The clock struck midnight as the Countdown Cup, the Cinderella’s never got their kiss at the ball. The San Francisco Shock and Shanghai Dragons won their respective tournaments confirming their ranking in the league. They don’t need to be talked about though. Other notable stonks changed during the Countdown Cup. Here is whose stonks changed:
Stonks Up: Philadelphia Fusion
The Fusion may have lost ANOTHER grand final, but they continue to prove that no matter what the meta they are one of the best teams there is. Not only did the breeze through the qualifying rounds, but they avenged their Summer Showdown loss to the Paris Eternal. They are the only team in the league that has managed to make Sp9rk1e’s look human. OWL MVP Candidate Alarm had a field day versus the Eternal by hitting enough sleep darts to make any normal player uninstall the game. They are in prime position to claim one of the spots in the seasons finals in Korea if this pace holds.
Stonks Down: Paris Eternal
The Eternal looked bad this past week and it is hard to tell why. They played the Valiant in the quarterfinals in a match they probably should have lost. The only reason they didn’t is Xzi went nuclear in Warehouse on Havana. They followed that lackluster performance up with a 3-1 loss to their archrival Philadelphia Fusion. The Eternal struggle to counter the Fusion’s Genji Sombra dive comp killed them. They lost playing the dive mirror and the double shield on bad dive maps. For now they are number three in North America, but if any coach can fix these issues, it’s Rush and co.
Stonks Up: NYXL
Good job, New York? The NYXL looked better during the Countdown Cup and even upset the Summer Showdown champions, but fell short to the Dragons. Bianca has slotted well into the off-tank role in place of Hotba recently, but it wasn’t quite enough this week. This roster showed some fight, so they got rewarded a little bit. The rest of APAC outside Shanghai is still a mystery, though.
Stonks Down: Guangzhou Charge
The Charge were disappointing during the Countdown Cup. Their underwhelming qualifier stage was followed up by a loss to the NYXL in the quarterfinals. Players like MVP candidate Cr0ng continued his strong play, but Eileen fell off. His performances were nowhere close to what he produced during the Summer Showdown.
Stonks Up: LA Valiant
This may seem strange because they lost, but it really isn’t. The Valiant waxed the Houston Outlaws after playing a close match against them the previous week. Then they proceeded to follow that up with an extremely close match vs the Paris Eternal. The Valiant were so close to winning Volskaya Industries and Havana if not from otherworldly play from members of the Eternal. The Valiant look poised to finish the regular season strong and potentially clinch a top five seed.
Stonks Down: Atlanta Reign
The Reign are the ultimate front runner. Almost every match they have won this season featured a 3-0 win. Sure they won a few matches where their opponents claimed a map or two, but those are few and far between. Saucy’s performance this past weekend was better than expected, but not enough to beat the Mayhem. The question with the Reign is about Erster and Sharp. Both of these players are superbly talented but have seen little to no play time recently. This roster needs to figure things out fast if they want any shot at the title.
Stonks Down: APAC Region outside of Shanghai
This one is a little more controversial. To be clear, this is not an “APAC is a bad region” statement. The issue is everyone behind the Dragons. The Dragons are clearly a great team and no one can take that away from them. They have rolled the region but that is the issue. No team can be called second best in APAC because no team can stay good for a long enough time to have that title. First it was the Dynasty, then it was the Charge, now it is maybe the NYXL or Spark. Maybe one team can get hot in these last few games, but the hope for APAC to produce a great great number two seed is very low.
What do you think? Tell Christian on Twitter at @TheWiz_SPM.
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