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    ECL 10 Pro: Season Preview

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    It's time for our season preview of the ECL 10 Pro division. A bit over two months has passed since we saw Delusion crowned as the champions of ECL 9 Pro when they managed to beat Vesa Pompa HC in a final series that included an enormous amount of individual talent and two teams that both eventually paved their way into the top tier. Top tier play is on the list of requirements yet again for the champions as the game and our growing community makes the 6v6 scene more competitive season after season. To cap off last season we saw all top 4 Pro teams fight their way to Elite and also really tight games in the Elite Qualification Series which proves that the quality of play in Pro division is at a really high level right now. 

    At the moment we are living in especially hard times globally. The COVID-19 pandemic will most probably have some influence on ECL competition in this starting season in terms of rescheduling and also if teams are forced to use back-ups in cases of sickness (which we pray does not happen). This might be a factor that sways the power ranking between teams one way or another. That is an interesting topic and the consequences of COVID-19 remain to be seen. We're definitely hoping not to see too much effect on the ECL this season, it's a prevalent topic that needs to be addressed in these times. ECL isn´t the “island away from the rest of the world” so this is a point we should not ignore ahead of this starting season.


    To sum it all up:

    Teams that were relegated from ECL 9 Elite and weren’t able to fight their way back in the Elite Qualification Series are Leksands IF and TIKI TALK.

    Teams that proved their worth in ECL 9 Lite and earned the promotion to ECL 10 Pro are Lite champions Sulkavan Sudet, runner-up Riven Johdolla, Clumsy Penguins and MOCKBA. 

    To fill the missing teams in the division, NHLGamer staff have accepted applications from teams Rookie Mistakes, Kouvola Screaming Eagles, Company of Geeks, HanaaHC, Djurgarden Hockey and Team Frosty for the open spots in ECL 10 Pro. 

    ECL 10 Pro has a total of 32 teams divided into two groups. We took a closer look at some of the most interesting teams at this point in the season and decided to bring you basic information about them and highlight some key players to follow. We are also predicting their success in the regular season during the forthcoming season.

    Group 1

    Leksands_IF.png Leksands IF

    After a disappointing season in ECL 9 Elite, Leksands IF was able to put up quite a show in the first eSHL season and the playoffs, where they first won ECL 9 Elite semifinalist Lulea Hockey and fought bravely against Linköping HC in a semifinal series that ended 3-1 (BO5) in the favor of the eSHL (and ECL 9) champion. Success in eSHL must have brought some confidence back but it didn’t show in the Elite Qualification Series, where the team saw another bottom of the table finish and was thereby relegated. Despite the recent setbacks the team has faced, Leksands IF is still seen as the favorite eSHL team to succeed this season in ECL 10 Pro (Challenge accepted Vaxjo Lakers HC, Orebro eHockey and Djurgarden Hockey?). There is no doubt that if Leksands IF can find their stride again, they will be fighting for the cup this season. Captain @Mumsi- is once again expected to lead the team to a promotion battle as he did back in their Synergy Hockey days in ECL 7 Pro, with familiar faces by his side. A notable player is missing from the roster, as it appears that long-time defender @Egyptologen (J-Foppa) has left the team.

    Placement after regular season: 1-2

    Player to watch: Experienced defender and club icon @Supremski is the backbone for the whole team. With so many good attacking teams it is one of the main requirements for success to have good defenders that can do well in the own zone and Supremski represents the cream of the crop in this sector at this level. 

    Enigma500x500.png Enigma

    This team that was named Sandstorm last season has made a brand change and is now called Enigma. Last season, Sandstorm suffered a loss in the first round of the playoffs against GHETTO FIREBIRDS in a tight series that ended 4-3. The name isn’t the only thing that has changed from last season, though. Only captain @MozjaTG (Mozja-) remains from last seasons roster. However, compared to their roster in ECL 9 Pro the quality hasn’t dropped at all. For example, the team lost their best scorer @yrjoo but in exchange former Symphony player @Nieppii returns to Pro hockey after a couple of seasons in Elite. Also former team captain @Crisu_rottis returns to strengthen the defensive line after a season with Almost Famous. It is really interesting to see how the fresh squad will blend as a team and find chemistry. The roster of Enigma has the potential to do great things this season but in the end it is all about teamwork which we will see more in depth when the season starts. If the team can get their motors running the way they want to, it's likely that Enigma will do way better than they did last season and be a real threat to any team in the later stages of the season. 

    Placement after regular season: 1-2

    Player to watch: @Nieppiiis probably the most reputable player signed by a Pro division this season and possesses great offensive upside. He is expected to help Enigma with his experience, personal talent and points. 

    Kaupallinen_Yhteistyo.png Kaupallinen Yhteistyo
    Some eyebrows were raised when relatively unknown Kaupallinen Yhteistyo was promoted to ECL Pro 9 last season through their Pro application but after proving all doubters wrong, there's no question they are a force to be reckoned with this season. In their first ECL season ever, Kaupallinen Yhteistyo managed to finish in 3rd place in their group and fought their way to the second round of the playoffs where they lost to Elite promoted GHETTO FIREBIRDS. As the team roster remains almost unchanged from the ECL 9 Pro season with the addition of @Frilanderfrom Unlucky Boys HC, it is expected that Kaupallinen Yhteistyo will take the next step forward this time. Last seasons success also gave the team a chance to play in the Elite Qualification Series where they won their group but finally lost to BRAYCE Phantoms in the decisive final series. Signs from the previous season and the Elite Qualification Series tell that forwards @Jooonasaurus, @Limbe65 and @Katuhessu (KrisutusB) have found that special chemistry that could make them the most effective attacking trio this season. With the recent form the team is showing, it wouldn’t be a huge surprise anymore to see Kaupallinen Yhteistyo fighting for Elite promotion at the end of the season. 

    Placement after regular season: 1-2

    Player to watch: @Jooonasaurus is a player whose reputation precedes him. After a very good run in the Qualification Series, he is expecting to be one of the leading forwards both performance-wise and statistically this season. 

    rpeat500x500.png RPEAT Esports

    Former Nightmare/Supernatural now skates under the banner of Finnish eSports organization RPEAT esports. Nightmare had a disappointing season in ECL 9 Pro as they were left out of the playoffs by a small margin. After the season, team captain @Kozek77(Kozeehh) and the new alternate captains @illbiocandyand @Aze (l-AZE-l) started reforming the team to redeem themselves. Only three players from last seasons Nightmare squad will continue the journey with RPEAT esports. When taking a closer look at the new faces arriving, it’s obvious that RPEAT esports aims high this season but also looks towards the future. Former Dynasty defender @DieCutterMC will bring experience to the defense while young gun @Timez (Timoccio) and ‘’hidden gem’’ (quote from RPEAT NHL twitter) @vJokkee- are determined to make the breakthrough at the Pro level. Is it going to happen in this season already? This team has the hunger for success and the potential to surprise many strong teams this season. It may be too early to talk about a team that is chasing a promotion for real, but the season will show us what's to come.

    Placement after regular season: 4-6

    Player to watch: Center @Timez(Timoccio) was the key player for ECL 9 Lite runner-up Riven Johdolla last season. He is the most interesting prospect to follow in his first Pro season in a team that can help him become star player in the future. 

    Alliance%20HT.png Alliance HT
    If BRAYCE Phantoms has the highest reputation of German teams, then Alliance HT is the legend of the Russian EASHL scene. Last season in ECL 9 Pro was really tough for them as they were one of the teams that fell to the relegation series. Alliance HT managed to keep their spot in Pro by sweeping Resurrection in the series. A couple of weeks ago it was still unsure if Alliance HT was going to participate ECL this season and for example ECL 9 captain @MAYZIIX was part of the TIKI TALK roster in the Elite Qualification Series before the registrations. It seems the worries have been left behind and they have made a flying start in RCL 6 Div 1. However it is expected that Alliance HT will have another hard season ahead. Longtime player and former captain @Denisovl17l (Denisov_D_l17l) who represented the team back in ECL 6 Pro returns to help the team in these hard times. But is it enough to avoid relegation this season?

    Placement after regular season: 13-16

    Player to watch: 
    Goalkeeper @crooks(Crooks_Tc) will play a big role for his team. He will have to play at his top level every night to help Alliance HT in a season that is expected to be difficult for them. Not an easy task for a keeper that is heading into his first ECL season ever. 

    Group 2

    Reality_Check.png Reality Check

    It is believed that many have marked Reality Check as the favorites for the title race this season. Last season in ECL 9 Pro, Reality Check had a decent regular season finishing 5th in the standings. They started the playoffs strong by beating Children of Ice in the first round and gave a good fight against eventual runner-up Vesa Pompa HC in the second round, losing the series 2-4. During the offseason, the squads roster saw a couple of changes when center @valta15, defender @Ninjawiq (Hakkapeiiitta) and goalie @Jann3_67_ , who all played a big role in last seasons team decided to leave. To fill these boots team saw the arrivals of @Hüüli(huulihoelkka44) and @jimboslizer from Rakish, @Talonmies69 from Children of Ice and @vokial2(SolidElli) from HC Wildcard. Reality Check was one of the teams that took part in the Elite Qualification Series. With the current roster they managed to be the best team in the group stage but in the end they couldn’t find the way to win Almost Famous in the final series. However Reality Check showed that roster changes haven’t hurt the team and proved to their competitors that they are ready for the new season and chase for the cup.

    Placement after regular season: 1-2

    Player to watch: The preseason indicates that @James (Jamssonii) will replace Valta15 at the center position and the game looked promising in the Elite Qualification Series. Wingers are also expected to benefit from the playmaking skills of Jamssonii.

    Nordic_Stars.png Nordic Stars

    Nordic Stars had an excellent regular season in ECL 9 Pro where they finished third in their group. Everything seemed to go the way the team wanted until the first round of the playoffs where they faced Black Horse and lost the series 0-4. Actually one of the Black Horse players that ended up ruining their season was @Iltapeli (apetttaja) who is now part of the Nordic Stars roster. Nordic Stars are a team that likes to play a lot of NHL20. With around 1400 club games played they are certainly one of the most active teams in ECL currently and it shows on the ice. Players like @Vire30 and @Jerax13 do incredible things with the puck on the ice and the way Nordic Stars sometimes plays is really entertaining to watch. It is expected that Nordic Stars will do very well in the regular season this time as well but the question is - have they found a way to play winning playoff hockey? If the answer is yes, then there are not many teams in the league that can stand in their way. This could very well be the season for Nordic Stars that will make them forget last seasons disappointment. 

    Placement after regular season: 1-2

    Player to watch: @Iltapeli (apetttaja) scored 49 goals in 38 games last season in Black Horse. Nordic Stars' style of fast attacking hockey will suit him well and he could break his own personal goal record this season.


    Legendary TIKI TALK were close to avoiding the relegation battle in Elite last season. They were tied in points with POGGERS but with fewer wins TIKI TALK headed to the relegation series where they lost to GHETTO FIREBIRDS. The team had a second chance to return to the top division in the Elite Qualification Series but they couldn’t find their game when it was needed and ended up losing all of the games in the group stage. If TIKI TALK can get through the hard times and find their best form and chemistry with their fresh squad, ‘’ESA’’ can be one of the best teams in the regular season, favorites for the promotion battle and challengers for the cup. Talking about legendary, team captain and scoring machine @itspardytime is once again one of the most interesting players to follow during the season. Last time TIKI TALK played Pro in ECL 8, itspardytime scored a league leading 150 points in 48 games and led his team to the finals where they eventually lost to POGGERS but later managed to get promoted to Elite. 

    Placement after regular season: 3-4

    Player to watch: It seems that @Sagee95 will start the season on defense. It is interesting to see how this talented player who is more known for his attacking abilities will convert to defense and how it will affect TIKI TALKs way of play.  

    shootingstars500x500.png Shooting Stars

    There seems to be a really interesting rivalry building up between German Championship League powerhouses Shooting Stars (previously EV Fussen Esports) and ZSC Lions Esports (previously The Black Jacks). In ECL Pro 9, ZSC Lions Esports managed to get to the playoffs while Shooting Stars were left just below the playoff line. However in GCL 5 Div 1 playoff semifinals Shooting Stars defeated the Lions with a series score of 4-1. So it is maybe fair to say that the Shooting Stars have the upper hand at the moment. For some time ‘’The pride of Germany’’ BRAYCE Phantoms have waited for a worthy opponent at their own soil and Shooting Stars have shown that they are slowly building up to up to the task. After a very good GCL season, Shooting Stars are expected to improve from ECL 9 and even though many will not expect miracles from this team, we could see a real surprise from them at the end of the regular season. GCL 5 Div 1 runner-ups may be one of the most underrated teams at the start of the season.

    Placement after regular season: 4-6

    Player to watch: It seems that defender @x Holtbeast (xReuTschNer98x) step into the boots of @Krinke this season in the center position. Results from GCL 5 Div 1 show that he fits well into the teams attacking trio and with interest we follow how it will turn out in the ECL rink.  

    sulkavan%20sudet%20500x500.png Sulkavan Sudet

    Looking back at the ECL 9 Lite seasonm Sulkavan Sudet made an almost perfect run to be the division champions. Attacking trio @Oxdoggi, @Kemppane_and @Luokkala_with the help of backup forward @Stapletonetore apart opposing defenses from start to finish. With such an impressive display someone could think that these guys played in the wrong division but it is actually going to be their first season in the higher divisions. The only players that have previous experience from Pro are defender @Pirkkalope and new signing @Okke40(hifk_FANI). Sulkavan Sudet also added some depth to their defense by signing @Maestroffi from Hokurit who also had a good season in ECL 9 Lite. Obviously Pro is going to be a harder challenge for the talented wolfpack but it is interesting to see how well the team can adapt their style in Pro and how far it will take them. However, just like with the other teams that got promoted from Lite, expectations are at a moderate level.

    Placement after regular season: 6-8 

    Player to watch: The teams style of attacking hockey can sometimes leave room for really promising counter-attacks and that is when goalkeeper @TeikDaun can steal the show. The keeper faced some critic last season because of his relatively low save percentage but we are talking about one of the best goaltenders this season.

    Prowlers500x500.png Prowlers Esports

    Prowlers Esports was one of the teams that got promoted to ECL 9 Pro through their application at the registration stage. The team had really hard last season where they were the bottom of their group. However Prowlers gathered their ranks and beat Horror Hockey in the relegation battle. After the season most of the players in the team left and captains @eKvaarn and @Forsberg__21 (Lawner_) had to make complete rebuild. Scouting through the new signings it seems most of the new faces will play their first Pro games this season. With an inexperienced squad, the expectations are low, but the squads real potential is still hidden and they have a long season ahead to glue as a team and improve their game. However it is expected that Prowlers Esports will once again be facing relegation to end the season.  

    Placement after regular season: 13-16

    Player to watch: @Forsberg__21(Lawner_) has had good seasons at the Lite level. Last season was hard for the whole team but now with the experience of some Pro hockey in his pocket it is probable that Lawner_ will lead his teams points stats at the end of the regular season.  

    Well there you have it! We hope that yo enjoyed our small preview and similarly will enjoy the starting ECL 10 Pro season. Remember to follow all the teams on their respective social media channels including Twitch and/or Youtube. NHLGamer will keep you up to date on the progress of the season and more articles about the division will follow as the standings start to take shape. Play hard - have fun!

    Pro writers,
    @Oliverigood & @JakePlay77

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    I wonder why TeikDaun faced some critic? If he had more counterattacks and so against him then you get a lower save percentage. So the best way to see how good a goalie actually is would be the (xGA) stat which means  expected goals against there you would be able to see how good a goalie is compared to the Average goalie. 🙂  (and yes I know they dont have that stat on nhlgamer)

    Edited by Benne Tallgren

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