Hey everyone, Dooms here. It’s been awhile since I did one of these. And with this, in all likelihood, being my last season, I just thought I’d give my two sense on how I think the playoffs are going to shape up this year in Ammy. It was a bumpy ride to get here, but the playoffs have arrived – let’s get to it:
1 vs. 8
Defiance (15 – 1) vs. Oblivion (6 – 10)
Season Series: 0 – 2 (Defiance)
Defiance Projected Starting Lineup:
Sub: STANKY BUNS
Oblivion Projected Starting Lineup:
Dooms Day 584 (C)
Sub: FluffyGodFather, XBXDave
At the beginning of the season, I didn’t really know what to make of this team. I didn’t think they were bad, by any stretch, having Runner Puppies and Relic on their team, but beyond those two I wasn’t sure how the team would really mesh. I played with Trespass a lot in pre-season scrims, and he struck me as a player with a lot of potential but was still a little raw. I knew if Defiance was going to have success, he would need to refine his skills, and boy did he ever. The trio of him, Runner Puppies and Relic now make up one of the most consistent tanking lines in all of Ammy. And with Rice running the ball, despite his tanking shortcomings (although he’s decent with the sword), they always have a great shot to win against any team they go up against. Notice the adjective I used to describe their tanking line. This team does not overpower you, they beat you with consistency and fantastic playmaking. Trespass and Puppies, have done a great job in coaching this team, and without them and their leadership, there’s no way this teams is where it is. They can beat you in many ways, but with the coaching the way it is, and only one loss on their resume, it’s very unlikely that they’ll lose to some lowly 8 seed…right?
Something I’ve always prided myself on is my competitiveness. I’m a very competitive person. So, no matter what was thrown at myself or my team this season, I made sure that we were always competitive, always showing up for games, always giving it our all. With everything in our path this season, mainly that our starting line up only played a grand total of one game together for various reasons, we stayed focused on getting better, remaining competitive and above all, having fun. No one is giving us much of a chance in this series, and I can see why, but what they need to realize is that no one, not even myself, knows what we’re capable when our starting lineup plays together. Epic has made tremendous strides this season, playing well over the 10 credits that was allotted to him during bidding. Cyber (Gamezo), after a brief hiatus, is back and looking as hungry as every to compete for a championship. And Dangly, when he can make games, still proves to be a real X factor with his consistent tanking and ability to stay alive by the opponent’s plate. And I would be remised if I didn’t mention Fluffy and Dave (formerly RedRing), who both stepped in admirably both on and off the court this season. Both players were instrumental in getting us to the playoffs, and both, Fluffy most of all, made fantastic strides as players this season. I’m not saying we’ll win this series, but like all season, we’re going to give it our all. In all likelihood, this will be my last season playing Grifball, and I couldn’t have asked to play with a better group of guys and I can’t thank them enough for all the work they’ve put in this season. Just don’t expect us to go down without a fight.
A lot is going to come down to whether or not Oblivion can solve their scoring woes that plagued them so frequently throughout the season. Defiance is a great team, incredibly organized and can beat you in many ways – but they’re not one to simply overpower you, and I think this plays to Oblivion’s advantage. If Oblivion can hold their own taking wise, which is certainly possible, and protect the ball a little more than usual, then this series has a great chance to be much more competitive than most are expecting. That being said, I still believe the superior tanking / consistency as well as the leadership of Defiance will prevail in the end, much to my dismay.
Game 1: 5 – 2 (Defiance)
Game 2: 5 – 4 (Oblivion)
Game 3: 5 – 4 (Defiance)
2 vs. 7
Legendary (14 – 2) vs. Hyperdrive (8 – 8)
Season Series: 1 – 0 (Legendary)
Legendary Projected Starting Lineup:
Subs: HWM Jester, Smokey 741
Hyperdrive Projected Starting Lineup:
Perfect Demise (C)
cL Taz (A)
Subs: A Pope Onn Dope, Hootenanny
Quite simply, the fact that both Rey and Noplex are allowed to be on the same team, in Ammy, is unfair. I have a lot of respect for both players, and both should absolutely be in pro no matter what Halo this is. Right from the start, even before bidding, I knew this team would be great. Having the two best players in Ammy makes you an instant contender for a championship, and low and behold, here Legendary is at the end of the season with the #2 seed. What has really surprised me is not how well Rey and Noplex have played, we all expected that, but how well and deep this roster is beyond them. It’s really impressive that Rey and Noplex were able to put together such a great, deep team with so few credits. Sobriety, Jester, juc and Smokey have all been great this season, and continued to improve as the season has gone on. I think this is just as much their desire to get better as it is the coaching of Rey and Noplex, as I can see from playing with them and the stats page that every one of these players have almost identical K/Ds and goals, which speaks volumes to the kind of coaching at play here. The consistency is damn impressive, and one that I am very jealous as a competing captain. I have no doubt that Legendary will make it far in these playoffs, as they can beat you either with tanking or with passing or with any lineup they choose to throw out there. They’re still my pick to with the championship, and it’s up to everyone else to prove me wrong.
Coming into the season, I did not believe the hype surrounding Hyperdrive – and it turns out I was right. HD is not a bad team, but nothing really sticks out for them beyond that they’ve got PD as their captain. I’m shocked at just how average PD has been this season, as my team played HD first and was very impressed with what we saw from both him and his team. PD’s tanking skill has always been sporadic, but with an Ammy pool that was this shallow he should be tearing up this league right now, not going -22 with only 5 goals on the season. Taz has, in my opinion, been the strongest of the bunch, scoring a whopping 35 goals on the season and also putting up some respectable taking numbers in the process. It’s clear that he was the one to pick up the slack from PD being off his game most of the season. Krypton is exactly what a 4th should be, he won’t hurt you but don’t look for him to take over any games single handedly. The real person that interests me on HD though is Riccardo, who is the only person currently on HD that has a positive KD and is clearly the strongest tank on the team this season. If HD has any chance of going far in this playoff season, they better hope he’s on his game and some of those playmaking skills are going like they were when my team first met them at the beginning of the season, otherwise, it’ll be a short playoff run for one of the more promising teams at the beginning of the season.
If HD is going to have a shot, PD and Riccardo are both going to have to seriously step up their tanking game. The taking line of Rey, Noplex, juc and whoever their forth is, is seriously terrifying and they can pretty much roll over everyone in the league at any given time. But if those two players can hold their own taking, and krypton and Taz spread the court out and are able to get some passing goals in, this series should be a competitive one. I still think though that the sheer taking power of Legendary is just going to overwhelm HD, one way or another. That is, if PD and his team actually show up to play their game.
Game 1: 5 – 3 (Legendary)
Game 2: 5 – 4 (Legendary)
3 vs. 6
Underrated (14 – 2) vs. Zero Gravity (8 – 8)
Season Series: 1 – 1
Underrated Projected Starting Lineup:
KSI Gambit 7 (A)
Subs: AlwaysTrollin, Ironboundnoon
Zero Gravity Projected Starting Lineup:
I Godly Otaku I
Stepping away from the league for a season, it came as quite a surprise that everyone was talking up Poptart as a possible league MVP. That’s no knock on Poptart, or at least it shouldn’t be, but as long as I’ve played against him that’s just never been the kind of player he’s been, the kind to single handedly carry a team. I was wrong, and man did this guy re-invent himself once Halo 5 hit. I’m not sure whether or not it’s just Halo 5 playing to his strengths, I think that may have a little bit to do with it with the sword being stronger than ever, but the improvements to Poptart’s all-around game and game management (and fixing that damn lag) has made him a force to be reckoned with in Ammy. Something Poptart has always been good at, on court skill withstanding, is putting together great teams no matter what CCV he’s given. Starting with Gambit is a great way to dominate a shallow Ammy poll, and it’s not a surprise to see the two of them dominate as much as they have, going almost +500 between the two of them. I expect this from Gambit, so this shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone, as he should all likelihood be in Pro. Rayzyr is never the “sexy” pick in a draft, and I’m not a huge fan of full time runners which is why he wasn’t on my radar, but having a veteran runner on a team with already such strong taking with the Poptart / Gambit combo makes a lot sense here – and Rayzyr has thrived because of it. He’s always been a great game manager and is very smart with the ball, which makes Underrated’s infrequent mistakes all that less egregious. This team would be a great one just with those three players, but Poptart found the steal of the draft in Invayda Zim / Darksoulnado. Dark has always been a good player, but his level of skill has been determined greatly by which Halo he’s playing. In Halo 3, he was one of the top tier tanks available in the league. In Halo 4, he was still good, but not at the level he was in Halo 3. It would appear that he has found a new home in Halo 5, as good lord, did he dominate this season. He’s been by far the best tank in Ammy this season, and on a team with an already deadly tanking duo, this makes playing Underrated very scary. They’re the team that can straight up tank you into the ground, and often do so with ease. Very few, if any, Ammy teams can beat UR when they’re firing on all cylinders. They’ve got a serious shot at a ship, with really only Legendary and Defiance standing in their way.
Zero Gravity Overview:
Plainly put, I’m stunned that that this team is in the position that it is. Even more so that Underrated lost to them during the regular season. But this speaks volumes to the kind of team the ZG is. They know they can’t straight up out tank people, and they look to other ways to win games that mostly involve spreading out the field and going for passing plays – and it appears to have worked decently well throughout the season. You can see this with nearly 20 goals apiece being spread out between Retro, Godly and Variety. All three of these players play very similar games, more of a loose, hybrid style of Grifball and all of them have really impressed me in really homing in on that playstyle this season. Meowila has done a great job proving the pre-season hype wasn’t misplaced, and she is the real anchor on a team that can’t really get consistent tanking play from any of its other players. On another team, it wouldn’t be ridiculous to see Meowila going very positive, but since she has to carry so much of the taking load for ZG, her numbers don’t look as insane as they should considering how well she played this past season.
I’ve always been a little biased toward taking heavy teams. To me, good taking will always beat good playmaking. Maybe I need to change my mindset because a team like ZG having success proves that a pass heavy team can win in this league. Halo 5 has opened up the game for teams like ZG to succeed despite not being able to out tank really any of their opponents this season. If ZG is going to have a chance win in this series, which I think they do, they need to play their game and not the game that UR want to force them to play – mainly one that pits their tanks against Underrated’s straight up. They need to do their best to stay away from that. Spread out the field, make the game as fast paced and the rounds as short as possible. This can’t get into a slug fest, because that’s where UR will thrive. For UR, they just need to slow the game down and out tank ZG like we all know they can. Play smart, and this should be a series victory for them. I do believe UR will take this series, but I can see ZG putting up quite a fight.
Game 1: 5-4 (Zero Gravity)
Game 2: 5-2 (Underrated)
Game 3: 5-3 (Underrated)
4 vs. 5
Aftershock (11 – 5) vs. Secret Society (8 – 8)
Season Series: 1 – 0 (Aftershock)
Aftershock Projected Starting Lineup:
Hide yo o kiddz
Secret Society Projected Starting Lineup:
HLG Speedy 00
Subs: Dirty Murder Tx
Well, didn’t see this coming. After a mid-season trade with Eclipse (RIP), Aftershock went from being just another after thought, mess of a manager team to the hottest team in league. The foundation of this team comes from their tanking line of Hide yo kidz and Wolverine, who both put together very strong seasons in the KD department. Kidz is still, somehow, known as a runner but his tanking play this season in a shallow Ammy poll just shows how complete a player he is. He’s the backbone of this team, and they go as he goes. Wolverine as a hot rookie coming into the season, and she didn’t disappoint. If she keeps this tanking play up and continues to improve, which can happen when you play with someone like Kidz, she’s going to be a real force in the seasons to come. Kidz and Wolverine are as solid as they come, but the 3rd and 4th on this team is where things get interesting. Warhero is a very interesting player. He’s a pure hybrid, leading the team in goals and putting up decent tanking numbers as well. He’s a very solid 3rd, and a piece that is very important to this team’s success. If he can step up his game in the playoffs, this team has a real chance to make some noise. Finally, we have Mungo, who may be the worst player on this team statistically, but is still a very important part of it. From what I hear, Mungo is a great game manager and keeps this team focused on during the games, which is exactly what you need from a 4th on a team. He’s got the intangibles already and continues to improve on the court, another big reason for this team’s hot streak at the end of the season. I give Rage a lot of credit orchestrating the trade that made this team halfway through the season, and even more to the players on Aftershock for coming together so late and riding one heck of a hot streak into the playoffs. If there’s any lower seed team that’s likely to make noise in this year’s playoff, it’s most likely Aftershock.
Secret Society Overview:
Another manager team I’m shocked was able to make playoffs, not because of their skill but just because of how disorganized the manager teams were this season. It’s fitting and interesting that two of the three of them meet in the first round of the playoffs. Secret Society has puzzled me throughout the season, I’m was never really sure whether they were good or mediocre or bad, as they’ve been incredibly inconsistent. The real star of this team, no shocker, is Cutthroat, who continues to be one of the strongest tanks in the league, especially in Ammy. After him though, it’s really unclear who is the #2 on this team. Fiery has been decent, and he’s shown consistent improvement throughout the season, but relying on him to pick up the weight in response to the tanking this team will see in the playoffs is a little much to ask. He’s more of a pure hybrid, and this team needs to adapt to that playstyle a little more often if it’s going to see continued success. DeathMaster and Speedy are very similar to Fiery, hybrid types, but with much less tanking prowess. They’re not bad players, but don’t really have the tanking chops to keep up with Cutthroat, and neither does Fiery really, so in order to win this team is going to have to play a hybrid style. I’m not sure if there’s enough game management skills on the team to pull off a completely hybrid style, and that’s no knock on them, few teams, if any, really do. They’ll need to figure something out though to make up for the tanking issues this team has, especially if they’re going to upset Aftershock in the upcoming round.
Aftershock is the hottest team in the league right now, and they’re a completely different team than they were at the beginning of the season. They’ve found new life after the trade, whereas SS has remained stagnant pretty much the whole season. I believe this series will come down a classic tanking battle, as I don’t think SS really has the skills to play a completely up-tempo game style, and I feel like Aftershock, specifically Wolverine and Kidz, is going to force them to play a style that SS really doesn’t want to be playing. If SS is going to have any success, they’re going to have to make the most of the possessions and play a fast style. The longer the rounds go, the more Aftershock will have the advantage. Even with that being said, Aftershock has done extremely well the past few weeks, and I don’t see that stopping now.
Game 1: 5 – 1 (Aftershock)
Game 2: 5 – 3 (Aftershock)