Good evening ERLS!
Here are some previews of the biggest games of the upcoming week; each game is vital for teams looking to make a push for the playoffs, so expect fierce clashes throughout the week!
ELITE (Writer – Enwrong)
Hello there! We’re now only 2 weeks away from the end of League Play where the top 12 teams advance to the Playoffs! Below are the three biggest elite games in Week 9.
Torment vs Autcasts
To kick things off in the Proteus Division is one of the hottest matchups in the Neptune Conference this season, with two of the big four in the Proteus Division locking horns to try and knock each other out of the playoff race. The implications are big for Torment, with a loss effectively ruling them out of the Wildcard spot. The Torment roster has had a shuffle lately and GM SeriousDude has settled on iKash1, May, Shimmy and theshepsi as his four players to try and make the improbable possible. May is one to watch out for, having participated in 91 goals this season. For Autcasts, it’s also a game with tremendous consequences. Having suffered a big loss to AEon already last week, a loss here will bring AEon into contention while letting Austrian Force run away as top seed which is something they are actively trying to avoid. Frutz, GM and leader of the team along with Max, Legends and AlunaRL have been connecting well all season, and the offensive stats of Frutz, who has scored 52 goals from 167 shots reflects this. The betting man has to give it to Autcasts, however I am not a betting man and I think Torment will take this 3-2. Watch out for iKash1 to shine.
Altercation vs Warlocks
The top 2 spots may have already been confirmed in the Europa Division, but that doesn’t mean there’s not a huge amount to play for. With Wildcard spots going to the Castillo Division and the Proteus Division, that leaves only two Wildcard spots left. Altercation are one of the many teams in the running for a Wildcard spot and a win over arguably the strongest team in the Elite League Warlocks would be a good way to work towards that. GM NecronicalPug has made some questionable transfers on the team this season, but the signing of Polar has to be lauded as a masterstroke. Along with Finn, Cloverof98 and NecronicalPug himself, they now boast a formidable line up. A win against rivals Chaos but a loss to Lana gave them a fairly balanced week. However, even the best line ups can look average against a sensational Warlocks team. The team with the best record in the league look like they could become a team that will be forever remembered in ERLS history. Run by Admiral Brydus, our lord & saviour, who made the tough and unexpected call of dropping Rxzor in favour of Kie has raised a few eyebrows to outsiders, despite inside sources saying this was the right move. Captained by the tremendous Boyschool Q, who is leading the race for the Golden Car with 79 goals, along with Kie., Torex., & Loco, they are looking menacing. Hurt by a big loss to Insanity during the week, they are looking to bounce back and make a statement against Altercation. I expect a 3-1 in favour of Warlocks but look for Polar to announce himself as a star.
Xero vs Aztecs
The Castillo Division has one of the most exciting races for the top 2 playoffs ever seen, with a huge battle on hand between Xero, Fury and Aztecs, and this will come to the forefront in probably the biggest matchup of the week when Aztecs take on Xero. None of these teams have easy games as such for the end of League play, with Xero proving this to be true by suffering a shock loss to Supremacy 3-1 and with Fury to play in the final week of League play, this game is absolutely massive for the flamboyant squad on Xero. GM Squeal has put together arguably one of the most dangerous squads in ERLS, with C55., who has put up a brilliant 121 shots and being responsible for a lot of the maintained pressure exerted by Xero captaining the squad. He is joined by the recent addition of Liicewhe, Milne and Adam in a squad that keeps even the best teams who transition against the wall. This all sounds like easy work for Xero, but when you consider they are going up against Aztecs, in my opinion now the strongest team in the league, this sounds like the ingredients for an absolutely barnstorming game. The signing of Hibbs by Deadmeat, who at 1640 elo, is an absolute steal at that value. His link up play with Cloud has transformed the team into what is now seen as one of the best combinations in ERLS. Supported by Pear and The Viv, this squad has transformed their season around with six wins on the bounce. Cloud will be hoping to keep up the defensive masterclass he has shown and add to his 69 saves. The big question is who is my money on. And this is a very good question which I had a long think about. I can’t bet against the in form Aztecs here, and I think they’ll put both Xero and Fury under astronomical pressure by winning this series 3-1. Castillo is about to get spicy.
PRO (Writer – Chop)
Team Chaos vs Rocket 5cience
Second and third in the Phobus division fight for second place this week; with R5 on a six win streak and looking to extend it and Chaos only having one win in their last five series. Whilst that may seem to declare a clear winner, Chaos have been improving and seem to be at their best with this new roster for this upcoming series. A scrim did take place between the two teams during this week which resulted in a 3-2 win for Team Chaos, so can Chaos repeat this victory on game day, or can R5 further their current win streak? In addition to all of this, ArticMist, a former member of Chaos, will be looking for some pride by taking his former teammate, Roks, and his new roster down under his new franchise. Playoffs could be on the line for these two and so stakes are as high as ever! Who will take second place and guarantee themselves a chance for the championship spot?
Aztecs vs Primal
Both teams are in dire need for a good spell if they are to get playoffs. They seem to both be capable, but their competition currently seems to be each other. After two 3-2 wins this week for Aztecs, they have put themselves back on the map by proving that they don’t need Mitt to succeed, which was perfectly demonstrated with their victory over Mitt in his new team (Chaos). This win would certainly prove vital for their shot at playoffs, which can be similarly said for Primal. This team had an unfortunate double loss this week, thus seriously injuring their chances. They must win practically all of their series now to claim the wildcard spot, which starts with this sure to be intense series!
eNightmare vs Insanity
Insanity haven’t had a great record as of recent, going 1-7 in their past eight series, and eNightmare have won half of their series the past two weeks (both of which were sweeps). Insanity are in a good position to get playoffs, still, due to their outstanding start to the season. They need to start winning again if they are to retain this spot however, so this is certainly of the utmost importance to win. eNightmare are now looking for some reputation with their new addition to the roster, making them a much more fierce team. If eNightmare play their cards right, they can take this series and give their name some fear, whilst simultaneously knocking a team out of the playoffs running. In the same vein, Insanity need to play their cards as well. If they can revert back to their old style then they can annihilate the competitive scene that the pro league has seen arisen as of late. This series will likely see a comfortable winner, but who it will be is still up in the air.
Royals vs Warlocks
This is the big one of the pro league this week, and the only standout one of the Saturn conference. Warlocks have been doing extraordinary this season, however they have lost against giants Infinity and Altercation the past two weeks. In order to rekindle their dominant reputation, they will have to win this. Royals will be demanding this win so that they can better their win percentage and cement themselves into playoffs. They already are in a prime position to be the second wildcard of the competitive Titan division, however they could get overthrown. I’m looking towards the two outstanding players of each team respectively: Joshagriff and George. It could be down to how these two command their team in rotation to decide the victor here; but either way, this will certainly be a close game!
Reflux vs Crest eSports
First vs third in the Atlas division this week. Reflux are looking to extend their win streak of six and Crest seek out the wildcard spot by winning this series. Whilst it seems unlikely that either team will not make it to playoffs, Crest will be romanticising that cushion to lose another series and still make playoffs by winning this and proving that they are indeed a threat. This series of two titans battling it out – almost for reputation alone – will be a fast-paced high-scoring series; and we’ll enjoy the result almost as much as they enjoy the game play!
Thanks for reading!