Article written by: Tory (@notTORYY)
Rankings by: Nforc3R
This season was full of twists and turns in which we saw a lot of teams rise (and fall) from our last ESEA Advanced power rankings list. So without any further adieu, let’s take a look at how the top teams stack up against each other heading into the postseason.
No. 12 eRa Eternity (9-5)
Preseason rank: NR (▴1)
After only managing to scrape a 1-5 record from playoff teams, eRa Eternity left a lot to be desired this season. Though they managed to snag a playoff spot by the skin of their teeth, they certainly didn’t make it easy for themselves. After displaying real promise early on, the roster started to show signs of trouble after a narrow, head-scratching overtime win against Vicious Kitties. From there, their losing skid began, and while there were some dominant wins over the likes of CLG Red and Touch Point Gaming afterward, eRa could never seem to get it done against top opposition. Despite this, however, this squad is still extremely dangerous heading into their first-round matchup against DETONATE
No. 11 Synthetic (10-4)
Preseason rank: 11 (=)
Synthetic is an extremely strong team with some worrying issues. In our preseason evaluation of Synthetic (Formerly Thuggy Bunnies, ex-Eros) we kind of hit the nail on the head. Landing right back at No. 11 on our list, Synthetic most certainly turned a lot of heads as the team gave the Brazilian monsters, GODSENT the most cause for concern. Despite this though, Synthetic could never really find any meaningful form against top teams such as Northern Forces, DETONATE, and Synergy Reborn. The roster even struggled against some low-tier opposition earlier in the season. With an extremely tough first-round draw and sure-fire kill shot awaiting in the lower bracket should they lose, Synthetic will have to prove they can get the job done or it could be lights-out early.
No. 10 Eros Black (10-4)
Preseason rank: NR (▴3)
Eros Black went out of their way to prove everyone wrong. The rebuild after losing two of their stars was a success in our book as they managed to finish the season red-hot despite some troubling signs early on. Their first-round matchup will be a grudge match against a team fresh off a stellar showing at the ESEA NA 5v5 Summer Cash Cup #7 in Levitate. With this squad, it’s tough to say where they’ll finish in the Season 38 playoffs but if this core sticks together, Season 39 could be theirs for the taking.
No. 9 X13 (10-4)
Preseason rank: 5 (▾4)
Though X13 made the playoffs, the lineup hasn’t lived up to expectations. However, experience is on their side. Traditionally this has been a roster that turns it on late but their regular season play might have cost them the opportunity to make a run this season. While X13 has beat their round one opponent in the past, there is a familiar blue and purple, brick wall awaiting them in the second round should they get past their first matchup.
No. 8 ValorsGG (11-3)
Preseason rank: 9 (▴1)
To put it mildly, ValorsGG isn’t looking their best at the moment. However, their low is still enough to contend with plenty of teams. After suffering one of the toughest losses we’ve seen in Advanced since paiN Gaming was running wild in the division during Season 36, ValorsGG showed fight in a losing double-overtime effort against DETONATE but they haven’t really looked the same since the 16-0 defeat. If we get pre-Northern Forces calamity ValorsGG, we could be in for a very interesting playoff bracket. However, if we see any remnant of the team that played on September 15, I anticipate an early exit for No. 8 on our list.
No. 7 Brigada Shippuden (9-5)
Preseason rank: NR (▴6)
One of the biggest wildcards of the entire playoff will be Brigada Shippuden. Within four days, this squad managed to knock off the team that currently sits at No. 3 on our list and then lost in overtime to a Touch Point Gaming squad that won’t be present for this season’s playoff. It goes without saying that this team is capable of massive things but can also have some head-scratching defeats. It can also be argued that, if the Brigada lined up with an accustomed bilenko at the start of the season, this is a three-loss team. They’re looking at a tough bracket run though so only time will tell how far this squad will go.
No. 6 Levitate (10-4*)
Preseason rank: 6 (=)
For all intents and purposes, this Levitate squad is who we thought they were. Levitate, with the exception of GODSENT, has either ran through everyone or played them extremely close. This team has the capabilities to give anyone in the bracket a serious run for their money, and in most cases, take it too.
*FFL to Northern Forces to take 3rd in ESEA NA 5v5 Summer Cash Cup #7
No. 5 Synergy Reborn (10-4)
Preseason ranking: NR (▴8)
This team’s ability to play anyone close and come away with a result is impressive. However, with this lineup of teams in the bracket, it could also be their achilles heel with each team now at full strength. However, with the most recent overtime win over Levitate, Synergy Reborn is sure to be riding a high into their round one matchup.
No. 4 DETONATE (11-3)
Preseason ranking: 7 (▴3)
In the preseason piece, I said, “the demoted Premier team will look to climb the mountain to retake their spot in the top flight during Season 38,” and I think it’s fair to say they’re well on their way to doing just that. DETONATE can beat anyone not named GODSENT on their day. Realistically, this roster is a safe bet for relegation and is only barely edged out for the third spot on our list.
No. 3 Northern Forces (14-2)
Preseason ranking: 4 (▴1)
Coming in at No. 2 on our list is Northern Forces. In our preseason evaluation of Northern Forces, I said that this squad could be the most dangerous team in the division. Last season, the former Pryde guided by Counter Nature’s Season 37 Coach of the Season, Anythingpos, constantly punched above their weight to take down numerous top-seeded opponents. This season, they’ve only looked better after a roster overhaul. The lineup of JAM, Ellison, d4rtymontana, sam, and Wilky have their work cut out for them in bracket play but a first-round bye should be to their benefit.
No. 2 ATK (11-3)
Preseason ranking: 2 (=)
Before the season, the ceiling of ATK was relatively unknown. We knew they were good and, for the most part, they have delivered on the hype. Two early losses to a very average InFinity Esports and GODSENT somewhat shattered the mystique of ATK and definitely raised some eyebrows. Since the pair of defeats, ATK was been red hot and in the form we expected them to open with. However, a loss to Brigada Shippueden in their final match of the season proved once again that ATK is beatable.
No. 1 GODSENT (14-0)
Preseason ranking: 1 (=)
Well...what did you expect? It’s GODSENT.
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