The sixth season of League of Legends Oceanic Pro League (OPL) is set to make a return on Friday, June 5, with Split 2, which will see Legacy Esports look to defend their title.
The sixth season of League of Legends Oceanic Pro League (OPL) is set to make a return on Friday, June 5, with Split 2, which will see Legacy Esports look to defend their title. We take a closer look at the season ahead and provide our esports betting tips for the overall winner.
Similar to the first split, OPL Split 2 regular season will feature eight Oceanic League of Legends teams, who will duke it out in a triple round-robin best-of-one (BO1) format across 10 competitive weeks.
The first nine weeks will be divided into two competitive days, while the 10th and final week of the regular season will feature 12 matches in total played across two days. The regular season is scheduled to end on Saturday, August 8 and succeeded by OPL Split 2 playoffs, which usually begin a week later.
The playoffs will see the top five teams from the regular season, who will be seeded into a double-elimination bracket, based on their final placement. Unlike most other LoL leagues, who use a best-of-three (BO3) format for the playoffs matches and best-of-five (BO5) only for the grand finals, OPL will use BO5 format for all matches.
This is a newly implemented rule for the 2020 season, as OPL has previously used King of the Hill elimination bracket to determine the champions of the splits. One small deviation from many other double-elimination bracket formats in OPL is that the bracket winners are not favoured in the grand finals besides the side selection for the first game.
Whether the removal of the gauntlet format was the right call is up to debate, nevertheless, if OPL Split 1 is to go by, the double-elimination format can produce just as exciting, and perhaps even more frantic matches. And since OPL teams made little to no changes in the off-season, we can expect much of the same in Split 2, so we better strap in and watch the chaos unfold.
Last season we saw how close the OPL can get, as the final standings ahead of the playoffs were not certain until the very last game between Chiefs Esports Club and Legacy Esports. The latter will be entering the second split of the season, as the reigning champions, and are sitting at the top of the rankings to repeat their success and go all the way once more at odds of $2.25, closely followed by seven-time OPL champions Chiefs Esports Club at $2.50.
Below the two alpha dogs of the Oceanic Pro League sit Dire Wolves at $8.00 and ORDER at $10.00 as two teams who could potentially produce an upset run and win their first OPL title, while Avant Gaming ($34.00), Pentanet.GG ($51.00), Gravitas ($101.00) and MAMMOTH ($201.00) are given zero to no chance to make any serious noise this split.
While there is a huge disparity between the odds, it’s completely justifiable. Legacy and Chiefs proved to be a class above all other teams throughout Split 1 and since there were not many roster changes happening in the off-season, it’s fair to assume their dominance will continue into this split.
The biggest change in Legacy Esports was the re-signing of their mid laner James “Tally” Shute, who throughout the last split shared his play time with Jang “EMENES” Min-soo, who left the team mid-split. This signing, however, won’t change Legacy’s identity even the slightest, which is by no means a bad thing. Tally has proven his worth last split, helping his team produce a 9-2 record in 11 games he has played throughout the regular season and later showcased his skill and deep champion pool in Legacy’s run through the playoffs. What’s more, Tally ended the OPL Split 1 regular season and playoffs with the highest KDA (7.43 and 7.69 respectively) out of all mid laners so it’s fair to say Legacy Esports are set to claim the throne once more.
Like Legacy Esports, their biggest rivals for the title, Chiefs Esports Club did not make any drastic changes to their roster. The only change came at the end of May, when Chiefs acquired coach Ben “Kai” Stewart, formerly of Dire Wolves and decided to promote top laner Dragon “Dragku” Guo to the main roster.
Throughout the Split 1, Chiefs established themselves as one of the two main favourites to go the distance and claim their eighth OPL title, however their second-place finish in the regular season was rather disappointing. Adding salt to the wound, Chiefs eventually fell apart in the playoffs, where they dropped the ball against Dire Wolves in the semis, thus missed out on making their second consecutive finals appearance.
Nevertheless, Chiefs are not a team anyone should ignore when the topic of OPL title contenders comes up and they are one of our best betting tips for the title. Their mid laner Brandon “Claire” Nguyen is undeniably one of the best players Oceania has ever produced and while he has struggled in Split 1, this split will be a perfect opportunity for the 22-year-old to prove once more he is nothing less than a superstar of his region.
It’s hard to ignore how dominant Legacy Esports were in Split 1, however, that does not convince me OPL is a one-horse race, not as long as Chiefs Esports are in the same competition. There is no denying that Legacy Esports bested Chiefs three times last season, albeit we can’t help but feel like Chiefs severely underperformed last split and should look much sharper this time around.
Claire was one of the main culprits for Chiefs’ underwhelming performances, but not so much because he played poorly, but rather because he didn’t play at the level we know he can. Will Claire recapture his old form in Split 2 is anyone’s guess, however there is no reason for Chiefs to enter this split with anything less than the title on their mind.
Their new jungler Park “Croc” Jong-hoon has proved to be a force to be reckoned with in his maiden split, which earned him Rookie of the Split and MVP award and there is no telling what the young Korean pro will be capable of now that he has fully assimilated in the team. Talking about exceptional individual performances, Chiefs’ ADC Robert “Katsurii” Gouv has proven his team can count on his to deliver when it matters and if he can continue improving at the same pace, we might be looking at the new Oceanic superstar in the making.
Individual quality alone, Chiefs are more or less at the same level as Legacy, but what convinces me to put Chiefs slightly ahead of Legacy is the signing of coach Kai, who has done wonders with Dire Wolves and we expect his expertise are exactly what Chiefs need to make the final push and claim the OPL throne.