It’s been a minute. We’re now in the 10th week of Split 2, and it’s the final round before the Gauntlet begins.
I can’t say that I’m at the top of the Snowball tipping tournament standings, you could say I’m middle-of-the-pack, like Bombers, or MAMMOTH. Regardless, I’m joined by two of our wonderful resident Snowballers Emma & Jess for this week’s predictions.
Avant Gaming vs Tectonic
Swifty: As we’ve alluded to in our updated OPL Gauntlet Guide yesterday, there’s unfortunately no way for Tectonic to avoid the promotion tournament. They can either finish eighth and will automatically qualify, or seventh and still qualify based on promotion points.
However there’s still some work to be done by Avant. I won’t go over all the details, you can find them in our guide. Essentially, Avant need to both win this series and rely on MAMMOTH to win against Legacy and then again against Bombers in the first round of the Gauntlet. I expect this to be a slug fest, there’s pride on the line as well.
W: Avant Gaming 2-1
Emma: Tectonic have had a rough couple of weeks. There were a few moments in the series against ORDER in which they impressed, but were ultimately unable to take a game off the Melbourne squad.
With neither team being able to make it to the gauntlet and Avant fighting for the safe spot away from potential relegation, this series will be bloody. I think that Avant will pull through and take the overall win.
W: Avant Gaming 2-1
Jess: The competition at the bottom of the standigs is fierce. Tectonic and Avant have both had some strong performances but they have found themselves at the bottom of the leaderboard at the tail end of the split.
The Tectonic revamp hasn’t done much for the squad in the last two weeks, I guess that’s what comes with switching the team dynamic shortly before the end of the split. After their great upsets against top teams earlier this split they haven’t been able to continue the streak.
Avant have clinched a few key games and has the potential to place 6th, breaking their 5th place curse in the worst way. Though there were some recent glimmers of hope they have struggled to keep up the momentum to get them their victories. However, they have come out on top each time these teams met and I’m throwing my support behind them.
W: Avant Gaming 2-0
MAMMOTH vs Legacy
Swifty: This is the one to watch this weekend. There’s so much on the line for these teams. While both are fighting for the final spot in the Gauntlet, MAMMOTH are looking specifically at the difference between fourth and fifth seed, giving them side selection.
This is Legacy’s last chance for this split, and it’s a tough ask. They cannot drop a game. My prediction? I think Legacy will take the series, but the match record will be 2-1. MAMMOTH will progress to the Gauntlet to face Bombers. If there are teams that have clutch players able to pull off a 2-0 like what’s required here, Legacy are one of them but I don’t think this is their time.
W: Legacy 2-1
Emma: I’m having some serious SINderella flashbacks from previous years with this match up. MAMMOTH currently have the best possible chance of making it into the Gauntlet, with anything other than a 2-0 from Legacy means they proceed. The good thing for both teams is they have a spot secured for next season, however it’s definitely do-or-die for Gauntlet dreams.
With a 3-6 record over Legacy’s 4-5 MAMMOTH are still placed higher and it shows how important the 2-0s have been for the potential 3 points each week. It’s going to be another interesting set however with Legacy having their gauntlet dreams resting on a 2-0, I think they will bring a disciplined and aggressive style to fight for their spot.
W: Legacy 2-0
Jess: The most nail biting match of the week, one of these teams will make the Gauntlet. Will it be the trees, Claire leading the pack or Juves 600IQ alpha male and his troops?
MAMMOTH have had a strong showing this split and are on the brink of starting the next SINderella story. Though they’ve had some exciting matches, the last time these two power house teams met they fell barely as Legacy capitalised off small mistakes from the line up. If they clean up their game it could lead to this coming down to the final minutes.
Now Legacy; the trees, the roots of the OPL, this team has been to the end of the Gauntlet, has ended SINderella stories in the past and has held second and third place more than most teams. This roster is a staple in the OPL, Claire’s ability to put his team and the region on his back and bringing home the goods is what gives me hope they can take this win. Only has shown what a strong jungler he has become and developed over the split and this team has my full fledged support coming into this exciting match.
W: Legacy 2-0
Bombers vs The Chiefs
Swifty: This match has absolutely no bearing on the Chiefs’ Gauntlet placement. They’re locked in to the third round and are potentially two Bo5s away from Worlds.
Bombers however, have the chance to secure fourth seed and side selection in their Gauntlet round. Bombers are in a really weird scenario right now where they have both a chance at winning the OPL, and a chance they’re headed for the promotion tournament as well.
The Chiefs I think will be looking to stay on their best form as they look to a potential grand final appearance at Rod Laver, but I can see Bombers taking a game.
W: The Chiefs 2-1
Emma: Chiefs and Bombers are both locked into the gauntlet run. Chiefs have had a fantastic end to the split with 4 2-0s in the last 4 weeks, their last loss was against the Dire Wolves in week 5. Last time the Chiefs faced the Bombers was in week 3, where they 2-1’d the Bombers.
Both teams have admittedly shown huge improvement over the split and I think this series will showcase the growth that both teams have experienced. Bombers have come off a few great weeks of improvement and I think they’re going to definitely bring the fight to the Chiefs. I’m having a hard time going with the logic that Chiefs will 2-0, but I want to have faith in the Bombers and their improvement over the split. I’m choosing faith!
W: Bombers 2-1
Jess: Bombers are looking down the end of a gauntlet but not the one we normally see them in. For the first time in what seems like ever, this team will be hitting the winners gauntlet to take the split. This is a warm up for both teams as a taste into the square off we may see in a few weeks time.
Chiefs have had a strong split, clinching some key games though unfortunately losing some surprises. This team is strong, resilient and ready to take on gauntlet and this is a stage warm up for the excitement we will see come gauntlet weekend. They’ve shown some good form in the last split and have not befallen the normal Chiefs curse and stayed near the top of the leaderboard all split.
W: The Chiefs 2-0
ORDER vs Dire Wolves
Swifty: Some might call me an ORDER fan. They’d be right. The boys from Melbourne have their eyes locked on a home-town grand final appearance and this match would go a long way to showing that they have what it takes.
The Dire Wolves look mighty scary right now. Over 12 months undefeated domestically is nothing to balk at. They’ll be wanting to keep that record untarnished but I think Swiffer and co. are ready to be the ones to put an end to their reign in this series. I’ll be happy with a close 3-game series regardless, as I love watching these two teams specifically duke it out on the rift.
W: ORDER 2-1
Emma: With both of these teams locked into the gauntlet, it will be a good chance for ORDER to face of against the top dog and see how they fare. With an interesting few weeks behind them, ORDER are showing their strengths again and I believe they have what it takes to take a game or two off the Dire Wolves.
However with the gauntlet just around the corner the Dire Wolves are ready to fight back at anyone who threatens the alpha seat.
W: Dire Wolves 2-1
Jess: The 1st v 3rd place rumble. This is going to be a match to watch purely for its high quality game play. These two powerhouses have shown why they are on the top of the leaderboard.
Spookz and Swiffer have shown they’re a dynamic duo with a powerhouse bot lane. By sealing the deal as one of the top teams getting to play off in the gauntlet the ability to show it to the Wolves would cement their position. A strong showing in last week’s match against Tectonic could mean that they take a game off the powerhouse of the rift.
Another amazing split for the Dire Wolves and last week proved no different. Shern and BioPanther have shown up to be 2 of the most dominant forces to hit the Oceanic rift this split. Their long running undefeated streak has shown just how strong they are.
W: Dire Wolves 2-0