The Rundown: MDL Season 33 NA Playoffs
The 33rd season of North American Mountain Dew League has entered its playoffs stage, and the remaining eight teams are competing for three slots at the Mountain Dew League Global Challenge. This season of MDL has proven to be chock-full of talented players, and with the playoffs beginning, we will be able to see the best of the best be pitted against one another in a best-of-three double-elimination format. All players involved have a wide range of experience, ranging from no LAN experience to playing at a Major. After playing in best of ones all season, it will be interesting to see if that experience plays any role in how teams are impacted by the best of three format.
What are the standings?
1. Under 21 | 2. Recon 5 | 3. Bad News Bears | 4. Triumph
5. Chaos EC | 6. Rugratz | 7. Team One | 8. Mythic
Under 21 (20-2)
Rahul 'curry' Nemani: 1.27 Rating | .79 KPR | 85.2 ADR
David 'Sneaky' Polster: 1.22 Rating | .76 KPR | 78.1 ADR
Erick 'Xeppaa' Bach: 1.20 Rating | .76 KPR | 79.5 ADR
Brendan 'Bwills' Williams: 1.20 Rating | .74 KPR | 80 ADR
Justin 'FaNg' Coakley: 1.11 Rating | .68 KPR | 75.6 ADR
First game: vs Mythic (#8)
This heavy-hitting one seed is a favorite to qualify for the Global Challenge and with good reason. They experienced some extreme highs during the season, starting 10-0 and even preventing their opponents from earning ten rounds in six straight. Although teams played them close in the second half of the season, the team was able to win a majority of the final games, earning the top seed.
Recon 5 (19-3)
Carson 'nosraC' O'Reilly: 1.25 Rating | .81 KPR | 85.7 ADR
Dominick 'JazzPimp' Dimpfel: 1.19 Rating | .83 KPR | 85.2 ADR
Paytyn 'Junior' Johnson: 1.11 Rating | .70 KPR | 72.6 ADR
Riley 'Reality' Fusch: 1.10 Rating | .65 KPR | 73.6 ADR
Austin 'AAustin' Urb: 1.04 Rating | .63 KPR | 75.0 ADR
First game: vs Team One (#7)
Recon 5 appears ready to rock the playoffs at the two seed. The lineup started and ended their season 2-2, but during their peak, they rolled out a ten-game winning streak in dominant fashion. They were the second strongest team in the regular season, but three of their four losses were against teams in the playoffs. Bad News Bears and Team One were two of them, and both teams are on Recon 5's side of the bracket. It is a hurdle the team will have to overcome to qualify. They have the talent, it will come down to execution.
Bad News Bears (18-4)
Michael 'dapr' Gulino: 1.34 Rating | .86 KPR | 94 ADR
Mitch 'mitch' Semago: 1.19 Rating | .70 KPR | 72.6 ADR
Jonathan 'Jonji' Carey: 1.17 Rating | .70 KPR | 81.3 ADR
Austin 'crashies' Roberts: 1.16 Rating | .75 KPR | 78.3 ADR
Peter 'ptr' Gurney: 1.08 Rating | .65 KPR | 66.5 ADR
First game: vs Rugratz (#6)
The lineup started the season red hot, winning nine straight games. In that stretch, their opponents averaged seven rounds a game. The team lost three straight after that but found their form in the final stretch of the season. Many are familiar with this lineup, as the core has been playing together for some time now. Outside of MDL, they beat Rugratz in a best of three en route to qualifying for the Americas Minor. This team has a wealth of experience together, as well as past experience. They are well-suited to make it to the Global Challenge again.
Michael 'Grim' Wince: 1.33 Rating | .88 KPR | 93.5 ADR
Logan 'Voltage' Long: 1.19 Rating | .73 KPR | 71.1 ADR
Gabe 'Spongey' Greiner: 1.06 Rating | .62 KPR | 67.9 ADR
Alan 'Shakezullah' Hardeman: 1.06 Rating | .66 KPR | 75.1 ADR
Peter 'Asuna' Mazuryk: 1.03 Rating | .63 KPR | 71.6 ADR
First game: vs Chaos EC (#5)
The Triumph lineup has found major success in March. Besides qualifying for the MDL playoffs, they also qualified for the Americas Minor by taking down Orgless in a nailbiting best of three. Orgless is a tough North American lineup, which makes it an even sweeter victory. Although they appeared burnt out near the end of MDL, if they can carry that level of energy from earlier in the season and the Minor qualifiers, then they can make it to the very end. Grim is looking like one of the hottest North American prospects, and at times can be unstoppable. Although there are only three Global Challenge spots, this team could swing in and take one from a top seed.
Chaos EC (17-5)
Owen 'smooya' Butterfield: 1.39 Rating | .89 KPR | 86.7 ADR
Joshua 'steel' Nissan: 1.26 Rating | .80 KPR | 88.1 ADR
Anthony 'vanity' Malaspina: 1.18 Rating | .76 KPR | 80.1 ADR
Cameron 'cam' Kern: 1.08 Rating | .66 KPR | 69.7 ADR
Matthew 'mCe' Elmore: .88 Rating | .48 KPR | 59.1 ADR
First game: vs Triumph (#4)
On paper, Chaos looks like a strong team in the MDL playoff bracket. For the most part, they are. They have the best player and AWPer and IGL in the league, as well as a wealth of supporting talent behind them. However, the lineup shifted a bit during the season with coach mCe joining. His addition certainly boosts them tactically, but his numbers do not offer high hopes when it comes to impact. Time will tell if the other four can shoulder the fragging duty while he handles the tactics, or if perhaps his form will improve in the playoffs. If all five members are playing well, this team certainly can squeeze into the contender's race.
Nathan 'leaf' Orf: 1.31 Rating | .83 KPR | 89.4 ADR
Erik 'penny' Penny: 1.20 Rating | .79 KPR | 83.2 ADR
Tyler 'tweiss' Weiss: 1.09 Rating | .68 KPR | 73.1 ADR
Joshua 'Hunter' Madore: 1.07 Rating | .67 KPR | 74.5 ADR
Alexander 'zander' Diaz: 1.05 Rating | .69 KPR | 73.7 ADR
First game: vs Bad News Bears (#3)
The Rugratz core started 1-3 before their true form was unlocked. They won twelve out of their last 14 games to end the season, including nine straight. If you watch this team for five seconds, you can see they have talent pouring out of them. The catch to that is that they are a young lineup and are prone to mistakes that can derail their success. The team has tons of talent, but it is tough to tell if they are ready to make the jump this season. All five of their losses come from playoff teams, but they are coming into the playoffs winning nine straight in the league. It will be incredibly tough, but if any team fits the dark horse mold, its Rugratz.
Team One (16-6)
Alencar 'trk' Rossato: 1.15 Rating | .73 KPR | 78.8 ADR
Matheus 'pesadelo' Panisset: 1.05 Rating | .70 KPR | 79.7 ADR
Matheus 'prt' Scuvero: 1.05 Rating | .73 KPR | 79 ADR
Pedro 'Maluk3' Campos: 1.01 Rating | .64 KPR | 71.2 ADR
Bruno 'b4rtiN' Câmara: 1.00 Rating | .63 KPR | 67.1 ADR
First game: vs Recon 5 (#2)
Team One experienced a rollercoaster of a season. Going on multiple losing streaks, but only a couple of winning streaks, including eight in a row. The core of the lineup has been together for about a year, and they have the structure in place. However, they have not shown they have a consistent source of firepower look like a true contender. That being said, when Team One met Recon 5 in the season, Team One took home a win on Nuke. The Brazilian squad will look to emulate that performance, and score a surprise best of three victory over the two seed and ultimately make it to the Global Challenge.
Corbin 'C0M' Lee: 1.20 Rating | .82 KPR | 84.2 ADR
Erik 'fl0m' Flom: 1.18 Rating | .74 KPR | 77.5 ADR
Donovan 'zNf' Froid: 1.08 Rating | .65 KPR | 74.2 ADR
Kaitlin 'Keiti' Boop: 1.05 Rating | .72 KPR | 80.8 ADR
Adam 'Polen' Polen: 1.00 Rating | .62 KPR | 70.6 ADR
First game: vs Under 21 (#1)
Mythic is a lineup that needs no introduction. The team and core players are familiar to most North American Counter-Strike fans. Although to some they may be a stream team, this season, they most certainly are not. A revamped Mythic lineup secured fourteen wins and their first playoff spot in three seasons. The addition of zNf and C0M has brought them much success. C0M is a force in the server, fl0m is looking great on the AWP, and a sound supporting cast has rightfully put them on a path to the Global Challenge. The lineup has shown serious inconsistencies in their play, but if the right version of Mythic shows up, they can compete with anyone in the playoffs.