Dust2.us has reached out to 20 ESEA Advanced Season 34 casters, players, and community figures to rank the top 16 teams in the division as they prepare for playoffs tonight. Based on their input, the top team in the division is once again RBG, with the Canadian squad finishing 19 points ahead of Kinship.
Here is how the 16 playoff-bound ESEA Advanced Season 34 rosters were ranked:
|Team||Avg. Score||Total Points||Record|
|The Survey Corps||1.50||30||11-5|
Once again, here is a summary of how the ranking system works:
Each respondent was given a list of the 16 playoff-bound ESEA Advanced Season 34 team. From this list they ranked each team from 1st-10th with first place receiving ten points, second place receiving nine points, and so on. After polling was closed the scores were totaled and averaged.
RBG's continued ability to hold the top spot does not come as much of a surprise, with the Canadian squad having spent a large portion of the season in first place before falling one win behind Kinship. Outside of Advanced however, RBG's strength as a lineup has continued to be demonstrated, with the team playing close matches against the likes of Triumph, ex-Polar Ace, and Levitate, even managing to take a map off Chaos in WINNERS League Season 4 Invite. With the team being regarded as a top Advanced side, it would be a surprise if they did not manage to make at the very least ESEA MDL Season 34 Relegation after performing so well over the last two months.
Finishing just behind RBG, Kinship are likely one of their closest rivals to win the division, boasting the best regular season record heading into playoffs. While the team has enjoyed great success this season, one factor that may see them exit playoffs early is the decision to replace "VEIN" with Sean "naes" Fontaine in the twilight hours of the regular season. While they won their last two matches and naes, it will be interesting to see if they've had enough time to integrate him into their structure as they are set to play SKDC tonight at 8:30 PM EDT.
Big Chillin are another safe bet to go far in playoffs this season, having comfortably done so during Season 33. With a highly consistent core that formed almost eight months ago, they rival RBG in the time the team have spent together, a luxury in the roster change prone division. They are also one of only two playoff-bound squads who bested RBG, which is nothing to scoff at. The only concerning factor for them in recent months was their performance in eFire Master League Season 2, where they were eliminated following 0-2 losses to AA and Thunder Logic, although both maps went into overtime versus the latter team.
Speaking of Thunder Logic, they are another team that is expected to do well in playoffs this season as they have made a strong case for their return to MDL. The primary concern for them heading into playoffs in that since May 31st, they have had a split 3-3 record against a number of the division's top teams. While four out of the six matches were incredibly close, it raises questions about how they will do against these teams in the more grueling best-of-three playoff format.
Third Impact have dropped from third to fifth place to fifth place since our mid-season power rankings, although based on their recent performances there is not a clear explanation for why. Since then, they won seven matches in a row to claim a 12-4 record, albeit with only one win being against a playoff-bound team. With their first playoff match set to be against Addice Inc. tomorrow at 8PM EDT, it’s a sink or swim moment for the squad as they look to dispute their position on the rankings.
Lethal Divide are a new face to the Dust2.us Advanced Power Rankings, having not received much recognition at the season's mid-point. Since then, they have made a solid argument for being one of the best teams in the division, putting up a 5-1 record and notably taking down Big Chillin and Thunder Logic. Being known more for their controversies than their performances due to most recently being dropped by Rebel in April following Jake "eptima" Allen's ban, perhaps Lethal Divide can flip the script and climb to the top of the division.
Imperium are also a newcomer to the rankings, having seemingly built their reputation up in the tail-end of the regular season. With the core having come from ESEA Open Season 33, it will be interesting to see how this relatively new formation will do against Advanced's top competition and if they can make the massive leap from Open to MDL in two seasons.
Hopefully without confusing any respondents, the similarly named ImPerium came in eighth place eight points behind Imperium. With losses to Big Chillin and RBG in the back half of the season it will be worth watching to see if this team will go far as they had a relatively easy regular season schedule.
Hyper are a bit of an enigmatic team, while members of the squad have been playing in various ESEA leagues for 12 seasons, none of the current members have ever broken through into MDL. However, like Big Chillin they are one of three squads to best RBG in the regular season, so perhaps Hyper may be able to surprise in playoffs. Their first match will be a decent warmup to see if they are going to make it deep in playoffs as Front are ranked towards the bottom of our power rankings.
The final squad in the top ten is The Survey Corps. Like many of the lower ranked squads, they are an outside bet to go deep in playoffs, especially as they are set to face Thunder Logic in their opening series. Luckily for them, they previously played Brandon "Sharkie" Ly and company in the regular season, managing to take them to 30 rounds despite a loss. With a rematch in the cards, perhaps this squad of Advanced veterans will surprise and make a deep run in playoffs or be in contention to claim a spot in relegation.
The next six squads are not rated very highly in our power rankings, however that doesn't mean they are out of contention to potentially go deep in playoffs. With veteran names like Soham "valens" Chowdhury, Kyle "OCEAN" O'Brien, and Jacob "SPERMY" Younan, a number of these squads may end up being dark horses to go all the way and do some serious damage to the players and coaches who dismissed them in the rankings.