The first split of the 2020 Oceanic Pro League is almost upon us.
With it comes 84 regular season games across a triple round robin, as the league’s eight teams duke it out for a place in the competition’s newly expanded postseason, and a chance of winning the Oceanic title.
While not every game and every win is important, there are some fixtures and matchups that could prove vital in where championship hopefuls and tail-end battlers will place come season’s end ?— which is why Snowball Esports has taken a magnifying glass to the Pro League’s story for 2020 Split 1, including key battles and vital results for the teams.
Legacy Esports vs Order
- Week 1 ?— 4pm Saturday, February 1
- Week 5 ?— 5pm Friday, February 28
- Week 8 ?— 5pm Saturday, March 21
With many tipping Legacy and Order to lead the way early in the Pro League, and potentially duel for the right to represent the region at the Mid-Season Invitational at the end of the season, their three meetings in Split 1 may hold the key to the crown ?— assuming they live up to expectations.
Their first meeting comes early, with the two contenders squaring up on Summoner’s Rift during the split’s opening weekend. This match may well set the tone for who will be the leader and who will be the chaser in the head-to-head battle.
Clean and precise communication is what wins teams trophies… and #ORDERLOL have the art perfected ?? pic.twitter.com/5DmmSP7xWo
— ORDER (@ORDER_army) January 28, 2020
Additional matches on Friday in Week 5, and Saturday in Week 8 will continue to reveal just how the two star-studded squads stack up, with the battle on March 21 even an early chance to become a minor premiership decider if the two stay neck and neck in Split 1.
Dire Wolves vs Pentanet.GG
- Week 1 ?— 6pm Saturday, February 1
- Week 5 ?— 7pm Friday, February 28
- Week 8 ?— 6pm Saturday, March 21
If we see a league where two teams ?— Legacy and Order ?— are gunning for title glory, there will of course be a chasing pack, where both the newly-formed Pentanet.GG and Avant Gaming may find themselves alongside four-time champions the Dire Wolves and the Chiefs.
These four squads will want to earn as many victories against each other as possible, and put themselves in the best position heading into the end of the season should Legacy or Order not reach the high water mark many are drawing out for them heading into the year.
Pete: I’ll give you a grand to decorate the house if you bowl a strike with your left hand.@getback71: pic.twitter.com/KPdq4XXz8V
— Pentanet.GG (@PentanetGG) January 18, 2020
The Wolfpack and the new Perth roster will meet early in the split, with a meeting on the first Saturday of the split currently on the docket. Both teams will have title aspirations, and a win over the other will give them a strong leg-up in that regard, and in terms of a potential push for the best possible postseason seeding.
With Brandon “BioPanther” Alexander and Jarrod “Getback” Tucker both departing the Wolfpack after multi-year stints with the team, they’ll also want to prove they made the right decision siding with the west coast newcomers in 2020 ?— they’ll be hungry for the wins.
Avant Gaming vs The Chiefs
- Week 1 ?— 7pm Saturday, February 1
- Week 5 ?— 4pm Friday, February 28
- Week 8 ?— 4pm Saturday, March 21
After missing out on the OPL’s 2019 Split 2 gauntlet in heartbreaking circumstances, Avant Gaming will want to take their team of up-and-coming talent back to the postseason.
A key face-off in that quest will be when they meet the Chiefs, and one that may be a mountain to climb for the org ?— the battle between the two blue squads have been decidedly one-sided. Avant have failed to win a single game against the Chiefs from 2016-2019, and have never claimed a series win against them in the Oceanic Pro League era.
One fateful night, @Dragku_OCE was sick of losing all of his solo queue games… pic.twitter.com/a9Hc621SEV
— Avant (@AvantGaming) January 20, 2020
Luckily, AV will have three chances during the season to break this haunting trend, and considering one win was the difference between the squad making finals last split, and being left out in the cold, a historic win over the Chiefs could be the key to their extended campaign.
The two teams will first meet in the opening weekend, when the Chiefs look to extend their 17-map win streak over the other, and deliver a potential statement for the rest of the league.
The Chiefs vs Legacy Esports
- Week 4 ?— 7pm Friday, February 21
- Week 7 ?— 7pm Friday, March 13
- Week 10 ?— 9pm Saturday, April 4
The OPL Classico. The rivalry that stretches times and titles, back to an era before the Pro League, and before the Chiefs and Legacy even existed.
After 2019 saw these two combatants on opposite ends of the ladder, which handed the Chiefs a 6–0 calendar record over their rivals, it seems the clash should be a little closer with both teams picking up decent rosters in the offseason.
With former Chiefs like Quen “Raes” Korebrits and Legacy’s prodigal son Leo “Babip” Romer crossing, and re-crossing the battlefield, it seems like the rivalry could even be set to take on a whole new level.
What’s the password? #OPLTRADES pic.twitter.com/45nm4kx80z
— Legacy Esports (@LegacyOCE) January 15, 2020
This series will see some primetime bangers, with fixtures scheduled for 7pm Friday in Week 4, 7pm Friday in Week 7, and finally the last match of the regular season on April 4, these games are surely going to bring lots of eyes, and lots of excitement.
While these games may be some of the more important depending on how the first few weeks of the split shapes up, that doesn’t mean every match isn’t key for one reason or another.
Don’t miss the start of the Oceanic Pro League this Friday at 4pm AEDT, kicking off with Avant Gaming vs Legacy Esports at watch.lolesports.com.