You've worked hard and come all this way. Now it's only time to work harder.
"If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs.. Then you'll be a man, my son.". The iconic poem If by Rudyard Kipling addresses the reader in an attempt to build faith. If you believe, then you will also more likely succeed - all four remaining teams will want the trophy in a few weeks time.
In the upcoming semifinals, we'll be in for some interesting battles and some exciting storylines, as both Swedish and Finnish esports fans will have something to cheer for as one matchup showcases SHL teams Linköping HC and Färjestad BK, whereas the other one is a clash between finish esports organisations HAVU Gaming and hREDS.
5.3 ECL Elite Playoffs
In ECL Elite, 8 out of 16 teams will make the playoffs. Teams that finish in places 9-12 will neither play in the playoffs nor be subject to relegation. Teams that finish in places 13, 14 & 15 will each play the ECL Pro semifinalists, as well as the Pro runner up. In addition to this, the 16th placed team will be instantly relegated to ECL Pro for the next season.
10.5.1 ECL Elite Playoff Schedule
• Quarterfinals: 17.5 - 24.5
- Monday 18th: Series 1 & Series 2 - Games 1 & 2
- Wednesday 20th: Series 1 & Series 2 - Games 3 & 4
- Thursday 21st: Games 5-7 (Where available)
- Sunday 24th: Games 5-7 (Where available)
• Semifinals: 25.5 - 31.5
- Monday 25th: Both series - Games 1 & 2
- Wednesday 27th: Both series - Games 3 & 4
- Thursday 28th: Games 5-7 (Where available)
- Sunday 31st: Games 5-7 (Where available)
• Finals: 5.6 - 6.6
- Friday 5th: Games 1-3
- Saturday 6th: Games 4-7 (Where available)
Here are the matchups for the ECL 10 Elite semifinals:
4-0 (Roots) vs 4-1 (JYP Jyvaskyla)
Let's start off by acknowledging the incredible feat of upsetting the number 1 seed that Farjestad BK pulled off to start the playoffs. It's something out of the ordinary and has last happened back in ECL 4 in a matchup between #1 seed MUKIMIEHET and #8 seed Limitless, a series in which now dear teammates in Linköping, Erik @Eki Tammenpää (MUKIMIEHET) & Paul @PleeMaker Arontie (Limitless) took part on opposing sides of the ice. Having such an upset occur at an early stage can throw off the playoff picture a bit, which it has in this case too. Linkoping is a tremendously consistent team, which is easily proven by the fact that they've been either title holders or contenders ever since surfacing at the Elite level in ECL 7. This season, the team has been on a record-setting streak with both a forward (Plee) and a defenseman (Aleksi @loimmu Loimuvirta) setting all-time scoring records. In the quarters, the white lions laid a beating on Roots by sweeping the 7th seed in convincing manner. Now, in comparison Roots and FBK are two very different opponents. Actually FBK entertains a playing style unlike any other at this level. The team has been looking for stretch passes up the boards and the coined "Pelimies"-play up the middle all season long, and have seemingly found space to create other plays due to the constant threat of a stretch pass. That combined with a solid defense and goaltender Johan @Rundqviiist Rundqvist making a solid case for being among the top goaltenders in the world is what led to the team overcoming heavy favorite JYP and now being a solid contender.
4-0 (BRAYCE Phantoms) vs 4-3 (Unlucky Boys HC)
HAVU Gaming and hREDS are a somewhat expected pairing at this point of the season, as both of these powerhouses were predicted to finish among the top teams in the standings. HAVU is the more established team and obviously some heavy expectations rest on those shoulders - nothing the guys aren't used to. On the other side, hREDS is the home to some of the most exciting talent in the game right now, but the team being more of a combination of talent from various sources isn't as coherent of a unit - at least yet. We've seen a number of surprises in the playoffs over the years and this season has been no exception to that, so maybe hREDS can overcome the odds? With certainty we can say that this battle will determine who is the greatest gaming org in the ECL at the moment, and a victory will surely provide the prevailing side with some social media ammo for the foreseeable future. For HAVU, the team has been led from the back by Hannes @Hansulinho Kettunen, who as usual has been a beast in net and will continue to pain the forwards facing him. The REDS have the offensive tools to match HAVU with Niklas @NikkeDangles Tukiainen leading the way over the course of the season, but they need to focus on staying out of the box, 5 on 5 hockey is what they need as much as possible of if they want to walk away as winners.
How to watch?
21:30 CEST Series 2: Games 1-2 (puck drop around 21:30-22:00 - but only after the above games are finished)
hREDS vs HAVU Gaming
Wednesday, May 27th
20:00 CEST Series 3: Games 3-4 (puck drop around 20:20)
Farjestad BK vs Linkoping HC
21:30 CEST Series 4: Games 3-4 (puck drop around 21:30-22:00 - but only after the above games are finished)
hREDS vs HAVU Gaming
Thursday, May 28th
20:00 CEST Series x: Games 5-7 (puck drop around 20:20)
AFTER THAT Series y: Games 5-7 (only after the above games are finished)