TASL2 Playoffs Preview – To Crown the First Transatlantic Champion

On January 9, the second season of the Transatlantic Splatoon League will come to a close. Despite being the league’s second season, this will the the first time the league will end with an intercontinental playoffs bracket to find the best Splatoon team across North America & Europe. As discussed in our broadcast announcement article, 5 teams per region played against one another to determine the best two teams out of each division. To get you prepared for the single elimination bracket on the 9th, here are some notes on the teams that will be playing.

A look at the TASL2 playoffs bracket. The broadcast starts at Noon EST (18:00 CET) on the EndGameTV Twitch Channel. (Image Credit: TASL)


Starburst

πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ Bran (βš” – L-3 D, Splattershot)
πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ Jared (βš” – CDS, Kensa Pro)
πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ Ant (β›‘ – Jr., Foil Squeezer)
πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ Silver (β›‘ – N-Zap ’85)
πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ Ice (βš“ – Custom Jet, Chargers)

🟩 5-2 vs Supernova, Week 2 (10/29)
🟩 5-4 vs Slaughterhouse, Week 4 (11/12)
🟩 5-2 vs FTWin, Week 6 (11/21)

A team of close friends, Starburst finally found their revenge by beating FTWin in Week 6 and are bringing that momentum into the playoffs. They’ll be looking for more explosive plays in Saturday’s matches.

The expectation of the NA division coming into the second season of TASL was that FTWin would come out as the first seed and Starburst would come out as the second seed, just as it had been for over a year. Starburst, though, proved otherwise. Even despite dropping games in these sets, the team’s overall flexibility and adaptability has translated to set wins during both the Best-of-9 format of TASL and more recent tournaments as well. Watch out for Starburst to gradually build up over the course of the set and become unstoppable in later games.

On the frontlines for this team’s flexibility, Bran played 8 unique weapons in TASL (second most flexible in the league) and is the catalyst for much of the team’s activity with a 48% participation rate in splats. Ice is also able to adapt on the backlines, and spent a relatively even amount of time playing chargers, the Custom Jet Squelcher, and Splatlings over the course of the season. With matchup priority, Ice achieved the third highest KDA in the league of 2.78. Pair these play from these two players with Ant’s second-highest paint per minute statistic in the league and Jared’s long-range CDS oppression to make one formidable opponent.


FreeZe

πŸ‡©πŸ‡ͺ Free (βš” – Splattershots)
πŸ‡©πŸ‡ͺ Noctis (βš” – Kensa Machine)
πŸ‡©πŸ‡ͺ Mika (β›‘ – N-Zap ’85)
πŸ‡©πŸ‡ͺ ZerraZ (βš“ – Splatterscope, CJet)

🟩 5-0 vs Usual Guys, Week 1 (10/24)
🟩 5-1 vs RIFT, Week 4 (11/15)
🟩 5-0 vs Lemonade, Week 5 (11/20)
🟩 5-2 vs RADIANCE, Week 6 (11/28)

Only dropping three games over the course of the entire season, FreeZe dominated the European Division of TASL, much to the surprise of many. Watch out for the snowballs and slippery slopes as they take over the entire stage in their cold-blooded color.

While we were thinking about the potential for a close top 3 out of Europe, this German team had different plans. This team’s aggressive playstyle and quick tempo quickly tore through the division, largely including RIFT & RADIANCE. There are standout performances all across the board for this squad, including ZerraZ & Mika’s first & second highest KDA statistics in the league (3.11 & 2.87, respectively) and standout plays from Free & Noctis on the frontlines.

In my view, however, FreeZe is a team built around Mika’s playstyle. He might as well be considered another frontliner for the team in some cases; Mika is not afraid to get up and join the fight with his tried-and-true N-Zap. The team’s decisiveness around Mika is truly remarkable to watch in motion, and can be seen in a vast number of examples during the regular season. On the backline for the team is ZerraZ, who under just the eye test alone appears to be one of the most mechanically gifted players in the West, notably winning the charger duel vs RIFT’s AlexaΓ― in Week 4 of the regular season.

We haven’t gotten to see this team enter competitions in December due to some real life responsibilities over the holidays, and so it will be interesting to see how much that reflects in their semifinal match.


FTWin!

πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ Kyo (βš” – KMachine, Tri, Soda)
πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦ Shak (βš” – Splattershots, CDS)
πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ 2-D (βš– – KShot, N-Zap ’85)
πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦ Burstie (β›‘ – Jr., N-Zap ’85)
πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ Biscuit (βš– – Nautilus, Ballpoint)

πŸ”Ή 5-0 vs Sayonara, Week 2 (10/29)
🟩 5-1 vs Supernova, Week 4 (11/12)
🟩 5-3 vs Slautherhouse, Week 5 (11/21)
❌ 2-5 vs Starburst, Week 6 (11/29)

You know them as the kings of North America. This squad is still the only team to win a North American Online Open. That said, this squad of feeders struggled in the later weeks of the regular season with some roster turnover.

As mentioned above, FTWin was expected to come out of the North American division as the first seed. Even despite Shak’s distance from the team during the League, a convincing 5-0 versus a soon-to-drop Supernova pickup cemented this feeling in the minds of many. It was only after their loss to Starburst in Week 6 of the league where FTWin was dethroned. However, they’ve come to reclaim that throne.

Shak is back, and you can tell that the team has been on a grind to get their groove back with their core roster. Even despite not having their core, though, FTWin still proved to be a formidable opponent with stellar performances out of individual players. Biscuit achieved the fourth highest KDA in the league of 2.77, which is surprising as he wasn’t always playing in a supportive or anchor role. Burstie is also the fastest painter in the league, flooding the map with a total of 349p per minute. You don’t need me to mention the playmaking potential of Kyo’s Kensa Machine, either – I’m sure just the thought causes some vivid memory of a play in a tournament for you.

Their recent victories during In the Zone 21 versus a Japanese pickup (3-2) and RADIANCE (4-3) are telling of the magic this roster has to squeak out sets. And that’s on what they themselves say is their “worst mode” – what happens when they get to pick where they play?


RIFT

πŸ‡«πŸ‡· Erza (βš” – Splattershots, Rapid)
πŸ‡«πŸ‡· SkoXay (βš” – L-3 Nozzlenose D)
πŸ‡«πŸ‡· Zekken (β›‘ – Jr., N-Zap ’85)
πŸ‡«πŸ‡· AlexaΓ― (βš“ – Splatterscope, CJet)

🟩 5-0 vs Lemonade, Week 1 (10/23)
🟩 5-4 vs RADIANCE, Week 3 (11/8)
❌ 1-5 vs FreeZe, Week 4 (11/15)
πŸ”Ή Forfeit Victory vs Usual Guys

RIFT is a new high-level French team looking to challenge for the top. Their double-Inkjet composition inched out a win over RADIANCE in Week 3, securing their spot in the playoffs and separating themselves from the competition.

While in the middle of the season, the knowledge that either RIFT or RADIANCE would not make playoffs was a tragic thought. Each team had fought so hard for the final playoffs spot, and that was especially evident in their Week 3 faceoff. I was casting that set, and I think any time in the future I see TC Shellendorf, I’ll be thinking about Game 9 of that set on RIFT’s map choice, where a single splat bomb won the game for RIFT. That splat bomb ultimately is why RIFT is here over RADIANCE, and I think that game can show the true clutch potential and individual mechanical skill that RIFT possesses. During the league, RIFT relied heavily on triple or quadruple special engagements (often double Inkjet + Ink Armor) to find success on the map. AlexaΓ― also comes up strong and holds down the fort when it matters most, anchoring the team with a 2.73 KDA Splatterscope, contributing 32% of his team’s splats.

In December, RIFT played in FRST December hosted by eSportBrosTV, where they lost to their French rivals 3-4. In the set, Erza strays away from the Tentatek and opts for the Kensa Splattershot to gain larger special diversity, but in doing so RIFT loses some of what makes them special. It will be interesting to see which version of RIFT that we get on Saturday.


Watch TASL2’s Playoffs on EndGameTV Saturday, January 9. The broadcast will start at Noon Eastern Time (18:00 CET), and the championship match will be played after the conclusion of both semifinal matches. Be sure to follow the EGtv Twitch Channel and hit the bell so you get a reminder when we’re live!

For more content to get you prepared for the regular season, be sure to check out the Transatlantic Splatoon League YouTube Channel, where you can find all regular season VODs as well as nearly an hour of player interviews to get you set for Playoffs.  We’ll see you on the 9th!