Hey everyone and welcome to another week of platinum content for BOL. It is I CTRL ULT ELITE here to provide the content. With the regular season over we need to say goodbye to the bottom 6 teams who did not advance. Farewell to Master McNasty, Ta. Capybara, GE Emerald, CB Rangers, Mystic Cats Black and Gp’s Oranges. I hope you all enjoyed this season and I am sure we will see many of your orgs and players back for the next season! In my article this week I am going to simply make predictions for the 1st round of playoffs happening. Next week you can expect a power rankings with all the real playoff teams. Here are the regular season standings.
So I predicted back in week 4 how playoffs would look with my power rankings. I was right on what teams would miss playoffs and Sigma would be the number 1 seed but that was all I got perfect. This is how I had the playoffs predicted back in week 4.
Here is the playoff bracket coming into the round of 12: Remember to submit a playoff bracket in the Platinum Pickems Channel before 8 PM EDT. There is normally a prize for the player with the best bracket submitted!
Degenerates Exiles vs New World Esports Orion Streamed Match
My Prediction: 3-1 for NWEO Lanes to Watch: Top/Jungle
So on the right side of the bracket we have Degenerate Exiles, the 5th place team from Targon and the only team in the playoffs with a negative win rate entering the playoffs. They are up against what many people believed to be the best team in Shurmia during the halfway point of the season: New World Esports Orion. I think that this series should be much closer than a lot of people are predicting. I think this series has a decent chance to go the full 5 games.
Both of these teams have made roster moves neither of which were a positive impact for the team. DEGEN had their support EQ Otto rank out last week and had to replace themselves and their bot lane partner Fleet Emperor left as well. There was some drama around this in the chat, it's fair to say. Accusations were thrown at orgs and players and it's all around not a good look for DEGEN. On the side for NWEO they moved Ziyk away from their starting top laner position to be a sub after week 5 and MentalBoom3r one of this teams best players at support has been out of the main roster for the past 2 weeks. Any changes when your team is dominant are not a good look but I agree that Ziyk was the player for NWEO meshing the least with the rest of the team. Their replacement Gysęr is a mid gold ADC main who plays top as their secondary so I am not in love with this change. Gysęr is also struggling in top lane being down 2k a game on average in gold and being put on tank duty.
As the split has gone on NWEO have started to look less and less like the team where all 5 lanes can carry the game. Their tendency to pick a lot of really hard scaling champions is starting to catch up with them. Eazy in mid has gone from dominating on picks like Kassadin and A Sol to playing more for picks and zone control like Viktor and Cassiopeia. His few games on more early game centric champions like LeBlanc and Ahri have not been great looks. Denali the King has gone from playing tanks often to playing tanks all the time. I think you guys need to re-look at the draft and switch back to saving jungle counter picks so you can get games on the Graves or Eve or Lilia to make sure Denali can set his lanes up for success. Boogie has been playing Hyper Carries all season. Even the games where Boggie is not playing Hyper Scalers he is building on hit and playing like he is. Xayah has been a great look for Boggie as her mid game is better than some other ADCs. Top lane Ziyk played a lot of things and let you guys keep your draft flexible. Ziyk had games on hard carries like Jax, dedicated side lanes threats like Illaoi and Fiora. Gysęr has been put onto tank duty. Support is where this team's play making came from in combination with Denali. I still believe that NWEO can win this series though. As long as NWEO can have some points of pressure on the map early to ensure that their team has the time to scale that they need I think they have this series in the bag.
For the side of DEGEN things are going to be tough. Losing your bot lane is hard to deal with and I understand with these subs that you have, moving Coalbox down to ADC makes the most sense for this team. It also means that Shado your team's star player, needs to now learn to mesh with a new mid laner in Sovergn. Sovergn has been a jungle main for most of this season as well so they should have an idea on what Shado wants them to be doing. Sovergn does have a fairly deep champion pool playing a variety of mid laners from the push focused roamers of Malz and Akshan to set up champions like Lissandra and Neeko. For top lane I am hoping that we get to se Hajime No Glido try to play less of the pure tanks and go more towards some of the picks they have been practising in solo que. This team always needs engage options with a new support player in it might be best just to rely on your top laner for that. Hajime has been playing lots of J4 top in solo que and I want DEGEN to flex this pick early tonight. I know it's not the normal style for Shado but J4 is the top of the solo que meta for a reason. So for bot lane I am wanting SamuelP to try and play engage for this team to free to Hajime in top lane. Coalbox at ADC plays a huge variety of different ADCS so I see no reason for them to lose out when it comes to pick and ban.
I think the lane to watch this series is actually going to be the top side of the map. We have 2 of the better junglers in the league in this match and they both are the early game focuses of their team. Both of these players have the ability to simply lock in a carry and say I win the game don’t feed early. I expect jungle picks in draft to go later then we are used to seeing in this series. I also think the top lane can be a huge difference maker in this series. Both of these players have been stuck on tank duty and not done too well at that style. Tank vs tank matchups can sway really dramatically and not having a proper frontline can be an epic disaster in late game scenarios. Both of these players also have picks in their solo que data to try and blow the game open. With a 5 game series you can afford to gamble a game and make sure that your opponent has to keep bans and picks in mind.
ShadowZ Plat vs ELY Blaze
My Prediction: 3-0 ELY Blaze
Lane to Watch: Mid
So on the other side of the bracket we have SHZ the 5th seed from Shurmia. SHZ started the season 4-0 looking dominant. But the season continued and some roster issues and rather poor play ended with SHZ going 4-3 and have not won a game since week 4 SHZ are coming into the playoffs with a whimper. ELY Blaze are coming into this series as the 4th seed from Targon. ELY Blaze were unable to take a game off either ELY team and as a result were 1 point away from taking a 1st round bye. I think this series should be a complete blow out if I am being honest. ELY Blaze have looked good all season and SHZ are cratering.
As far as roster changes SHZ has had some roster issues and lost bans several times this season. They have played with several different supports and Moowy their mid has not played with them for some of their losses. ELY Blaze on the other hand have kept their roster together almost the entire time.
SHZ plat was a team that at the start of BOL had a firm grasp of the meta. They were playing Maokai almost every game and dominating with it making sure to pick strong lanes to gank for. When Maokai was taken from them or banned they would swap to other high prio team fighters like Wukong. As the season continued and Maokai jungle got nerfed(thank god) SHZ kept playing the same things. They are much weaker nowadays and plenty of teams have had time to find their own counters to their strategy. As we are headed into a best of 5 we need to see SHZ try some new things out. I hope you guys have some new things in the draft prepared. Maybe try some really strong lanes with Eve or Karthus to carry the game? Or play for early dragon stacking with an Udyr to invade and make ELY Chihuahua’s life miserable. Yung Rat in top lane was feasting on players playing weakside. After matching up against players also playing strong side picks their performance started to decline. Mid lane for SHZ has been interesting. Moowy in mid played lots of high pressure lanes with most of their games on Yone. As they have swapped players, most of them have been playing much more team focused picks like Galio and Veigar. Searphine has been the team's most prized pick in support.
For ELY Blaze they have played the same way most of the split. OPkillswitch gets last pick and plays some sort of counter pick. From the Ziggs they love to outrange mages to the tank mids to punish assassins there are deep pockets for OPKillSwitch for look for things to play. Idrees almost every game plays a hyper carry. WIth Jinx so strong in the current meta thats where I guess they are going to look to go. Their jungle picks have been the most varied on the team from the engage options of VI and Zac to the AOE teamfight and peel of Lilia Wukong. They then either take a tank top laner and an enchanter support or an engage support and a carry top laner. ELY have at least made sure that every player on this team has played a different style somewhat this season. I think that if the game does go later than 3 games ELY Blaze simply has more picks to bring out and flex.
I feel mid is going to be the biggest point of pressure in this matchup. If Moowy is back in for SHZ and able to bring out some early game picks that can pressure OPKillswitch and not allow them to take over the game. OPKillswitch is one of the better mid laners in BOL. I fully expect them to decide a game or two with counter picks almost by themselves.