Playoffs Preview: Premier League Conference Semi-Finals

The Premier League is the pinnacle of talent for MLE and the first round of the PL playoffs promises some of the best competition MLE has ever seen. From favorites to underdogs to the dark-horse contenders, let’s break down everything you’ll see from these top teams.

Blue Conference – Saturday, Dec. 5th

#1 Wolves vs. #4 puffins @ 9PM on MLESPORTSGG2

The Premier League Blue Conference is a battle of two rivalries and the rivalry between the Wolves and the Puffins is a matchup you can’t miss this weekend. And though the Wolves come in as a league favorite, their last regular-season loss was a 1-4 series against non-other than this tenacious Puffins squad. 

The Wolves have a lot of superlatives both for the individual players as well as the team. The team brags the league’s best offense, averaging 4.1 goals per game. On the defensive side of the pitch, the Wolves finished 2nd in goals allowed, one goal behind the number one defense of the Bulls. Lotty Lettuce is the first starter on the team and will likely be a constant throughout the playoff run. They finished 6th in the league for goals scored and 1st overall in assists. To say that the team is all on Lotty’s shoulders would be a mistake. Taki, LottyLettuce, and MattRochie amounted for 5th, 6th, and 7th place respectively on the top MVPR list. The Wolves have a record and stat sheet that speaks for itself. This is a team that can produce goals and win games. To top it all off each of these players has had their names pop up in last season’s Premier league playoffs.

The Puffins know that their opponents are favored to make a deep run this season but they also know that they have the players and the talent to steal this matchup from them. They’ll likely do that by shutting down the offense of the Wolves and winning low scoring games. The puffins finished 3rd in the least goals allowed. They did that with the help of a great late season effort by their star player Perma. Perma finished the season 1st in OMVPR and although they didn’t chart any other superlatives. It’s most likely owed to Perma only making the team on the back half of the season schedule. Perma’s likely partner, Moloka finished 10th in saves with 72 and was a big part of the reason the pair won their second to last game of the season, against the Wolves. These two players have a tough road to repeat their regular season result. But from the Wolves’ perspective, their biggest hurdle on the road to a championship may just come from their first-round match.


#2 Hurricanes vs. #3 Eclipse @ 10PM on MLESPORTSGG

The second rivalry game in the Blue Conference is another that has been debated among power rankings throughout the season. These division team also split their matchups with the eclipse taking the first series 3-2 and the hurricanes flipping the script in the second matchup by winning 3-2. Both games were close and hard-fought and the third matchup promises to be no different.

The Hurricanes have been heavily favored to take the championship from the day after the draft. Simply put TestGravity and Chimpanjay are some of the best players in MLE and the Hurricanes made a lot of smart moves in the pre-season to get them. The pair, along with their third Smrf, has combined for the second-best team in both shooting and scoring. Chimpanjay’s spot as 6th overall in assets means that many of Testgravity’s 82 regular season goals have come from great setups by his teammate. But if the team was a shoe in for the championship in week one, they’ve come a little short of expectations throughout the season. The team finished third overall but with a 9-11 game record against winning teams, it seems the Hurricanes have had one or two stumbles during a tough regular-season schedule.

The Eclipse are a team built to be giant killers. The team doesn’t make a splash on team statistics but this roster has impressed many people with individual performances and clutch wins against key teams, including an all-important week 3 win against the Hurricanes. Vitali is the team captain and top salaried player on the team. With a top-three MVPR finish it’s clear that their leadership has been crucial to their success. But counting out either of Vitali’s teammates as a threat would be a fatal error. Lazarus is an all-around star and great passer with 40 assists on the season and Atokad finished 3rd overall in shooting percentage with 48.6%. Vitali and Atokad both have past playoff Experience but I would not be surprised to see MLE rookie Lazarus in a starting line-up. The eclipse have a 3-1 series record against winning teams. That’s something that they’ll want to keep in mind as they start their playoff run against a Hurricanes team that is eager to prove why they were the early season favorites.


Orange Conference – Sunday, Dec. 6th

#1 Bulls vs. #4 Elite @ 9PM on MLESPORTSGG2

How do you assess a matchup between a team that is heating up and a team that is known for shutting opponents down? A glance at these two teams might lead you to predict a sweep for the number one seeded Bulls but counting out the Elite here just might leave your bracket busted in the first round.

The Bulls finished one game behind the Wolves to secure the number one seed in their conference. They got the majority of their wins by only allowing a league-best 2.56 goals per game. They managed the league’s best defense while recording fewer saves than other league leaders like the Puffins or Hurricanes. This means that the Bulls shut down offensive plays before they even have a chance to streak across their net. Deluxe has led the team this season with many superlative to their name, including 77 goals on the season(2nd overall in the league).  And though Scapegoatrl has proved to be a great potential partner for Deluxe in the postseason, it’s the late-season acquisition of Comp that has everyone talking about the Bulls. In just three series Comp has put up an MVPR of 6.40. Together Deluxe and Comp make a duo that could be lethal to any team.

The Elite are the underdogs on paper in this match up. In a league dominated by 20+ salary players, the Elite do not have a player above a 19 salary. They finished with a 26-24 record and aren’t in the top 5 on any major team leaderboard. That’s the bad news. The good news is the Elite are a team that is heating up at the right time. They enter the playoffs on a five series win streak, the longest in the league right now. The even better news is that the win streak includes a recent 3-2 win over the Bulls. Gumbachi and Pops are the two likely starters for the series and as they were the paring that beat the Bulls a week ago they will no doubt be trying to replicate their strategy for the playoffs. Could this team be the Achilles heel of the number one seeded Bulls or will the Bulls prove they were the best all along and win the series that matters?


#2 Sharks vs. #3 Shadow @ 10PM on MLESPORTSGG

The Sharks and Shadows are two teams that the real reason the Playoffs are played. The teams sit a 6th and 7th place in the league With no major team stats to tout. But make no mistake that these two teams have the potential to make a run in the playoffs. It only takes a few good performances at the right time and a team can get an upset win. So let’s break down what these two dark horses have going for them.

The Sharks finished with two series wins to secure their playoff spot. That may not look like much of a streak but for the sharks faithful it signals a turnaround for the team at just the right time. New starter Danger came onto the roster from the Dodgers to help the Sharks finish out the season and has been as phenomenal for them as he was on his previous team. Danger is 4-1 on series this season across both teams with a 5.52 MVPR. This new addition could be the key the Sharks need to aid their seasoned starter, Trashvan. TrashVan will be making their second playoff appearance for the Sharks after season 10 ended with an early exit. Judging by the numbers, TrashVan has been doing everything they can to get back to the postseason. With a 5.15 MVPR and 99 saves on the season, this player will be a big x-factor come game time this postseason.

The Shadow finished with a 4-6 series record and a goal differential of exactly zero. Of their 10 series this season, only three did not end in either a 3-2 win or a 2-3 loss. They have a 17-13 game record against winning teams and a 10-10 record against losing teams. No matter who they are playing, the best PL team or the worst PL team, the Shadow will somehow play a close series. But if the Shadow can hang with any team in the League then maybe all they need to push them over the edge is a solid performance from a stand-out player. That player for the Shadow is Braided Axe. Braided Axe finished 5th in the league in OMVPR and had an impressive 46 assists on the season. In what is sure to be a close series, look for Braided Axe to be the playmaker that could make all the difference.

The Sharks and the Shadow played each other to open and close the season. Both matchups went 3-2 to the Sharks. In both series, Trashvan was a key ingredient in holding the Shadow to 2.2 and 2.4 goals per game. But have either of these teams put together their best lineup for this playoff match before? Is a Sharks win a foregone conclusion or are the Shadow lurking in the uhh . . . Shadows? The only way to find out is to tune in to the stream and watch all the action unfold. 


You can watch all these matches and matches from each league at MLESPORTSGG and MLESPORTSGG2. Support your favorite teams and MLE by watching the stream. And good luck to all the playoff teams.