Week 4 of the OPL arrives on your screen tomorrow. Here’s who we think is going to come out on top.
Reece: There’s a lot of sentimentality that makes you want to pick Tectonic. They’re the sweethearts! They knocked off ORDER! We finally expect Value to start! The Chiefs dropped a game to the Bombers!
And then you realise that it’s The Chiefs. And this could be rather messy. This is a horror two-week run for Tectonic, getting DW and CHF back-to-back and the worst case scenario could very well see the match being over in 45 minutes.
I don’t see any way Tectonic wins this on the merits. So that means that it’s either cheese, or Papryze running a train on Swip3rr. But I don’t really see Babip letting that happen, and I still like the Chiefs in the Top/Jungle 2v2.
Easy win for the Chiefs for me. Maybe not 45 minutes, but still two convincing wins. They’ll have taken dropping a game to the Bombers personally.
W: Chiefs 2-0
Ellis: What happened to the days when you could safely tip against Tectonic every week? Now tipping is like doing a quadratic equation without any numbers. The team gave Avant two of their three match points in week 1, but ran over third place team from last split ORDER in week 2.
And now another variable enters the equation in the form of import AD, Value. Having previously played alongside Trance in the NA region, you would expect the duo lane of Tectonic to have synergy and style. I hope they do. Unfortunately, expectation and reality are not always aligned.
Chiefs, on the other hand, are a pretty simple formula. Last week they dropped a game to the Bombers, but executed two clean games to take the series – and have seemed in control in every other match. The Chiefs have great synergy, talented individuals, and consistently play well.
W: Chiefs 2-1
Isaac: Tectonic had appeared to have turned a corner after their second week victory over Order, and if we were heading into the third round all over again that squad would be coming out better in the first match up on Friday evening.
Another ball in Tectonic’s court has come in the form of Value, a rising North American talent who was drafted fifth out of the 2017 NA Scouting Grounds by eventual NA LCS Spring Split champions Team Liquid. Value’s combination with Trance has already been tested in American waters, and Tectonic will be relying on their spark rekindling in the OPL.
Unfortunately for Value and the rest of the Tectonic squad, I don’t see this being their week, especially with Chiefs bringing a lot of momentum into the fourth round clash – individual player talent and the ability to execute their plans play too heavily in Chiefs’ favour.
W: Chiefs 2-1
Reece: The smart money’s on the Wolfpack here, and with good reason. They looked imperious against a resurgent Tectonic. However, there’s a path that Legacy wins this, and it lies in the top lane I think. Shernfire has really only fired in one of three matches so far, so if Only can get up into Mimic’s lane and the two can wreak havoc up there, we might (finally) see BioPanther tested to his fullest.
The bot lane needs to hold serve, as both players are ex-Legacy members and look to perform strongly against their old club. And, weird as it sounds, there’ll be pressure on Claire to not take on so much of the pressure to carry. If he can trust in his team’s process whether lane is going his way or not, it’ll go a long way to getting the trees over the line.
That said, ultimately, I’m calling it not to happen. I think that Legacy will make a very competitive set out of this, but that Dire Wolves will just about scrape over the line.
W: Dire Wolves 2-1
Ellis: If Legacy had been paired against anyone other than the Chiefs or Dire Wolves this week, I would have tipped them for a win. The team now looks like it more than just Claire & Co. (as Raid has had two consecutive weeks of success and Only has found some kind of footing), and a convincing 2-0 win over Avant sees them enter this week with momentum.
However, it feels like the Dire Wolves are unbreakable. The other teams smelled blood when the Dire Wolves dropped a game against Avant, but the team came back stronger than ever in week 3 with a clean win over Tectonic.
Legacy will put in a strong showing, but I think it will be down to the Chiefs to challenge Dire Wolves for top spot when they face in week 5.
W: Dire Wolves 2-1
Isaac: The second Friday night match-up proves a little easier to predict, as Dire Wolves look nearly unstoppable in their title defence. One of only two teams undefeated after the opening three rounds of Split 2, only their second week 2-1 victory over Avant Gaming has seen a blip on their radar.
Although Legacy have looked stronger in the past weeks, and more of the team has been clicking beyond just Claire’s solo-carries, Dire Wolves’ key players are red-hot coming into the clash.
Eyes will be on King, who’s entering this matchup after going 10/1/11 across their two games last weekend, as he continues to prove the changing meta isn’t slowing him down. Legacy’s improvements are notable, but they likely won’t be enough this week to provide a catalyst for an upset.
W: Dire Wolves 2-0
Reece: This is a must-win for both sides. Neither side wants to hit the 2-week break 1-3. A 2-0 here will propel either side up the rankings quite nicely.
When I look at these matchups lane-for-lane, it seems like an almighty struggle for MAMMOTH. They’re built around three strong main carries, and veterans in their supporting roles. But I feel like we’ve yet to see peak Remind except against the Bombers. As good as Chippys is, Tally has been a wonderful top neutralizer while being a strong player in his own right. Mash is answered by ORDER’s powerful bot lane. Which for my money puts this match squarely on how the mid/jungle 2v2 can push their edge. Juves made his bones around this plan when he was playing with RYmeister, and the Spookz/Swiffer combo is legendary.
I think this match will involve very close games until one pivotal moment between 15 and 20 minutes will send the winner snowballing. But there’s only going to be two of these games, and i’m picking both of them to go to ORDER. I think the result won’t be a fair one to how well MAMMOTH will play them.
W: ORDER 2-0
Ellis: Battle for Melbourne? Pfft, please. More like, battle of the UP hashtags.
Last week, ORDER was clinical in their takedown of Avant. After a shock defeat to Tectonic in week 3, they were playing like they had something to prove. It was a statement to the rest of the competition, read by the team in unison, that said they had brushed off last week’s defeat, could handle the new meta game, and were back in form.
Like ORDER, MAMMOTH have a roster filled with talented individuals. However, MAMMOTH are yet to post a series win against an opponent other than Bombers (who are bottom of the leaderboard). The team has not been together for very long, and I think they lack the kind of synergy that ORDER displays.
Ultimately, only one team satisfies the phrase “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”
W: ORDER 2-1
Isaac: After a stumble in the second week of the competition, ORDER proved they know how to bounce back with a dominant performance over Avant, and a similar performance is likely from the squad oozing star player talent.
MAMMOTH have looked strong thus far in the split, but with their only victory coming against potential cellar dwellers Bombers (the only team not to chalk up a win after three weeks) they may not have that final killer instinct to make it past ORDER. That doubt over MAMMOTH continues to grow after Swiffer and FBI dismantled Avant last weekend, and one can only tip ORDER’s two core carries to put in similar high-class performances.
W: ORDER 2-0
Reece: If one squints their eyes hard enough, one can see ways in which the Bombers can take this. Avant are looking questionable at times, the Bombers are looking better in patches, and there’s a not-impossible scenario in which Looch is the best player on the rift.
But at this point you’re just looking for reasons to pick the underdog. I think Avant should be better up and down the map, except for arguably a push in the mid lane. My pick for this match is Pabu to be the one to lead Avant to the promised land here. We’ve seen him in the past (the first match vs Legacy in split 1) take the fight to the import top laner and I’ll back him to do it here again.
Fairly comfortable win for Avant in my opinion. The only way I see them losing is if they “full xD” – but discipline should handle that. If they treat the Bombers with the respect of a team that can beat them, then they should never beat them.
W: Avant 2-0
Ellis: The Bombers are yet to win a series this split, and they didn’t look fantastic last split either. However, last week they styled on the Chiefs (generally accepted to be a top two team) in game two of the series. This will have hopefully brought the team some confidence. If they can recreate their performance in game two of last week, I think they could overcome Avant – who have looked shaky since the beginning of the split and are likely to view this match as a free win.
This tip is really based on gut instinct. It’ll either be glorious bragging rights or a trip to the gastroenterologist for me.
W: Bombers 2-1
Isaac: The final match of the OPL fourth round will likely be the closest match of the round, with both Avant and Bombers still searching for a ‘clicking’ moment that could see them shoot up the standings.
Hope remains high for the Bombers after they pushed the Chiefs to a three-game series last weekend, but outside of a single 30 minute performance that saw Sleeping show up in a big way on Irelia, they just haven’t looked the goods.
That said, Avant haven’t set the world on fire either, and if ever there was a time for the Bombers to pick up their first win of the split it would be early on, with Avant potentially underestimating the fixture in favour of their week five clash against Legacy.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see this be the most divisive match-up in terms of tipping, but if the Bombers shock Avant early, I can see the seventh placed team waking up and making it a series. This one could go either way.
W: Avant 2-1