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ATK have been in tremendous form these last few months and are clear-cut favorites to bring home a back-to-back Challenger League title. Disconnected have done well, too, in their own right, but this is going to be a bigger challenge than what they’ve faced so far.
Disconnected are fourth on Group B’s standings at the moment with a 2-2 series record and 6-4 overall, including two convincing 2-0 wins against Mythic and Magic School Bus. Silas 'silas' Marrufo was the defining force in both those games, with the most kills, 45 and 43, and the team’s best rating, 1.31 and 1.71, against Mythic and MSB, respectively. In the league so far, silas holds a 1.14 rating, the team's best so far, and a 1.11 impact rating.
Plus, he's average 0.76 kills, 81.7 damage, and 0.69 deaths per round along with a 73.4% KAST score. Their team-wide rating in the Challenger League so far sits at 1.07, and their overall KD is 1.01. In terms of opening kills, Paul 'aris' Wilson has been leading the charge with 23.6% attempts at a 54.6% success rate.
ATK have had a pretty good year in the North American circuit. They won Season 42 of the Challenger League in October and placed as runners-up in Season 41 in June. They’ve taken 2-0 sweeps in the two series played in the league so far against Villanious and Mythic, an unbeaten 4-0 record across maps.
Since the start of October, they’ve been pretty much unstoppable, holding a 1.10 team rating and a 29-11 record. It looks like it’s going to be another highly successful season - their team rating of 1.34 the second-best among all teams.
Jonathan 'b0denmaster' Bodenmalm has been the envy of every team in the league, and is the most likely contender for MVP. His 1.63 rating and 2.23 KD is the best in the tournament, and along with that he's kept up a 1.55 impact rating. In addition he also has 0.45 deaths, 92.8 damage and 1 kill on average per round.
This bottom-of-the-table clash isn’t guaranteed to be the most interesting contest of the day, but both of these teams would love to put some points on board. Neither has any series wins but MSB is totally winless, so Mythic should look forward to finally opening their account.
MSB are at rock-bottom right now, with three series down and not a single win recorded. They’re last on Group B’s standings, and have lost all six maps so far. Their KD ratio is 0.69 and team rating 0.76, both the lowest in the league, save for 7 AM NA. As a team they’ve averaged around 2.85 kills per round, which comes down to a dismal average of 0.57 kills per round for each of the players.
The average deaths per round per player is also a similarly uninspiring 0.82. Robby 'Swqft' Harrison got benched after two series and was replaced by Brandon 'YuZ' Cyr, but so far the move hasn’t yielded any returns. MSB’s chances of qualification from here on are very slim.
Mythic still haven’t managed to record a single series win so far, and are seventh out of eight teams on Group B’s standings. Their win-loss record is 2-6, and their team rating 0.98. After a poor showing at Season 42 of the Challenger League last night, they had to first seed well in the Relegation tournament to attend Season 43.
They won the relegation league pretty comfortably, but back in the main tournament again, they seem to be struggling. At the end of October they signed Tyler 'tweiss' Weiss, and the move is paying off - he has been their player in the league so far, with a 1.06 rating a 1.07 KD. He has also dealt 0.76 kills per round, and 78.6 damage per round. Tweiss has been the pick of their players, and Mythic will need the others to step up and at least support him.
Strife and Iron Blood are eyeing a qualification spot, but while they have points on the board, they aren’t without issues, especially Iron Blood. It looks like Strife has the edge here though, considering they have players like reck in tow.
Strife have won and lost one series each in the Challenger League so far and are fifth in the Group A standings behind MIBR. Fifth isn’t good enough for the playoffs, though, so they have to crank things up if they want to make that cutoff. After two wins and two losses, their KD sits at 1.08, and the team rating at 1.07.
However, their scheduling is a little behind the other teams in their group, so their group mates have played at least two matches more than Strife - which means there’s still some time to catch up to the top four.
Ethan 'reck' Serrano has been at the top of his game for Strife and is another possible contender for this season’s MVP, his 1.28 rating the tenth best in the league. Along with that he also has a 1.35 KD and 1.32 impact rating, and an average of 86.9 damage per round, and 0.79 kills per round.
With three series wins and one loss, Iron Blood have done remarkably well since coming into the tournament, and are comfortably second on the standings behind LOS + oNe. They collected 2-1 wins over Detonate, Snakes Den, and MIBR before going down 0-2 to EG Black.
That’s a 6-5 record so far, and keeping up this momentum will take Iron Blood easily into the playoffs. Iron Blood owe a huge part of their success in this tournament to 21-year-old Derek 'dare' Brown. His rating is 1.26, among the top fifteen players in the tournament. His KD ratio is 1.23, and his impact rating is very high at 1.49.
Dare’s damage and kill stats are excellent as well - an average of 85.7 damage, and 0.84 kills per round. No other Iron Blood player comes close in terms of impact, with Shane, the next best, rated at 1.02. Relying so heavily on one player is going to backfire heavily in the playoffs, and the rest of the squad will have to step up before then.
With an interest in strategy and mathematics, applying that to sports writing was the natural progression. A writer at night and the founder of a gaming company, Nikhil’s previous experience includes working with ESPN for five years. His specialization includes soccer, basketball, tennis, and esports betting. Email: [email protected]More info on Nikhil Kalro
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