ESports Three Up | Three Down: Playoffs Round 1

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  1. Wzia

    Wzia LG Media Director | Enforcer Enthusiast

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    Three Up | Three Down: Playoffs Round 1 - Your Home for Everything NHL Esports.

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    Good morning y'all, Wzia here.




    We've reached the end of the regular season, and the beginning of the playoffs. There is a TON of playoff matchups to go through tonight before puck drop, with 32 Main Stage and 16 Contender's Cup teams looking to etch their names onto a championship. Because of the amount of playoff matchups to go through, there will be no review of last week's storylines.


    ==================================================================


    Let's get into the first ever Three Up | Three Down: Playoff Preview


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    (29) Finestry vs. (1) The Underdogs


    Finestry had a nice week 5 to find themselves in the playoffs, but I don't see this matchup ending very well for them. Sure, Finestry has a chance, but The Underdogs have been rolling teams behind the strength of a high-powered offensive attack. @milahted is a quality goaltender, but I don't think it'll be enough to steal a game from @LoKO CRuStY and the rest of the guys.


    Series Prediction: The Underdogs in 3


    =====


    (27) Legends Never Die vs. (19) Couch Kings


    Wow these guys really can't get enough of one another, can they? After going to 7 overtimes in two games, LND and CK are meeting up in round one of the playoffs. This is gonna be one of the more interesting matchups of round one, as I honestly feel it could swing either way. The key deciding factor, in my eyes, has been their recent performances. CK is 6-3-1 in their last 10, while LND is 5-2-3. LND has 5 OTL's this showcase, and I think that their performance in 1 goal games comes to bite them in the end.


    Series Prediction: Couch Kings in 5


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    (30) First Class vs. (8) Momentumm


    After flying through the event, Momentumm's matchups against the top of the top teams Week 5 saw them drop 4 straight games to IslesGT and Never Unlucky. But to be completely honest, they're still a high quality team. They only looked outmatched against a rolling IGT team, and they kept both of their contests against Never Unlucky to one goal games. On the other side, First Class has quality players on their roster, but their recent performances against Monarchs and All Odds tells me they might be a bit overmatched.


    Series Prediction: Momentumm in 4


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    (26) Origin vs. (9) 9thhh


    The fittingly 9th seeded 9thhh have been rolling as of late, coming in at 7-1-2 in their last 10 games. When @Degen Dats is in the lineup, 9thhh has been amazing at a 10-0-1 record overall. This week's series against Origin is a rematch of their Feb 29th series, where 9thhh took it pretty easily 2-0. Origin has been struggling to score to such an extent, that regular center @Bxluuuuu is under 1ppg at forward. I don't really see this being a close series.


    Series Prediction: 9thhh in 3


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    (24) Rise to Fame vs. (4) SJSharks Gaming


    One of 5 teams to finish 8-2 or better, SJS is on FIRE. After dropping IGT in a tightly contested series, they've reminded everyone that this is a team capable of playing the best close and beating them on any given night. The majority of Rise to Fame's offense comes from the stick of @Pelley_ (160min TwP, next closest on team is at 121min), and I just can't see SJS letting this one dimensional look beat them in a series, but I do think it'll allow RtF to take a game.


    Series Prediction: SJSharks Gaming in 4


    =====


    (20) All Odds vs. (13) Turning Point


    This series will come down to something pretty simple: will @SoY LoS 19 and @VI17AIN play for Turning Point? When they play, their records are 11-2 and 12-2, respectively. When they aren't in the lineup, Turning Point is just 2-5-1. Availability concerns were the talk of the event for Turning Point, and it's gonna matter against an All Odds team that has had its own share of ups and downs this event. All Odds may be 7-1-2 in their last 10, but this is still a team with no series wins against teams ranked any higher than 23rd in seeding.


    Series Prediction: Turning Point in 4


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    (25) R X T S vs. (5) Caps Gaming


    I'm kinda surprised that Caps Gaming would opt for this matchup against R X T S. Sure, they did win their matchup against R X T S way back in week one, but this is a team that has excelled on the defensive end that'll be facing a Caps team that's just 5-4-1 in their last 10. At only 30 goals allowed, R X T S GA/Game is 3rd best in the Showcase. I do still believe that Caps Gaming will move on, but I feel that it's gonna be a headache and a half to get past a team this stout defensively.


    Series Prediction: Caps Gaming in 5


    =====


    (15) Overdue vs. (12) BBB


    After re-establishing themselves as a threat in the Pacific Cup, BBB is back in the playoffs 19 seeds higher than last event. With a higher seed comes higher expectations, and they'll be looking to put away an Overdue team that has the second lowest Goal Differential among the Top 20 seeds in the Main Stage. Overdue does have a shot, but it's gonna have to come through the middle. Center @Morin x 67 is 53.4% on the dot, giving him a slight edge over BBB's @Jemima (51.1%). With Overdue struggling on the offensive end, they will need the middle of the ice to pull through in a big way, but I don't feel it'll be enough.


    Series Prediction: BBB in 4


    =====


    (17) T H R A S H E R S vs. (2) IslesGT


    Poor T H R A S H E R S, what a poor draw. Sure, IGT is "struggling" as of late (6-4-0 in their last 10), but it's still IslesGT. The fact that T H R A S H E R S was able to get to the 17th seed immediately after jumping up from the Contender's Cup is commendable, but their run stops here without very much commotion. IGT is simply a better team.


    Series Prediction: IslesGT in 3


    =====


    (32) Dahlia vs. (16) Monarchs


    Dahlia barely squeaked into the playoffs after dropping their Week 5 sets to SJS and Couch Kings, but they now find themselves in another tough matchup agaisnt Monarchs. The lowest seeded Division 1 team, Monarchs have had a rough go of it in the Regular Season, with their 2-4-2 record in one goal games being quite evident of that. Despite the seeding differences, this is going to be a very tightly contested series. While Monarchs has the clear edge offensively (72 Goals For to 53), Dahlia's @Herringthefish significantly outplayed Monarchs' @jpiss in net (.830sv% to a .789sv%). The series will come down to how much offensive pressure Dahlia can sustain against Monarchs. When jpiss faces 10 or less shots, Monarchs are 11-2. When it's 11 or more, he's just 2-5-2. It'll be a deceptively close series, but I do believe Monarchs will squeak by.


    Series Prediction: Monarchs in 5


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    (28) WILDMAN HOCKEY vs. (6) One Nation


    Congrats on making it this far WILDMAN HOCKEY, hope you enjoy the bus ride back home. One Nation has looked amazing in the showcase so far, with their only series losses coming against fellow Division 1 teams (Scary Hours, Monarchs, and Caps Gaming). But within that series, you can see underlying stats that show One Nation's recent dominance. Their 5-0 win in Game 2 against Scary Hours is proof that their offense is firing at max capacity, and I just don't see how WILDMAN HOCKEY is going to have the tools to compete against this. They're gonna need @Ricky420Smoke to stand on his head to have a chance to even take a game.


    Series Prediction: One Nation in 3


    =====


    (18) Interstellar vs. (14) Unknown Talent


    In my opinion, this will be the closest series of the 1st Round. Where Unknown Talent has the edge on Goal Differential (22 to 5), Interstellar has the edge on one goal games (8-2-3 to 3-3-1). Where Unknown Talent has the edge on Puck Possession (4 players above 70min TwP to Interstellar's 1), Interstellar beats them out in Shutouts (5 to 2). There's so many storylines to follow, but this will be the series I'm keeping an eye on. Not only because of how closely matched this series is, but also because the series will feature up to 4 players who I have personally played alongside during my LG career (@I Parksy x I76I, @Brocc x 16, @Pricee x 31, and @Demzy 94). Brocc was responsible for getting me my first NHL win, so in this coin flip of a matchup, I guess I'll have to side with Interstellar.


    Series Prediction: Interstellar in 5


    =====


    (21) Young Gunz vs. (3) Never Unlucky


    In matchups like these, I struggle to find compelling storylines to write about. Never Unlucky is rolling and will now face a Division 4 Young Gunz team that looks to be horribly outmatched. They may have the highest scorer out of the two teams (@Snails14 and his 55 points), but that's not representative of how well balanced Never Unlucky is from top to bottom. All 5 guys in their normal lineup are capable of putting up points at an elite clip, and it's gonna be far too much for Young Gunz to handle.


    Series Prediction: Never Unlucky in 3


    =====


    (23) Complicity vs. (10) Scary Hours


    Scary Hours had a tough couple of weeks, didn't they? Scary Hours has been an uncharacteristic 5-5-0 in their last 10 games, which dropped them all the way down to the 10th seed. The good news is that they get to face a Complicity team who has been even worse in their own last 10 (4-6-0). In spite of the struggles, Scary Hours is still Scary Hours. They have four guys who outpace Complicity's highest scorer. While their recent struggles will make them drop a game, Scary Hours will cruise on.


    Series Prediction: Scary Hours in 4


    =====


    (31) Rated R vs. (7) Tolerance


    In a rare Main Stage Division 4 vs. Division 3 matchup, Tolerance has significantly outplayed it's Division 3 label this event. All 5 skaters on Tolerance have outpaced or are even with Rated R's highest scorer, but I still expect this to be a close series. Both teams have played in at least 11 one goal games so far, and Rated R's slight edge in goaltending will keep the series close. I expect this series to come down to a few crucial puck bounces, with Tolerance squeaking by.


    Series Prediction: Tolerance in 5


    =====


    (22) Just Tap It vs. (11) Ohana


    In our final Main Stage Playoff matchup, it features another story of the one goal games. Just Tap It's 10-5-2 1gg record will be up against Ohana's 10-1-4. Where the series will be won, in my opinion, is in the goaltending. Just Tap It's @I Perkis I is at an .849sv% compared to Ohana's @Broessler at .814. In a series where 1 goal games will be the storyline, the goaltending edge will be too much for Ohana to overcome.


    Series Prediction: Just Tap It in 5


    ================================================================


    Because I am running out of time to get this out, here's some quick predictions for the Contender's Cup:


    - Highlife will bounce Dunk Dynasty in 3
    - BeAn ToWn BraWleRs will quiet down S O L D in 5
    - Past Our Bedtime HC will upset Rezervation in 4
    - Break The Cycle will contain Efficacity and win in 5
    - Off The Record will be too much for Coomps to handle, will win in 3
    - Accuracy's penchant for sandbagging the Regular Season continues, will beat kinda electric in 3
    - Constancy will take out Toxic Legends in 4
    - Area 51 Aliens will play in 3 overtime games, but will beat Bittersweet in 5.


    Expect more next week. Unfortunately I'm out of time to go into more detail.


    ================================================================


    And with that, this week's edition of Three Up | Three Down has come to an end. I'd like to thank @xFUNKx-_- once again for the graphics, and I wish everyone good luck in the first step towards this year's only LAN Final. Thank you guys once again for taking the time to read this, I truly appreciate it.

    Your very own Enforcer Enthusiast,
    Wzia


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