Welcome to the second part of the first edition of the OPL Lowdown for Split 2 2018, a weekly segment right here on Respawn Ninja that will cover what you should be looking for in each week of the OPL. This edition will briefly recap the offseason as well, but if you want more in-depth offseason analysis be sure to check out our Split 2 OPL Shuffle here as well as the Lowdown for the first two games of the week here

Avant Gaming vs Tectonic

This will be the second battle of the imports for the week when a rebuilt Tectonic go up against the perennial fifth-placed Avant Gaming. Tectonic have brought in three new players, including two imports into the botlane as well as veteran Sybol in the jungle, while Avant have also brought in a new jungler in the form of former Dire Wolves sub Praelus as well as a Spanish AD Carry with DarkSide. All of these recruits look strong so it should be a great series.

For Tectonic, their first OPL series victory beckons, and if they are going to put that 1 in the Wins column this week Sybol needs to have established his synergy with all lanes, as it’s through Shok and potentially the new botlane that Tectonic will shake up their reputation. Papryze loves a carry toplaner, so when he goes up against Pabu sparks will fly, and whoever wins that matchup will exert so much pressure on the top side of the map. Expect Gangplank, Camille and Gnar to make appearances, but don’t be surprised if Ornn and Cho’Gath show up in a game or two.

New faces, new home; Avant Gaming looks fresh for Split 2 – Source: Avant Gaming Twitter

This series could go either way in milliseconds, and if Avant want the win Praelus will need to outplay Sybol. Praelus has studied under Shernfire for a while now, so I’m sure some aggression will show up, whether it be through champion pick or jungling/ganking paths. DarkSide, their new AD Carry, is still quite an unknown quantity and the game could turn on him stepping up as he begins his new career in the OPL. This series will be very close, but I’m going to give the narrow victory to Tectonic as they’ve preserved the strengths of their time while also shoring up potential weak spots in their game. The offseason has been fruitful for the New Zealand-based side, and I look forward to seeing how they show up this season.

My Pick: Tectonic 2 – 1 Avant Gaming

Dire Wolves vs Order

At the start of Split 1 this year, these were the two teams that were expected to make the finals. On one side, we had two-time defending OPL champions Dire Wolves, coming off a Worlds appearance at the end of 2017, and on the other we had brand new super-team ORDER, managed by OPL caster Jake “Spawn” Tiberi. However, ORDER suffered a shock loss in the Gauntlet to Legacy after placing third in the regular season behind the Chiefs and Dire Wolves, while the Wolfpack stayed true and took their third consecutive OPL split. The only change in the rosters is BioPanther, a rookie toplaner promoted from the Wolfpack’s OCS team Dire Cubs, coming in to replace Chippys who recently moved to MAMMOTH, the rebranded SIN Gaming.

Can Dire Wolves stay on top of the food chain? – Source: OPL Website

Dire Wolves come into the series as favourites, and if they want to continue their unbeaten streak Shernfire is going to have to make frequent trips to the toplane to prevent Tally from bullying BioPanther, and allowing that pressure to overflow to the rest of the map. Triple going up against Swiffer will be a great battle to watch, and if either of them opt for global champions like Taliyah and Galio, the moment the wave is favourable expect them to start roaming. The Wolfpack has the advantage, they might not even need the roaming champions if k1ng and Cupcake feel comfortable going up against FBI and Rogue.

ORDER can easily take the series, and if that is to happen Spookz will need to keep Shernfire occupied so Tally can outplay BioPanther. FBI and Rogue can go toe to toe with the Wolfpack’s botlane, and if Spookz does make consistent ganks around the map ORDER can win the early game and carry that on for the rest of the game. I wouldn’t be surprised if ORDER take the Caitlyn for FBI in order to push early to enable the rest of the team. However, as OPL champions, I’d never pick against the Dire Wolves, although ORDER could take a game off them.

My Pick: Dire Wolves 2 – 1 ORDER

And that wraps up OPL Lowdown for Day 2  of OPL Split 2 2018! Keep your eyes out for the week’s recap early next week right here on Respawn Ninja! And always, you can watch the games over on Twitch on Fridays and Saturdays from 5pm AEST.

Watch live here: https://www.twitch.tv/opl