After a seven-week break and a trip to Taiwan for the PCS playoffs, the LCO returns today to conclude its first split for 2023.
With the grand final no longer tied to qualification for international tournaments like the upcoming Mid-Season Invitational, this game has more or less become a battle of pride and bragging rights.
With this split, the bragging rights have become more important, as the grand final will also act as the decider for the league’s new hottest rivalry: the Battle of Queensland. The winner will be determined between The Chiefs, who are defending their title, and the debutant Team Bliss.
The Chiefs come into this series looking to defend their crown. Having won in front of the DreamHack Melbourne crowd last September, the five-time Oceanic powerhouse looks to become the first two-time LCO champions.
Tonight, they’ll attempt to re-establish their dynasty from the early days of Oceanic League of Legends. On the opposite side of the Rift, Team Bliss looks to wrap up an excellent debut split in the LCO.
Having announced their arrival into the LCO in the lead-up to last year’s DreamHack, the squad is vying for first place–their performance has already produced the best result for a new org in the eight team era.
For the final time this split, join Snowball Esports as we break down the game of the week as the kings of Oceania will be crowned in this Brisbane brawl.
Harry’s Game of the Week — Team Bliss v The Chiefs
Look, if you had asked me before this split started to predict the grand final contestants, I wouldn’t have had Bliss in the picture. But here they are, one set away from potentially claiming the title.
Now that’s no blight against the Bliss lineup. I came into this split thinking that they would be a playoff contender but other teams would be a cut above them and that their maiden campaign would end respectfully, somewhere in the semi-finals.
A lot of this came down to the experience factor. My other predicted playoff teams saw themselves with lineups that consisted of players with combined decades of prior playing experience, as well as multiple titles.
To contrast, Bliss had five years of experience at a pro level combined with no titles. A bulk of that experience was on one person, Tristan “Lived” Fulcher, who had spent three years in the league prior to this season.
Meanwhile, for The Chiefs, the combined experience of the players is almost two decades, holding 14 titles between them (with an additional title for Leo “Babip” Romer as a coach).
With all five members of the Chiefs lineup finding success during the LCO era, they were a heavy favourite to become the first two-time LCO Champion prior to the split, and even with a couple of hiccups along the way, they have made their way back to the final fight for the crown.
There are some questions about the motivations for this game, however. The final game for PCS playoffs seeding that took place weeks ago saw Bliss take down The Chiefs in a competitive five game series.
- Read more: CHF BioPanther: “I think [my teammates] will play at their best but I just don’t know if they’re fully wanting it as much as I do.”
This DreamHack grand final has no further seeding at stake, and players on both sides of the Rift have mentioned that the motivation may not be as high as it was for previous grand finals from yesteryear.
One motivating factor, at least at the management level, will be the budding Battle of Queensland. With both teams based in Brisbane, a local rivalry much like Collingwood/Carlton, Roosters/Rabbitohs, and Arsenal/Tottenham, was born as soon as Bliss joined the fray.
With the teams’ head-to-head tied with two series wins, Bliss leads the per-game score 6-5. Regardless of the final game score, today will be the deciding factor in this long drawn-out battle–at least for now.
Take any combination of five players in position from these rosters and you can make a solid argument for them to be this split’s ‘dream team’. Each lane matchup is more or less a coin flip, with champion matchups the deciding factor.
I have Bliss winning the series, however, in a five-game slog. I think their motivation will be more prominent than the Chiefs’. They will look to complete their debut split with their first winning titles but The Chiefs will make them work for it; it’ll hopefully be a well-fought series.
LCO Playoffs Grand Final Predictions
Callum: TB 3-1
Harry: TB 3-2
Nadette: CHF 3-2
ReeceP: TB 3-1
ChrisTheCaster: CHF 3-1
DuckyVT: TB 3-1
Musicality: TB 3-2
Swifty: CHF 3-1
Taffy: TB 3-2
Wray: CHF 3-2
The LCO Split 1 2023 grand finals are happening tonight as Team Bliss and The Chiefs make the final sprint for the trophy.
Catch up to speed on how things have panned out this split in our full coverage hub before the match.