The Champions League playoffs are here and the playoff teams have been decided. They’ve battled it out for 10 weeks and 14 matches to determine the 14 teams worthy of competing for the title. But before you jump into the playoff matches and start spamming your favorite team name in the twitch chat I’m going to give you all the info you need to know on each playoff contender.
Outlaws (Orange conference 7th seed)
The Champion League wild card was a nail biter this season. The Outlaws will no doubt be ecstatic that they snuck in on a close win. This 7-7 series team has had an up and down season but having a shot at a playoff run is not something they’re looking to throw away. Austinsanity could be key to an underdog run, with an average MVPR of 4.71. Theevilisback could be the other half of their playoff team as he’s proven to be well rounded, clocking 1.6 goals and 1.45 saves per game. We know that their playoff games will be close, but we don’t know yet if these players have enough to eke out ahead at the end of the series.
Puffins (Blue conference 7th seed)
Maybe the Puffins franchise likes to be the underdogs. Maybe they enjoy the sweat and nerves that their fans get watching them sneak in at the last moment. All three Puffins teams won their series in the final week to clinch a wild card spot. None of them had a more nailbiting season than this CL team. The team finished the season with an 8-6 series record, despite having a total goal differential of -1. The lack of positive goal record may be due to the teams’ lack of a defensive player. If the Puffins can get their leading scorer, Bazed, on a roll, they may not need a defensive stalwart. But having Bazed at 10th in scoring for the league means the team may need something more for a deep playoff run. The Puffins have managed to come in clutch in week 10 with every team. But will that trend continue into the postseason?
Dodgers (Orange conference 6th seed)
Yet another team that was able to clinch a last-minute spot in the playoffs, the Dodgers snapped a three-game losing streak to win 3-2 over the Tyrants and clinch the 6th seed. They locked in that spot with the offensive firepower of Jaytee and defensive clutch play of Furphy. With Jaytee ranking out right before the playoffs, who will Furphy take on their playoff run? They need a shooter to step up on the team and it could come from any of them. But with 82 saves on the season, expect the Dodgers to build their playoff run on Furphy holding the backline.
Aviators (Blue conference 6th seed)
When a franchise has a Champion League title in their history, as the Aviators do, you’re constantly expecting them to make a run back to the finals. When a team’s Captain is named RapidChampion it’s expected that they’ll put their money where their Gamertag is. RapidChampion has certainly put his team in contention with 1.97 goals per game. Finding a championship-winning formula requires two players, however, and the Aviators are looking at the other starters to help their star. The rest of the team all average under a 4.0 MVPR so they may need a surprise turnaround from one of the remaining three. Look for Rapid to be the star of the Aviators show as they try to get their first league title since season six.
Shadow (Orange conference 5th seed)
The last of the 7-7 teams to sneak into the playoffs, the Shadow takes the 5th wildcard seed with 38 game wins. Unlike the other wild card teams, this team is limping across the finish line with a two-series losing streak. This Shadow does have the tools to make a run despite their recent downturn. GM Euronate finished the season with a 4.85 MVPR and placed 3rd in the league for saves with 90. The other probable starter is Lightning who put up an impressive 4.59 MVPR with 58 goals and 53 saves on the season. On paper, this duo can make a run in the postseason, if they could just shake off their current form and turn their momentum around.
In The Hunt
Hurricanes (Blue conference 5th seed)
There’s a lot of chaos in the Champion League. The team 2nd in the league in scoring won’t be making playoffs. Another team will be making playoffs without a winning record. The Hurricanes are 10-4 with a +88 goal differential and that isn’t enough to clinch their division. Still, tough league races can often galvanize a team. And now that playoffs have arrived the Hurricanes want to prove that just because you’re a wild card, that doesn’t mean you’re not a heavy favorite. Their likely starters, Squanchy and Goldentornado17, certainly make a case with a 4.68 and 5.22 MVPR respectively. This Hurricanes team will look to make a grand finals run not only with a defense the was second in least goals allow but with a high powered offense that helped them put up that +88 goal differential on their opponents.
Express (Blue conference 4th seed)
The elephant in the room that is the CL playoffs is the Express getting into the postseason by way of two NCPs in the final five weeks. That doesn’t mean that this Express roster doesn’t deserve a shot and that’s just what Playing GM C0P3X will be out to prove come game time. C0P3X leads his team in goals with 57 and also holds down his teams’ defense. The rest of the team hasn’t put up truly inspiring numbers but as Gualbertos has shot 50% in just four series maybe this player just hasn’t had enough time to pad those stats. Now that they are in the playoffs, look for the Express to throw everything at their opponents to try and show us all why they’re the rightful owners of the Forge division title.
Comets (Orange conference 4th seed)
General Managers are leaders of their franchise. They’re there to set an example for their team, while also being managers for scheduling and rosters. In the case of GM Thunderbug, leading your team also means leading in scoring and saves. With 80 goals and 89 saves on the season, Thunderbug is setting the pace for the CL squad. The rest of the starting four have followed suit with solid season performances. Zeta and Snugglable finished with 4.42 and 4.74 MVPRS respectively, while TheLegend27 has turned in an average of 1.6 saves per game. At 11-3 it’s a team that knows how to win a series and with a 3 series win streak coming into the playoffs they intend to keep winning all the way to the CL title.
Ducks (Blue conference 3rd seed)
The CL Ducks have the worst overall defense of any of the playoff teams, allowing 234 goals on the season. But who needs defense when you have a player like KingDuff? KingDuff put up 98 goals on the season and shot 50% over 40 games, that’s a decent argument for offense over defense. Even more so when it wins you the division title. The Ducks also have a choice of three more offensive weapons in DudTheBomb, AwsomDixie, and ChaosSpike. ChaosSpike is the favorite to complete the team with an average of 1.7 goals per game. Whatever their line up, look for the Ducks to spend each of their 5 minutes racking up high scoring games.
Bulls (Orange conference 3rd seed)
Sporting the best win streak in the league, this Bulls team is heating up at just the right time. Every starter on the team has an MVPR over 4.0, proving that this roster has depth. The leader of this team and the likely player to look at for those highlight plays would be their captain, Chaser. Chaser has 65 goals and saves on the season as well as 28 assists. While Chaser isn’t exactly a league leader in any category, they’re enough of a team leader to captain any talented second into a deep playoff run for the Bulls.
Pirates (Orange conference 2nd seed)
I know three things about Jamaica. They have Usain Bolt, they have a bobsled team, and they have Crey2k. Crey2k, who has a 5.86 MVPR, who is the 5th leading scorer in the league with 84 goals, and who is 2000 times Crey (that’s a lot). The team also has a standout player in Jansen24 and a newcomer in Speedy. The wild card of the team is AGM Miller_Ball_22 who is well known in MLE and who I would say is secretly angling to take not only the championship but also the GM spot from Tater, but I also just found out he’s Canadian so he’s far too nice for that. Let’s hope this team can be aggressive enough to steal some games off the competition.
Blizzard (Blue conference 2nd seed)
Have you ever been caught in a Blizzard on the side of a mountain? I have and let me tell you, it can be terrifying. If the snow is heavy enough, and the wind is bad enough, you can’t see what’s going on five feet in front of you. That’s the way I feel when I try and analyze this Blizzard team. I don’t know what’s going on or where this team is getting wins. They’re 10-4. They have the fourth-best goals-against record in the league but fall below the middle of the pack in scoring. They have no leaderboard players to speak of but they have Hiimly and Bledsoe. Bledsoe averages 1.56 goals per game and Hiimly averages 1.65 saves. Those don’t seem like league-leading stats but it’s gotten them the second-best record in the Champion League. So maybe the secret is that’s all you need. There’s a lot of chaos on the pitch in a Champ League game and, in that chaos, this Blizzard squad is usually ahead at the end of that five minutes. Maybe the other teams just can’t see through the Blizzard.
Pandas (Orange conference 1st seed)
The Pandas have won their division, not by being the most flashy team, or the highest scoring, but by being solid on defense and closing out series. They don’t have a single player in the top ten for scoring but they do have an average MVPR of 4.68 and, more importantly, a 12 and 2 series record. The Pandas have won a good amount of these series due to defensive stand out player, Zach, who has a league-high 101 saves. With play coming from the defense first, look for the Pandas to survive the offenses of most teams and win games off smartly timed plays and counter-attacks.
Wolves (Blue conference 1st seed)
Sabres starters Adi and A1Andyx played the Wolves in week 8. Puffins starters Bazed and ArcaneLizard played the Wolves in week 14. I mention those names while talking about the Wolves because if I was any other CL team I would want to figure out what those players did to beat this dominant Wolves squad. Because no other teams seem to have an answer to the Wolves offense. The Wolves have 275 goals in one season. A goal differential of +147, which is higher than the total goals of one CL team. I’m not typically a salty player but if I had to play against the CL Wolves, you can bet I’d be screaming “oh come on, they gotta be hacking!” into my coms because this team is unbelievably ahead of the pack (I get one pun per article, per my contract). All of their players boast amazing stats including their star scorer, Ripperr, who is averaging 2.5 goals per game. But the only real stat you need is this, they’ve won 56 games this season. This season of Champion League play has been a season of chaos so I’d never say the Wolves are a lock. But what I am saying is that if I was a betting man. . . well, you know the rest.
There are 14 teams in the Champion League playoffs this season but only one can walk away with the title. Who will break through this tough bracket to prove they are better than the rest? Will it be the dominant favorites or a surprise underdog? Will leading scorers prove why they’re the best or will an unknown step up to be the playoff MVP? You can find out the answers to all these questions and more when you tune into the MLE Network this weekend! The action starts from 6pm ET on mlesportsgg2 and from 7:30pm on mlesportsgg Saturday & Sunday!