The final week of the LCO is here. Oceania’s top four teams — The Chiefs, Dire Wolves, Pentanet.GG and Team Bliss — will clash in one final double-elimination bracket. The resulting top two will represent the region in the PCS playoffs in a couple of weeks’ time — and potentially, onwards to MSI.
The final day of stage two wrapped up with the four aforementioned combatants determining their final seeding at the end of their respective groups.
In Group A, Dire Wolves were able to finally crack Pentanet.GG, taking their first and second map victories of the split against the Perth-based squad in a back and forth best-of-three.
Mid laner Jesse “Chazz” Mahoney had star performances on Taliyah and the freshly reworked Aurelion Sol in game one and three that spearheaded the victory for his squad.
Meanwhile in Group B, Team Bliss evened up the series score in the latest iteration of the Battle of Brisbane against The Chiefs, as they took down the reigning LCO champs 2-0 in dominant fashion.
Jungler Raaz “Whynot” Alfassi Berman led the charge for his team as they continue to show they one of the top teams in this region, and are on the charge for PCS qualification.
Today, the two groups cross paths as the opening matches of the playoff bracket begins. Group A champions Dire Wolves will take on old foe in The Chiefs in the first series.
Then, one of the league’s newest teams in Group B champions in Team Bliss will take on Pentanet.GG.
This week is make or break for all four teams in the league, as every win matters if they want the chance to represent Oceania on the APAC stage.
Harry’s Pick of the Week — Dire Wolves v The Chiefs
Dire Wolves and The Chiefs have been members of eight-team top-flight Oceanic LoL since its inception in 2015 and have had a storied and competitive rivalry ever since.
Today marks the newest meeting in this rivalry, and both teams will be fighting hard for the win.
The Dire Wolves come off a momentum-defining win Last Wednesday, having taken down Pentanet — the only team they had not yet defeated.
The Wolfpack were able to take the series in three close games where they were able to keep up the pressure all throughout the games, something which will be critical to success in both the rest of the LCO and in the PCS — if they make it there.
The Chiefs saw there consistently inconsistent season continue. They were rolled by fellow Brisbanites Team Bliss on Wednesday in a series that never really saw the defending champions really establish any pressure or get any momentum building.
They should know that their performance to close out last week was not up to their championship standards and should have hopefully spent the last couple of days getting it together.
When this team is firing, as we have seen throughout this split, they have the ability to be an unstoppable juggernaut — but right now, the wheels have started to fall off a bit.
Both of these teams will need to bring their all if they want to win this. All ten players in this game have the ability to carry if given a lead early into the game, so it will be crucial not to make mistakes. A single inch given could easily snowball into a mile, and eventually the lead.
For me, this matchup can easily be a coinflip. It’s going come down to fundamentals both as an individual and especially as a team.
Based on previous play, I give the edge to the Dire Wolves 2-1, as I think they have just a little bit better team play and will be able to capitalise on that.
Nadette’s Pick of the Week — Team Bliss v Pentanet.GG
Although we’ve been hit with a bit of that feeling of deja vu recently, things have finally been shaken up as the top four teams were locked in last week. Rival states face off tonight with the Perth-posed Pentanet and Brisbane-based Bliss.
With an entire group stage between their last fiasco, their first match ended with a victorious Bliss in a major upset, solidifying them as a contender for the title.
Within their time apart, Bliss emerged first from their group, and Pentanet as second in the opposing. However, going into their next best of three series, Pentanet are determined to prove that it was simply beginner’s luck.
If last week was anything to work from, the intensity is rising at a rapid pace for these matchups. In terms of consistency, the teams have been somewhat evenly matched despite the experience difference.
A key storyline to keep an eye on is between the lanes, with Whynot and Shernfire meeting in the jungle. After being kept on the sidelines for so long, Whynot has spent this split proving himself within the role — enabling the ‘Dark Horse’ of the year to truly shine, and with the match MVP score line to show for it (when he’s not Fortnite dancing, anyways).
On the opposing side is one of the most prolific junglers to be produced by the region in Shernfire, who “only had [his] attention on Chiefs” at the beginning of the split.
In the mid lane, Daystar and DONGGY are also guaranteed to put on a spectacle, with the prodigal Korean import often taking centre stage within the more notable skirmishes.
Will DONGGY be able to halt Daystar’s momentum to a standstill? Both players have demonstrated proficiency with versatile champion pools, and I’d be surprised if we saw an absence of Aurelion Sol during the draft going into this patch.
Bliss have proven able against giants through their numerous clashes against The Chiefs last Wednesday, but Pentanet will truly put them to the test. I’m truly on the fence when it comes to this match-up, and believe either of them could take the series.
I believe that’s the only degree of separation in their current forms is through the experience difference between the rosters. While I predict the series to be close, I think PGG will ultimately take it 2-1.
LCO Playoffs Day 1 Predictions
The first day of the LCO Split 1 Playoff’s begin today at 5pm AEDT. Keep up with the LCO via our ultimate coverage hub.