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    ECL 10 Pro Playoffs: Round 1 Preview

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     NHLGamers,

    The exciting regular season of our Pro division is over for now and heads are turning towards the postseason. For some teams that might mean shifting focus towards coming tournaments, but we'll be taking a look at the ones continuing into the playoffs. It's time to take a look at the round 1 matchups and examine some key points in each one of them. As always, all series are played in best-of-7 fashion, meaning that four wins will grant access to the next round. 

    ECL_10_Pro_Playoffs_Round_1.jpg

    Lainaa

    5.4 ECL Pro Playoffs

    In ECL Pro, 8 out of 16 teams from each group will make the playoffs, in which they will be cross-seeded best against worst according to the tiebreakers mentioned in 11.3. After the first round has been played, the teams will then be seeded based on PPG. The winner of ECL Pro will be instantly promoted, however the runner up will have to play (and win) a series vs. an Elite opponent in order to attain promotion. The two ECL Pro semifinal losers will each play one ECL Elite team ranked 13 or 14, crossseeded according to the tiebreakers mentioned in 11.3. Teams that finish in places 9-12 will neither play in the playoffs nor be subject to relegation. All ECL Pro teams that finish in places 13-16 will play a cross-seeded relegation series, where all losers (4 in total) will be relegated instantly to ECL Lite.

    10.5.2 ECL Pro Playoff Schedule

    • Playoffs Round 1: 10.5 - 16.5
    • Quarterfinals: 17.5 - 23.5
    • Semifinals: 24.5 - 30.5
    • Finals: 31.5 - 6.6

    A general impression of the first round matchups show a bunch of really evenly matched teams. One of two clear favorites can be found but overall, it's a free-for-all. Predicting eventual winners could be an impossible task, but as per usual, speculation is what we will provide. Let's see how we fare this time around and start getting ready for the playoffs of ECL 10 Pro!

     

    Leksands_IF.png Leksands IF (1) vs Hanaa_HC_500x500.png HanaaHC (8)

    Leksands IF played an incredibly strong regular season throughout. HanaaHC also had a great showing but had 3 consecutive defeats at the end, which pushed them down in the standings. Maybe they jumped the gun a bit and were concentrated on the playoffs?  HanaaHC has been playing very disciplined and had enough scoring power to win the tight games. The youngsters certainly do have what it takes to be successful, but it'll be exciting to see whether the sheer experience that Leksands IF has will prevail. As stated, an upset isn't out of the question and HanaaHC might steal a couple, but in the end Leksand should advance.

    Players to watch: 

    @Isindar (33+33=66) Leksands IF

    @Hazard-laser (27+23=50) HanaaHC

    @Mikka (16+32=48) HanaaHC

    Prediction: Leksands IF in 6

     

    Black_Horse.png Black Horse (1) vs Kaupallinen_Yhteistyo.png Kaupallinen Yhteistyo (8)

    Both teams had good regular seasons, although KY had some interesting player turnover which might have had an effect. Neither one went on longer losing streaks. Kaupallinen Yhteistyö got a major boost since acquiring JANURI98. They are a strong team and the 8th seed can give the wrong impression about their true capabilities. In this series, we've got all the ingredients for fierce battle and I predict we can be up for an upset and see KY win the needed tight games. Black Horse has had a major weapon in their attack with experienced Wirtsuuu. It'll come down to the battle between attack and defense, but also which team will have a stronger supporting cast.

    Players to watch:                                      

    @Tapparafan (49+29=78) Black Horse

    @JanneK. (11 W, 75,79 SV%, 2,8 GAA, 2 SO) Kaupallinen Yhteistyo

    @Krisutus (22+37=59) Kaupallinen Yhteistyo

    Prediction: Kaupallinen Yhteistyo in 7

     

    Team_Frosty.png Team Frosty (2) vs sulkavan sudet 500x500.png Sulkavan Sudet (7)

    Team Frosty is known for their good disciplined teamplay and great defending with the ability to win tight games. They are a big favorite in this series against Sulkavan Sudet, who had a pretty good regular season that finished with three consecutive wins. Perhaps Sudet are peaking to start the playoffs and can challenge Frosty? As said, Team Frosty gave an impression in the regular season to be able to win the low scoring games but playoffs are a different beast. On the other hand, it is a similar situation for Sulkavan Sudet. By playing a bunch of tight games and coming away on top, I'd say that Frosty are already in playoff mode and by finding that same focus, they will come out on top.

    Players to watch:

    @Naikou88 (25+26=51) Team Frosty

    @SpiderRoyal (22 W, 77,82 SV%, 1,9 GAA, 1 SO) Team Frosty

    @Oxdoggi (25+31=56) Sulkavan Sudet

    Prediction: Team Frosty in 7

     

    Nordic_Stars.png Nordic Stars (2) vs Children_of_Ice.png Children of Ice (7)

    Both team have a high average level. Children of Ice have had a weaker season than expected whereas Nordic Stars probably performed a little better than expected. NS is one of those teams that seems to practice almost every night which could give them an advantage. Then again, Children of Ice consist of some of the most experienced players out there. I predict this series to be tighter than you might expect if you look only at the finishing positions in the regular season. Although NS is a major favorite, Children of Ice have the ability to extend this series.

    Players to watch:

    @Jerax13 (37+26=63) Nordic Stars

    @Jorma Parola (23+29=52) Children of Ice

    Prediction: Nordic Stars in 5

     

    rpeat500x500.png RPEAT Esports (3) vs Vaxjo_Lakers_new.png Vaxjö Lakers (6)

     

    Vaxjö Lakers had a slow start to the season. However, since then they have improved their game and results tremendously. Despite their struggles, the Swedes are a high-quality team that know how to play when going into a playoff series against a viable opponent such as RPEAT Esports. Most likely, both teams will find that next gear and we'll see an all-out battle on the ice. Vaxjö Lakers HC has EDHOLMINHO as their main weapon on attack which might turn the series in their favor even if RPEAT Esports have the advantage based on regular season performances. The key players for RPEAT are Aze and Magizam, who will do all they can to stop VLH.

    Players to watch:

    @EDHOLMINHO (32+45=77) Vaxjö Lakers HC

    @Aze (21+25=46) RPEAT Esports

    @Magizam (17 W, 83,73 SV%, 1,71 GAA, 5 SO) RPEAT Esports

    Prediction: Vaxjö Lakers HC in 6

     

    TIKI TALK.png TIKI TALK (3) vs Blackdawngs500x500.png Blackdawgs (6)

    To cap off the regular season, TIKI TALK took the giant leap from 6th to 3rd place. They are in good form and a slight favorite in this series. Blackdawgs aren´t by any means without a chance in this series. They managed to win group 1 1st seed Leksands IF twice in the regular season, which shows that they have the ability to win big teams. TIKI has one of the best goalies in the Pro Division with Petterson12, who is a giant obstacle for Blackdawgs to overcome. Pettersson is the determining factor which will push TIKI to a win in this series. TIKI TALK must be aware of Blackdawgs' two top players responsible for over a total of 100 points combined: XxProArskaxX and ItzYung_Dzouvi.

    Players to watch:

    @itspardytime (39+30=69) TIKI TALK

    @Pettersson12 (21 W, 83,47 SV%, 2,07 GAA, 4 SO) TIKI TALK

    @TheArska (30+30=60) Blackdawgs

    @dzouvi (24+23=47) Blackdawgs

    Prediction: TIKI TALK in 5

     

    rivenjohdolla500x500.png Riven Johdolla (4) vs Reality_Check.png Reality Check (5)

    For me, this is without a doubt the series to watch in round 1. Riven Johdolla has a tremendously skilled line of attackers who all dominated the regular season in scoring statistics. They also have a very balanced team with reliable defense and a goalie that is capable of stealing games. Reality Check is a very similarily built team with equal scoring power and a capable defense. I predict a very tight series with few goals and a high likelihood of a game 7 finish. Playoffs are a different world compared to the regular season so can Riven Johdolla maintain their tremendous level in playoffs? Riven has all the chances to go through to the next round but I see Reality Check as a minor favorite in this series. The key to this series will be which offensive powerhouse can eliminate their counterpart.

    Players to watch:

    @Vattu__ (35+39=74) Riven Johdolla

    @BensaPoju (30+44=74) Riven Johdolla

    @ilikkaa (35+37=72) Riven Johdolla

    @jorma2001 (28+33=61) Reality Check

    @James (29+26=55) Reality Check

    @Pursuitti (20+31=51) Reality Check

    Prediction: Reality Check in 7

     

    ZSC_Lions.png ZSC Esports (4) vs Enigma500x500.png Enigma (5)

    In the regular season Enigmas performances were notable, having former  Symphony player Nieppii lead the way for them. Although Enigma has some star players, I don't see the skill gap between these two teams as too large.  Enigma left a very positive impression on me in the regular season and I wouldn't be surprised to see them advance. ZSC Esports have a special weapon in their defense. Their two go-to guys are high-scoring Bille1009 and Haldeem, who know how to quarterback plays but can also shut down the opposition. On the other hand, Enigma also has firepower in the defense with Crisu_Rottis at the forefront. We'll see if ZSC can match what Enigma throws at them in this exciting series.

    Players to watch:

    @Bille1990 (4+20=24) ZSC Esports

    @Haldeem (4+20=24) ZSC Esports

    @Nieppii (25+45=70) Enigma

    @Crisu_rottis (7+22=29) Enigma

    Prediction: Enigma in 6


    As always, have fun - play hard!

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