to keep in touch with a slim shot at a finals appearance.
In the final game of the night, Order (10-5) look to keep a firm grasp on second place and put a stop to the undefeated Chiefs (15-0), who can secure first place in the standings and an all but guaranteed appearance at DreamHack Melbourne with the win tonight.
The match of the day, however, will be our week eight opener, as Peace (8-7) takes on Kanga (6-9) in a game with high playoff stakes.
Taylor’s Game of the Week: Peace (8-7) v Kanga (6-9)
The race for the playoffs is tight.
Even with The Chiefs leaps and bounds ahead of every other team in the standings, destined for the first place spot, the other four playoff spots are still well in contention.
A loss for anyone other than Mammoth or Gravitas can be the difference between starting in the upper bracket and the lower bracket — or even missing the playoffs altogether.
Peace currently finds themselves in fourth place in the standings coming into this week, meaning they would start their playoff journey in the lower bracket. It’s a shaky fourth too, so they will need to continue to pick up wins to lock up that place, as well as use said wins to push themselves towards a top three spot.
The 2021 Split 2 champions had a mixed week last week, with a 1-1 record. Monday saw them take on Gravitas, in what proved to be a closer than expected contest, but was ultimately a victory for Peace, as the league’s cellar dwellers were unable to capitalise on their momentum.
Tuesday saw them take on fellow playoff contenders in the Dire Wolves, who took the victory after they delay aced their baron-empowered opponents.
Peace should find themselves in the playoffs this split but if they want to make an impact, they need to build confidence through wins against teams who they might expect to face in the bracket stage, or risk being knocked out early once again.
Their opponent tonight is Kanga. The League’s newest team currently find themselves on the outside of the playoffs bracket but is looking to bounce their way into them.
The team started the split slow — 2-6 coming into the Super Week — but saw themselves pick up the pace with a four-game winning streak. Since then, they have lost three straight, including a winless Week 7.
Those Week 7 matches were well-fought contests, however, with their Monday loss to The Chiefs being back and forth for most of the game — arguably the hardest the undefeated titans have been pushed for a victory so far this split.
Their game on Tuesday against Pentanet was also close — to begin with — but snowballed quickly in the favour of the 2021 MSI heroes, who ultimately secured the victory.
This team has proven they are no pushover. After underperforming in Split 1, and a slow start to Split 2, this team has been the league’s underdog. The injection of Jeremy “foreigner” Lim in the jungle and Hayden “Tieng Sii” Ting in the support role has really shaped this team from being pretenders into becoming potential contenders.
They come into pretty much every single contest, even if not the favourites, at least having a decent chance to win, which a few short weeks ago wasn’t true at all.
I expect this game to be close. The last contest between these two was a closely fought affair, which went in Kanga’s favour and acted as the catalyst that swung their momentum into obtaining their win streak that brought them back into playoffs contention. Whilst a repeat of this could happen tonight, I expect Peace will not let that happen twice and will take the hard-fought victory.
Taylor’s Week 8 Day 1 Predictions
Peace def. Kanga
Dire Wolves def. Gravitas
Pentanet def. Mammoth
Chiefs def. Order
The LCO Split 2 resumes tonight at 6pm AEST, with the game of the day Peace v Kanga opening up the day’s play. Catch up on all the split details in our ultimate coverage hub.