Hello, it’s Toxin! Last week was an eye opener for me on the strength of a lot of the teams in this league. Certain teams came out strong and had dominant performances; others fell flat despite high expectations of them. All in all, I’m glad to see Blue Otter League up and running again. In terms of predictions from last week, I went 50-50 where I got four predictions right and four predictions wrong. The bad news is that I was completely wrong about half of the teams in the league and how strong they are. The good news is that no one else sent in any predictions, so we can just pretend that they never happened and start keeping track of how well I do on them moving forward! With that out of the way, let’s get into the rankings!
1. CB X (=)
First up is CB X, which will stay on top of this division after a dominant performance this week against Nails and Day Spa in the first streamed match of the season. I’ll be honest, this matchup was not close in the slightest, which speaks to how dominant CB X is projected to be this season. Despite calling their bot lane out for being weak in my preseason rankings, I think that Riv60 and ŃoName had a strong showing this week. If they are able to put up performances like that every week, this team could quite possibly win it all. They go up against Nitwits in Purgatory this week. Player to Watch: Kaïten
Kaïten is genuinely my early pick as the MVP of the league. After narrowly missing out on the honor last season, he looks like a man on a mission to earn the title. He was dominant in both games he stepped on the rift, and I am looking forward to the pocket picks he breaks out next week.
2. Conduit Esports (+2)
Moving up two spots from last week is Conduit Esports. This is mainly for two reasons: they were dominant in their victory this week and NADS looked far worse than I originally thought they would be. Of the two reasons, let’s focus more on how they performed last week. First off, I think this win was huge for them. Not only were they able to take down one of the better teams in this division, but they were able to do so in such a dominant fashion that each player deserves praise. That being said, I want to talk about two players in particular, JJH and Kappa Krusader. Both players were left off of my initial top 10 player rankings due to concerns that I had for each player. For JJH, I was concerned that he was more of a passenger on CB Obsidian than a driver. This week, he completely proved me wrong and showed that he can be the main carry of a team. In both games, he outplayed Azurexfire and was a major reason why his team won. They go up against Monkeys Rising this week. Player to Watch: Kappa Krusader
The other player I want to highlight is Kappa Krusader. I think that he also stood out as a major reason why Conduit Esports looked so good this week. It definitely looks like the transition from top lane to jungle was seamless, and I’m looking forward to seeing how well he matches up against some of the other junglers in the league.
3. Nails and Day Spa (-1)
Nails and Day Spa move down one spot this week to third place, and frankly I was disappointed in their week one performance. In the preseason rankings, I envisioned them in their glory days of Season 4 of BOL; a team that had dominant synergy amongst their members and won games by being able to draft comps that could fight 5v5 better than their opponents. That being said, none of their strengths of their yesteryears showed up last week. Their drafts were a clear weakness where they counterpicked themselves on multiple occasions, and their teamplay was not as coordinated as they used to be. That being said, they did go up against one of, if not the best team in the league in week one while they are still getting used to playing with each other again. As long as this defeat does not break them, I think this team can easily rebound and stay a top two or top three team. They go up against the newly rebranded Krakens of Love this week.
Player to Watch: KizerCoolness Although every player underperformed last week, I think that KizerCoolness was the biggest fall from grace. At his prime, Kizer was easily one of the best players on the championship winning NADS roster. If he can return to his former glory, I believe this team can make it to the finals. But until that happens, I’m worried that this team will slip farther down in the rankings.
4. Imperial Gaming (-1)
Next up is Imperial Gaming, which also dropped one spot this week. What surprises me the most about this loss is that Imperial was unable to take a game off of Conduit Esports. Usually when Imperial loses, they tend to take the series to three games at the very least. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case and I’m left scratching my head. Is this team starting to hit the wall and burn out on the game due to the sheer amount that they play each week? Did they just have a rough first week? I think things will be much more clear after they play Reign Gaming. If they end this week with a 2-0, I think they will be firmly cemented among the playoff teams for this division. If they falter again, I will start to worry about their playoff chances. Player to Watch: Azurexfire Last week’s matches were definitely a series that Azurexfire would like to forget. He struggled on his bread and butter “glacial” champions, which is definitely not something that happens very often in BOL. As the captain of the team, I fully expect him to rebound and lead his team by example with a standout performance this week.
5. Monkeys Rising (+1)
Moving up one spot this week are the Monkeys Rising. One note to make is that their starting AD carry, BuriedDonut, did not play last week. In his place was Acbalough, a top laner who just this week was able to reach Platinum 4 for the first time.. By 2-0ing one of the teams I have listed towards the bottom of this division, I think they have separated themselves from the bottom and have become a contender for a playoff spot, especially with some of the other results in the division. If they are able to continue this level of dominance in their next matchup against Conduit Esports, I think that this team will continue to rise all the way to the moon. Another interesting note is that their coach, FurynotFurry, was casting the BOL streamed game, so I’m curious as to what happened during their draft. Did Fury secretly draft for them while he was casting? Did they draft by themselves and Fury is just their Vod Review coach? I’m definitely curious to know what the dynamic is there! They go up against Conduit Esports this week.
Player to Watch: Chinese Spy
As one of the VBU Argon subs turned starter this season, a lot of high expectations were put on Chinese Spy to be a strong mid laner in this league. The good news? He’s absolutely living up to expectations so far. In back to back games he put up strong performances on Corki that were unable to be matched. I fully expect him to continue to be the carry on this roster and develop into one of the best mid laners in the league.
6. Reign Gaming (-1)
In sixth is Reign Gaming, which took down Nitwits in Purgatory last week in a three game melee. While they did end up winning their match, this win definitely was not very impressive from the outside looking in. Not only did they drop a game to a team that I had power ranked in last, but they also seem to only have one set strategy on how to win. In both of their victories, they played the same five champions: Jarvan IV top lane, Elise jungle, Seraphine mid lane, Yasuo ADC, and Rakan support. In addition, they also played three of those five champions in their loss in game two. What this shows to me is one of two things; either they aren’t very flexible and don’t have many team comps that they are comfortable playing, or they are trying very hard to save their different drafts for some of the higher tier teams. At the moment, I’m not very convinced of the latter, so I decided to move them down a spot this week. They go up against Imperial Gaming, a matchup that can raise their BOL Stonks dramatically if they are able to pull out the win. Player to watch: IGOHAM
IGOHAM is 100% the person to watch on this team, due to the fact that he is an autofilled mid laner that is playing ADC, on top of the fact that he is their plat player. It is very concerning that the one game he decided to play an ADC, his lane was exploited. His two wins needed to come on a mid lane champion, that being Yasuo. Will he default to other mid lane champions, such as Cassiopeia, Ziggs, or Syndra, if his Yasuo is banned? Or will he learn how to utilize some of the marksmen champions in the game. I'm curious to find out.
7. Nitwits in Purgatory (+1)
Despite losing last week, the Nitwits in Purgatory impressed me last week and moved up one spot in the power rankings. Originally, the bar was not set very high for this team when I looked at their op.ggs. That being said, they were able to take a game off of one of the teams that are gatekeeping a playoff spot in this division. If they are able to use their synergy as teammates to overcome some of the supposed skill disparities shown in solo queue, I think this team can steal some wins from some of the teams that are struggling to figure out their identities early on. Unfortunately, this week they go up against CB X, one of the best teams in the league.
Player to Watch: ToTheM00n The player I want to highlight this week is their AD Carry, ToTheM00n. In game two, I think this player popped off on Jinx and was able to carry his team to their only win of the night. If this player can continue to play like this more consistently, I think that the Nitwits should be able to pull together some victories. The most important thing here is consistency; if Eastonn8 is the only carry, the team will not go far, as shown in games one and three.
8. Krakens of Love? (-1)
Finally, we have the newly rebranded Krakens of Love, also known as Pod of Dolphins in other leagues. What I have gathered from some of the other leagues that they play in is that AlphaFable is this team’s lord and savior. When he is able to play, he goes out there, rallies the team together to put forth 120% of their power, and ultimately smurfs his way to victory. That being said, AlphaFable was not available last week, and the team was not able to win without him. This, on top of the fact that the team has been renamed twice now, makes me think that they are struggling to really find an identity for themselves. Hopefully, AlphaFable is ready to go this week when the Krakens of Love take on the Nails and Day Spa.
Player to Watch: XFX As much as I talked about AlphaFable, I want to make sure to highlight the one player that really stood out last week: XFX. This player was absolutely smurfing in game one on Ashe, and although they did not win that game, it showed that if this team can set him up for success, this guy can be a major carry on this roster.
1. Limitless Excel (+1)
Coming in first in the East Division after week one is Limitless Excel, which were able to absolutely dismantle the Literal Monkeys last week. This team currently holds the record of lowest average game time, that being a little over 24 minutes, which is absolutely insane. After that performance, it’s hard to see this team as anything but the team to beat in this division. That being said, I don’t think their opponents were quite at their full power last week. If they let this victory get to their heads and become over confident heading into the following weeks, I think this team can get upset by some of the teams I have ranked just below them. Either way, the expectations for this team have increased exponentially in my mind, and I’m looking forward to see how they do this week against NSG Gold.
Player to Watch: Buckbee After being a sub for the last two seasons of BOL, Buckbee has finally decided that it’s his turn to carry a team to a deep playoff run. I thought he played exceptionally well last week with double digit kill performances in each game. That being said, he did go up against a silver player that was playing their first series in a gold league, so this result was to be expected. What I want to see is how he fares against some of the better competition in the mid lane, including BTG, Natsu, and Kaiten in the other division. If he can continue this level of play against those players, I think Buckbee would be in the race for the MVP of the league.
2. Singed’s Crab Shack (+1)
Moving up to Second place is Singed’s Crab Shack, who quelled the Revolution Gold team last week in a 2-0 victory. What I found most impressive was this team’s ability to have only single digit death totals in both of their games. In the total series, they collectively only died 14 times, a number that most teams in this league tend to surpass in a single game. While I am only moving them up one spot due to how low I initially rated their opponents, I think that the Crab Shack has the potential to finish in first place in the division. I really need to see more of this team to get a better idea of how strong they are, but all signs are pointing up right now. They go against the Big Duck Entourage next week. Player to Watch: VIN0
I’m going to be honest, I could put any one of the players on Singed’s Crab Shack as the player to watch and have a good reason to put them there. That is just how well this team performed in week one. I decided to go with VIN0 this week as the player to highlight due to him having standout performances in the top lane. Top lane as a role is rarely discussed, so when a player is hard split-pushing and having a perfect game on Trundle, or is able to completely ruin a Fiddlesticks’ day on Mordekaiser, I think that deserves some special recognition.
3. GSG Sigma (+2)
If you’re reading this, the one thing on your mind is probably this: why is GSG Sigma only in 3rd place when they beat the team you had in first place last week, in a 2-0 no less? I’m gonna be honest, that feat alone definitely put this team in contention for the number one spot. However, the teams above them equally put up strong showing, so for now, I want to stick to my initial rankings as much as possible. That being said, I think that this team can easily finish in first place if they can repeat what they did last week consistently. It was the BTG and BaaMMM show; both players absolutely popped off and proved that they were the better carries in this matchup. Another interesting note is that TheIronnRevenant was filling in top lane this week, so this roster didn't even have their full starting roster in and still was able to win. They go up against Revolution Gold next week. Player to Watch: Vandrahl Although BTG and BaaMMM were the two players that ended up carrying the games last week, I want to point out Vandrahl as the one who put them into winning positions. I think that he played extremely well, especially considering his opposing jungle was MinuteMilitia, a player that I had ranked as the best jungler in the league last week. Vandrahl’s performance on Trundle was truly special, with him finishing the game 12-2-12.
4. Radiant Storm Onslaught (-3)
Falling from the top spot is Radiant Storm Onslaught after their 2-0 beatdown by GSG Sigma last week. There’s good news and bad news here. The good news? It was only one week and moving forward they have plenty of time to build synergy with their team to turn their season around. The bad news? The three teams above them looked absolutely dominant in the first week, and the team just below them just made a major roster change that will improve their roster greatly. What is worth noting is that SussyWakka ended up being the support last week in their games instead of Charanko. While on paper this seems like an upgrade, perhaps Moekaizer did not have as much synergy with Wakka as he does with Charanko. Either way, I have serious concerns with this roster. Hopefully they turn things around next week versus the Literal Monkeys.
Player to Watch: Shiny Natsu GX aka Dark Evil Natsu
After getting smacked around in game one, you can that Natsu was not going to go down without a fight in game two. He played well in that game on Galio, but this is not the kind of performance I would have expected out of him. If Radiant Storm Onslaught wants to climb back to the top, they need to unlock Natsu. If he is given the time and attention that he was given back in the 3-0 Esports days, I think that he can be the carry that this team desperately needs.
5. Literal Monkeys (-1)
I’m going to be honest, the one thing keeping the Literal Monkeys from falling even further down this list is the roster change that they made this week, where they added Just Bobo as their cap exception player in the support role. This move, which I foresaw in my initial preseason rankings, does so much for the future of this roster. For starters, I think that Wunderworld is able to play at his fullest potential now, which should give nightmares to every other bot lane in the league. It also allows Hide In Shrouds to go back to his main role of mid lane. Overall, I think the potential of the roster is definitely a lot higher, but for this week they will stay in 5th place due to their abysmal performance against Limitless Excel last week. Could they be lower? Absolutely. But I fully expect their new look roster to bounce back in a big way, starting against Radiant Storm Onslaught this week.
Player to Watch: Wunderworld
I’m 100% confident that if you talk to him about his performance last week, Wunderworld would tell you that it was probably his worst performance in a long time. That being said, I don’t think he will have another performance like that this season. With his longtime partner in the bot lane now by his side once more, I guarantee you that this is a player that you want to watch out for.
6. Revolution Gold (=)
Moving on, we have Revolution Gold staying in sixth place this week despite a rough loss to Singed’s Crab Shack last week. As a roster that is still getting its feet wet in the gold scene, they definitely had to plummet straight into the deep end with their first week matchup. Looking on the bright side, the team already has one of their toughest opponents out of the way early. Besides maybe Limitless Excel, every other week should theoretically (at least according to my rankings) be a lot easier moving forward. As long as this roster is able to rise to the skill level they are playing against, this roster should be able to learn a lot and grow for splits to come. That being said, I’ve also heard that their best performing player of last week, Dakng, is potentially being subbed out for Warning Shots this week. That, ontop of the fact that their listed starting ADC will not be playing until week three if that is the case, does give me cause for concern. They go up against GSG Sigma this week.
Player to Watch: Zilliek For Revolution Gold, I think that Zilliek is the player that this roster has been built around. If that is the case, I really am looking to see how he utilizes his laners to put his team into a winning position. From what I can tell, it seems that he tried to play around his mid lane last week. Perhaps the team should try to put more resources into their top laner so that she is able to survive and go even for longer in the game. Maybe going bot lane more is the answer to success? Either way, I’m looking to see how Zilliek adapts in the upcoming weeks to get the most out of his team.
7. NSG Gold (+1)
Moving up one spot this week is NSG Gold, who were able to convincingly take down BDE last week. The biggest noteworthy praise that I have for this roster is that despite giving the best player on the enemy team their one trick champion, they were able to shut that player down and keep them out of the game. Honestly, the win last week was pretty clean, all things considered. I will say that they only defeated the team I had ranked directly above them though, so despite being 1-0 I still have my reservations about moving them any higher. If they are able to take a game off of Limitless Excel this week, I definitely can see this team moving up a good amount next week. Player to Watch: Phas Like I said above, Phas was able to clearly outjungle AllFire26 despite the fact that his opponent was able to pick Diana, his best champion, for two games in a row. In my eyes, that is a significant feat, and puts him into consideration for being a top 10 jungler in the league. I am very curious to see this player's full potential and whether or not he will be able to carry games against stronger competition.
8. Big Duck Entourage (-1)
Falling into last place is the Big Duck Entourage, which lost 2-0 to NSG Gold last week. Honestly, there are a couple of bright spots though. In game two, most of their players were relatively even in gold and had decent statlines as well. This is also a roster that is still working out some kinks and trying to figure out what the best possible combination of players is. In addition, their starting AD Carry was unable to play, and they had their starting support offrolling ADC. They also had Uncoolsquash make an appearance in the mid lane for game one and BDE SwagMoneyBoi playing support for both games. This is a roster that has stability issues galore, and I’m looking to see how they are able to address these problems moving forward. I think that if they are able to stick with a roster for a good period of time, they may be able to build synergy and climb out from the bottom. They go up against Singed’s Crab Shack this week. Player to Watch: Allfire26 Allfire26 is a player that definitely underperformed last week. He got completely outclassed despite being on his best champion, something that is not normal for him whatsoever. Since this loss, he has grinded the absolute crap out of soloq and has reached Platinum 4, so I can definitely see him making a strong bounce back performance this week.
Predictions for this week:
Singed’s Crab Shack 2-0 Big Duck Entourage
GSG Sigma 2-0 Revolution Gold
Literal Monkeys 2-0 Radiant Storm Onslaught
Limitless Excel 2-0 NSG Gold
Nails and Day Spa 2-1 Krakens of Love
CB X 2-0 Nitwits in Purgatory
Conduit Esports 2-0 Monkeys Rising
Imperial Gaming 2-1 Reign Gaming