Week 6’s Oceanic Pro League action was chaotic, to say the least. Order got their first 2-0 week for the split, Gravitas got the win over preseason favourites Legacy, and we laid witness to the end of the undefeated streak as the Chiefs fell to Dire Wolves.
Week 7 comes along as the next stage for the teams in the OPL to either carry their momentum, or put their losses behind them, as the march to playoffs continues.
With top teams looking to lock in their tickets for the new double-elimination-format playoffs from this week on, and teams on the outside trying to keep themselves in contention, every match matters.
Emma van der Brug, Alex Leckie-Zaharic and I are here to talk about the biggest matches of the week, with playoff positioning on the line in every bout.
Emma’s Feature Match of the Week: Order (6-6) vs Dire Wolves (8-4)
Prediction: Dire Wolves def. Order
The second match on Saturday is Order’s best chance to prove they belong in the finals. They come into this week off the back of a 2-0 weekend, while the Dire Wolves managed to split the week against top-two duo Legacy Esports and Chiefs.
After a long gruelling battle against the Chiefs last week, with Ha “Vital” In-seong and Ari “Shok” Greene-Young putting on impressive performances, the Dire Wolves are the favourites in this matchup and should take the win.
Order aren’t going to be pushovers though. Maintaining their Week 6 momentum will be pivotal in championing their playoff contention, but they would need to take down the Wolves and even Legacy and Chiefs in the remaining 4 weeks if they want to prove they can take the crown.
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The key for both team’s success in this game is the jungle match-up. Park “Mir” Mi-reu has had some great performances on Lee Sin in the past few weeks, and he will need to keep that up against Order. Jordan “Only” Middleton has shown a wide variety of picks recently, with his Karthus helping the Melbourne-based team secure a win against Pentanet last week.
Down in the bottom lane, Ha “Vital” In-seong and Daniel “Decoy” Ealam have really found their synergy, and their results are proving so. With Vital having more consistency in recent weeks, he’s proving that he’s not to be underestimated.
The Korean AD carry has made a huge improvement between their matches against the Chiefs alone. In their first matchup he had an 0/5/3 record, but in their most recent game last week, he turned that around with a 11/3/6 statline. With Decoy by his side, the bottom lane of Order better be prepared for what they’ll face on Saturday.
Harry’s Feature Match of the Week: Avant Gaming (3-9) v Gravitas (3-9)
Prediction: Avant Gaming def. by Gravitas
Avant Gaming and Gravitas find themselves two games adrift of fifth place and the playoffs coming into Week 7, meaning this clash on Friday evening will make-or-break each team’s hopes for a late playoffs push.
Avant are on a four-game losing streak, whilst Gravitas come into this week with some confidence after claiming the biggest upset of the split so far as they toppled second place Legacy last Saturday.
Gravitas should be able to use this new momentum this week to pick up the victory and attempt to roll into the postseason. Gravitas have made a number of changes, picking pieces from their 10-man roster to find what clicks and what doesn’t, and it seems like they have landed on their star roster.
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Ashley “TrAshley” White has moved into the support role, gelling well with bot laner Nathan “Puma” Puma, whilst solo laners Nathan “Beats” Nguyen and Lo “Siuman” Pak Man have swapped their lanes in-game multiple times to a decent amount of success.
On the other hand, Avant has looked lost these last couple of weeks. Their drafts have been sub-average and whilst they have put up a bit of a fight in some games, it hasn’t been reflected in their wins column.
Their ace in the sleeve, bot lane sub Vincent “Violet” Wong, who was undefeated after his first two games, was handed his first loss of the split against Order. However, Avant has looked like a different team with Violet, and should funnel into him again like they did in Gravitas in Week 4. His presence might not prove the difference this time though.
Alex’s Feature Match of the Week: Legacy Esports (10-2) vs The Chiefs Esports Club (11-1)
Prediction: Chiefs def. Legacy
Last time Chiefs and Legacy squared off on the Rift, it was to preserve their undefeated streak so far in the split and take sole possession of first place.
This time it’s a little bit different. The departure of Minsu “EMENES” Jang turned the midlane dynamic between Legacy and the Chiefs’ Brandon “Claire” Nguyen on its head, with Legacy slowly getting back into the swing of things with native toplaner James “Tally” Shute.
Both teams are fresh off losses in Week 6 with the Chiefs taking their first loss of the split against the third-placed Dire Wolves, while Legacy were stunned by Gravitas to drop only their second game of the split.
The Chiefs loss has evaporated some of their threatening aura, but a decisive victory over a new Legacy will go some way to healing the wounds.
For the Chiefs to win this, it’s time to unleash Park “Croc” Jong-hoon on another jungle carry. In the two teams’ last encounter, the import jungler showed remarkable presence on Nidalee and dominated the map. If he can have a similar performance on Friday, it might be too much for Legacy to handle.
Speaking of Legacy, they’ll need an equally as strong carry performance this week from Quin “Raes” Korebrits to get on top of the first-place outfit. If Leo “Babip” Romer can get the snowball rolling early, it could be the catalyst for Legacy surging ahead of the Chiefs this split.
However, the classic rock-paper-scissors dynamic of the top three should still hold true this weekend. A win for the Chiefs will practically lock them into playoffs, and put them in the hot seat to maintain that valuable number one seed.
The Oceanic Pro League returns this Friday.