When ORDER take to the 2022 Mid-Season Invitational stage this Tuesday evening, there’s one thing on the menu: salt. Kevy already told Dot Esports the League of Legends world cannot underestimate the LCO. Ian “Corporal” Pearse’s message is even simpler—be ready for a major region meltdown if ORDER starts winning.
“Can you imagine Reddit, Twitter, if we go out and we’re beating North America and Europe?” the ORDER support laughs. “It would be like that PGG–C9 game, but times ten.”
Of course, Oceania again finds itself with long odds to escape an international League group. Paired with the tournament’s 2019 winners G2 Esports and NA darlings Evil Geniuses, Australia’s latest daring representatives are under no illusions that they’re sitting in pole position for a Rumble Stage qualifying place.
But, again, imagine the salt, Corporal laughs. Just imagine.
“We’re pretty used to being written off, this ORDER team,” the Australian-Japanese star continued. “Just after we won [LCO 2022 Split One, in a 3–2 battle], I actually saw an article from a week before. It was some overseas publication saying who would go to MSI, and Chiefs, Peace, they were there. We weren’t even there.
“It was like, there’s four teams left in playoffs, and they didn’t even have us. It was Peace, Pentanet, and Chiefs. Well, we proved that wrong, in the end. Really wrong.”
There’s another MSI motivation boiling for ORDER too.
Last year, against the odds, Pentanet.GG qualified for the Rumble Stage in Iceland. The progression pitted the then-LCO champs against Damwon Gaming, Royal Never Give Up, MAD Lions, PSG Talon, and Cloud9 and put the lens on Oceania.
This time around, ORDER want to go beyond that.
Not by making semi-finals, Corporal adds—though that would, of course, be an instant jewel in Australia’s esports crown. No, instead the support means qualifying from Group C this year. PGG had to make it past one of RNG (who finished 8–0) and UOL. It boiled down to a best-of-five with the Russian champs. This time, Oceania has to beat one of two major regions.
“I think if we make it through this year, that would be even more epic [than Oceania’s 2021 performance],” Corporal said. “If we send one of EG or G2 home, that’s big. I think we’re really confident that we could do it too.
“There’s something BioPanther has been saying to us as much as he can, and it’s that it doesn’t matter who we’re playing. Every game is new. He doesn’t give a fuck who he’s versing and he just thinks of the champions. He’s got this confidence that really comes us for us all, and we’re getting more confident by the day.
“Add to that,” the support said, “we know LCS and LEC way more than they know us. We watch these teams, we know how they play. There’s room there for upsets.”
Expect ORDER to keep playing their own style in that hunt too, Corporal tells Dot Esports. The playstyle that got them to the pinnacle of Oceania in Split One hasn’t led them astray yet. The sins of past wildcard teams trying to copy major regions won’t be repeated by the black-and-purple representatives.
“We’ll take things as they come and see where we get,” he said.
ORDER begin their 2022 Mid-Season Invitational journey in Busan, Korea this Tuesday, May 10 at 8pm AEST. They face European heavyweights G2 Esports first up.