We've reached the final bout of the ECL 8 Pro season! After being treated to yet another eventful season, the eventual crowning of a champion is at our hands. Yet again, the playoffs have left us in awe from time to time. This season, 1st overall seed The Next Gen had a convincing group stage and pushed through the first two rounds with ease, after which they hit a brick wall and got eliminated in 4 games by Black Horse. A less surprising feat is seeing 2nd seed TIKI TALK paving their way to the finals. TIKI seems to have found their winning way and look to retrieve a spot at the highest level of ECL hockey by overcoming their opponent POGGERS in the finals. On top of these two, Black Horse and Checkmate also fought their way to the Semi-finals, which allows them a chance to battle for promotion to ECL 9 Elite. This season, it's worth noting that only the Pro champion gains direct promotion, as the 2nd place team will face Synergy Hockey in a relegation matchup.
Going into the ECL 8 Pro finals with a slight hint of favourite status we have TIKI TALK, who have managed to build an astonishing legacy for themselves by powering on for what seems to be an eternity through thick and thin. Before and even during the season, they've made some changes in hopes of pushing their team onto the right tracks and it seems as if they've managed to pull it off as of late. As stated, the team is one of the most long lived ECL franchises, having been there ever since the start of the new era of NHL gaming here at NHLGamer. It's a familiar sight seeing captain @itspardytime leading the team in scoring, which he has done ever so dominantly this season again. Another notable steady performer is goaltender @PCJP, who now in his second season with the team has got in the groove of stopping pucks quite efficiently, arguably being one of the most underrated netminders in the league. TIKI TALK is never an easy team to face, they play a fast paced style of hockey, which sometimes can be regarded as a bit chaotic. Stay alert at all times, TIKI is looking for the cup.
POGGERS on the other hand is a new acquaintance. Although they are formed around the shell of last seasons Wasps Gaming and consist out of several very experienced players, they are the youngins by far in this matchup. My instinct would be to say what they lack in experience as a team, they more than make up for in skill. Offensive trio @Yoloberg-@JaKurrii-@Chafak are no strangers to tough matchups and all of them possess that x-factor that could make the players beside them so much better. The newly founded team struggled a bit to start the regular season, but once they have solidified their starting six, there has been very little stopping them as they have taken down strong teams such as Raccoon Rampage, Gotham Knights and most recently Checkmate in the playoffs. POGGERS has also been getting some decent goaltending for all of the ongoing season, as @Janne Hietala(Hassu85) has played an outstanding season and is surely looking to push his name into brighter lights.
Prediction: POGGERS win 4-3.
Schedule for the finals:
Game 1: Wednesday, 6th of March 20:30 CET TIKI TALK vs POGGERS
Game 2: Wednesday, 6th of March 21:00 CET POGGERS vs TIKI TALK
Game 3: Wednesday, 6th of March 21:30 CET TIKI TALK vs POGGERS
Game 4: Thursday, 7th of March 20:30 CET POGGERS vs TIKI TALK
Game 5: Thursday, 7th of March 21:00 CET TIKI TALK vs POGGERS
Game 6: Thursday, 7th of March 21:30 CET POGGERS vs TIKI TALK
Game 7: Thursday, 7th of March 22:00 CET TIKI TALK vs POGGERS
Your NHLGamer Editor,