Major storylines and Playoffs predictions as we approach the final week of the Regular Season.
What’s up eGG and MPL fans? Have you all enjoyed the MPL-MY/SG Regular Season so far? I hope so. However, all good thing must come to an end, and this season’s no exception, but it’s not the end just yet! We still have one more week to go, and then it’s the Playoffs!
Fortunately, the Playoffs are going to be even more awesome, so that’s something to look forward to. In the meantime, while you wait and watch the matches, here’s a recap of S4’s storylines and some predictions about the standings as we enter the Playoffs.
The Likely Dropouts
Wondering who will be eliminated?
Well, judging by the scores and performances so far, STOP is definitely one of the teams that’s getting removed.
Their performance thus far has been poor, having not won a single match. Can’t blame the team, really, because the players are all new to the competitive scene and need more experience.
The question now is, which is the 2nd team facing elimination? Shopee Bosskurr or Louvre Esports, or XPAX X-Assins?
Bosskurr is what used to be AirAsia Saiyan, Malaysia’s favourite team, but now, it has lost the scintillating plays of its early days, especially after star player Fredo left. It’s pretty sad to see a formerly glorious team lose its lustre, but that’s life.
Their performances this season have been consistently bad … but Bosskurr may not get eliminated after all, since there’s still a light at the end of the tunnel (more on that below). They have a one-game advantage over Louvre Esports and the recent addition of Perisai to their roster has injected new life into the squad.
Hope is harder to come by for Louvre Esports though, as their final match is against EVOS.
Consisting of a few Bigetron SG veterans (who have clashed with the Bosskurr players over the seasons) and some newbies, Louvre’s sitting in an even worse position, having underperformed the entire season due to, as their captain ly4ly4ly4 put it, “a lack of experience (for the newer players).”
Louvre is currently the lowest-ranked Singaporean team this season.
Back to the Malaysian side, XPAX X-Assins hasn’t been faring so well either, regularly struggling against other strong teams like EVOS and Axis.
That said, the X-Assins was the team that halted Todak’s advance (2-1) in Week 4, so, that’s definitely commendable, and Unta’s performance this season has been solid so far, too. They are tied on 3 matches won alongside Shopee Bosskurr but have a better games differential (-1 vs -5).
There is an outside chance that it loses both its matches and Louvre shocks EVOS. The players need to be careful as they aren’t out of the woods yet.
As the story always goes, Axis Esports (known as Saiyan Reborn back then) was a major underdog team but managed to rise from near-elimination to win the Season 2 championship in their thrilling grand final series against EVOS Esports SG.
Now, it’s no longer the underdog, so everyone expects more from the team. Axis didn’t perform as well in S3, dropping out early in the Playoffs, but from S4, the team seems to have regained its form, and have been putting in solid performances so far. They’re currently #2 on the standings.
Can Axis reclaim its throne? The future holds that answer.
Then, there’s EVOS, which has never been champion but turned out bridesmaid twice, and that’s basically been its curse for two seasons running now.
Consistency has never been an issue, but in S4, performances in the first half of the season were a bit underwhelming compared to S3. Still, EVOS managed to return to the top, and is eager for another shot at the championship. But if defeat is the conclusion, the team has at least done its best.
To quote their captain Soul, “I wouldn’t consider it a bad thing, it’s really hard to be consistent at the Playoffs, plus we’re already the best Singaporean team.”
And then there’s Season 3’s champion, Geek Fam.
Unfortunately, S4 has been a lacklustre showing, due to a significant lineup change, where new players OZORAVEKI and RUMPEL were brought into the fold. The team only really turned things on sometime in Week 5, securing the #6 spot. However, that still leaves the team on the edge, risking falling further into the Lower Bracket if performances aren’t ramped up in Week 6 against XPAX X-Assins.
A Rising Star
If those guys are the old warriors, then Todak is the fresh blood, a seemingly unproven team that came out of nowhere and wrested the standings.
From the beginning of the season, Todak was defeating all the other strong teams, like EVOS and Axis. Even veteran players like .MR VI are wary of the team, given their unconventional playstyles and unpredictability. Unfortunately, its advance was halted somewhat by XPAX in W4 and Resurgence in W5, but Todak remains at #3.
Given this sequence of events, its manager Ashi has stated the need to
“train harder and foster in-game discipline, especially with regards to things like map rotations and roaming. We had great momentum, but we’ve suffered some losses too, and as a whole, we definitely need more preparation for unexpected situations.”
Stuck in the Middle
Not every team can be at the top. For every strong team, there are two weaker ones, and Notorious Villains has been one of those.
Splitting from EVOS after Season 2, Kolia confidently joined NARA Esports, with his team performing well in S3, even if it fell early in the Playoffs.
This season, Notorious Villains (his new team after NARA was disbanded) has been repeating much of the same performances and hasn’t really triumphed or fallen, toting a perfect 50:50 win-loss ratio.
As for fellow Singaporean team Resurgence, they’re sort of stuck near the middle, too.
With a lineup comprising last season’s core team – S the addition of two Bigetron SG veterans – Resurgence was struggling to adjust at the start of S4, but it has since managed to pull itself up, winning a few games halfway through the season to secure fourth place.
Still wondering about the Playoffs matchups? Here are some predictions, based on calculations and team performances so far.
It’s likely that the Week 6 matchups won’t see too much of a shakeup in the standings (with some exceptions), since the matches (as listed below) are mostly between strong teams and weaker ones. One-sided affairs seem to be the order unless the weaker teams pull off miracles.
Plus, the point differentials have a pretty wide gap, and each team, excluding Bosskurr, STOP, Todak and XPAX X-Assins, is only playing one match in W6.
The Top 3 will likely see no major changes. EVOS and Axis are nearly neck and neck at 9 and 7 points respectively, while Todak is at 4. Playing only one game each against rather weak opponents, EVOS and Axis are unlikely to lose, which means a max of +2 points for each. Neither team will move from their position unless one of them loses their match, which doesn’t seem on the cards.
Todak, though, is playing two matches, and can gain up to 4 points, opening the possibility of overtaking Axis, if Axis underperforms and scores only 1 point. But even if Todak doesn’t (assuming a loss of 0-2 or 1-2 to Notorious Villains), it will remain at #3, which isn’t bad.
Position #4 (Resurgence) will probably also not change, due to the point margins. Resurgence’s (RSG) opponent is STOP, which makes it likely that RSG will claim the full 2 points, though it will remain below Todak if the Malaysians win either one of their series. It’s a bit more uncertain for Notorious Villains, though (more on that in the Lower Bracket section).
Likely Playoffs Matchups – Upper Bracket
EVOS vs RSG – This one will be pretty interesting, with two Singaporean teams clashing, both having achieved 2nd place in the Playoffs before.
Axis vs Todak – The old champions versus newcomers. It’ll be a clash of very skilled titans with powerful players. Can Axis reclaim their crown?
Already teetering on the edge, if Notorious Villains flops in their battle vs Todak, it will lose a point or two and drop into #6, giving Geek Fam a chance to rise. That’s a very real possibility, given Todak’s strength, but it also depends on Geek Fam doing well, of course. Which leads us to …
A head-to-head clash between #6 (Geek Fam) and #7 (XPAX).
These two underperforming teams are tied with the same number of points (-1) and games won/lost, with XPAX having one less won match. It’s hard to say who will win, given their track record, but XPAX seems more consistent despite its mediocrity. Depending on their performance, we could see them either facing each other again, or going up against Notorious Villains in the Playoffs.
As mentioned, STOP is likely to be eliminated, so it’s either (#9) Louvre or (#8) Bosskurr that will accompany them, with both sitting on -5 points and likely to replace the position of the one that falls.
Bosskurr will face Axis as well as XPAX. They’re not likely to defeat Axis and may even lose 0-2, but the faint hope presents itself in the form of XPAX. If Bosskurr can secure just one win out of their upcoming two matches, they will advance to the Playoffs. If they lose both series and Louvre wins, there’s a possibility that they fail to make the Playoffs. The stakes are still high for teams near the bottom and no team should be overconfident.
Meanwhile, Louvre has to contend with EVOS. If Bosskurr does badly in BOTH its matches, the team might just end up in a worse position than Louvre, so the pendulum swings both ways. Their chances are slim, but miracles might still happen.
Likely Playoffs Matchups – Lower Bracket
Notorious Villains vs Bosskurr – Bosskurr once again faces a solid Singaporean team, even after escaping the jaws of death. Can it still pull through and reclaim its glory?
Geek Fam vs XPAX – A revenge match after what happens in Week 6, with bigger stakes for Geek Fam (who can’t afford to lose after winning S3)
The final standings of the teams will determine their Playoffs bracket so there’s still everything to play for even if they have qualified. Catch your favourite teams in action this weekend on the MLBB Facebook page as the MPL-MY/SG S4 Regular Season wraps up!