It's time for some ECL Elite Playoff action tonight! Starting at 19:45 CEST, be sure to join our ECL Playoff stream, as we continue two very exciting matchups tonight. The first one will be the battle between ECL Elite teams Dynasty and SJK eSports.
Below you'll find our original prediction for this series:
(2) Dynasty vs SJK eSports (7)
Second seeding Dynasty goes up against SJK eSports in the quarterfinals in a matchup that could have, and in many Community members' minds would and should have been a clash later down the bracket. That's not the case this time around, as here we go!
Dynasty has been nothing but a true joy to watch in the regular season. With quick passing, movement, their timing close to perfection and some great variety in their offense - they are as effective as they are stylish. @Buantso (Puantso) is deadly and with @jumalpeku and @Tehh (TehhAhola), they have a perfect trio. Puantso and jumalpeku combined for 55 goals between them in the group stage, just 10 shy of the SJK total. As always, it's important to shut your opponents offense down, and this will not be an easy task for SJK to do. Dynasty is also really solid on the defense and won't give up anything for free with @Snapster keeping the lines clear from intruders, alike the Finnish war hero Simo Häyhä. In the net, DYN has a good situation with @Sandr0hh and @Lukkoukko (Lukkolinho) having similar, strong stats.
SJK will have to respond to Dynasty's offense in this series, and they need to prove that they really are defensive masters. Like we are used to, @Dominointi will be the cornerstone of their game. It'll remain to be seen who SJK will ice on the wings but your best bet will likely be @Leksa94 and @indi969. @Ilmari_30 on defense is set in stone and beside him we will most likely see @Selarit. @ICappeI stood tall in net for yet another great regular season, it'll remain to be seen if he can put up another stellar showing in the playoffs. Showcasing their defensive ability, SJK allowed only 48 goals (1,6 per game) in the regular season (2nd to SKY) and they have a tremendous defense in all zones. Sometimes playing SJK you're happy being able to create any good scoring chances at all, and how frustrating isn't that in a best of 7 series for the opponent? Can SJK lower the games' pace and ace their defense? Do they have the variety and creativity not to get stuck chasing behind every game? SJK has so much experience from these games it's almost scary. They are used to tight spots and used to advance - can they do it this time?
Prediction : 4-2 Dynasty
The teams played four games so far and while it looked like Dynasty was going to sweep the series, SJK eSports came back in game 4 and made the series 3-1.
Games so far in the series (home team to the right):
SJK eSports has their backs to the wall tonight, but don't count them out quite yet. Whatever happens, the teams will finish this series tonight, so don't miss this action!
After this, we jump right over to another exciting ECL ECL pair as Written In The Stars and Northern Stars continue their series. The teams have agreed to play up to two games tonight and the puck drop for game 5 will be at 21:00 CEST. You can read our original prediction about the series below:
Written In The Stars won the regular season in style. The team really had that 'wow'-factor being talked about from time to time. A left-wing seemed to be what SKY needed to out them on a rocket ship right towards the title. Except for acquiring the new winger, little has changed and we can expect SKY to try to control this series. With great goalies in @eissi83 and @JanneK. (Januri98), amazing defenders that can dominate both blue lines and all three zones, and a highly skilled offensive trio up-front.
So, is the sky the limit or will Northern Stars be the end of the line? NOS took the 8th and final playoff spot this time, avoiding pressure and expectations, perhaps. However, the old giant fears no one. NOS knows these situations and certainly holds more experience of these tight spots compared to their opponents. With their basic game and some @tbnantti magic they can surely match SKY. These players have been in so many playoff games together that we might see their low playoff seed actually work in their favour.
Prediction: 4-2 Written In The Stars
While very even on the ice, Written In the Stars has been able to take control of the series and lead the series 3-1. It's noteworthy that all of the games have ended with a one goal difference and two of them in OT. In game 3 Northern Stars had an opportunity to take control of the series, as they had a 2-1 lead and got a penalty shot with 40 seconds to go. They didn't score here and Written In The Stars bounced back. Quite the display of calmness in a tough situation one might say. The same kind of calmness will be needed from Northern Stars tonight, as they try to get three wins in a row with their back against the wall. We can't wait to see what kind of show these teams put up for us tonight!
Games so far in the series (home team to the right):
Game 1: Northern Stars - Written In The Stars 1-2 OT
Game 2: Written In The Stars - Northern Stars 0-1
Game 3: Northern Stars - Written In The Stars 2-3 OT
Game 4: Written In The Stars - Northern Stars 1-0
You can see tonight's lineups for each team in the image below: