Week 7’s only just concluded, but the picture of LMS is really starting to take its shape. The standings through this point are as follows:
It’s about this time that we start to envision what might be the mid-season future for all of these teams, as the number of possibilities are dwindling.
We start with Flash Wolves and AHQ, who have clinched a playoff spot mathematically or realistically, respectively. Since the postseason is a lock for the two, we look at the implications for beyond the spring. AHQ could potentially win the title in surprise fashion, but by all accounts, Flash Wolves look primed to claim that in dramatic fashion (though they are one of two teams in the world to take a game off them this year). The Wolves’ remaining four games are all against the bottom four teams, and assuming another championship, they could potentially head to MSI in Sao Paulo with an unprecedented 38-2 international record.
As for AHQ, if the above scenario does happen, they could still very easily just take the 70 championship points and begin training, while studying their counterparts international performance. And that’s not too bad a situation to be in.
JT, HKE, M17, FB
These teams all have a mathematical shot at the playoffs, though some have higher chances. Their remaining schedules will likely tell the tale:
JT: HKE, FB, WS, AHQ
HKE: JT, AHQ, XG, M17, FW
M17: FB, WS, HKE, XG
FB: M17, WS, JT, FW, AHQ
J Team has a good chance, given they already sit in third place with mostly matches against other middle-of-the-road teams they’ve already beaten. Add the return of Chen “REFRA1N” Kuan-Ting, and you’ve got a team who can at very least reach the semis. The other three will have to duke it out, but Machi has a leg up considering they don’t play any top teams anymore, while Hong Kong and Fireball each face the top three. For them, the goal is to avoid the promotion tournament.
For the worst team in the five major regions and its slightly more promising counterpart, the promotion tournament seems the likely destination. Hopefully the offseason provides an opportunity to seek new talent or heavily train. But there is good news for these squads: both organizations were in the promotion tournament for the current split, and qualified with solid 3-1 wins. So they’ve proven they can stay in the league, and can probably do it again.
Catch this week’s action here!