For this season of ECL Elite we are releasing a recurring segment that looks to detail the ‘hottest’, ‘coldest’ and… ‘mildest’? teams in Elite over the past week. Each article in this series will be aimed for release on Mondays (in this case as early as possible) and will thusly be based on the days in between each power ranking iteration. In addition to this it should be noted that each ranking will invariably be in some way biased as it is, at the end of the day, a subjective list. Note: Each article will be based off of results starting from the Monday, all the way up to (& including) Friday. Ergo, any games played over the weekend will be 'missed', although if the results are significant enough they will be mentioned in the following next week's article.
The logic behind the ranking is admittedly a sort of internal subjective ranking that weighs up results, opposition 'strength' as well as thoughts on the general play during some games. As such a ranking is not 100% quantifiable in nature there will be some bias that creeps in, therefore I will do my best to elucidate the reasoning behind why 'X team' deserves to be ranked at 'Y'. One thing I would like to make abundantly clear however is that points are not the be all and end all within these rankings; for instance, just because 3 teams have the same record does not mean they won't be ranked wildly differently, as the context behind said results are of great importance and simply cannot be understated.
1. FILADELPHIA (5-0-1) [+3]
Not content with their 4th placed ranking last week FILADELPHIA set out to bolster their budding résumé by disposing of a who’s who from the top 6 of last weeks edition, taking Northern Ascendancy, Dynasty & Sjukstugan out to the woodshed, only dropping one point out of six in a game against Dynasty where they (FIL) perhaps should have won. Nevertheless, with such a dominant display against teams who were supposed to put up more of a fight one can only imagine that the SKY is the limit… or, indeed, is it?
2. Written in the Stars (5-0-0) [+4]
@vSilenttio quite aptly said recently in the ECL podcast that “SKY didn’t look like SKY”, in reference to their showing in the first week. Well, one can safely assume that the players in SKY have smashed this assertation. Dispatching of NOR in resounding fashion, then absolutely decimating an Almost Famous by a combined score of 10-2
and on top this, they defeated Dynasty 3 to 2 in OT to mark a week where you would struggle to find a single aspect that they faltered in. Similar to last weeks edition of this ranking however it should be mentioned that like Sjukstugan before them, if it wasn’t for FILADELPHIA going on a hot run then SKY could easily have been slotting in at #1 as opposed to #2. If anything, it speaks to the level of competition at the very top that such a thing can happen twice in a row.
3. Unlucky Boys (3-1-0) [+6]
Putting aside their lacklustre opening week Unlucky Boys find themselves in a more familiar position this time around, both here and in the Elite standings (latter being 7th). As is often the case for me I am at a loss as to what exactly I should say about these guys. They’re just solid, sure their goal scoring is particularly frightening (and not in a good way) compared to teams around them, especially when combined with their goals against average (-1 differential). Nevertheless, they grind out their wins just as well as any other team in the league, as shown by them rounding out this week by toppling last week's #3 team in Gotham Knights in both games, as well as splitting with Rusty Blades.
4. Sjukstugan (2-1-1) [-2]
Sliding down to the #4 spot we find Sjukstugan, a team possibly playing at the highest level that they’ve ever played at in their entire history as a franchise. 8-1-1 overall, both losses (OT & reg.) coming against this week’s hottest team in FILADELPHIA, as well as @Hullued putting up a quite frankly ridiculous .911 save% signals that perhaps the Elite captains who participated in the voting section of the 16 in 16 may have underestimated the new look Swedish team a tad.
5. Symphony (4-0-0) [=]
Eventually you’ll see me say that Symphony have had a tough week in terms of the schedule they were tasked with, today is not that day however as they went up against a bottom feeder of the division in Falun Coal Miners, then an underperforming Rusty Blades, disposing of both teams with four regulation wins (each with a goal differential of 2). Look for these guys to truly make a statement next week as they’re scheduled to play FILADELPHIA, Northern Stars, as well as Gotham Knights.
6. Dynasty (3-1-3) [+6]
Having played only two games last week all eyes were on Dynasty to see how they truly stacked up against Elite’s finest, and boy were they tested. Two wins against a visibly struggling team in Falun Coal Miners surely gave Dynasty the confidence to go toe-to-toe with FILADELPHIA the very next day, with both games being decided by a single goal. They then sort of crashed back to Earth with a disappointing single point in two games against Northern Stars
, finally rounding out the week with a OTL + mystery game against Written. If a single word could be applied to Dynasty’s week, I think that unpredictable would be appropriate.
7. Northern Stars (4-0-0) [+3]
Entering the top 8 for the first time this year we have Northern Stars, who seem to have consolidated their playoff aspirations after last week’s wobble, even if it was minute. The one negative I would note is that the issue still remains that their offence is particularly weak, especially compared to their contemporaries, however wins are wins and with such solid defence it’s somewhat tough to not win games. In addition to this, it should be noted that whilst Dynasty are incredibly unpredictable right now and it seems luck of the draw almost regarding how well they’ll play in any given game, they are not facing down the barrel of disbandment like Radical, as such NOS’s wins against this team will be rescinded according to the LA ruling posted today. (along with any games league-wide involving RAD).
8. Team Frosty (3-1-0) [+5]
Going from 16th to 8th in the space of a fortnight isn’t exactly a bad turnaround for those from Team Frosty. Especially so as one of the main criticisms I had about this team was their apparent lack of goal scoring support, an assertation that has been thoroughly smashed this past week with them potting ten goals in four games (a pace that would have them above the likes of FILADELPHIA & Dynasty). It should however be noted that eight of these goals came against the proverbial ‘whipping boy’ of Elite in the Falun Coal Miners and therefore there should still be some caution within the Frosty camp, nevertheless they can rest easy at the very least now that they have put some distance between them and the bottom of the league.
9. Butterfly Effect (1-1-0) [-8]
If last week we talked about the “no-man’s land of mediocracy” then this week the theme is the broadening of the gap between the playoff bound teams (8th and above) and ‘the rest’ (9th and below). Despite an extremely hot start last week which earned them a #1 ranking, Butterfly Effect has fluttered, or rather, crashed back to Earth due partly to inactivity, as well as dropping a potentially key two points to playoff spot rivals Team Frosty. Despite this however, it’s tough to really criticise FLY that heavily as they somewhat atoned for this loss by doing some clean up duty in the following game, dominating the time on attack 9:10 to 3:35 with a score line that was equally as impressive (4-0). In a sense then this ranking is more of a ‘decay’ than anything else really.
10. Gotham Knights (0-3-1) [-7]
If Butterfly Effect’s decline was motivated heavily by ‘decay’ then the same cannot be said for Gotham Knights. Since their 3-1-0 start just a week ago, Gotham has scored a miniscule two goals in four games, as well as allowing a not so great (but not bad mind you) ten over that same period. In fact, the only reason they’re ranked here and not lower is based on the level of the opponents that they have faced (112 & UB), other than that though this should just act as a ‘wakeup call’ to Gotham, reminding them that Elite can easily chew up and spit out a team resting on their laurels.
11. Rusty Blades (1-3-0) [-3]
I mentioned last week that whilst Rusty Blades should not be discouraged by their tumultuous start, they should however take notice of their goal scoring and try their best to get it going. Well, one week later and the case remains largely the same for this team. In fact, I could honestly copy and paste my account of them from last week because the similarities are striking. For instance, their GF/GP is still locked to a lone tally, their GA/GP is still hovering around the middle of the league at 1.88, and perhaps most importantly of all, they again played two strong teams in Unlucky Boys & Symphony. Eventually though some of Symphony’s luck on the schedule thus far will swap with Rusty’s apparent lack thereof and all will be well, until that point however I can’t really rank RB higher than this as much as I would perhaps like to.
12. Northern Ascendancy (0-4-0) [-6]
As no one else was able to write NOR’s entry this week I’ll take up the mantle, although I’ll try to keep it snappy since it’s my team and biases are a thing. Right now, NOR are in a very delicate position, as while they may have gotten all four points last week, this time around they were practically steamrolled by Elite’s finest in SKY & FILA. Of course, bad starts are not always a death sentence, that said even now just six games in NOR are close to matching their last season total of five regulation losses which for intents and purposes isn’t exactly a great thing to think about.
13. SIKA (1-1-0) [+3]
Rome wasn’t built in a day, nor is a season won or lost providing that there’s some life shown. Compared with their last week SIKA was no where near as active, playing in only two games vs. the eight they were in before. Nevertheless, gaining two points goes a long way in the dogfight that is brewing for ECL 8 Elite security. It is also of important interest to note that @imosi is now back and is 0+3 in the two games that he has played. Whilst he’s maybe not a player that’s going to carry them to the playoffs, he certainly can be a massive factor in SIKA's ongoing survival battle.
14. Almost Famous (1-3-0) [-3]
A third of the way into the season and Almost Famous have put themselves in a very respectable position going forward, affording them the chance to make a run into the playoffs. That said, there are still questions to be asked of this roster, especially as six of their eight points thus far have come against teams that currently sit below them in the standings. Now of course, one may say that having 80% of all possible points against teams below you is not exactly a bad thing and I am inclined to agree. The problem is that the other two points have come from the team directly above them in the standings (Team Frosty). Therefore, what aF should be wary of is that this a trend that, while almost assuring safety for ECL 8, makes it quite difficult to put up a challenge for the playoffs if they can’t snatch points away from those above them in standings.
15. Radical (0-2-0) [-1] DSQ
For a team predicted to finish 3rd in the regular season one could perhaps be mistaken for thinking these games would be a formality, however it would seem as though these games are anything but that as Radical have sputtered out of the gate, playing a meagre four games and recording a paltry point. It would also appear that there are some internal differences within the team as a couple of their players have left, putting Radical in a very precarious position going forward.
16. Falun Coal Miners (0-5-1) [-1]
If the 16 in 16 report got Sjukstugan wrong, then it all but nailed the Falun Coal Miners. Twelve games into the season with a record of 1-9-2, an anaemic offence potting 11 over that period, as well as a leaky defence allowing a league high 43 earmark a team struggling desperately to stay afloat. The one saving grace is that they have had to go up against some very strong opponents recently in Symphony and Dynasty, although the fact that they gathered only one measly point against Team Frosty certainly puts a dampener on things.
*Rankings accurate as of 3/11/18
That's it for this weeks Power Ranking, we'll be getting back to you in a weeks time and take a look at which teams have made a climb and who possibly hasn't. Until next time, gamers!
Do you agree with our ranking? You can create your own in the comments below!