As the sun dawns on a morning not even Melbourne’s famously fickle weather could spoil, it also heralds the arrival of the return of on-stage, live League of Legends in Oceania — for the first time in the history of the LCO.
LAN. With no disrespect to the Mechanized Menace, LAN is the real ultimate equalizer. It makes our heroes, it creates memories of a lifetime for fans and players alike. LAN is where esports legacies are forged.
It also hits a little bit different for Oceanic League of Legends fans. While we’ve had LAN finals in 2018 and 2019, they were held in the former Riot Games studio in Sydney–where we got to see LAN finals with excellent production values–but without fans.
So this is an opportunity not seen domestically since 2017, where The Chiefs faced Legacy in Brisbane.
So when Pentanet.GG takes to that DreamHack stage against Order this evening, it presents an opportunity that means so much more to Jake “Rogue” Sharwood and his PGG teammates.
“Being on stage is incredible,” said Rogue to Snowball Esports.
The competition between the top three teams is incredible this year, so I know that when I do win it will be well earned.Jake “Rogue” Sharwood
“The thing that inspired me to become a pro player was watching the OPL grand final at Luna Park back in 2015.”
For Rogue himself, the chance to show what kind of a player he has become after taking down an OPL title in 2020, then spending 2021 plying his trade abroad in the ERL circuit.
Now that he’s home again, to add a second Oceanic title and first LCO crown will demonstrate that he can still deliver at the very peak of what we have to offer.
“Winning this year would feel like a massive accomplishment for me.” he said, before adding about his growth since his return from the ERL: “I think the difference now between myself now and early in my career is I am now a much smarter player.”
Before he gets to the ultimate stage of claiming a title, he has to go once again through Order–a task that PGG has attempted and failed twice before in best-of-five play this year. But Rogue’s opinion is that the results don’t tell the story of how things will go tonight.
“Despite the result in our previous series versus Order, we looked like the better team. I’m also impressed at how well we bounced back from being 0-2 down.
“The control over our emotions we had to make the almost reverse sweep a reality will be even more beneficial when we are playing these big best-of-fives on LAN where emotions are even more rampant.”
And should that turn to reality, The Chiefs await Rogue & Pentanet.GG in a match that would see us return to the site of one of the best best-of-five series the region has ever seen–but in a whole new environment.
I’m not scared of The Chiefs, we will show that they can bleed.Jake “Rogue” Sharwood
The thought of a LAN rematch tantalizes us all, and Rogue promised to put on a show should he and his team get there.
“We are a team that delivers entertaining League of Legends; when we have a formidable opponent and Pentanet is in the game you can be sure that it will be a very close and very exciting series.”
As if the return of LAN wasn’t exciting enough, we have the prospect of wall-to-wall bangers courtesy of potentially two explosive PGG matches to further entice us all.
Pentanet take on Order tonight at 6pm AEST, with the winner securing their spot alongside The Chiefs on Championship Sunday.
Keep up to date with the LCO playoffs this weekend via our ultimate coverage hub, and check out our expert panel predictions for tonight’s massive best-of-five.