The teams are locked in and, this weekend, the first matches of the OCE Winter Regional will get underway. The top four placed teams will progress to the OCE Winter Playoffs, to be held on stage at the 2014 Perth Supanova Convention.
The Round of Eight will run over five days, with the first set of matches as follows:
Team Immunity v Check Main Sestysage
Team Immunity, winners of the Autumn Regional and reigning Season Three Oceanic champions will face the unknown quantity from New Zealand, Check Main Sestysage (CMS).
Although CMS are unequivocally the underdogs in this matchup, they managed to defeat the University of New South Wales, the University of Queensland and Your Soul Shall Chuffer in the Winter Arena to secure their spot in the round of eight, proving that they are not to be written off.
Expect to see aggressive early rotations from Immunity as they attempt to assert dominance over CMS, who will need to build an early lead to have any hope of shutting down their opponent.
Avant Garde Redemption v Curse
Redemption and Curse are both coming into the Winter Regional with something to prove.
Redemption were sent home from the Autumn Regional Qualifiers by Optic Snipers in an unlikely 2-1 upset that must still weigh on the team’s collective conscience; Curse will be playing their first major tournament under the banner of an international gaming powerhouse.
Although their first match will be played against Curse, the real battle for Redemption will lie in them proving that they are more than simply “the other Avant team”. Meanwhile, Curse OCE have become the Atlas of the scene. Since Dignitas’ recent withdrawal from Oceania, the burden to show the world (and Curse proper) that the region is worthy of their attention rests firmly on the shoulders of the lineup formerly known as Little Wraith.
This match means a lot to both teams and one should be mindful of the fact that they are both very solid units. Redemption have been consistent performers, despite the setback suffered during the leadup to the Autumn Regionals, and are undoubtedly due for some big results. This will definitely be a match worth watching.
Avant Garde Ascension v Team UTS
Team UTS is the representative squad of the University of Technology, Sydney’s League of Legends Society (LoLSoc) and the only collegiate team to qualify for the Winter Regional.
Lead by OCE veteran Chuffer, UTS won the Winter Arena qualifier and now find themselves matched against Ascension, the consistent performers of the region. Ascension’s measured playstyle will pose a good test for UTS as they dip their toe into major competition for the first time.
Team Nv v Your Soul Shall Chuffer
Although Chuffer himself now plays for Team UTS, the team that he lent his name to have continued to post good results in his absence. Your Soul Shall Chuffer are a very capable lineup, however they will have to be on their game to have a chance of toppling the Autumn Regional runners up.
Team Nv are an extremely cohesive contingent and have shown that they are able to overcome significant gold deficits after lane phase with superior rotations and teamfighting. Vision control through mid-game will be crucial in this matchup.
Other OCE News
Unfortunately Dignitas OCE, formerly known as Frenetic Array, did not manage to qualify for the round of eight. Fray, as they have become known in OCE, recently lost one of their core players, LittleUberGiant, after he left to pursue a career in the Australian Football League and have subsequently been released by Dignitas.
Rumours have circulated that Fray’s continued support from Dignitas was contingent upon them qualifying for the Autumn Regional Round of Eight, however these claims remain unconfirmed. In a statement issued on 13 May 2014, Sui announced that Dignitas would be releasing their OCE League of Legends team and delaying their expansion into Oceania until a more stable lineup can be found.
Avant Garde has worked hard as an organisation to build a supportive, nurturing environment for their players. In the months following the Autumn Regional, Avant faced the challenge of integrating the newly acquired Mindfreak eSports lineup (Ascension) while simultaneously rebuilding their existing team (Redemption) after a shattering loss to Optic Snipers and consequent failure to qualify for the Autumn Regional.
Many have questioned the viability of a single organisation maintaining two separate lineups in a region as small as OCE however, now that both Ascension and Redemption have qualified for the Winter Regional, Avant has an opportunity to show the wisdom of their decision.
Day one of the Winter Round of Eight begins at 5pm AEST on 24 May 2014 and streams of the matches will be available on the Riot Games Oceania Youtube Channel. Tune in and show your support for OCE eSports.