Elite Series Season 2: Road To The Playoffs

We've enjoyed seven weeks of drama and high-quality matches in the Gfinity Arena as Season 2 has played out. Now we have a moment to breathe before the playoffs commence, let's take a look back across the season and chart the road to the semi-finals for each of our twelve playoff teams.

SFV1. Envy (17 Points)After starting off on the back foot, Season 1 runners-up Envy eventually qualified as top seeds. Interestingly, their only losses were to teams who didn't qualify for the playoffs – Endpoint in Week 1 and Reason in Week 6. The most satisfying of their five wins will surely have been the 4-3 victory over reigning champions exceL in Week 5, avenging their defeat in the Season 1 final. The two teams will face off once again in the semi-finals of Season 2 in a blockbuster bout. Any team containing players like Nassim-Claw, TKR, Layo and Mr Crimson will be supremely difficult to beat, and Envy have all the motivation in the world to win Season 2.2. Prophecy (17 Points)Prophecy got bumped into 2nd place by way of a Week 7 defeat to Envy, but the fact both teams finished on 17 points is a demonstration of just how evenly matched the two sides are. Unlike Envy however, Prophecy's two losses in Season 2 both came at the hands of playoff rivals – one of them being their semi-final opponents Infused. This is a youthful squad making their first appearance in the Elite Series playoffs; amongst such experienced adversaries, the skills and temperament of players like Shivryuken, Zera and Akainu will be tested like never before.3. exceL (14 Points)It's been a tough road back to the semi-finals for defending champions exceL. After back-to-back losses in Week 2 and 3 and a futher defeat in Week 5 to Envy, their semi-final place was far from secure. It took an epic 4-3 victory over Endpoint in Week 7, fighting back from 3-1 down, to finally clinch a playoff spot at the death. Ironically, their 3rd-place finish means they will rematch Envy in the semi-finals, the team they defeated to claim their Season 1 title.4. Infused (13 Points)It was a similarly nervous Week 7 for Infused, as the Season 1 semi-finalists once again made the playoffs with a losing bonus point against Method. They started the season strongly with three straight wins, but a heavy defeat to Envy in Week 4 seemed to knock them off course, and back-to-back losses is not how they would've liked to enter the playoffs. However, they do have a win over semi-final opponents Prophecy, so you can guarantee Imstilldadaddy's squad will feel confident of going one step further than the semi-finals this season – and his teammates Shakz and Gunslinga will be fiercely determined to make that happen.

Rocket League1. Reason (21 Points)Reason start as massive favourites to take the Rocket League crown. The stats make for daunting reading for their rivals: seven wins from seven games, four 3-0 shutout results and only three games dropped in the entirety of Season 2. A staggering record for the team who struggled to even win a single match in Season 1. Reason's plan to build a team around Season 1 standout Rix Ronday has paid spectacular dividends, with Borito B and Tigreee forming a well-balanced and devastating trio. Having already vanquished them in Week 7, they face a weakened Method team once again in the semi-finals. Can anyone stop the rise of Reason?2. Endpoint (16 Points)If anyone can, it's likely to be reigning champions Endpoint. They were the team that came the closest to defeating Reason, eventually succumbing to a 3-2 loss in Week 2. With back to back defeats, Endpoint were off to a shaky start, but they rallied quickly to win five in a row and power into the playoffs in 2nd place. They already have a 3-0 victory over semi-final opponents Prophecy this season; a similar result puts them one step away from defending their title.3. Method (13 Points)The omens don't look good for Method. The Season 1 semi-finalists finished 3rd in the league this time around, but suffered heavy defeats to both Prophecy and Reason – and will be facing the latter in the semi finals, with a team likely still not at full strength due to commitments elsewhere. They'll need a miracle to avoid another semi-final defeat this time around.4. Prophecy (12 Points)Prophecy come into the playoffs as something of a conundrum. They started Season 2 like a freight train, clicking off four straight wins with ease. But since suffering a shutout loss to Endpoint in Week 5, they've failed to win a single match – or even a single game – since. With a strong core trio of Sebadam, Mummisnow and EyeIgnite, such a downturn in form is utterly baffling. They don't have long to figure out the answers before a rematch with Endpoint beckons.

CS:GO1. Reason (19 Points)Though not quite as invincible as their Rocket League counterparts, Reason's CS:GO team still come into the semi-finals as favourites. They did fall to Envy in Week 1, but from there they racked up six straight victories to qualify as top seeds. Perhaps the most noteworthy was a 22-18 result against Epsilon, forcing the reigning champions into multiple overtime periods before finally prevailing. It was a performance that showed real tenacity from Reason's young squad; if they can avenge that loss to Envy in the first semi-final, it's hard to see who can stop them claiming the top prize.2. Endpoint (17 Points)Endpoint might have something to say about that, though. They've enjoyed a relatively solid season, with two close losses to Reason and Prophecy the only blemishes on their record. Perhaps the most impressive result of them all was the gritty 16-14 victory over reigning champions Epsilon in Week 6, a match where they raced into a 10-3 lead before surviving a strong Epsilon fightback. Such a result cannot be underestimated, particularly as it's Epsilon they will face in the semi-finals – they'll be feeling confident of a repeat performance.3. Envy (14 Points)Four weeks into Season 2, and Envy were in big trouble. Three losses from four matches meant the Season 1 semi-finalists looked dead and buried. Three big wins later, and Envy's turnaround was complete as they stormed into the playoffs in 3rd place. The significance of their 16-2 demolition of Epsilon in Week 7 can't be downplayed; nothing less than a victory AND denying Epsilon a losing bonus point was required, and achieving both in such emphatic style against the reigning champions was a huge statement of intent. They enter the playoffs brimming with confidence, and they'll need all of that and more against Reason in the semi-finals.4. Epsilon (14 Points)Poor Epsilon. Aside from that dramatic loss to Reason in Week 4, it was relatively smooth sailing for the reigning champions. That is until Week 6 arrived, and they tumbled to back-to-back defeats at the hands of Endpoint and Envy. Luckily they still snuck into the playoffs, but only just, and that 16-2 drubbing from Envy will have been a major body blow for their confidence. Not for nothing are they reigning champions though, and if they can gain revenge over Endpoint in the semi-finals, they'll be just one step away from retaining their crown.

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