Hello and welcome to the mid-season check-in for the third installment of the Super ProLeague. As a result of recent expansions of several new national leagues, the SPL is bigger and more competitive than ever before. I do not doubt that the new playstyles and perspectives will contribute to a fresh and enjoyable experience for the players and spectators alike. In this article, I will cover the SPL season so far. How well did the teams fare, who progressed, and who fell short? Before the start of the season, I analyzed the groups and determined an outcome I believe was most likely. Time to see just how close my pre-season predictions actually were.
Standing after Group-Stage
|2.||orKs Grand Poitiers||21|
The standings in group A were consistently similar to my predictions, but it wasn’t until the last matchday that they turned out to be 100% correct. QUICKPLAY-GAMING e.V’s default win over already-relegated Offside Crew, saw them moving one point ahead of Cerebrum FC and knocking them out of the competition. The rest of the standings weren’t as dramatic. The Dutch side REVIVAL topped the group, followed by orKs Grand Poitiers, and Las Estrellas.
A standout player for group A was Cerebrum FC’s cBR-Gumus. Despite his side being relegated, the striker’s performance was impressive. With a hand in 13 out of Cerebrum FC’s total of 16 goals scored, It’s fair to say he had the biggest individual impact of any player in this group. But the top-goalscorer table isn’t as much of a surprise, where REVIVAL seems to dominate. With 14 goals, PandaDahley is top of the standings, followed by his striker partner, REV-AzZsX with 8 goals, and Las Estrellas’ eSt-Franjo0 with 8 goals as well. In the top-assist table, we find REV-Thijmo at the top with 9 assists. Chased by his teammate REV-KeukenRol, and Cerebrum FC’s cBR-Furkan, who had 7 and 5 assists respectively.
The pursuit for the best defense was shared between REVIVAL and Las Estrellas. While both sides produced solid defensive performances, it was the former who won this category. REV-Lani amassed 5 clean sheets from the goalkeeper position, followed by Las Estrellas’ eSt-Su1ek with 4, and orKs’ orKs_GP-Trapp with 4. And to top off this group, we have defensive clean sheets from outfield players. With 5 clean sheets, a shared first spot goes to REV-PietHeyn, REV-Yuri, REV-Lucasqfd, and REV-Olli. Overall, this group had really tough competition and fierce rivalry. The outcome probably wasn’t the hardest to predict, but I’m really satisfied with my perfect start!
Standing after Group-Stage
Just like many of us expected, the German giants dominated group B. Most notably, Equality 05, who is one of the two teams who are yet to lose a game this season in the Super ProLeague. There wasn’t any lack of goals either, as every team in the group bagged a two-digit amount of goals, and four of those teams managed to get over 15. Unlike in group A, there wasn’t really a dramatic matchup that decided it all. The standings are pretty clear-cut. The most impressive feat is perhaps Equality 05’s defense. The German side has only conceded one goal in their campaign so far, and it was a 1-1 tie against rivals 187 Rasenbande. Contrary to my previous prediction, ObstruXion managed to progress, placing themselves above now-relegated Unleashed United. The rest of the standing matches my prediction perfectly, so I’m pretty happy with this one as well.
For player performances, there is a stand-out name, who despite his team not getting the best result, was the best offensive player in the group. UU-Jogurtinho had his hand in almost all of Unleashed United’s goals in this group. In 9 games, he scored 13 goals and assisted 1. He contributed to 14 out of his team’s total of 17 goals. Had Unleashed United snuck past Khalkedon BS in the group, you could arguably say that he single-handedly saved their season. Behind UU-Jogurtinho in the top-goals scoreboard comes 187-Tom4h4wK with 10 goals, and EQ-Claid with 9. Topping the top-assist scoreboard, 187-Rasenbande’s 187-J7 dispensed his teammates with 7 assists. On a shared second place on the scoreboard with 5 assists, we have ObX-Gamerz, EQ-criatura, and UU-ROCKEFELLAAA.
And finally, for the defense, Equality 05 completely dominated this category. Goalkeeper EQ-Domstie achieved 9 clean sheets in 10 games, 7 more than his closest co-contestant. With almost too many to mention, the outfield player clean sheet scoreboard is topped by six Equality players, proving that perhaps rotation could be key to their defensive success. And to conclude this group, it is safe to say that all the teams who progressed really earned it, and It’s easy to justify each and everyone’s placing. It won’t surprise me if one of the teams here will represent group B in the Super ProLeague final.
Standing after Group-Stage
|5.||Back 2 Roots||12|
Group C, the group I have been dreading to cover. Not because of all the crazy and unexpected results, but mostly because of my absolutely butchered prediction. Entertainmentwise, this could easily have been the best group to watch. Apart from the impressive front-runner Fluidity, the rest of the teams who progressed are within 3 points of each other, meaning that just one game could make a huge difference. An add-on to this special group is the fact that four teams finished the group with a negative goal difference, two of which actually progressed. “Shock” of the group C standing would be Knallgas placing third. It’s not a bad feat itself, just that you may expect more from the German champions. The most impressive team in this group must be newcomers and international side Fluidity. Who would have thought that a team from INT2 League would win their group?
Placing second is the German team Bad Touch. After replacing Rainbow Unicorns, the Germans had a run of very inconsistent results. A win against Knallgas, only saw Bad Touch lose to them later. And a loss against Back 2 Roots, followed by a win against them later. The same story against Juventus Bucuresti. After a dramatic season with a 5-0-5 record, they placed second in their group, with a -3 goal difference.
The battle against “relegation” was very intense. Perhaps most for ThunderAUK and Back 2 Roots. On the last matchday, ThunderAUK seized the opportunity to progress, beating Knallgas 1-0. Currently, all that stood between Back 2 Roots and progressing in the competition, was a match against already-relegated Juventus Bucuresti. After failing to win, a tie was enough to land Back 2 Roots equal on points as ThunderAUK. The latter then scarcely made it to the knock-out stages, beating Back 2 Roots on goal difference. That means Back 2 Roots, and Juventus Bucuresti have unfortunately exited the competition. We thank them for their effort and wish them the best of luck in their respective leagues. And now for the player performances.
Topping the top-goals scoreboard is BAD-Nguyen with 9 goals, EmoGanK with 8 goals, and B2R_DonCheddo with 6 goals. And on the top-assist scoreboard, we find B2R_Knarfii, and -Skadooku-, both with 4 assists each. The defensive category is equally split between two teams, Knallgas and ThunderAUK. Both teams had consistent performing defenders and goalkeepers, who all got solid 4 clean sheets. Conclusively, this was the most unexpected final standing of them all in my opinion. My original prediction for this group is so inaccurate, in fact, I didn’t get a single position correct. But a very enjoyable group to watch, I can’t wait to see how the teams go on from here.
Standing after Group-Stage
And finally, the last group to cover in this article, group D. Statistically, this was perhaps the least competitive group of them, mainly thanks to VOLT’s complete dominance over most of their co-contestants. A total of 125 goals was scored in group D during the group-stage, way more than any other group. You can pick the best offensive player from whichever group you want, and they will not even be close to the top 3 on group D’s top-scorer scoreboard. Who is responsible for these crazy stats? Well, mainly the German frontrunners, VOLT and DeathRowArmy. The former was officially crowned champions of group D, being the second only team to progress unbeaten, and also tied on most points with Equality 05. VOLT has been really impressive so far. Not just their 8-2-0 record, but also the fact that they beat runner-up DeathRowArmy on both occasions they faced off. They will be one of the teams to fear going forward in the competition. Behind VOLT on 20 points each, are DeathRowArmy, and Ragnarök FC. Separated by goal-difference, both teams justified their final placing with an impressive 6-2-2 record in a quite difficult group. Just like my initial group prediction, all of these teams were in my top 3, just in a different order.
I also suspected that the Italian side Arrancia Meccanica would not make it to the knock-out stages. They did however prove me wrong. Coming fourth, 2 points above the relegated team DIVISION. What a nice result for the Italian ProLeague fans, but DIVISION will regret their rough performances against Arrancia Meccanica, after getting just one point against them in two games. And at the bottom of the group, sits ANATOMY FC. The Turkish side fought to the best of their ability, getting some decent results like a 1-2 loss against DeathRowArmy and Ragnarök FC, and an impressive 1-1 draw against VOLT. But in the end, it wasn’t enough for ANATOMY FC, and we see them exit the competition before we enter the next phase.
And like usual, time for some player performances shout-outs. The best-attacking players in this group, or perhaps even the entire group stage, is Makaveli-DRA with 20 goals, VOLT-Lucas with 20 goals, and VOLT-b4mbii with 14 goals. The same players were also present in the top 3 scorer points scoreboard. And for assists, it isn’t a surprise to see the same teams representing this category as well. On 10, 7, and 6 assists respectively, we have VOLT-b4mbii, ALL4TheG4inZ-DRA, 49V_Bama, and VOLT-Luca.
As for goalkeeper clean sheets, VOLT-NeuerTV steps forward with 5 clean sheets. Just slightly behind him on 4 clean sheets, is RAG-Sjef184, and lastly N1mra-DRA, with 2 clean sheets. And for the outfield defense, VOLT-Glorious, and VOLT-Timson are the frontrunners of this category. Following them is maybe too many names to mention, but a shared second place with 4 clean sheets goes to the rest of the VOLT defense and the entire Ragnarök FC defense.
And that concludes my group analysis for this season of the Super ProLeague. From now on, we enter the knock-out stages of the competition, one that most people find even more entertaining. I personally can’t wait to see all the sides match up in a fierce and cutthroat best-of-three format over the coming weeks. Considering my somewhat successful pre-season prediction, I thought I would have a go at a “top 5” teams prediction. Without further ado, I think the top 5 will consist of Equality 05, 187 Rasenbande, REVIVAL, VOLT, and DeathRowArmy.
And this goes without saying, but if you took offence to my predictions and anything I wrote in this article, please see it as a motivation to improve and prove me wrong. Thanks to all teams who participated! And to those who exited the competition, good luck in the future and we hope to see you here again in the next season of the Super ProLeague. And finally, thank you all for taking your time reading this article!