The second split of League of Legends Oceanic Pro League (OPL) is slated to kick off on Friday, June 5, with four exciting fixtures, including a long-awaited Split 1 grand finals rematch between Legacy Esports and Dire Wolves in the final match of the day.
Pentanet.gg ended Split 1 at an underwhelming sixth place with a 7-14 record and instead of building on the foundations this team had, Pentanet.gg opted to make roster changes. Nevertheless, the signing of Jackson “Pabu” Pavone as the new starting jungler is surely an improvement this team needed both due to his individual quality and strong leadership he will bring to the roster. While I would not like to bash Paris “Souli” Sitzoukis for his performances, he was simply not up to par with the standards and deserves all the criticism that is coming his way.
This player change also shows Pentanet.gg have inspirations to make some noise in the league and that they’re not participating only to receive an attendance award. Nevertheless, they should prepare for a tough match against Chiefs, who are a household name in the OPL and not because they have been here for a while, but because Chiefs are one of the most successful teams Oceanic LoL scene has ever had.
Chiefs underperformed last split, finishing third, however the fact that a bronze medal is a huge disappointment for them only goes to show Chiefs have high goals set for themselves, and rightfully so. This season I expect to see a bit more from Brandon “Claire” Nguyen, as well as further improvement form Park “Croc” Jong-hoon and Robert “Katsurii” Gouv, and if those three pieces fall into place, we might be looking at the new OPL champions. Expect Chiefs to get off to a flying start and secure a win over Pentanet.gg.
Prediction: Chiefs Esports Club -7.5 kills
MAMMOTH are clearly not the same powerhouse they once were, but there was some visible improvement throughout the last split, especially after they fixed their bottom lane issues. Nevertheless, I’m not too excited about this team and their future. MAMMOTH’s decision to part ways with their Sam “Kweku” Eyeson-Annan was a shock to say the least, but to make matters worse, they decided to relocate Tristan “Lived” Fulcher from mid to top lane in favour of Wang “GDX” Xiaogang.
Those moves raise a lot of questions, namely how good GDX really is and can he contribute enough to the team while Lived adapts to his new role? I’m not sure and probably MAMMOTH aren’t either, but until we see them in action, I have my doubts about MAMMOTH’s new plan.
Avant, on the other side, decided to let go of their top laner Dragon “Dragku” Guo, who failed to deliver with his rather subpar performances. His replacement, Daniel “Papryze” Francis will be making his return to the OPL stage after spending last season with Legacy Genesis which raises some questions about how well is he prepared to perform at the highest level. Nevertheless, he will have his work cut out for him as he is facing Lived in his debut for Avant.
With the new players and role swaps, we can expect a match that will see plenty of kills on both sides, nevertheless, siding with Avant is still the best bet to take.
Prediction: Avant -6.5 kills
Gravitas went through quite a turbulent Split which was plagued by changes and mediocrity. The fact that Gravitas swapped out three players in the span of two months tells me both that they’re not sure how to build their team and that they’re trying to find the right mixture of players to reach their ambitions and contest the title. While that might still be a bit out of their reach, Gravitas are entering Split 2 with a much better team to what they had at the start of Split 1.
The departure of Pabu is still one of the hottest topics in the team, however with Kweku as his replacement, Gravitas should do just fine. Additionally, ADC Nathan “Puma” Puma has shown a lot of promise and while he will need some more time to blossom and develop into a proper star, he is still a huge positive in this team. ORDER, on the other side, did not make any changes to their roster and I don’t feel like changes are something this team needs. Last season ORDER played well and while they crashed out of the playoffs in the second round, they at least pushed Dire Wolves to a five map series which is a sign of quality.
ORDER are a team that might fly under the radar of many but this team is strong. Their ambitions are nothing less than a title and for them to get one step closer to claiming that goal they should come out of the gates swinging. Expect ORDER to secure a comfortable win against the shaky Gravitas.
Prediction: ORDER -6.5 kills
It does not get any better than seeing an Oceanic Pro League grand final rematch on the opening night of the new split, just six weeks after these two teams duked it out for the title. As we know, Legacy won the previous match in a fairly convincing fashion and while that will give them some added morale boost to repeat their success on Friday, it will also inspire Wolves to hunt for a revenge kill.
It’s incredibly difficult to set these two stacked rosters apart, however we can all agree this match will likely come down to the mid lane where Tally will look to prove his worth and establish himself as the starting mid laner for Legacy and Ari “Shok” Greene-Young, who will do his best to carry his team to another victory.
Legacy are entering this split as the alpha dogs of the league and the main favourites to hoist the title once more, however I am not too keen on siding against Wolves here. Shok and his team have been improving at a rapid pace throughout the last season and they have proven before they can take on anyone. Additionally, this is a BO1 fixture, which gives Wolves a great chance to catch Legacy off guard and claim their revenge win or at very least keep this match close.
Prediction: Dire Wolves +5.5 kills