The final online game of LCO Split 2 is here — after tonight, we move to LAN. After The Chiefs took down Order 3-0 last night to secure their place in the Grand Final, tonight’s do-or-die battle will determine Order’s opponent in the playoffs consolidation final at Dreamhack — just ten days away.
Two challengers enter. Only one can proceed to the DreamHack stage.
Pentanet, who were downed by Order despite their best efforts at a reverse sweep, will be out to prove themselves worthy of the DreamHack stage and, potentially, OCE’s spot at Worlds.
They take on a Kanga side who stamped their authority in last week’s 3-1 victory over Dire Wolves.
No longer down and out, Kanga truly mean business in their playoffs debut, and they certainly won’t be conceding their fairy tale DreamHack run without a fight.
Both teams are desperate to make the stage at Melbourne Olympic Park.
Without further ado, let’s break down the final stop before LAN play begins.
PGG v KNG — The Panel Picks: Pentanet
Taylor: One series left. The online portion of the 2022 LCO season concludes tonight, and for one of these teams, their road to DreamHack Melbourne, as well as a shot at the World Championship, will meet it’s end.
Pentanet were desperately close to securing their seat at the final dance last week.
Down 2-0 against Order, they ran it back to tie up the series at 2-2, but were unable to pull out the critical third victory, falling down to the lower bracket in game five.
They must now climb their way back up, needing another three victories tonight to obtain the right to play in Melbourne.
Their opponent is Kanga. The League’s underdogs are looking towards making a lower bracket march reminiscence of Order’s last split, and they have a lot of the right tools to do so.
Leading the line for the league’s newest team is mid laner Dmitry “fighto” Botov, who was critical to Kanga’s success in their 3-1 victory last week against the Dire Wolves.
Averaging 9.5 kills a game and a staggering 43.7% of his team’s kill count total, without Fighto, it likely would have been a victory for the Wolfpack last week.
This doesn’t dismiss the importance of the rest of his team in the game. Without all five members of this team, their season may not have made it past that critical week four juncture, where they languished at 2-6.
Their progression throughout the split’s back half is a testament to solid individual play, as well as their adaptable and capable effort as a squad.
Tonight will be Kanga’s toughest challenge yet. A best-of-five against Pentanet will see Kanga need to bring out everything including the kitchen sink to have a chance at victory.
Pentanet has the perfect head-to-head record in games played between these two teams — not just this split either, but this entire year at 6-0.
Most of these games have been one-sided, with games this split being fairly closer than the last split, but not close enough to make Pentanet sweat.
It has, however, been over a month since these two sides have played, and a lot has changed since then to say the least.
The time between contests has seen a crucial change for Kanga, with the valuable injection of Ben “Benvi” Moore into the support role, and in a way, puts a big asterisk on the prior head-to-head records being an indicator on how future games will go.
Coming into tonight, I still have Pentanet as the favourite, but it won’t be a walk in the park. I think Kanga will push them to four games, but I wouldn’t be shocked if we get a full five game series.
With the final opportunity to participate in the first in-person professional League of Legends finals played in Australia in over three years, this series will be fought to the absolute brink.
Harry Taylor’s Prediction: Pentanet Win 3-1
Callum Matthews’ Prediction: Pentanet Win 3-0
Only one can move to Dreamhack and face Order in preliminary final.
The LCO Split 2 Playoffs resume at 6pm AEST — catch up on all the split details in our ultimate coverage hub.