The FCL season has been played in a quick pace so we can't really be talking about a "long, exhausting season" here. Instead we'll bring up the interesting and somewhat extraordinary circumstances that we're heading into the final weekend from. Everyone that's somewhat caught up with what's happening around the EA Sports NHL franchise is aware of the fact that the NHL 20 Beta has been out for the past few days. The fact that all of the players involved have spent the days leading up to a major tournament playing a completely different game might be mind-boggling to some, but I've heard through the grapevine that these guys trust their skill enough to not let that faze them. Nevertheless, all of that adds to the interesting nature of these finals. There's a lot on the line and the best team is going to take it home come Saturday evening.
(#1) FILADELPHIA vs Symphony (#8)
Regular season record: N/A
GF/GA (Regular season): N/A
Road to the Semi's: vs Invictus (2-0), vs GHETTO FIREBIRDS (2-0)
FILADELPHIA headed into the tournament from an interesting position. It's customary in esports for a reigning champion to participate by invite but this is the first time that model is put into practice at NHLGamer. Some people worried if their form would be there and I would personally feel a bit odd coming into a tournament directly into the playoffs, but FILA passed that test with flying colours. Playing with exactly the same lineup as last time they took the title, we can surely expect them to put forth an impressive campaign once again. The advantage FILA has is certainly their established chemistry and according to themselves on multiple occasions a relaxed team spirit. FILADELPHIA has done some team practice in NHL 19 during the past week, so that might also benefit them.
We saw symphony at the finals of IS Cup 3 too, as they finished 3rd after an outstanding campaign in which they dominated their groupstage and suffered their only playoff series loss against the eventual champion FILADELPHIA in the semifinals. The team has experienced some player turnover since then, but the efforts so far seem to be indicative of an eventual top 3 finish again. It'll be interesting to see how they fare against FILA this time, as their opponents are sporting exactly the same lineup as last time. The changes in Symphony has sacrificed a bit on their defensive end but bolstered their goaltending as they signed Swedish superstar netminder @ICappeI, which has turned out to be a great move. The Swede has been hard to beat and will definitely make scoring difficult for FILA.
The former Written In The Stars kicked off FCL with a boom as they announced their affiliation with HAVU Gaming and with that also assumed their name and appearance. The first few games under the new banner were a bit shaky, but in reality, no concern was warranted. The players were still the same and so was the game. After all, these are your reigning European champions. HAVU quickly took up pace and finished 2nd in their group after SOPPAJENGI. The playoffs haven't proven to be a challenge for these guys as they've swept the opposition in both matchups, and as a 4th seed these opponents were viable teams to put up a fight in POGGERS and Almost Famous.
Butterfly Effect has played a tournament for the ages so far in the FCL. They quickly made their come up by grinding through our ECL divisions system and has been a consistent Elite performer ever since - though never really pushing past the last barrier. With the FCL they allowed themselves the possibility to do so by putting forth a satisfying groupstage effort but going off on a tear in the playoffs by dominating both Rusty Blades and Northern Ascendancy in their BO3 series. Youngster @NikkeDangles has been their main new recruit and he has performed extraordinarily alongside captain @jergelii and top-scorer @Vilupoika. FLY is looking good and are now also hoping to prove it in their first lan event. HAVU is a big mountain to climb, but an upset is not out of the question.
Preliminary schedule for Saturday 3.8: (Times in CEST)
12:30-13:00 FILADELPHIA vs Symphony - Game 1
13:00-13:30 Symphony vs FILADELPHIA - Game 2
13:30-14:00 FILADELPHIA vs Symphony - Game 3
14:00-14:30 HAVU Gaming vs Butterfly Effect - Game 1
14:30-15:00 Butterfly Effect vs HAVU Gaming - Game 2
15:00-15:30 HAVU Gaming vs Butterfly Effect - Game 3
30 MIN BREAK
16:00-16:45 SF1 Loser vs SF2 Loser - Bronze Game
17:00-20:10 Finals, BO5
Arttu @OLVARI Hämäläinen and Joonas @SUPERVIRTA Virta will be your commentators throughout the day.
All games will be streamed on the Pelaajat.com Twitch channel.