Only four weeks remain for the group stage of the SC2Improve Team League Season 3. With seven matches played we are closing in on the time where the playoff race tightens. For some teams every single match is already a matter of playoff or death as one more loss will just about completely destroy dreams of reaching the playoffs. Even teams who currently lead the groups such as mYinsanity, Redbloods or Team ALTERNATE are still at least a couple of victories away from securing their places in the playoffs.
Last season a 7-4 match score was the cut-off point for playoffs - but even this scoreline was not good enough for two teams in each group as Team MiA, PunchLine, Cascade and Team ALTERNATE all missed the single-elimination bracket due to map score. Season 3 looks to be showing a very similar situation so far as we have 7-8 teams in each group which are still below 3 match losses.
Already out of the running based on the 7-4 cut-off are New ErA Gaming, Followers of Extermination, ECVisualize and Derava Kapsa. There are also five teams who are already sat on 4 match losses : Team MiA, Team Mistral, Mouse Control, Team Gravity and PunchLine. With a lot of these teams yet to play each other and with some very tough teams to play as well it is going to take nothing short of a miracle comeback to save them now.
At the other end of the spectrum we have a mixture of teams doing extremely well. For some of these teams success was expected from the beginning, but for others it has been quite a surprising string of results which they have been able to throw together. mYinsanity (mYi) and AT Gaming (ATcm) are the two teams up at the top of each group who we were expecting to look strong going into the beginning of the season.
mYi and ATcm are both previous SC2ITL champions from Season 1 and 2 respectively and after 7 matches they both hold only a single match loss. With what will be considered as some easier matches remaining for them they are the most likely teams currently to be advancing to the playoffs - though their exact positions will still be fought over in the coming weeks.
One team who are performing exceptionally beyond expectations are Team Redbloods who also only hold a single match loss after 7 games which was to Startale. Redbloods opened the season with a six match win streak - but not without breaking a sweat as four of these six matches did end up going all the way to game 7. It was their Week 5 victory over Cascade - who had looked untouchable after only dropping a single map in the first four weeks - which has been the most impressive. Having also slotted a victory against AT Gaming, the other leaders in Group B, Redbloods will now enjoy an easier patch of games in the coming weeks.
Team ALTERNATE currently stand undefeated in Group A of the competition, but have only played five of their matches. With upcoming matches against mYinsanity, ESC ICY BOX and Karnage eSports it will be impressive if they manage to keep their unbeaten streak.
Between the bottom and the top there is currently a pit of complete chaos - multiple teams in both groups who will be scrambling to reach the final playoff positions. Right now there are too many possibilities to talk about separately so we will leave it for another day when some more matches have been played out. Previous finalists such as Vega Squadron and Cascade are amongst these teams - but the scary thing is that none of them are safe.