Coming into the 2nd season of BOL Plat, expectations for teams were relatively unknown. Tempest and PLATLAS were title contenders; Avengers and Mammoth were assumed to be around bottom of the barrel. While the rest of the eight teams were in between, but with a consensus of who could challenge for playoffs (1st – 6th). However, seven weeks out of that impression has left us an even bleaker picture then before. PLATLAS and Avengers have not failed to disappoint in their expectations, but for the rest of ten teams the season remains questionable. While I still hold Tempest as one of the title favorites, there doesn’t seem to be a level of domination as expected. Crosspoint has been the surprise of the split only one game back from 1st, while literal monkeys are barely holding on to a playoff spot. As the season begins to end, we are left with an even darker picture than we first entered with.
Title Contenders – PLATLAS (A+ Tier) and Tempest (A- Tier)
Former season one finalists continue their success, as they both find themselves at the top of the league. Coming into week seven both teams should be expected to pick up another 2-0 week. PLATLAS, the current 1st place team, faces off against SPK and should have a bye due to recently defunct M1. With a 10-2 record, the biggest question for PLATLAS is when will see their full lineup? Daddy Atlas has subbed in for a multitude of matches, and the starting five for PLATLAS has been seen rarely. If Atlas can have their final five present at all matches, this may be their league to lose. Meanwhile, Tempest has regained their footing after a strong week six against !Rawr and Mammoth. The middle/jungle duo of ShadyGecko and DuckSolo continues to remain a threat, and with recent roster changes, Tempest seems to be putting itself on track for another title run. The question for both teams will be if they can hold off any potential run by Crosspoint or Illumination and hold their top two spots.
Up and Comers – Crosspoint (B Tier), Illumination (B Tier) and Mammoth (C+ Tier)
Rounding the most significant portion of the top half of the league, are Crosspoint, Illumination, and Mammoth. While both Crosspoint and Illumination were newcomers to BOL Plat, they are not by any means new organizations. Both are two of the most known mid-elo amateur teams in the scene and were expected to be mid-tier teams. However, they currently sit at 2nd and 4th respectively. Illumination come off a win off of !Rawr last week (that was albeit with Dokiftw and Pete Zaroll subbed in), did take them to an 8-4 record. While Illumination hasn’t been making much of a splash, they consistency has taken them to a comfortable position in the standings. Led by DripX and MrScruffNinja, Illumination’s solo laners have consistency set the team on a path to the playoffs. The question remains if they can take that success further, which is what most people would want to see. A match against Atlas in Week eight should aide in answering that question.
Meanwhile Crosspoint find themselves at a 9-3 record, only one game back from PLATLAS. Last week a tough 40 min loss to Atlas brought them to the position they are today. However, Crosspoint is still set in strong position. Their strong core of Furdi, Aero, and Gus remain, as well the additions of Dalals and Synplistic are finally paying off. The key for Crosspoint remain is trying to remain in that top two position, to avoid facing PLATLAS until the finals. Crosspoint’s experience as an organization should show in the playoffs, but the key is to get there. They face off against !Rawr and Mammoth this week, in what should be some interesting match results. Regarding Mammoth, their season two performance has been a large step since last season. Currently sitting at 7-5, Mammoth has taken their poor early start been on a hot streak. Led by Bob/Meme bot lane, Mammoth’s duo lane has set them back on the right track. The move from jungle to top from Shenghai was welcome change to stability in the top and jungle. However, the most important characteristic of Mammoth is their momentum. A strong victory against a recently questionable Literal Monkeys, has led them to solid position in the playoff hunt. With a potential bye match and Crosspoint, all eyes should be on their week eight matches against !Rawr.
The Pack – Literal Monkeys (C Tier), Classic eSports (C- Tier), !Rawr (C- Tier), New York Monkeys (C- Tier)
The next four teams all represent a significant question mark that is holding them back from a playoff berth. As of right now, the lucky 6th place (last playoff spot) belongs to Literal Monkeys (who is in a tie with Mammoth). The Monkeys right now who are tied with Mammoth have a big difference with the Nordic theme group, their direction. While Mammoth has taken their poor start to the year and readjusted, Monkeys has taken a strong start and made it questionable. While they are sitting at 7-5, the road ahead does not look clear. They have three straight must win games to solidify their playoff position, matches against !Rawr, NYM, and Classic. Both NYM and Classic sit only two games back of literal monkeys, and a loss by monkeys to either would set that to only one. Meanwhile the infamous !Rawr lineup changes can leave Monkeys guessing for who they will play against. PacaPaul will need to regroup the team together, as they have at least a two-game lead over anyone for playoffs and control their fate. However, the biggest question for Literal Monkeys is an assessment of the season. At best a playoff berth, but with no real signs of any run. Changes should be expected.
All three of Literal Monkeys opponents are next onto our list. !Rawr is our recent addition to the league, and has made some splashes onto BOL Plat. The Doki inspired roster features some interesting players, the Tekito/Otsukare bot lane, Athena, Pete Zaroll, Nendy etc. But what might be the biggest weakness for these players is simply time and roster changes. Joining the league late, !Rawr has a bad hand when it comes to playoffs, as they are mathematically ineligible to even qualify (as long as current teams stand). However, they can play massive spoilers to plenty of teams still in the race. Which is exactly what they can do as their next three matches are against Crosspoint, Monkeys, and Mammoth. Expect !Rawr to take at least one of these three matches, and change the dynamic of the playoffs. Both Classic and NYM come in two games back of the playoff spots and have solid opportunities to potentially break into the top six. Classic comes into the league as one of most inconsistent teams to play, they have wins against Crosspoint, but losses to NYM. What Classic eSports needs is an identity, and an actual winnable composition to play with. Featuring one of BOL’s top mids in Sushi, Classic can make the run they need into the playoffs. However, they are going to need to give themselves the chance to win. They face off this week against Tempest and Illumination. However, if they can somehow snatch a win against any of these two, they should be solid position coming into week eight. Finally, New York Monkeys sit in the same spot Classic do at 5-7. Limping throughout the split at around/below .500 records, NYM needs to make the push necessary to get themselves into playoffs. 2scouts has been able guide the ship within reach but has yet to deliver. NYM biggest issue may just be their overall lack of identity as well, they need to be able to solidify themselves as unit. They have the chance to potentially come within reach as they face off against Literal Monkeys this week. Look for the TLMK v NYM match up to be one to watch for.
Rebuild – SPK (C Tier) and The Avengers (D Tier)
One due to circumstance, and the other due to roster. Both teams down here find themselves in complete rebuild mode. While the season may be coming to an end, it’s an important element from any organization to salvage something from the season. While it may be not as common in the amateur eSports scene, both SPK and Avengers can take the situations they are in and gain something from it. So far, the Avengers have shown some improvement throughout the season, but have yet to make an impact on the league. While we have seen signs of life, there is a clear gap between the Avengers and other BOL Teams. However, if nakara can hold her group together, they can still take the tips necessary for a fresh start next season. Right now, for Avengers the priority is to assess the major concerns and seek to address them into the offseason. Sticking together through a rough season is a strong mark, and something that the Avengers can look to build on. Meanwhile, due to competitive rulings SPK has found themselves in an almost mathematic impossibility to make playoffs. (if it isn’t impossible already) Regardless, SPK is a well-connected organization with the infrastructure to be able to field another roster next split. The man concerns right now for Vanquish should be to end the split strong and re look for a potential title run group next season.