The addition of ben1337 turned out to be a catalyst for an incredible regular season from New England Whalers
The final week of the regular season for MDL Season 34 has concluded, with eight teams clinching their spots in the playoffs.
Update: Following the publication of this article, ESEA provided Dust2.us with the official standings for season, which look as follows:
- New England Whalers
- Recon 5
- Swedish Canadians
- Keep the Comms Up
- ex-Morning Light
- blood, sweat, and tears
- Warriors International
- ex-Polar Ace
- Buffdaddy's Paypal Team
Way 2 French
With the regular season concluded, the largest story heading into playoffs is the massive reversal of fortunes for New England Whalers. After facing relegation last season and replacing Daniel "roca" Gustaferri with Ben "ben1337" Smith, the team dominated the regular season, putting up a 15-2 record with their only losses being at the hands of Chaos and Levitate. Their strong showing thus far can be partially attributed to 29-year-old MDL veteran Josh "PwnAlone" Pigue, who is on track to have the best season of his career.
Recon 5 have also continued to be an impressive team in their second season of MDL, even after replacing two of their core members they continued to be a consistent top team in the division, with their only losses coming to playoff-bound teams.
This season also had its own Cinderella story, as Swedish Canadians rose from the ashes of a 7-12 performance last season, rebuilt their roster from the ground up, and became a top contender to win the division. Unfortunately, the team will have a handicap heading into playoffs as Adam "WolfY" Andersson has returned to Sweden and will be playing playoffs with a ping disadvantage.
Oceanus will also be heading into playoffs with a massive handicap as a family emergency has required Adam "mada" Pampuch to travel to Europe during playoffs. As such, Oceanus will be playing the remainder of the season 4v5, a near insurmountable situation.
Looking towards the bottom of the division, Infinity and Buffdaddy's Paypal Team will be facing relegation this season. This will be the second season in a row that Infinity has faced relegation, which does not come as a large surprise as the team have had to contend with playing from Colombia and Peru, facing high pings in the majority of their matches.
The playoff bracket is expected to look as such:
|New England Whalers||vs.||Keep the Comms Up|
The MDL Season 34 playoffs are set to run from June 29th to July 1st and will offer a $20,000 top prize.
Update: MDL Relegation is set to start on August 18th, and assuming no MDL teams disband from now until then, it will feature the 15th and 16th place MDL teams alongside the 2nd-6th place Advanced teams and potentially one invited team.