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Thoughts of Bduhmana: We have reached the middle of the split, and there is finally some steady ground that certain teams have created-for better or for worse-while other teams have shown they like to swiftly move up or down in the standings on any given week. Peter Drucket said, “The best way to predict the future is to create it,” and since he was some smart dude, I absolutely agree with him. Below you will find your Power Rankings as they stand, some playoff predictions, and some insight from the teams themselves. What better way to start the last half of the season than judging who will end up on top?! Let the predictions commence…
Your Order Division Teams:
Late Stage Capitalism
Feed the Dream Black
Arctic Gaming Esports
Team GG (Gamma Gaming)
DoV eSports Rocket
First Place: Illumination Spectrum (4-1, +0 spots)
What does one find at the end of a dark night? Why, the light, of course! And that is just what Illumination Spectrum has continued to do-shed light on their ability to win. Now, I know, I know-this win was an FF by FTD, but it does place them at the top of the standings. When I asked the captain what he thought, he said, and I paraphrase, ‘Our team is the best of the best.” Okay, okay-he had way more sportspersonlike things to say that are definitely worth quoting, like, “i think our team is doing quite well… i haven’t been able to see most of the other teams but i think we rank pretty high with the other teams… i look forward to see what other teams are bringing in the upcoming weeks.” With them facing off against a team that has constantly been at the top of the standings, but is also undergoing a whole lot of change, it will definitely be a game iWORF watching-I know I will rewatch it after ours…
Prediction: 1st Place by Playoffs
Now, let me tell you why: they have competed against teams who had strong stats and continuously come out on top. Furthering this, the team shows a synergy towards one another that will help when games are so close you will need to trust your team-and that is exactly the type of stats this team continuously shows: they trust one another, and they win. If I had to put my money where my mouth was, I would still be placing this team at the top. Whether or not they can continue to stay at the top and prove they can win in the playoffs, however, will be up to them to prove.
Technically speaking, if they win every game they will end with 25 points by the time playoffs hit-with only one other team potentially able to do that since the other top tier teams play each other. However, their schedule isn’t necessarily a breeze by any means, so other teams have a chance to find their way to the top if they can get to 25 points (cough cough lookin’ at you Dov or !Rawr cough cough). With the schedule, it is also quite difficult for this team to potentially win every game. But, similarly, they don’t need to win every game in order to secure a top spot-they could even lose every game and it would still be up to other team matchups for them not to make playoffs. But there’s the hope if you are those other teams- there is a lot of opportunity for others to gain momentum since the teams Illumination play are also at the top and hyped to beat them for this spot.
Player To Watch: im destro
Eyes still on destro, but for two reasons: being a leader requires not just talent and skill, but the ability to look at situations in the best of times and worst of times and find ways to rally your team together. This player seems to have both talent and leadership, so my eyes will be on this carry to see if they have what it takes to continue being the best of the best. He will have to take on multiple botlanes that have shown they can destroy if given the resources. This will be a testament of will for the carry in a meta where jungle plays so heavily on early leads.
Second Place: !Rawr (3-1, -1 Spots?)
I almost want to put 0 spots since both DoV and !Rawr have still yet to play, so this almost isn’t quite a loss of placement as much as a need to show up when the game commences-especially since only one of them can potentially match the scoreline of Illumination Spectrum once this game is scheduled. IT also means that if they do win against DoV, they have the chance to over take Illumination for first place for playoffs. Doki feels confident they will secure a top 5 spot for playoffs, and likens it to the fact that his roster is interchangeable. This makes it quite hard for other teams to know what to expect…
Prediction: 3rd Place by Playoffs
It is hard to state whether or not they will be able to overthrow both Illumination and DoV in their last 5 games that they have to play. It will come down to a level of determination and consistency to continue to stay on top, which is something both Illumination and DoV have shown they do well. That being said, this team has explosive performances in their games and have shown they have a couple of strong carries that had disgusting KDAs. If any team can create an upset around the top 3 teams, it could be this team. Afterall, they do face both before playoffs-which means someone has to rise and someone will fall. However, this also means this team has the potential to be unpredictable to a fault and allow other teams working hard through their definitive visions to make a run for the playoffs in their place.
One thing is for sure: if they beat Dov, they will prove they have found a strategy that backs up their strengths-which strengthens their chances at also beating Illumination.
Player To Watch: Jdogish
We are still seeing a lot of player swaps from this team, but the carry seems to have a dual set of strong “supportive-style” carries to help-with Zyrah showing strong carry support stats on champions that can easily be played mid (not just easy-decidedly better against other midlaners so far with these picks). So eyes will be on the person who will need to carry, and the KDAs for this carry show a strong opportunity to do just that. Still looking to see what happens when they face off against Poro Snaccs this week, as that team has a chance to catch back up in the standings with two games this week and a bit more stability in their roster as they found some synergy as they picked up a couple other players who already synergize with their main carry.
Second Place: DoV eSports Rocket (3-1, -1 Spots)
It will be difficult to not say the exact same thing as above since this is the team that !Rawr still needs to face in order to show which of the top tier teams will break away at the top. That being said, this team is not the team above and has shown a strategy that works regardless of whether or not people are aware of it. That level of consistency can make or break a high stakes game, because they can rely on the leadership of their jungle to continuously give their opportunities for objective control while their botlane ensures they can carry through teamfights.
Of course, having to play both Illumination and !Rawr before the playoffs begin mean they will have to overcome an explosively unpredictable team and a team that has very similar strategy with a strong leadership that believes in their team. When faced with this challenge and their opportunity, their captain has said, “Team Rocket has grown so much over this season, however like anything, we are always looking for ways to improve. We are pleased with our progress and are fortunate to have an amazing roster with passionate and dedicated players, who are the true heart and soul of Team Rocket. Together we were able to unite during a difficult situation last week, and together we will stand strong against our opponents. Team Rocket will continue to fight to protect the world from devastation and denounce the evils of truth and love.
Looking to the end of the season, the goal for Team Rocket is to reach for the stars and aim for the top (1st place)! Hopefully our standings by then will be reflective of our ambitions.”
Prediction: 2nd Place by Playoffs
As their captain beautifully wrote, their goal is not second, but first. However, with their record in the first part of the split showing they are susceptible under pressure when a team has a specific strategy to counteract theirs and knows how to execute it properly. With the top two teams left in the split, as well as set up to play an undefeated team before the playoffs commence, this team will not only have to be perfect-but they will have to show they can play other strategies if things don’t go as perfectly planned…
Player to Watch: K1bakun
After hearing the strong confidence this captain has for his team, it will come down to finding the playmaking opportunities to ensure that teams like !Rawr, GG, and/or Illumination cannot sneak passed them in the standings. As mentioned before, the jungler’s ability to time engages shows a true communication and synergy amongst the lanes since the teamfights are seamless. That being said, Late Stage Capitalism made it very clear they employed a strategy in order to win against a team that looked unstoppable so it is possible to outplay them. That means it will be up to their playmaker to ensure that the carries stay ahead and the objectives get secured. Which is why I have them at second-even if they drop another game or two, it would be hard to see this team anywhere but at the top.
Fourth Place: Gamma Gaming (3-0, +0 Spots)
Another win, another opportunity to secure a top spot and that is just what this team expects to do. Which begs the question of whether or not this team is technically “4th”and not 1st. Their first set of games was with teams in lower tiers, so they will have an opportunity to show their true prowess in the coming weeks as they take on top tier teams and a team that beat a top tier team. This will give them the chance to earn the points necessary to secure a top tier spot, because they have the chance to knock out teams and gain the points to secure the spot in their place.
Prediction: 4th place by Playoffs
Since there is only stats to still look at when it comes to this team who is about to face off against the top tier teams, their average of potential points they can earn safely secures them a playoff position. If looking at the split as an entire sweep, it would technically give them enough points to move a bit higher in the standings and create an interesting end of the split opportunity for a team that is starting with less points than the rest-can a team with less starting points get higher than a 4th place position? The only way to ensure that is to win every game and hope the top tier teams lose more games than their stats say they might. Isn’t impossible, though! But, based off stats and teams they face, it is likely they could secure playoffs but maybe not overtake Late Stage Capitalism (which I will explain in a bit lower). That being said, their captain feels quite confident they can secure the 3rd place seed by playoffs-all the more reason to find a way to watch this game. I really do wish this game could also be streamed, as it would give quite the show based off what both captains have stated.
Player to Watch: Aêrah
The jungler, the jungler, the jungler. This team will need to utilize this jungler against both Late Stage Capitalism this week DoV later in the split in order to prove that he is among the top tier junglers within the league. LSC has already shown they have what it takes to compete against a strong jungler, and this game is probably the most exciting one for the week to watch since it will show one of two things: 1. This team can be undefeated and beat teams that have beat top tier teams or 2. This team is in a similar spot as DoV if they lose to a team that has a lot of confidence around their strategy and synergy as a team. Cannot wait to see which one ends up being true…
Fifth Place: KRG Tempest (2-2, +1 Spots)
With the team needing to reschedule this week, and another taking an ff, they had an opportunity to move up in the standings. This could be viewed as not much has changed on the surface. What has changed, however, is their need to look long term as they prepare to face off the last 5 games in the split in order to ensure they know where they will land. Their captain had a lot to say on where they will land by playoffs and how they are progressing: “I think our team has a lot of potential, it is more a matter of unlocking the potential and bringing out the best in our players. As to where we will land, I believe we will land quite high. This isn’t our first run of the block. We have our weaknesses but we are working diligently at minimizing weaknesses and maximizing potential! If we can find those power picks in our compositions, we can easily snatch the lead and win the entirety of ZGG Gold. We have been having a bit of a spotty time with progression. We can take a step forward and 2 steps back at the same time in different positions. So we are working on making everyone as comfortable as possible, while being strict in what we need. We are working with our coach non stop to provide the best possible outcome and become better players then we are currently. In the near future we will be at a very comfortable position with each player knowing what they can be and how to be it.” This is a team that notices not just their strengths, but also how to improve-which will make them a difficult opponent in the coming games.
Prediction: Fighting for 5th by Playoffs
It was difficult to say definitely whether or not they will secure this 5th place spot, or if they will be fighting for it, and here is why-Late Stage Capitalism has continued to improve and have played top tier teams and KRG is about to play !Rawr and LSC before playoffs start. Both of these teams have created a name through upsets throughout this split, so the real underdog potential in those matches will be KRG.
Player To Watch: Robert Walpole
I want to keep Walpole here again, as they still have to face teams that thrive off of flexibility within their draft, as well as still face off strong midlane players that are working hard to become the standout carry for their teams. We know the carry has the potential, now we just need to see them prove it in the coming games as the meta shifts and all the teams have been taking playoff runs quite serious.
Seventh Place: Late Stage Capitalism (2-2, +2/3 Spots)
You might’ve have heard me say this before (in the beginning), but this might be the underdog team I am cheering on the most. They have yet to play last week due to some unexpected events which have required them to have a rescheduled game. So, I am going to jump back on this Capitalistic hype train and say don’t sleep on this team just because their points currently put them tied in this place. Even with life events taking place, their captain Ral is quite confident, stating “Our team is a powerhouse with the roster swaps. Our bot lane duo is a huge dominance in lane phase and with dfa and dock is solo lanes they pull solo kills and pressure for fun. The jungle is new but he seems to fit the atmosphere super well. I think we will be top 3 at worst come playoffs. I’d be surprised if we drop a Bo3 for the rest of the regular season.” Their goal is clear: getting to playoffs=beating em all. **Also: He caught my editing error, which makes him my favorite person. Not only does he know his stuff, but he isn’t afraid to speak up in order to fix it 🙂
Prediction: Fighting 5th Place by Playoffs
If my prediction is correct, and they beat Team GG, then this team can easily secure the 5th place spot with the rest of their split matchups. That being said, they will have to be able to ensure that their roster swaps have been for the better and that they are capable of beating an undefeated team just like the did against Dov Rockets. If my prediction is not correct, then they are looking at preparing for the Gauntlet-which wouldn’t be the worst in the world since they already feel confident about knocking teams out in the rest of the split, so it will come down to whether or not they can do the same when it becomes a Bo5.
Player to Watch: Tyler is success
If Ral is correct, then this is the player to watch. Their stats may be deceiving, as their KDA is very strong and their kill percentage is definitely something to be weary of as a team that faces this jungler in the upcoming games. If this jungler does, in fact, synergize nicely with their top carries then them securing playoffs is more about proving they deserve it over the other teams who have already shown they have what it takes to secure it. But, isn’t that the underdog story of this team: defy all odds, secure the wins, and believe in your team? It is why I am a fan of their team, and why you should be paying attention to them even if their current standing doesn’t tell you to…
Sixth Place: Feed the Dream Black (2-1-1, -1 Spots)
Although they sit in sixth place currently, they took an FF against Illumination Spectrum-making it a bit harder for them for the remainder of the split since they take on some top tier teams in Chaos, Dov Rockets and Late Stage Capitalism. They will need to stay focused, work hard, and fight to keep a playoff spot with that type of lineup the rest of the split. It is doable, though, so I haven’t given up on the team’s ability to do so. Sometimes the nonchalant attitude can be a recipe for success, but they might need more than that with so many teams taking the rest of the split very seriously in a multitude of ways.
Prediction: Fighting for the Gauntlet
I want to see the fire that this team had that moved them up from IBS and showed they can beat the top tier teams. If that team shows up to the remainder of the split, then there will be a Dream to Feed for the Gauntlet. Statistically, this team was set up to secure a playoff spot, but they made that challenging with the FF now, and other teams have seen this as their opportunity to fight for the spot they could have had if they lost or won that game-because a loss gives a point-which would’ve tied them with KRG and LSC. But would’ves are not should’ves, and maybe this is all part of the plan…
Player To Watch: FTD Mewlife
As the team looks towards the rest of the split, it will be a captain’s job to create a vision and instil opportunities for their team to secure their goals. Mewlife will have quite the task set up for him then, because there have been a lot of captains that have openly show their confidence and have a clear vision of how to secure their spot.
Eighth Place: Arctic Gaming Esports (1-2, -1 Spots)
They had a tough task ahead of them last week, facing off a very determined team that has made it vocally clear they know they can secure a playoff spot by employing a strategy alongside their determination. This resulted in yet another 2-0 victory for Late Stage Capitalism, and begs the question: what will this team do in order to create the potential for playoffs. Since this team started the same time as Team GG, their points are at a slight disadvantage with the recent losses in the split. Facing two top tier teams, and two teams who have the potential and opportunity to make the playoffs, it will be on them to secure a spot.
Prediction: Fighting for the Gauntlet
With their current points being the same as PS (if they hypothetically lose both their rescheduled games this week and next), or even lower than PS if they win one-this makes it quite difficult for this team to make it to playoffs without a huge change in their practice, strategy, players, or a mixture of all the above. That being said, their captain is not concerned, because he has faith in their experienced botlane duo. With the meta beginning to shift again, this botlane will have a lot of responsibility to carry their team if they want to make it to the Gauntlet.
Player To Watch: Därknëss
Although LSC secured a 2-0 against this team, Därknëss showed he had the potential to make it a Bo3 in the first game. If this jungler can find a strong carry to create leads, then it is likely that the wins will follow. This team already has a strong botlane, so eyes will be on the jungler to see how they can set them up for success.
Ninth Place: Poro Snaccs (0-3, 0 Spots)
With KRG needing to reschedule, there isn’t much on paper to say about the Poro Snaccs yet. With two separate unfortunate circumstances leading to the need for this team to play two games this week and next, an opportunity arises for the rest of the league to see what this team is made of since this teams hasn’t entered their middle of split stats yet. There was a definite need to find some vision around them if they are going to make a run for the playoffs, but with some strategic additions to the team and intentional changes to the way in which they intend to play out their games-that makes this team a potential underdog to make a run for the playoffs. When checking in with myself, I had this to say for our team, “We started the league with a lot of excitement and confidence, but also with newer players who had yet to experience playing on a competitive level. We found some losses, as well as a strong foundation around our goals and visions. Although we were not able to create win conditions with that yet, our team has excelled in determination around holding our foundational values in order to build a team that has a clear voice which can help snowball their carries the way this team has shown it can do when they are ahead in lane phase. Every player on this roster is someone I place my trust in, and I personally took a lot of time, energy and effort-including being coached-in order to step up in ways my team needed-this is why I know we can secure a playoff position regardless of what the scoreline says currently.”
Prediction: Fighting for the Gauntlet
When looking at the stats of the players within this team, some who have played last season, one thing comes to mind: a new level of synergy is starting to show. Although there are still players that are new to competitive play, there are now formations of teams within the roster that allow them to have more win conditions than they had previously-which was get ahead early and snowball or struggle to come back in order to secure the win. This was a key focus of reflection and coaching, and the team is ready to prove they can make a run for playoffs. If their average stat is used for the prediction, then this team can win some, lose some, and still be in the Gauntlet. It also has an interesting underdog opportunity in stats to secure up to 21 points, which is the same amount Team Gamma Gaming can secure-so other teams should pay attention to the next two weeks to see if this is a plausible run, impossible run, or reverse sweep run.
Player To Watch: Bduhmana and Tazz the God
Feels weird to write my own name alongside Tazz in this spot, but I am going to tell you why: I am the player to watch. Not by my stats, but by the commitment and trust I am going to put into the players I know can carry the team. With such a long road ahead, a level of trust is needed in order to ensure that this happens. Trust backed by stats, which has drastically shifted in the past few weeks since the start of the league. Whether or not that level of potential can be seen in the rest of the split, will be up to Bduh to prove and Tazz to ensure. Bduh (speaking in third person now) puts a lot of trust in all of their team, but knows Tazz has the strong foundational knowledge to help ensure the hard work equals strong carry performance and wins. He also has the determination to be the leader the team needs in order to succeed. He has stepped up a lot in the past few weeks, and now it will be up to him to prove he can help carry this team to playoffs.