Platinum Breakdown Week 9 Playoffs Begin
Hey all CTRL ULT ELITE hope everyone is doing well. With seeding done the playoff bracket has been formed and I am excited to see who can win BOL. It's been a busy week for me. I hope you all enjoyed the cross division play last week. Worlds have started, my parents went on a vacation so I am now stuck puppy and house sitting while in the middle of a key development cycle for work. Below you will find the results of Seeding courtesy of The Bully, a picture of Brix(my parents dog I am stuck with for almost a month) and the Playoff Bracket thanks to Poptart. Make sure you fill out your playoff predictions!
1st - CB Rush 3-0 Beat EM, CN, TGA
2nd - Elementals Maelstrom 2-1 Beat CN, NWE Titan Lost to CBR
3rd - Crustacean Nation 1-2 Beat TAA, Lost to CBR & EM
4th - TA Akatsuki 1-2 Beat NWET, Lost to TGA & CN
5th - NWE Titan 1-2 Beat TGA, Lost to TAA, EM
6th - Titan Gaming Atlas 1-2 Beat TAA, Lost to NWET & CBR
7th - Sensei Squad Susanoo 2-1 Beat MC, IBC, Lost to XFB
8th - Mystic Cats 2-1 Beat IBC, CBW, Lost to SSS
9th - Iceborn Chaos 1-2 Beat NWEN, Lost to SSS, MC
10th - CB White 2-1 Beat NWEN, XFB, Lost to MC
11th - New World Esports Nebula 1-2 Beat XFB, Lost to CBW, IBC
12th - XFlow Blue 1-2 Beat SSS, Lost to CBW, NWEN
Mystic Cats(8 seed) vs Iceborn Chaos(Seed 9)
This should be the closest matchup of the playoffs and the hardest series to predict I feel. I have to give a slight edge to the Mystic Cats who were able to beat Iceborn Chaos in their seeding match. The game between the two teams was incredibly close. It was 40 minutes long both teams were even in kills and were only separated by 4k as the game ended. Both teams also lost to SSS and were able to win vs the 4th seeds that they played in a convincing manner. Mystic Cats and Iceborn both play for different strengths and I am super curious to see how bans will evolve in this series. It is unfortunate that whoever wins this series is going against CB Rush but that's a thought for next week.
On the side of Iceborn Chaos your team has an interesting style. Certain players take turns being the key carries and it changes showcasing you are flexible. Some games it is winning through jungle on picks like Kindred other games Matg is given the go ahead on Gwen. Mikewiwi is the cap exception player on this team and always a threat and QLUU has been quietly plugging away on hyper carries all season. Mike a walking ban target having a very small dedicated mastered champion pool according to solo que. In Risen Mikewiwi has played 8 different champions and has had Azir banned every game. That's a pretty diverse pool if I’m being honest. The common play for most teams in the regular season was to spend a lot of their bans towards mid. As the series progresses will the Mystic Cats be able to keep the mid bans up or will other picks force their way to the ban table? In the seeding match the Mystic Cats spent 2 bans towards this player instead of 3 giving them their Ahri in your seeding game. Is it a ban threat? Was something else a major worry? ICE played much more for early pressure bot lanes in seeding. I’m not sure if this was a plan in a BO1 format to try and catch teams off guard or a change in playstyle. As far as top Matg has only been on this team for a few weeks and have been playing much more towards carries and less towards tanks with games on Aatrox and Gwen. I don’t envy the coach or whoever does draft for Mystic Cats you have a lot of tough questions to answer.
For the Mystic Cats your team is still riding high on a hot steak. I asked the question: did The Mystic Cats get an easy ride into the playoffs? They answered my challenge and proved that they are a serious threat in seeding. The Mystic Cats are also a team with a flexible team draft as well but primarily play for top lane. FWESH in mid is also a ban manget just like Mikewiwi. Almost every team has banned Anivia and Zilean vs the Mystic Cats as FWESH has a majority of their games in solo que on the two. FWESH has one of the most interesting mid pools I have seen. They have played a majority of their games on Heimerdinger and Galio. Out of the bot lane Cornstar the team's ADC has a really really good Samira that they can always look to pull out if teams ever lock in a squishy bot lane like Senna Seraphine. But they also play Seraphine themselves(and this team flexes it to mid) as well as more standard ADCs like MF and Jinx. Mystic Cats as a team actually normally play for top lane believe it or not. Shovy is a really strong carry top laner they have played 0 tanks this year that I can see playing almost exclusively for counter pick. Those counter picks are incredibly varied, everything from mages like Vlad to ranged tops like Quinn and fighters like Irelia.
So how do the players match up? In top lane both players love counterpick and playing things that want to fight. Top lane I think where the junglers will be pathing for most of the series looking to get the top side ahead. In the jungle both teams have very flexible players who look towards whatever the team needs. Mid for both teams are players that enjoy off meta mid laners. In the botlane you have a traditional hyper carry player on QLUU who has shown they also enjoy lane bullies vs Cornstar a total wildcard playing a few picks with wildly different playstyles. Support on both teams have played primarily towards enchanters but sometimes bring out pick champions like Pyke or Swain. Overall my guess is that this series will be super close and Mystic Cats will take it 3-2 over Iceborn Chaos.
NewWorld Esports Titan(Seed 5) vs Xflow Blue(Seed 12)
This is the playoff matchup I am personally least hyped about of our initial 4 matches. I had both of these teams rated very low in my last article, the power rankings with Xflow at 12(which I predicted correctly) and I had NWET as the worst second seed saying they should have been a 3rd or 4th seed. Both these teams did better than I predicted in seeding, I thought both would go 0-3 If I am being honest. I am very surprised to see that Xflow beat SSS that’s awesome! AND NWET dealt a loss to TGA who had a rough seeding week playing with Arabella in jungle instead of Vxpir.
Xflow blue are a team that on paper have a great roster. You have a highly rated team with a cap exception jungler and even have a top 20 player in your mid laner OPKillSwitch who is 2nd in DPM. No lane has a clear ELO gap compared to your competition. But when we look at individual stats everyone on this team is struggling other than your mid. Xflow plays very much a certain way with frontline top laners, off tank junglers, poke mages mid and bot lane is normally playing less resource intensive with engage supports. Bans vs this team are normally focused towards XFW Gibb Diff in round 1. Later round bans change every draft against this team. In top lane ReedandWrite has not been able to find an identity for themselves; they play something different almost every game and are struggling on most picks averaging over 6 deaths a game in their past couple of weeks. XFW Gibb Diff is the cap exception player on this team and I expected a lot out of them. According to stats Gibb is the worst jungler in playoffs having a sub 2.0 KDA. Gibb has had games on picks like Wukong where they have popped off hopefully they can get back to this level. OPKillswtich as I previously mentioned is head and shoulders above his teammates. This player also has a strange mid pool playing more towards poke mages like Vel’koz and Ziggs then traditional control mages. As OPKillswtich you just need to keep playing as you are taking your counter picks and smashing with them and hope your team can step it up.
New World Esports Titan as a team generally approaches the draft the same way each game playing a very standard draft. NWET plays a bot lane marksman who excels at shoving like Cait or Sivir and pairs that with something to keep them safe. In mid lane most games you play some sort of control mages like Viktor or Sylas. Jungle is normally something with early game gank setup to get your lanes ahead and top lane is some sort of fighter split push threat like Camille or Olaf. No one player on this team has a must ban like most other teams do so draft should be fairly open on the side of Xflow. Most of the main roster of this team have less than stellar stats, there is not a clear carry when I look at this teams history and stats. The other huge problem for this team is that they have been using E-subs for most of the season. In playoffs using an E-sub loses you yet another ban and that would really suck to have to play a BO5 with no 1st round bans.
So how do these 2 teams stack up to 1 another? Top lane should be a win for New World Titan with a dedicated split push player going up against a struggling front line player. Jungle I think will go the way of Xflow as you have the highest solo que rated jungler in the league in XFW Gibb Diff at diamond 3 vs a plat 4 jungler either in ely Rheggie or NwE Trigger. Mid should be be the biggest point of difference in the series with OPKillSwtich generally doing very well into players who play normal control mages like on the side of NWET. Bot lane between the 2 teams should be fairly even as well. I'm going to give this to Xflow, I think they pull this series out 3-1 due to having more freedom in draft and their roster being together for longer this split.
Sensei Squad Susanoo(Seed 7) vs CB White(Seed 10)
The salty runback is here and I am ready for it. CB White beat Sensei Squad on their miracle run 2-0 back in week 6. But SSS are back and ready for CBW they are winding the clock towards midnight on this Cinderella story. Both these teams went 2-1 in seeding last week. SSS lost to Xflow(I really wish someone had posted this game so I could see how) and CBW lost to MC(who SSS beat). If thats not enough reason for some doubt to creep in about CBW chances BREAKING NEWS Lonely me of CB White is out and Cramma is in. This I think is going to completely change this series and Orphic is going to feast on the top side.
So SSS are a team with a clear win condition when you look at the team. You have a super strong top side of the map with a cap exception top laner in Orphic and a high tempo jungler in Vaulter with a mid laner who likes to play for roam. Lavalizard and Orhpic take turns doing the heavy lifting for SSS. Orphic primarily plays fighter champions and carries on them they are the top laner you get in solo que who pushes to the enemies inhibitor tower while as a team your trying to get your 2nd drake. Lavalizard8u has a much smaller pool having played 5 champions so far this season. This team generally plays less towards bot lane trusting that Water Bear & Zippy will be able to carry the game if it goes late and picking lots of utility champions like Zilean and Seraphine. Drafting against this team there are quite a few “must bans” in Wukong and Ahri. I think Vex is also a super strong pick for LavaLizard8u and that should probably be there as well and well that's the 1st round bans gone and thats not getting into MF for Water Bear or any of the highly annoying to apply against utility picks that Zippy plays. This team generally drafts around the top side taking Jungle and bot lanes early trying to save counters for the solo lanes.
CB White are a team that are pretty loud in our discord community and it’s hard not to root for them as they have completed their miracle run to get into playoffs. CB white is all about the mid jungle Synergy. The duo by far their team's best players and it's going to be all eyes on them to see if they can pull this upset off. Bans vs CB white are normally focused towards this duo. Denali has some real 1v9 style picks in Lillia, Graves and Fiddle Sticks. Teams normally underestimate Eazy in game 1 and spend at least 1 ban every game 2 targeted towards whatever they bring out. Unfortunately Lonely Me had to step down from this roster who was a really strong player in top for this team. Bruh Rock and Guardian Wakka are lower rated than most of the playoff players in solo que rank and play again towards scaling or utility.
How do these 2 teams stack up? There is a clear top lane advantage for SSS in Orphic both top laners play more towards champions who want to fight early and isolated instead of more team fight oriented picks. Jungle should be all about Denali winning vs Vaulter. Mid Lane between the teams is a bit of a clash of titans and if one is having an off day it will heavily affect the series. Bot lane I think again will be fairly even though neither of these teams are looking to play through bot so I expect most things that are picked in this matchup to be more towards utility. Overall I think SSS are going to take this series 3-1.
Titan Gaming Atlas(Seed 6) VS New World Esports Nebula(Seed 11)
Titan Gaming Atlas have been free falling a bit as of late. This team was dominant the entire year but is having some roster issues and have not played very well the past 2 weeks. They face New World Esports Nebula, another team that struggled within seeding and come in at seed number 11(again where I predicted they would end up). Both these teams went 1-2 in seeding and I think this should probably be the easiest to predict series out of the playoffs. TGA beast NWEN 2-0 just a few weeks ago in week 6 of the regular season.
Titan Gaming Atlas as I have previously mentioned in my articles are a team that drafts and plays 1 way. TGA almost always in draft take a Supertank top, a fighter jungle, counter pick mid or play a strong control mage and a bot lane with push potential. Rangar is simply put on the weak side top most games. They win some games just through sheer mid lane domination. Some games when Ham Sandw1ch gets a counter pick this player just takes over, just look at their win in seeding against TAA to see what I mean.
I mean if the game goes even as well Aclick has shown that they can carry a late game teamfight with all the support their team provides. As far as bans towards this team goes there is no clear must ban. Caitlyn is probably the highest priority ban as it frees up this bot lane to play a very aggressive turret taking style with plenty of supports like Morg and Lux.
New World Esports Nebula are coming into this series as the clear underdogs. NWEN are a team with a very flexible draft that should really help them out when it comes to the BO5 longer series. Cole in top lane has played tons of different picks from standard things tanks like Sion, fighters in Aatrox and has even pulled out some mages like Cassiopiea as an answer to Ornn. If NWEN wins this series it's going to be on the back of Goati this teams MVP. Goati has a really weird jungle pool with their best jungler being Rumble. Goati has played 6 different junglers this season in Risen and has looked best when they are playing their off meta picks. Nuffies in mid has also played some very interesting things mid like Jarvan, and Akali as well as more standard scaling mages such as Azir and Viktor. Duck but Rubber is generally playing mostly for themselves on hyper carries like Sivir.
As far as how these 2 teams match up I feel that TGA have a clear advantage and should be able to win this series. Top lane Cole is going to have to rely on playing some sort of counter pick to the staple top line tanks of Maokai and Ornn that Ranagr is willing to blind. Jungle should be a huge difference maker this series you have your best player in this position on the side of NWEN and probably your worst player on the side of TGA. Mid lane between these 2 teams should again be very interesting. Nuffies loves to play unique counter picks as does Ham Sandw1ch. Bot lane is in favor for TGA with early push and aggression doing very well into scaling weakside picks like NWEN likes to play. I think the fact that TGA gets side selection as the higher seeded team to give them the red side and counter pick will be a huge boon. I think that this series will be 3-1 for TGA I think in game 2 when NWEN is given red side they will pull off a counter pick somewhere that will simply get banned out for the rest of the series.