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Thoughts of Bduhmana: As we enter Week Four of the Yasogami division, teams begin to shuffle themselves into the standings. Barbara Kingslover said, “To be hopeful, to embrace one possibility after another that is surely the basic instinct – crying out: High tide! Time to move out into the glorious debris. Time to take this life for what it is!” And that is just what some of these teams are doing-taking each game in a series for all they got, causing a rippling effect that shifts the standings each week. What it also means is there an opportunity to outshine for a few-unless another team takes to the Rift ready to take down those at the top. Afterall, isn’t that what potential is all about?
Your Platinum League Teams in order of Standings:
Goon Squad Epsilon
PacaPaul & Pacapauls
First Place: Crosspoint Origin
While some teams are still fighting for a chance to be in the S-Tier, this team has proven to be almost unbeatable week after week. With another 2-0 victory against Infernal Flame, they are solidifying just why they belong at the top of both the standings and the S-Tier. So much so that other teams are struggling to even find a way into a game before Crosspoint takes them out of it. They will have their chance to do this again against Imperial Gaming this week-a team that is also at the top of the standings. Their flexibility, as well as strong meta picks, within drafting shows that their experience together as a team also means individual growth and experimentations are not to be underestimated-leaving up opportunities for them to either secure new picks that will work or forcing teams to respect those picks so they can steal away some strong comfort picks.
Player To Watch: Aero Xross & Furdi
Put Aero Xross on a playmaker and Furdi will absolutely destroy any laning duo before them. This botlane duo consistently proves they need to be focused as early as the draft phase, because they are getting their comfort picks time and time again-which is resulting in some disgusting advantages. This level of domination frees up much of the map for other lanes to secure leads, and it makes it quite difficult for any team to win a teamfight if they are involved. I don’t even wanna think about what would happen if they did give this botlane resources Okay, okay, a part of me does want to know. If not to see if their playstyle strategies is also a force to be reckoned with, then to see what could happen if you got Furdi even more fed. Aren’t you curious? I sure am…
Second Place: OTA Storm
With OTA Storm beating Imperial Gaming 2-0 in week three, they find themselves climbing up the S-Tier ladder while also making a statement. This team is not only difficult to beat, they are difficult to draft against. With that much flexibility before the game even begins, they can begin honing their strengths in the coming weeks before they have to take on Crosspoint Origin. They are now a team that demands respect by lower tier teams. As long as they do not overlook Goon Squad Epsilon, they can do just that.
Player To Watch: Seance
Seance has proven that they can play a supportive role and help their team secure win conditions, as well as play the carry that dominates the game. This is what I will be looking at this week as they take on Goon Squad, because a midlaner that can be both fundamental in carrying the game and fundamentally responsible for ensuring others can carry the game is a dangerous midlaner to play against. It won’t be enough to just survive a lane phase against Seance, they must somehow shut this key player down. I have yet to see anyone capable of doing that so far…
Third Place: Imperial Gaming
With Imperial Gaming losing 0-2 to OTA Storm, they find themselves in the A-Tier this week. This isn’t necessarily the time for fans to jump ship, because they still hold a lot of experience and strength in their plays on the Rift. If they took the time to clean up how they lost against OTA, then they will have no trouble taking on Infernal Flame this week. By showcasing their dominance again, they can work to climb their way into S-Tier again. Afterall, this team has the experience and the power to be S-Tier. Now they just have to keep winning to regain it.
Player to Watch: Azurexfire
With the changes in the roster, I am looking to Azurexfire to be the consistency this team needs to win. Azurexfire often plays a pivotal role in Imperial Gaming’s wins, so I will be looking to see how this experienced player can step up while the team is adjusting to regain its spot back in the S-Tier-especially if the strategy includes a rotation of players in order to have the won conditions match a playstyle strategy against their opponents. I know Azurexfire has a strong foundational leadership, and I am excited to see how it is put into action against Infernal Flame.
Fourth Place: Inner Logic
With Inner Logic beating Goon Squad Epsilon 2-1, they find themselves in fourth place and an A-Tier team. I would even argue their potential to begin vying for that S-Tier spot, because this roster has shown they know what to do with strong leads. If they can both harness their power and clean up their midgame, this team will definitely be a force to be reckoned with. I would even argue that they lost game two in the draft, and that can easily be cleaned up before they take on all those pacas and pauls.
Players To Watch: Sheer Fkin Will
A strong jungler from last season, Sheer Fkin Will is showcasing why he deserves to be an S-Tier jungler. When giving the opportunity to be a playmaking jungler, he dominates the rift and easily sets up his carries to become the win conditions for their team. If he can work with his team to ensure playmaking is a part of their drafting, there isn’t much another team can do to stop him in skirmishes or teamfights. This won’t come just from Sheer Fkin Will-he will need to work with Monkë-who has shown strong performances on more playmaking supports.
Fifth Place: Goon Squad Gaming Epsilon
Goon Squad Gaming Epsilon may have lost 1-2 to Inner Logic, but they showed their potential in game two. With such a strong draft, they were able to absolutely dominate the Rift in every way possible-taking out a team that I would consider one of the best in the league. I want to see more of this-more drafting that gives each player the chance to outplay their opponents. They are going to need just that if they are going to beat OTA Storm this week.
Player to Watch: thE piChampion
MOre. I want more of this player on champions that they can hardstomp their opponent. It is clear that this player can outplay on champions that require finesse and skill, and it is an absolute mistake if OTA Storm underestimates this midlaner’s potential to hard carry for the team. Especially if this player has the flexibility of being able to play champions that are often assumed to be toplaners. Just give them more of the resources, and I think this could be what Goon Squad needs to start their climb.
Sixth Place: Infernal Flame
Infernal Flame find themselves in sixth place after taking an 0-2 loss against Crosspoint Origin. These losses could be the catalyst that this team needs in order to regroup and come back stronger. They have been able to take wins from other teams within this tier, and I am excited about what they can do against the third place team in the Gekkou division. If they can beat VBU Plat, then this will prove that they have the potential and just needed time to mold it.
Player To Watch: Calibruh and LSNceid
I am keeping Calibruh here as my player to watch, but adding LSNceid because I want to see resources given to the botlane. When Infernal Flame does take times from others teams, the most convincing one was when Calibruh got to pop off. VBU also has a really strong jungler, so if LSNceid can try out a strategy that not only gets his carry ahead, it might also mean not being forced to have to 1v1 or fight for counter ganks elsewhere on the map. Both of these players can make it happen, and I hope it starts in ProDraft.
Seventh Place: PacaPaul & Pacapauls
PacaPaul & the Pacapauls took an 0-2 loss against the first place team in the Gekkou division. Although they sit in seventh place, I would argue there is still time. Time for this team to learn from each loss, time to experiment more with what has been working in scrims, and bring that to Inner Logic this week. If they can continue to grow and learn while also building on what does work, then this team still has a chance to fight for playoffs. Afterall, it is only week four and they are only a few games behind the other teams in the B-Tier. I am all for an underdog story! Let’s see it.
Player To Watch: PacaPaul
My player to watch this week is PacaPaul. Although they did lose to Monster Mash, PacaPaul’s stats were still pretty strong. If PacaPaul can translate this into helping secure leads in their lanes, then this team can start building an identity for their midgame teamfights. I would even say that this should start in ProDraft, since there doesn’t seem to be a clear team win condition just yet-which means there is potential to hone that so that PacaPaul can help their other pacapauls.