The opening week of the Oceanic Pro League saw all but Mammoth fall on Summoner’s Rift, with the star-studded roster the only squad to avoid a defeat early in their campaign.
With teams rallying after shock upsets, or starts to the split they just never envisioned, Snowball Esports has once again collected our best tipsters and pundits to break down three of the key games coming up this weekend.
First we have Avant Gaming up against Legacy Esports, as both teams look to prove that their victories in the opening round weren’t flukes. Then, Gravitas and Dire Wolves lock horns in our predictions, with the four-time champions eager to prove they’ve become a force once more in Split 2 of the OPL.
Finally, there’s a breakdown of the grand final rematch, as the new-look Bombers lineup tries to get one over the stable roster of the Chiefs in the second split of the year. The old champions may have missed a chance at Essendon’s esports team last season, but this time around they’re aiming for first as their rivals settle in with a refreshed roster ahead of Worlds.
Emma’s Feature Match of the Week: Avant Gaming vs Legacy Esports
There’s nothing like an #OCESHOWDOWN to really get some rivalry flowing in Week 2 of the OPL. Legacy Esports vs Avant Gaming is Oceania’s El Classico, with the rivalry dating back to OPL origins, it has always been a match that excites the crowds.
Legacy have a history of being able to beat their opponents with a resonating “WHOCK”, and Avant has been on the receiving end of that stick multiple times. It goes both ways though, with Avant having a dominant match history last split against Legacy.
With both teams sitting on a 1-1 record, it’s hard to tell who would win based off week 1 results alone. Legacy has the same roster as the last split, where Avant has swapped out their rotating jungle players for Park “Miru” Mi-reu. Based off last seasons results, you’d definitely be putting your eggs in the Avant basket.
Last weeks results saw Avant take down Gravitas, but lose to the Bombers. Legacy had a surprise upset against Order, who the previous day had taken down the Bombers. The early games in the split help understand the pecking order, and I have a feeling that Avant will take this one.
Avant has proven themselves to be consistent at beating teams at the low end of the ladder. With last splits record at 3-0 over both Dire Wolves and Legacy who placed 8th and 7th respectively, it’s hard currently to fault their previous performances against them. They have an ability to transform their early game leads against these teams into wins.
With Avant having been previously dominant against Legacy, it will be a great test for them to continue to prove they belong at the top, while for Legacy, the path to redemption begins as they aim to claw their way up the ladder. I believe that Avant will take this victory over Legacy this week, and continue to cement themselves at the top.
Emma’s Winner: Avant Gaming
Nadette’s Feature Match of the Week: Gravitas vs Dire Wolves
The first week of Split 2 produced some unexpected results among the teams, as they began to cement themselves in the standings following an eventful offseason. Gravitas currently sits at the bottom of the leaderboard as the only team without a win thus far, while the Dire Wolves have already started to make a comeback after their fruitless first split, picking up a win against Legacy. Going into this week, I believe that this trend will continue in favour of the Dire Wolves.
Gravitas went undefeated against the Dire Wolves last split, even making the Gauntlet in their bracket against Order. However, they fell extremely short last weekend, dropping games against Avant Gaming and Mammoth, the former with a substitute bot lane.
After last week’s results, they look to be far from Gravitas Glory, while their Saturday opponent has started to make ripples in the Ocean. The Wolfpack have already started to show improvements with their rotating ten man roster as they attempt to reach their title-winning form from last season. While it’s not perfect, the team is already showing that they’re capable of contesting the rest of the league.
The gap between these teams appears to be fairly wide as Gravitas has struggled to compete among the other teams on the Rift. This weekend, the Dire Wolves look to be in a good position to break the perfect score set against them by Gravitas last split.
Nadette’s Winner: Dire Wolves
Harry’s Feature Match of the Week: Bombers vs Chiefs Esports Club
After a hectic opening week of the OPL saw only Mammoth come out with a 2-0 week and six teams go 1-1, the Bombers and the Chiefs Esports Club will go into their clash on Saturday afternoon to use it as an opportunity to separate themselves from the pack and keep in toe with Mammoth.
Bombers have seen a drastic change to their lineup after the departure of BalKhan, FBI and Windowsmonkey to lands abroad, with Wilder, Looch and Soulstrikes coming in to fill the vacancies. It is as yet unclear how these changes will affect the bombers, but it looks like we’ll be seeing something different from the defending champions in Split 2.
The last split saw the Bombers and the Chiefs clash in three classic matches as they disputed for the best team in the OPL. whilst it didn’t necessarily pan out to be the grand final previews most people some them to be, they still brought some great nail biters. Whilst changes to lineups and the meta see these two clubs lose their undisputed claims to the throne, for now, this matchup should still be as explosive as previous meetings.
Ultimately, I see this game going in favour of the Chiefs, as the pre-existing synergy and an overall stronger roster will lead them to victory.