It’s playoff time and in MLE that means the best of the best will be facing off in a do or die bracket to determine the Premier League champions. It’s like Clash of The Titans if the Titans all drove rocket-powered cars and knew how to do double taps. To break down the madness and get you hyped for the start of the postseason I’m going to brief you on each of the playoff teams and star players that you’ll get to watch this weekend.
Bulls (Orange conference 7th seed)
In any sport, people know that it’s not about how you start the season, it’s about how you end it. This PL Bulls team was determined not to end it before the playoffs. With three division games left, they sat at 28-27 game record. Still in the playoff race, but looking on track to just miss out. They won all three remaining division games with a 10-5 game record to clinch the last wild card spot. This is a team that is getting hot right when they need to. They’re led by star player, Gumbachi, who not only put up the 2nd highest league save total with 104 but also ended 5th in goals scored with 89. This team may be the 7th seed, but they’re hungry for an upset in these playoffs and they have the talent to do it.
Puffins (Blue conference 7th seed)
A great writer once said, “A win fades away, but memes, memes are forever.” Okay, maybe that was me who said it. And okay, I didn’t so much say it as I put it in a Parks and Rec meme and gave it to the Puffins GM. But as a former Puffin, I stand by my statement. The Puffins have learned not only to dominate the MLE meme culture but also to feed off that hype and use it to win games. And that’s exactly how this Puffins team have found themselves in the last wild card spot. Sure, Grizz1y is 3rd overall in assists. Sure, Dog and Grizz1y are defensive stars with 2.1 and 2 saves per game respectively. Sure, team captain, Cali has averaged 2 goals per game. But I think the Puffins care less about stats and more about what meme they’re going to use to brag about their playoff wins. When your priorities are straight it’s easier to do what you need to do and get the win.
Wizards (Orange conference 6th seed)
There are four teams in this year’s PL playoffs with 7-7 series records. But only 1 of those teams comes in with a surprising +63 goal differential. The Wizards may have only figured out how to win series in the latter part of the season but they always know how to score goals. The Wizards enter the postseason 4th highest in total goals. Led by JustTuck who finished with an even 100 goals on the season. Their other likely starter, Smurf, also averages 2 goals per game as well as 2.45 saves per game. With a duo like that this team has the potential to shed the image that their series record shows and make a deep run in the playoffs.
Aviators (Blue conference 6th seed)
The Aviators are another team that needed some last week heroics to clinch their playoff spot. They seem to be counting on their star player, Kilt, on both ends of the pitch, averaging 2 goals per game, and 2.1 saves. Newcomer, Justify, has played in only four series but has put up an impressive 6.89 MVPR. They’ll have to prove in playoffs if that stat was earned against tough opponents. Aviators finish the season 9 and 5 but with a marginally positive goal differential of +1(yes 1 goal). They haven’t been dominant but they’ve done enough to earn a chance at the title. Now we just have to wait to see if they take that chance and run with it.
Sharks (Orange conference 4th seed)
Say what you will about the PL Sharks, but this squad is here to entertain. Sure they could have run away with the Tropic division but instead, they dropped 4 series in a row and came within a game of losing their top spot, all so they could clinch the division in the final week. I say that’s calculated. The team has had its struggles but that shouldn’t take away from the stellar season Mattybananas is having. With 81 goals over 35 games, he finishes 10th in goals scored this season. The Sharks come into the playoffs with a 7-7 series record and a -7 goal differential but as they’re the only playoff team coming from the Tropic division it’s up to them to prove how tough the division was by upsetting teams and making a run for the final.
In The Hunt
Eclipse (Blue conference 5th seed)
There’s a lot of Motion on this PL Eclipse team. (I get one pun per article as dictated by my contract.) I’m not talking about the fast rotations or the speed of the cars. I’m talking about Motion, the captain of the PL team who averaged 2.1 saves a game and 1.6 goals. The team is a defensive roster that seems primed for the kind of swift counterattacking that can surprise any team in the league. The other half of this defensive duo is Toby, who averaged 1.8 saves per game. The pair helped the full roster to place the team in 6th for the lowest number of goals allowed. In a league with so many high scoring stars, the Eclipse will try to make a run at the playoffs by not letting offenses get going. It may not be the most flashy strategy but it got them a 43-27 record in a tough storm division, so I’d count on it being effective in the postseason.
Outlaws (Orange conference 5th seed)
At the beginning of the season, Outlaws General Manager Stovvads called his team into a conference room and had a quote up on the whiteboard that read, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take -Wayne Gratzky -Stovvads” Okay, maybe I stole that story from The Office TV show but it seems possible considering the number of shots this team puts on net. Scoring leaders, Lotty Lettuce and MattRochie, have a combined 440 shots on the season, the most for any PL team duo. Placing third overall in scoring means that their strategy seems to be working. But is it enough to take down the other offensive heavy hitters come playoffs? I don’t know the answer to that but I do know that this Outlaws offense will be thrilling to watch in the playoffs.
Knights (Blue conference 4th seed)
So, with four weeks left, your team is 25-25 with a 4-6 series record. How do you make playoffs? Just win four straight and go 15-5 to finish the season, obviously. The Knight’s season-saving run is due, in no small part, to Jay who came in late and put up 62 goals in those four series and finished with the 2nd best MVPR in the league. The Knights now appear to have the star player to continue that run into the postseason. The rest of the team is stacked with solid talent but look for team captain MikeIsMyIke to be the other half of the duo. MikeIsMyIke leads the league in assists with 51, making him the perfect complement to the offensive canon of Jay.
Tyrants (Orange conference 3rd seed)
The Tyrants do not have anyone on the league leaderboard top 10 for goals, assists, or saves. There’s no runaway star and they don’t have the flash of a player like Taki or Deluxe. What the Tyrants do have is the ability to play any starter in their line up and win a series. The four starters in Snoopy, Majik, Moog, and Kaito have an average MVPR of 4.91. Their lowest scoring player still averages 1.5 goals per game. There’s not a weak link to be found on the Tyrants. How do you prepare for a team that could play anyone in the playoffs? A division winner without a known league star has all the makings of a dark-horse run for the Tyrants in these playoffs.
Foxes (Blue conference 3rd seed)
With two weeks to go in the Arctic Division it seemed like no one had a lock. The Foxes might have been favorites, then they dropped a series 1-4 to the Wolves in week 9. With one week left the Foxes found themselves in a three-way race. So what did they do? They called up Deluxe, their star scorer who put up 18 goals and 15 saves in one series to give them a 4-1 series win and clinch the division. Deluxe averages the 3rd highest MVPR (7.05) and the highest of anyone with a full season of series played. He’s dominant offensively and consistent defensively. He’s the kind of player that could put in an MVP performance and take the title away from some of the other heavy favorites. If you’re watching the Foxes in the playoffs look for Deluxe to be the difference maker and showstopper for the series.
Spectre (Orange conference 2nd seed)
The Spectre franchise currently has a Premier League player from Cuba, A Champion League player from Puerto Rico, and an Academy League player named AmericasF1nest. I’m sure there’s a joke in there but sadly I wasn’t able to find it in time for this article. The point is WeTakeLs is a Cuban MLE player and lead scorer on a stellar Spectre squad. No starting player has below a 4.8 MVPR and the team is captained by Assistant GM Blackwatch, who has put up an average of 1.9 goals per game. Yet, that still might not make him a starting pick, as that puts him in third for totals goals within his own team. From top to bottom the Spectre are putting up consistent numbers in goals saves and assists. They look like a team that plays well on both sides of the field and can start plays from anywhere.
Ducks (Blue conference 2nd seed)
Did you know the D in Ducks stands for Defense? That’s right, Ducks is an acronym. I’ll tell you what all the other letters stand for some other time. But this Ducks team has built a winning formula on solid defensive play. The team Averages 1.9 saves per game with their star defender Wockit Kah himself putting up 72 saves on the season. Also, in classic Ducks fashion, Wockit Kah wins the title of the best name in MLE, hands down. Because have you heard the casters call a series with Wockit Kah? It’s hilarious. Knitt rounds out the likely starting duo, leading the team with an impressive 71 goals on the season.
Blizzard (Blue conference 1st seed)
The right pick up can make or break a season. And if there can be a “best signing of the season” accolade we’d have to give it to the Blizzard who picked up Comp late in the season only for them to break an MLE record. Comp broke a record for the highest MVPR in a single series with 9.68. With that kind of dominant play in one series teams will have to be wary of the kind of run this Blizzard team can make in the playoffs. The team doesn’t just have one star player. Mage and Vandy have both proven to be top tier players but its leading scorer Maplesurrup, with over 2.4 goals per game, that will likely complete this dangerous duo.
Pirates (Orange conference 1st seed)
I must confess that I started sections of this article before the last week of the season. But when I got to the preview for the Pirates I paused. I’m not generally a superstitious person but when I saw that 13-0 series record I didn’t dare type the phrase “perfect regular season” before it happened. You just don’t jinx a team like that. But this Pirates roster came through with a truly remarkable feat this season. They made it close in the last series only winning 3-2 over the Bears. The rest of the season, however, was not as close. With a +145 goal differential, they finished 1st in both goals scored and least goals against. To not talk about Taki when talking about the Pirates would be an oversight. Taki put up 111 goals on the season, averaging 2.77 goals per game. They also finished in the top ten for assists and saves. Taki leads the race for MVP this season but what Taki and this Pirates team really want is a championship title. And with them having yet to lose a series, they seem to be the clear favorites.
There’s a lot on the line for every team in this bracket. We’ll see star players pulling off amazing shots. We’ll see an undefeated team trying to cement themselves as the best. We may even see a cinderella story emerge from a wild card team. But you can’t see any of these amazing stories play out unless you tune in this weekend to watch the start of the playoffs. The action begins from 6pm ET on mlesportsgg2 and from 7:30pm on mlesportsgg Saturday & Sunday!