Beniona: Diamond Division Predictions
From Beniona: Diamond-capped Standings, Predictions and Highlight Matches
On January 25th, 2018, I released my Power Rankings in order to begin discussion on how the new and old teams of OKLCS, which had various roster changes, would perform in the ever-increasing competitive OKLCS. The purpose of this article is to follow up on the power rankings, my view on the state of the league with some small predictions for the rest of the season leading into playoffs, and set the storylines for the Diamond-capped OKLCS.
Previous Power Rankings and Current Standings
Previous Power Rankings:
1.) SKY 4-1 (+2)
2.) APCH 4-1 (+4)
3.) RoK 3-2 (-2)
4.) WADU 3-2 (+4)
5.) GSM 2-3 (-3)
5.) SNEK 2-3 (0)
5.) OU 2-3 (+4)
5.) OGR 2-3 (+4)
5.) 2F2F 2-3 (-1)
10.) ONE 1-4 (-3)
Currently in the OKLCS, there is a clear Top 4 with close standings decided by the head-to-head record of SKY|Zero beating Apache and Reign of Kings beating Wadu Hek. Then, there is a 5-way tie for 5th place with some head-to-heads, but until the dust settles over the next few weeks, we won’t truly know about the placement of these teams. And sitting in a lonely, sad place is United as ONE.
TOP 4 TEAMS
All Top 4 teams are nearly guaranteed playoffs save them dropping all their games to the end of the season, and for that reason they get their individual team write ups.
1) SKY|Zero leads the league with a 4-1 record. Their games tend to snowball through good plays from TheUnrealObama playing off the strength of his dominant solo laners Garbleazy and AllMighty. SKY is nearly undefeated in the season, dropping only one set of games when their toplaner was substituted out. I personally have been really impressed by SKY’s performance and attribute a lot of it to their new coach. Every week, AllMighty releases a highlight video of SKY’s OKLCS games, and you can hear how clean and clear their communication is. SKY does their best to ensure that their opposition has a Zero chance of winning as they head to playoffs in a comfy first-place spot.
2) Apache eSports trails slightly behind SKY|Zero, having dropped a game to them at 4-1, losing the head-to-head. Apache tends to win through their impressive jungler, Aikado, making all the right moves on the map and Renjii and General Vici putting strong midlane and botlane carry performances. That being said, my prediction is that Apache eSports will sink through the standings in their upcoming weeks. Their first 5 matches of the season were versus the teams that many in the OKLCS consider to be weaker teams, and the only time this roster was tested, they failed and looked foolish versus SKY. Although they lead the league with impressive game stats, I believe that due to their easy early-season schedule, this team is overhyped and will drop to third or fourth place before playoffs.
3)Reign of Kings sits behind the first and second place teams at 3-2, losing a series to SKY|Zero in the first week of OKLCS and dropping a series to none other than OGR. Reign of Kings looks dominant in games that they do win through a controlled jungle pace of Hastega and superior teamfight in the mid and late game stages of the game. The chink in the king’s armour is that this team has a tendency to spaghetti their early game and create large deficits that are nearly impossible to come back from. As the season continues and Reign of Kings fixes their early game bumps, this team will be scary to meet in playoffs.
4)Wadu Hek is in fourth place, having an identical 3-2 as Reign of Kings but losing the head-to-head matchup as well as a game to team Land Snek. WADU’s wins all come from very aggressively snowballed early games, and both of their losses came in different manners. Both of their losses are in similar fashion, where they draft snowballing comps but fail to create a lead in the first 15 minutes. WaduHek lost their typical early game fashion versus Syfy as he outmatched them with strong ganking plays on his signature Gragas, and Player 1 was unable to break through Reign of Kings dominant vision and map control leaving him with no options until teamfights came around and WaduHek fell apart. One thing is for sure; this team has some “WaduHek” games whether they win or lose. Either “WaduHek happened to our early game, they’re up 6k gold at 15 minutes,” or “WaduHek are they doing everyone looks like headless chickens.” WADU and SKY share similar aggressive playstyles, it just feels like WADU has the weaker solo laners and thus snowball games less efficiently.
Most likely to make it to Playoffs:
These three teams have the greatest chance to make it to playoffs based on their 4 remaining games and with how they have played throughout the season. For that reason, the next rest of the teams in the article will have their schedules displayed for reference
GSM: [ONE] + 2F2F + SKY + APCH
GSM has shown that even with what appears to be a shaky team environment, they do have the raw talent to make it to playoffs. GSM has recently replaced their toplaner, iClutch, with Lmpressive. This change is supposed to be a more team-oriented one and what I predict to be a successful swap. iClutch would take a large amount of team resources by playing greedy picks like Gangplank, Riven, Camille and Swain but bringing little of his carry success to the rest of his team. With a change to their toplaner and a successful recovery from surgery by ADC Mystik Decay, I can see GSM shaping back into form to make it through to playoffs with their future schedule. GSM’s road to playoffs is barely in their hands, though; as long as they win their next two matchups, they will successfully scrape into playoffs. I look forward to seeing if GSM is able to correctly play around their new addition to their roster or if they, like others have done in the past, fall apart mid season through roster swaps.
SNEK: OGR + RoK + [ONE] + 2F2F
Team Land Snek has shown that they are Top 4 team caliber, especially when given their comfort picks. The reason this team has failed to find more success is due to some very awkward coordination in what can only be Syfy being integrated to the SNEK roster. We saw in their game versus Apache that as soon as Syfy’s plays start going wrong, they go very wrong and end up losing SNEK the game. Either a change in team direction, or just coming together in games where Syfy is not having his A-game can make SNEK a fearsome opponent. The rest of their season is easy enough for them to make it through the season into playoffs, and I look forward to seeing how SNEK develops to compete.
OGR: SNEK + WADU + OU +[ONE]
It pains me to have to include OGR in the “likely to make it to playoffs” section of the article, but credit where it is due: OGR has taken games off of RoK and 2F2F in what is kind of the opposite of Apache eSports schedule (very difficult in the beginning of the season and easier in the end). In addition to this, since the beginning of the split they have changed their bot lane to include TrueHeart and Takeshi Køvacs which seems like a good upgrade that the team needed. In a world where GSM does not shape into form and 2F2F are unable to hold enough total wins, OGR can easily swoop in, make it to playoffs and make me eat my words from my first article.
Bottom 3 Teams, unlikely to make it to playoffs:
2F2F: RoK + GSM + WADU + SNEK
2F2F is the team that all teams wanting to make playoffs should measure themselves against. Stealing a set off SKY|Zero does not look like it will be enough for Tu Fast Tu Furious as they have yet to face three very tough teams and GSM. It’s hard to see a world where 2F2F makes it to playoffs, but it requires all other teams to drop upset games and for 2F2F to defeat GSM and win the head-Tu-head. It's good to see that 2F2F is unlikely to make it as AgentA2 will need to be available to shoutcast the games.
OU: SKY + APCH + OGR + RoK
Nightmare fuel- their schedule is absolute nightmare fuel. Having to face the top three teams of the league in order to make playoffs is the type of storyline that gets placed in superhero movies. It’s a shame to see, because if OU Diamond had a consistent roster, I strongly believe that they would have made playoffs off the talented individuals of Rito Torchic, Narcoleptic, and Balinbow. Thankfully these eAthletes still have their education because their OKLCS career is over come playoffs.
[ONE]: GSM + SKY + SNEK + OGR
Sitting at a sad 1-4, [ONE] sees very little hope in making playoffs; not only do they need to +1 win above whatever their direct competition has, one of their games is vs SKY|Zero, and they have lost all the necessary head-to-heads in order to make it to 5th and 6th place. United as [ONE] looks like a free win to many teams, and a scrim set to others.
Upcoming Highlight Matches
Week 6: Feb. 25-Mar. 3
WADU v. APCH
This game matters a lot for playoffs position and what team gets a bye. APCH has to defend their second place position, and even if WADU wins this, WADU would still only be in third place as they have lost the head-to-head vs RoK. This is the first of many difficult matches that Apache eSports has to face in order to prove that they are Top 4 material. Be sure to keep an eye on Aikado and Player 1 as both of these junglers set the tone for their team, making plays in the early game to generate advantages that define these teams’ playstyles.
SNEK v. OGR
A middle-of-the-pack playoffs game, SNEK has to win this in order to prove that they are playoffs material, and at the same time make sure that I don't look silly writing off OGR from making playoffs. This is the first of many games that SNEK and OGR will have to play in order to prove themselves and should serve as a good foundation for both teams to have if they do make playoffs. These teams have to work harder than other teams in the league to make it to playoffs, and will not be receiving byes.
Week 7: Mar. 4-10
GSM v. 2F2F
Another playoff game with large implications in the middle of the standings. Currently all teams that wish to make it to playoffs have beaten 2F2F with the exception of their upset versus SKY|Zero. If GSM wants to redeem their team name, and Lmpressive wants to make a name for himself, it will be trial by Fury. Weenie has shown that he is not the strongest top laner of the league, so Lmpressive can show other top laners that he is a different caliber than the rest.
Week 8: Mar. 11-17
APCH v. RoK
Another series in which Apache has to defend their bye, but this time Reign of Kings is also contesting for the Top 2 spot in playoffs. If Reign of Kings wins this set, maybe my first article will be memed less, but who are we kidding, have you read that thing? I expect this game to truly be the “Is Apache overrated because they had an easy early schedule or not” test that is needed. The battle of the behemoths between Beniona and Slappy in toplane will be a spectacle for all to watch. In the bottom lane, both General Vici with Himana and Sickly with Babyfufu are regarded as some of the best bot laners in OKLCS. General Vici and Himana hold powerful stats in their roles; General Vici has the best KDA in the league at 8.1, and Himana has the highest vision score at 102, the only player in the league with a Vision Score average above 100. On the other side, Reign of Kings show that stats aren’t everything, they show strong teamwork in both 2v2 and teamfight dominance. It will be exciting to watch how both teams force their team playstyle onto the other, with Apache favoring a skirmish style comps and Reign of Kings going for teamfight centric comps.
Week 9: Mar. 18-24
WADU v. SKY
The two most aggressive teams in the league fight each other in the last week. A good preview towards playoffs, this match will determine seeding and will show teams if they need to be more afraid of Wadu Hek or the aggressive SKY|Zero. If WADU also beats Apache, they could potentially look to take a bye by beating the top two teams of the leaderboard. This would heavily help WADU since they tend to play one-dimensional aggressive styles, and a bye would help keep that concealed for the Finals.
APCH v. GSM
This matchup only matters if GSM versus 2F2F is a win for GSM. The new toplaner Lmpressive will be tested versus Season 4 Toplane MVP Slappy in order to see if he is worth his salt. The currently hyped General Vici and Himana will have to prove how dominant they are as a duo as they face the perceived weakest botlane in the OKLCS. This will be the easiest of the four games that Apache eSports has left in the season, but it will be a good indicator of GSM’s strength in playoffs if they make it this far.