ECL Elite 16 in 16 is a season preview series we're implementing ahead of ECL 7. The idea was conceived by @chavelski, but due to time constraining the man himself, the project is now being carried out by the rest of our Elite writing team. The series will be released in 16 parts, one article for each team. The teams have been ranked by all team captains, and articles are being released in order from predicted last place finish to predicted champion of ECL 7. The objective of this series is to give an idea to the community of who is representing which team, added by a small insight into the team with an interview of the team captain.
Hi there, NHLGamers!
Almost Famous is next in line for our 16 in 16 series as the team was voted to finish 11th by the captains in the division. It is their inaugural season in Elite, but despite that, the roster doesn't consist of complete rookies at this level. They have a few players who possess some experience of playing in Elite. One of these is captain @Aze, who I'll have a short discussion with at the end of this article.
Almost Famous is quite a young team, as the team only has two seasons under their belt. Despite this, they have already accomplished a great feat, being the first ever ECL team to gain promotion in consecutive seasons, progressing through the divisions framework from Lite to Elite. The team was played it's first season in ECL 4, but didn't start to reach it's form as we know it until ECL 5, when the project aF really took off. MUKIMIEHET (RIP) disbanded and captain Aze took control of the team, which had originally been his brainchild already in the early spring of 2017. Unofficially, the team has maintained their core throughout their short history, as captain @Aze, although seeing things through in MUKIMIEHET still ran things in a background role during their first season in Lite.
SepiDN <-- Evolution
kikiukko <-- Rusty Blades
SadaPoika <-- Evolution
Chafak <-- Free Agent
Nampa77 <-- Sjukstugan
DevilFish14 --> Break from NHL
Realpulunen --> Etelan Vetelat
Rimpe37 --> Gotham Knights
Ikavalko (A) @Ikavalko
AzeStiNE (C) @Aze
jahajaha93 (A) @jahajaha93
What do you expect from ECL 7?
I'm hoping for a lot of tight games during the season. If the preseason is anything to judge from, that is what we'll see too. There's been a number of transfers and several new teams in the division, so it'll be exciting to see who will make the biggest impact.
Who would you name as a key player from your team?
Well, goalies are never too overrated so I could say our goalie trio @SepiDN, @Vaporik and @kasper.kampe will be the ones we either live by or die by this season. There will be tough games for sure, so you will need a good goalie in order to give you a chance to win everyday.
What are your thoughts on the ECL Elite license?
I think it's a step in the right direction, so yes, it's brilliant. I don't think it's a sustainable solution as it is but a fine middle-ground for now.
Talk a bit about the moves Almost Famous made during the summer and recently.
We ended up having quite a lot of turnover as SadaPoika and Nampa77 joined our offense, kikiukko joined our defense and we brought in Elite proven goaltender SepiDN. We needed additions to our offense, depth for defense and a goalie who adds more activity in net and has shown ability to play at the Elite level. They have fit in very well, great players and great guys.
Who would you say is a favorite to win it all in ECL 7?
FILADELPHIA and Written. Both teams have top versus players in their teams, so it'll be interesting to see which mode they will invest in more, 1v1 or 6v6.
I believe FILA made some amazing acquisitions in the offseason and is arguably the strongest team on paper. Written also made some moves and will undoubtedly perform at the top-level as expected.
Who'd you say is the "Hidden Gem" in Almost Famous?
@Ikavalko is one of the most entertaining players in the scene and has a lot of potential. It'll be nice to see how he will utilise it all and perform in Elite.
Thanks Aze for your time and good luck to Almost Famous for the next season!
Our second Sunday article will be taking a look at a team that's trying to shake off the rust accumulated over the summer, can you guess who we're talking about?