Oceanic Pond League - Season 1
Group Stage Summary
With the Group Stage at an end without any major hiccups, the inaugural season of the Oceanic Pond League has been a great success so far. Six teams were invited, and four will advance, but the two that had to give didn’t go down without a fight.
And for those who weren’t following, here’s team breakdown to get hype.
6. SC2 Swarm: The Feral
Standout player: ChrisPBacon
With a walkover loss to Alpha X in the first round, SC2 Swarm started the season fighting an uphill battle.
Their fortune seemed to turn around with a 3-1 victory over CranKy Ducklings in Round 3. However, despite putting up a fair bit of resistance, they barely lost 2-3 every other week as their opponents walked away with the victory in the ace match.
SC2 Swarm has a few clutch players in their arsenal as well though, among them boasting the best Platinum player so far in ChrisPBacon. With a 100% win-rate across 3 games, Chris brought his team up each series he played, bringing some ever desired momentum.
But when their opponents continued unfazed, it wasn’t enough and while their problems are mostly solved for Season 2, Swarm just couldn’t make the cut for now.
5. Formless Bearsloths: Coming out of Hibernation
Standout player: coast
Another clan with a rough start - FxB’s first three weeks consisted of painful 1-3 losses. However, by Round 4 Bearsloths turned it around, kicking themselves into gear to take their first win, giving themselves a shot at the Playoffs if the stars aligned. Especially with heavy-hitters like coast and JadedShard, both of whom possess the same win-rate of 67% and managed to win their maps when it mattered the most.
coast in particular having started the season recently switching from Zerg to Protoss. By Round 3 he finally seemed much more comfortable with the race, taking increasingly important maps by the end of the Group Stage.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t quite enough. Winning their last two series’ tied them with CranKy Ducklings in match score but without 3-0s there was no way to even out the map score and the four maps that CranKy and SC2 Swarm took in the final weeks secured their fate.
With their strong showing towards the end of the Group Stage though, Formless Bearsloths look poised to get much further in Season 2.
4. CranKy Ducklings: Light Told Me to Dojo After This
Standout player: Clare
The clan that started the league, Light_VIP specifically told us that we had to at least make it to the Finals and, while I might be somewhat biased, I think the chances look pretty good.
While CranKy players can be fairly inconsistent, a VTL championship has proven that with enough dedicated practice, the Ducklings can be some of the most clutch players concentrated in a single team.
Despite the shallow roster, a core line-up of Kuro, DallyCat, Clare, Yakuzaku and Voltacus managed to win enough games while hiding the other half of the roster from would-be analysts.
In that line-up, Clare, having played every week, boasts a more than impressive 80% win-rate, the highest out of any who played over 3 rounds, with his own unique style that evolves week to week.
After falling off from the top seed after the first two weeks, CranKy Ducklings now have one more chance to return to form and help Light save $250 AUD.
3. Team UnRivaled: Quality Over Quantity
Standout player: Hug
A team much like CranKy, UnRivaled make it to the Playoffs after a convincing start despite having even less players to work with.
While at a glance it seems that they lack heavy-hitters, dig a little deeper and you’ll learn that it’s because TeamUR have spread their players out, letting them showcase most of them, who’ve proved themselves to be very reliable, winning games when it mattered the most.
The other reason why it seems that Team UnRivaled lacks heavy-hitters is because statistics can be deceptive, as Hug, a player who’s been in the line up every single week, sits at what could look like an impressive but not amazing 60% win-rate, until you realise that means he’s lost only 2 maps, a single map below the highest win-rate and much better than a good majority of players.
With a small yet reliable roster, UnRivaled faces their antithesis, Alpha X, in the first round of the Playoffs. A terrifying opponent for any team. Yet if this band of brothers can work together and take out the top seed, chances are they’ll live up to their name and take the championship.
2. Born Gosu: Out of the Depths
Standout player: WizardOfAUs
While their season started with a 1-3 loss to CranKy, Born Gosu lived up to their name, taking two 3-1 victories in the weeks that followed.
With all that momentum behind them, they had all but secured their position in the Playoffs and looked to be the favourite for the rest of the season. That was until they hit the wall that was Alpha X. After the 0-3, Born Gosu seemed shaken but, winning their match against SC2 Swarm, they are coming back to form with a good long week to prepare.
By taking full advantage of preparation, Born Gosu could come out as the most unpredictable team, exemplified by the fact that they posses the only Random player in the league, WizardOfAus.
Up against CranKy in the first round of the Playoffs, Born Gosu has the chance to avenge the 1-3 and potentially also the 0-3 from Alpha X.
Standout player: N/A
Going into the OPL, there was only ever one team guaranteed to be a safe bet for the Playoffs - CranKy’s own sister team,
There is a major difference between Alpha X and CranKy though and it’s the fact that Alpha’s roster dwarfs that of any other clan in the league. That roster, that even this week continues to grow, is a stark contrast to their first Playoffs opponent, Team UnRivaled, who, as previously mentioned, possess the smallest roster in the OPL.
Alpha X has taken full advantage of this strength to make it to the Playoffs as the only team with a positive map score. All of that with not a single player being placed in the line-up more than twice, and many more still hungry for a chance to showcase what they’ve got.
With the depth of their roster, variety of playstyles from player to player, and reliability of their form, Alpha X stands as a juggernaut that will take some serious planning, practice and a little luck to be able to take out.
Time will tell who will come out on top as these four teams play their first Playoffs matches in the coming days.
Make sure to catch the action live at the CranKy Ducklings Twitch channel!
Writing: Yakuzaku | Proofreading: Light_VIP | Editing: Kuro
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