All of my statements are my opinions, they do not reflect the thoughts of Zero Gravity Gaming as a whole, community or staff. Zero Gravity believes in the ability of community driven content and so I produce this content for the enjoyment of the community. If you have any opinions or requests, you can contact me on Discord at Bduhmana#1590.
Thoughts of Bduhmana: Week 10 is finally here, and the fight for playoffs is almost too close for some teams’ comfort. While some teams are already locked into their playoff spots, there are still plenty fighting for theirs-which makes this week’s games an explosive set. And who doesn’t bring ammunition to a bunch of fireworks waiting to explode? That is what I predict this week could become. When you have some teams who need their wins up against teams who already secured their spots, the only thing left to do is to blow it all up. And no one can say that upsets aren’t possible-they have been happening all throughout the season-with only a few exceptions. Which means this will be more about determination and the cut-throatness needed to win. And with that, I give you this week’s power rankings and players to watch
Your Gold Ionia/Freljord League Teams:
Oasis Nails and Day Spa
The Comfy Cartel
Goon Squad Gamma
Feed the Dream
Feed the Nightmare
First Place: Literal Monkeys (9-1; 28 tournament points)
Literal Monkeys defeated Oasis Nails and Day Spa 2-0 and have dethroned Oasis Nails and Day Spa from S-Tier. This has been a long time coming for Literal Monkeys, who have shown a strong performance week after week. While other teams were fighting for playoff spots, Literal Monkeys was fighting to be the best of them all. Their ability to play around their strengths made that much easier when it came down to taking out Oasis Nails and Day Spa, and this week is a chance to solidify their first place spot before playoffs begin. If they can keep their consistency and take out Feed the Dream, then all that’s left is to focus on playoffs. Something this team had as an expectation at the start of the season and have shown they earned it.
Player To Watch: Wunderworld & Just Bobo
When you destroy one of the best botlane duos in the league, you become the best botlane duo in the league. And, honestly, I have been echoing this since week 4. The more this duo is set up for success, the more they have proven week after week that they can dominate lanes and use those leads to carry games alongside their team. What is amazing is they don’t have to do it alone-they have a strong team behind them.
First Place: Goon Squad Sigma (7-2; 23 tournament points)
Goon Squad Sigma beat Kanto Challengers 2-0 and sit comfortably in first place for Week 10. I say comfortably, because the rest of this division is still so close and scrambling for their spots, and this team is tied for first after some dominant wins week after week. They even have the favorable matchup this week that would help ensure them the best possible chances of staying first before playoffs begin. This is their chance to shine-to stand in the spotlight and take their wins alongside their glory. This team did take a win off of Imperial Ignis, so beating them 2-0 would certainly send a message.
Player To Watch: BTG
I feel like I haven’t given BTG enough love-and I am quite sorry for that. It is definitely not my intention to ignore someone who can have a disgustingly perfect game as a Brand and then switch it up and go full Ori mode for their team the next game. With that level of power in the midlane, it definitely makes BTG someone that other teams need to pay attention to if they want to be able to effectively prepare against them. But with teams not sending any bans their way, I suppose they can just keep picking whatever they want and the team needs and just destroy them with the ease of disrespecting this team draft after draft lol.
First Place: Imperial Ignis (7-2; 23 tournament points)
Imperial Ignis defeat Hyperion Blaze 2-1, and find themselves tied for first in their division. This is quite a strong spot to be in for the final week, and beating Feed the Nightmare will definitely give them everything they need to keep all eyes on their team. Afterall, this is the team that has shown their strength and dominance week after week, so being tied for first isn’t always what a first place team wants-especially when everyone’s points are so close to one another. If they can get a 2-0 this week, then they just further themselves into a stronger spot for playoffs.
Player To Watch: Azurexfire
Azurexfire is my player to watch for a few reasons. First, when Azure is on fire, the entire team benefits from their leadership and strength in game. Secondly, their leadership is what keeps them strong week after week, split after split. This is a player who you can confidently put your trust in and that is what this team needs in order to end their dominant split-confidence and trust to take out a lower tier’d team and focus on what really matters-playoffs.
Second Place: Oasis Nails and Day Spa (6-1-2; 19 tournament points)
After losing 0-2 to Literal Monkeys, Oasis Nails and Day Spa go into week 10 in the second place spot. It is no secret that this team’s playoff spot has been secured, so now it is all about where they will end in the standings. If they can shake off the losses they have accumulated over the split and focus instead on beating Goon Squad Gamma, then they can close it out as the second place team in their division. They have what it takes to stay dominant in these divisions, they just need to go strong and ensure it.
Players To Watch: Classykru
After last week’s performance, I want to see Classykru show GSG that they are, in fact, a force to be reckoned with. Whether the intention is to put their toplaner on playmaker tanks or to give them the tools and resources to carry, they need to make sure that it is executable this week in order to secure their top spot in playoffs. I have seen Classykru do it many times before, so I am not at all worried about the potential here. Excited to see it proven.
Second Place: The Comfy Cartel (6-4; 19 tournament points)
The Comfy Cartel beat Goon Squad Gamma 2-1, and are now tied for second place for the final week of the split. This is huge for the Comfy Cartel, because they have been steadily climbing through teams to make it here-and now they are the team that other teams need to beat in playoffs. I hope they take this week to prepare, and I am excited to see what they bring for playoffs
Player To Watch: Feathers and Fur
When you think you know a player’s strengths, and you give it to them and they dominate-shame on you. When you respect it finally and ban it away in game 3, and then they come out and destroy you with a Darius pick-shame on all of us for not seeing that coming. I mean, even I was surprised! Not because Feathers isn’t capable of it, but because sending 5 bans towards him doesn’t even remotely stop this toplaner-let alone their team.
Third Place: Oasis Maelstrom (4-5; 17 tournaments)
Oasis Maelstrom took out Feed the Nightmare 2-0, and now they are sitting tied for third place in the final week of the split. This has been quite the split, full of twists and turns each and every week, and Oasis Maelstrom showed a pretty scary performance that makes their playoffs that much more realistic. If they can keep beat Kanto Challengers this week, then all they have to do is prepare for playoffs next week as the third seed. They shouldn’t count Kanto out, though. If anything, a team with nothing to lose has everything to gain and there is no need to give anything that they fought hard to earn up now…
Player To Watch: XiL69
XiL69 showed up last week with a determination to take down Feed the Nightmare, and their stats showed they know how to abuse leads and takeover games. That is exactly what is needed this week-a continuation of destroying teams that a lower in tier than yourself. This helps create the level of competitive force needed to take on stronger teams in playoffs. This game is less about securing playoffs and more about honing your dynamics and creating an unstoppable team. It is clear there are multiple players on this team that can carry, so it will be up to XiL to ensure they have the resources they need to succeed.
Third Place: Feed the Nightmare (4-5; 17 tournament points)
Feed the Nightmare lost 0-2 to Oasis Maelstrom and put themselves in a bit a tricky spot for the final week of the split. Although they are still tied for Third place, they are only a couple points behind Hyperion Blaze and they are up against Imperial Ignis. Hopefully this excites them, because playoffs are all about the top tier teams duking it out to become the best, and this is a perfect chance to set their team up for that success. If they can take out the first place team, what is to stop them from taking out other top tier teams? It is basically maths at that point. But I don’t like maths-I like confidence and strength. Your win conditions are there. Ensure them, and the maths will follow.
Player To Watch: Kappa Krusader
Kappa Krusader has the carries they need to ensure their team wins. They even have a third place spot to prove it. What they need to do is play their lane in ways that ensures that without losing too much in the process. With last week’s performance, Kappa needs to minimize their vulnerabilities and confidently play around their bot lane strengths. Afterall, much of their win conditions are reliant on this strategy, so now they need to ensure that they are also a win condition by ensuring they can dominate in the jungle and create these opportunities on the Rift. Do this against Imperial Ignis, and they have found all they need to defeat any other team in the playoffs…
Fourth Place: Goon Squad Gamma (4-5; 17 tournament points)
Goon Squad Gamma lost 1-2 to the Comfy Cartel, and find themselves in fourth place in the final week of the split. This is kind of a stressful place to be, because they are only a few pints behind fifth and they don’t have time to stress about that-they are up against Oasis Nails and Day Spa. So-let’s not stress. Instead of worrying, dig into that energy that you had when you defeated the Comfy Cartel, because that is the energy needed for this series. If you can replicate the synergy and energy yall had in that game, then this is just a similar series that is actually winnable. Rely on that-confidence, synergy, and create the momentum you need to succeed.
Player To Watch: EVO Sniderman & Velius x
I want to see EVO play around their midlaner. Give this player the tools they need to succeed, and then the resources. There was a drastically different game within the series when this player has what they need to dominate the game-and that is usually a sign. We take these signs. We use these signs. And we secure our playoff spots with these signs. Don’t throw out what works-tie it into the rest of what works.
Fifth Place: Hyperion Blaze (3-6; 15 tournament points)
Hyperion Blaze loses 1-2 against Imperial Ignis, and I hope they take what they learned from last week into this week. Taking away a win so decisively sends a message to other top tier teams-it says not to underestimate you. What it also can do is create momentum, which is essential when your final series could potentially help you sneak into a playoff spot. They already showed they are capable of beating a top tier team at least once, so their ability to upset Goon Squad Sigma is technically here. All they gotta do is harness it! Become the dark horse they need to make playoffs in the final hour. Sure, it is more complicated than that (because other teams have to lose, too)-but this division has been full of surprising series and I want to believe that this team wants to end the split doing all it can to make it.
Player To Watch: Drakana
Drakana took out one of the best midlaners in ZGG in game 2, and even played really strongly in their final loss of that series. This showed me that they are a player to watch this week, because they can be the reason the team wins or loses. If they can keep a lead, and use it to help secure objective control with their jungle, then this series is more than winnable from a duo synergy perspective. This is an area that could be exploited against GSS if done correctly…
Sixth Place: Kanto Challengers (2-7; 13 tournament points)
Kanto Challengers lost 0-2 to Goon Squad Sigma last week, and find themselves in the C-Tier and just shy of the points needed for playoffs. Although that can be a bummer spot to be in, it can also be a freeing position as a team for week 10. Instead of stressing, they can dig back into the reasons they started this tournament in the first place and set out to create an upset. If they can beat Oasis Maelstrom, then that could create quite the shuffle among the players still fighting for a spot. It already looks like their goal has been to have fun in the final weeks from their roster swaps, and upsetting teams could be added to that fun, ya? Who doesn’t love a good upset…
Player To Watch: KleioI really liked the game where Kleio played support, and I wonder if this is their secret talent-to able to use their midlane aggression alongside their playmaking in the botlane. Their stats are strong, and there is an opportunity to put this player on more of a playmaker who can have impact alongside those stats. Be the change the team needs, as they say…
Fifth Place: Feed the Dream (3-6; 15 tournament points)
Feed the Dream had a bye week in week 9, and I want to see that used in a way that shows they are ready to take out Literal Monkeys tonight. They are just shy a couple of points for playoffs in the final week and playoffs will be full of top tier teams-so beating Literal Monkeys this week is just setting themselves up to be successful for that. Because it doesn’t matter if you are fourth or first in playoffs-it matters if your team understands its own win potential and can enact it in ways that ensure they are the best in the series. If they did their proper vetting, then they know there are some weaknesses that are exploitable in this week’s games.
Players to Watch: Solanine & Lily Pog
I know, I know-these two are the carries and are not even in the same lane. That is exactly why they both are my players to watch this week. This team has had its most success when one of these carries is set up for success, and to beat a team like Literal Monkeys-both need to be the carry their team needs. This isn’t meant to be daunting-almost the opposite. Once a team understands where the most power of their win conditions lie, all it takes is execution-finding them the best matchups in ProDraft (please-I want to see ProDraft favor both of these carries) and ensuring they have the resources in game. If these two start the game with the mindset that they are the strongest of their team, and they speak confidently and fight with that in mind-there will be wins in this series. If they can repeat it, they can take the series. It is possible.