Read the first part here.
It’s that time again, folks: The Natural Selection League (NSL) is on our doorsteps – and it will be exciting! The NSL’s ninth season presents us 23 teams. We can also look forward to 4 custom maps: Jambi (by now a staple. A project under the lead of xctmen), Mineral (MasterG), Nexus (Malx), and Docking2 (Mephilles). The NSL provides a major source of feedback for these exciting maps and as a sideeffect provide us with interesting matches.
The tournament officially starts tomorrow and its playoffs can be expected for the mid of May: that gives us just enough time to get prepared and excited for the upcoming matches.
In this second part of our 3-part coverage we go to the mid-levels: Division 2. Let’s dive in!
Not less than 8 teams can be found in Division 2:
- Dies Irae
- Flightless Lerks
- Like A Glove
We gonna start with the “old” guys: HBZ. One of the oldest competitive teams is back! Playing from the first(!) NS2-Season the German team disappeared after Season 6. Now they registered again. We could fill pages with the players signing in and out of this team and their results in each tournament. But let’s focus on the current HBZ instead. The new HBZ, you could say. A whole bunch of German(-speaking) players set their name on the long list of HBZ’s representatives: izo, homba_gomba, Link, daemon, Razghul, LevSteel, and Luchs are the newest additions. I expect them to be regulars on the fields. But you should not rule out long-yeared HBZ veterans like dePara (joined November 2012) either.
From last season we see some familiar teams:
- Flightless Lerks – the Battle of S8Div3…: Flightless Lerks sweeped Division 3 last Season. By taking 15 points from possible 16 and winning the playoffs they made a clear statement: we are Division 2 material! This team came a long way in short time: they were founded as newcomer team just in the Summer NCT 2015. Some of the Lerks flew away, though, by now: six(!) members left according to the NSL-pages. As replacements the US team recruited medi0crates, GaussWaffle, and gojilla into the Lerk-Force.
- FunnyBubblers – …continues in Div 2: The only team in last Season’s Div3, who stood a chance against the Lerks was the Russian Bubblers. I’m looking forward to see these two teams competing against each other again. The Bubblers are no small team – and you can find the weirdest names in their lineup… (try pronouncing “iddqdidkfa” in a cast). As new additions we will see 101 and Myx with them. Rottweler and Gildrap0n wiggled away though.
- Like A Glove – Misfits from Downunder: The teamleaders openyafaceup and Calmos had 4 leaves in the past: woot and Lucas2616 went off for AUS-team Just the Tip. flow and Dawei fell off the NS2-Earth completely. So Like A Glove surely needs some more hands on deck: visor and Stalemate picked up the gauntlet. Like A Glove tied with KKK in last Season for first place, but then gave way for the Finns in the playoffs. How will they do with considerably less Finns around this time?
- TAW.af – One. Of. Us: The second TAW team in Season 9. The “af” abbreviates “as friends” of course. Build from the Season 8 TAW teams their lineup got streamlined for Division 2. In contrast to TAWmageddon these guys had a full month preparation with only little changes to their roster (Preda left to help out in TAWmageddon). So they had enough time to put their abbreviation into effect.
And we also have some “new” kids on the block:
- Dies Irae – The last song: Long time member and singing caster Ixian gathered his personal apocalyptic army: inmate (Aegis), Nightsy (Pulverize Massacre), maxamus and Deathcore (GIEF ROBOT), sphere (KKK), Littleevilwolf (last seen on She-Wolves in 2014), and Kelmops (Jolly Cooperation). With that lineup Dies Irae brings together an interesting mix of veterans. If they sync quickly they might indeed dissolve their enemies into ashes.
- OverThePantsHandjob – PG-13: Simba of Lucky Chams made an “ad” in the NSL forums: he wants to bring together highly dedicated NA players and teach them best practices. After a few weeks OTPH erected: Exactly six players. Three know each other already from the Leftovers/caste (Tico, MindBoggling, radionaut). There is also veteran Kaneh giving a comeback, Knox (Get Spit On), and NSL-rookie Meghan. I can only imagine the team’s hard-pressing excitement for the upcoming matches.
- Potent – The best Newcomer: The winner of the 2016 Newcomer Tournament entries seasonal play straight up in the second division. Founder tussio brought a capable troop together right from the start. Also our editor Yojimbo makes his appearance in seasonal play again – after a long hiatus. With their newest additions migalski, mst3kld, and Snowy this team also brings some years of NSL-experience into their lineup. So far this team’s rise had been steep – how far will their potential carry?
What to watch out for in the first week: Potent vs. Dies Irae! This will be a very interesting clash of two very different teams. It is a matchup between the hottest team of the Newcomer Tournament and a squad of year-old veterans!
This concludes the second part of our coverage. In the third and last part we take a look at the top teams of Season 9.