In the absence of the traditional playoff pre-show, due to time constraints, I've decided to do the next best thing and produce a version for REBBL News!
The usual suspects are here, with FullMetalCOS, unholyKrusader and Superfedtv here to talk up their own regions and smack talk to the best of their abilities. As a bonus, I've also asked another recapper or streamer from each region for their thoughts so we also have Dreamifi from GMAN, tself55 from REL and the still-recovering-from-hip-surgery Cynergy here to provide their thoughts.
It's me (Zord) asking the questions and I've sneaked my own predictions in there as a bonus! Naturally, I expect you all to save this and bring it up in around six weeks time...
We'll start with the obvious one. Which conference will bring home the Season 11 Superbowl?
Zord's Prediction: GMAN
Metal: It's GMAN's time. They aint letting REL get away with this again.
Superfedtv: REL will win it again of course for the same reason we've won it more than anyone else. We have better competition during the season so the best get better. Even our dicelords out dicelord the other regions dicelords. Div 1 may not have sent any Nurgle but the rest of REL did and they want their first champ.
Krusader: The Patriot in me says Big O... That having been said... There is a lot of strong competition coming out of the REL and GMAN. Push comes to shove, I'd probably put my money on a REL coach to take the gold.
Dreamifi: There's a few GMAN coaches that could do it, but there's no definite about it.
tself: I think the REL has a great shot to make it 3 in a row this season. The draw helped out a bit, with all of the GMAN 1 teams relegated to a single quarter of the bracket, and the Big O are the Big O so they probably arent going to put up much of a fight.
Cynergy: I'm pretty sure its about time the Big O brings home the bacon.
So, not many surprises there... *ignores Big O pitchfork mob eyeing Krusader* but amongst your regions, which team is looking strongest to win it?
Zord's prediction: Deadly Nightshade - AndyDavo
Metal: Now, thats a tough one... It's Toastguy. That undead team is monstrous and he's come so close, so many times. The man is hungry for it!
That or Absolute Disaster will just sacrifice their entire squad for five minutes of glory...
Superfedtv: Travelscrabble and McMacky will represtent Div 1 well but maybe... Cheeseex? He actually scored more points than any other Div 1 or 2 team...
I like ArkAngell's chances to repeat but really looking at the lower divisions we have more Norse coming out swinging with Stoobings looking to claim the title "Da King of Da Norfse"
Krusader: Contractually, XS managed to sneak in a clause in the Recapper agreement that stipulates I at least say 3 nice things about him per season... Unfortunately for him, he is shit out of luck, and I have already reached that limit...
JamesTyphoon has had a great season - he managed to take 1st place in Big O's Div 1 and is looking pretty good. If his good form can continue he'd be in with a decent chance. I know a few people think Varksen and his Wood Elf team, Bar Room Blusterers, are the best chance the Big O has for a deep playoff run and his play this season would merit that call. I tend to agree with the feeling that Varksen is a good bet, but I feel James has the goods too. So I'd probably put a bet on both coaches - through different bookies of course! - and be happy with either outcome.
Dreamifi: Randomboy probably has a shot and I also have a feeling Gaudi will finally go deep this time. Maybe not Superbowl deep... The pair of them potentially meeting already in the second round is really unfortunate
tself: Travelscrabble's Necro team is one of a kind, featuring the best puppers bred from Ficction's Gym itself. They face an early test potentially against my other favourite to win the whole thing, but if they can survive that game and avoid too many elves they have a great shot at it.
Cynergy: I think any of the Div 1 guys can bring it home. but winning 6 games of Blood Bowl in a row is a big ask of any team. Theres too much luck involved over that many games.
I mean techinically I should be saying I'll bring it home for the Big O's first win right? Which means it can't be James or Varksen or Vordoca as I'll have to go through one of them...
XS is perpetually losing
So can the rise of Serj continue?
Right, I'm forcing you all to look overseas. Who is the biggest threat to the title from a region that's not your own?
Zord's Prediction: Arkangell's Will (if they make it...)
Metal: XS. He has Toastguy Syndrome - he wants it and he's been too close too often
Superfedtv: Hindus. Randomboy. The teams that have no business being so good that are coached by someone who knows what they are doing and are getting graced by nuffle. (Note: Hindus didn't actually make it...)
Krusader: Probably something with teeth. So I'd look towards one of the devotees to Chaos or something a little hybrid to take the top prize. I'd have said I liked TravelScrabble's Scooby and the Gang, but looking at the layout of his roster is like looking at something one of my parent's dogs has thrown up in the back yard... Atomex has a solid looking Nurgle team that looks reasonably well rounded. Gun to the head - forced to pick a team, I think I might pick Atomex's Rowdy ReBBL Rousers... Then say 10 Prayers to Sigmar, and repent before the local Witch Hunter calls into town.
But I would love to see back to back titles for Arkangell.
Dreamifi: Honestly I'm just criminally underinformed abou REL and Big O right now... I hear Tself had a good season? REL 1 is always really strong so someone from there would not be surprising.
tself: If I had to pick the best shot I'd say AndyDavo's Dark Elves, Deadly Nightshade, are in a great spot of the bracket to make a deep run, have a great team, and we all have seen his capability of winning games.
Cynergy: Overseas? Who cares about them?!
Honestly i hope its a race that hasnt made it before so im actually hoping Randomboy can take it if I can't.
Pick a dark horse - someone who is going to go much further than anyone expects...
Zord's Prediction - The Rat REBBL
Metal: I'm tagging Losre (Under - Sartosa BBA) as the dark horse. Man has a VERY nice single season Skaven team and he's just survived a season in 5A with competition like Muppetillo, Gerbear, me, JJ Cash...
Superfedtv: The Duke of REL ArchXL. He's been eliminated by big names in close matches in the past. This is likely the swan song of his High Elves and I wouldn't put it past him to show up big when everyones expectations are low.
Krusader: There is only one coach I can think of for this.
After playing Woodies for as long as he has, he is no stranger to AV7 - but AG3 after AG4 always feels like the biggest come down after a big night out... But if there ever was a coach blessed by Nuffle, or at the very least must have some compromising photos of Nuffle, it is Morka (The Empire Strikes Back)
Dreamifi: Pete ([GMAN] Don't Mess With Us) from GMAN 3B is a potential dark horse pick in what is his first playoff appearance since he won GMAN 1 in Season 5.
tself: I'm going out here on a limb, but I think its time Amazons won something, and boy do we have quite the Amazon team out there... Now I'm not sure you can truly count our ex-Superbowl winning, reigning World Champion Ornan as a true Dark Horse, but its his first season with a team that not many coaches have had success in playoffs with. The New Gender Norse are the real deal though so underestimate them at your own risk!
Cynergy: Can I be the sneaky dark horse? (Ed: the high TV Nurgle dark horse?)
Or something crazy like Jamus' one season Nurgle.
On the flip side, who's going to fall much earlier than everyone expects?
Zord's Prediction - [REBBL] Brutalia
Metal: Big O.
Wait... no, we expect that.
Ornan, I think. Everyone always expects huge things from him, but he's a single season Amazon team - traditionally not the best performers in playoffs
Superfedtv: Mystaes maybe a Superbowl winner but his Orcs are not yet ripe enough for the main stage. I hope he does well but a first round flop maybe a blessing for the waaaaagh
Random, I love you and your Vamps, but one does not get as lucky as you do without some sort of demonic pact... and they always come to collect at the most in opportune times...
Dreamifi: Whoever gets the fourth spot from REL1 has a really tough road, but whether or not they would be expected to make it I'm too underinformed to tell.
Morka going out in the first round might surprise a few people.
tself: A playoffs mainstay who we have accustomed to always seeing deep in the playoffs, Ready Lizard One, is in a really precarious position of the bracket. Almost guaranteed to face a team that beat him in the regular season early on, I think this might be Hoyleyboy's year for an unceremonious early knockout.
Which one season old team will go the furthest into the competition?
Zord's Prediction: Foul Targets
Metal: As mentioned earlier - Losre is my money for the Cinderella story.
Superfedtv: REL has a lot of big name one season coaches. Ornan, Chabxxu, AGrain, but who can deny Ficction magic? He ditches the Necro and sure enough he's right back in the playoff picture again - this time with stat up Orcs.
Krusader: New Gender Norse!
Do I have a reason other than it's Ornan at the wheel, or that I love the name/idea behind it? Nope. Do I need one? Hell no!
Dreamifi: I could go ahead and back Bull to the bone from my own division but nah, it's probably Ornan isn't it? New Gender Norse.
tself: New Gender Norse, Ornan magic will do it's thing.
Cynergy: Jamus' Damage Incorporated.
There's a second playoff competition too, with the REBBL Challenger's Cup making it's debut. Who's going to go all the way and win that?
Zord's Prediction: Prof. Paresthesia's Pets (Kejiruze)
Metal: My heart wants to say Brets - FalconMerc, Sai_Maa and Gerbear are definitely qualified with them - FalconMerc even has a team! But there are some other huge names in the Challenger's, so whoever wins is gonna have to walk a harder path than a lot might expect.
I actually think Destruction Darby from the Big O is a much better coach than the other regions realise, his Kislev might well put on a show for us
Superfedtv: If I squeeze into the spot, me.. if not, this seems like the kind of thing tself could win.
Krusader: I am going to suggest that the Superior Leaping of the Mighty Kislev Master Race will be too strong, and humbly put forward that Big O's Destruction Darby can take out the Challenger Cup... If he can roll a 2+...
Dreamifi: GMAN has a very good field on this one. JimmyFantastic, Kejiruze, vikingkop, Lavajackal, DonkeyDragon... so I would definitely bet on GMAN for this one.
Jimmy probably doesn't care enough though, so Vikingkop or Lavajackal would be my dark horse picks.
tself: I'd put my money on the winner of Hairy Coo (Rat Shenanigans) vs JimmyFantastic (TEAM FANTASTIC). Its hard to tell where the Div 1 teams will land yet since which teams are being sent is still up in the air, so maybe if our Superbowl champion Arkangell or my Elves fall to that 5th spot, then I'd pick that team. But if we both make playoffs I wouldn't like to pick ArchXLs team in that spot instead, primarily due to his whole team being murdered.
Cynergy: Hmm... I'll cheer on my div buddy Darby. He's due a string of good games after the bs of this season...
Dreamifi: (slightly later) Oh shit, the Dark Angels of Lilith developed a bit huh?
This might be DonkeyDragon's cup then. Yeah, I'll go with DonkeyDragon.
And finally... we have six weeks of high stakes Blood Bowl action ahead of us. Predict the most dramatic or crazy thing that's going to happen!
Zord's Prediction: Ogres make the quarter-final of the Challenger's Cup
Metal: Well the craziest thing thats about to happen is that we are gonna shoehorn 120 live cast games of Blood Bowl into 6 weeks!
In terms of on pitch action, the wonderful thing about REBBL playoffs is that there never is a "sure thing", as you said yourself, drama is guaranteed.
have a player
I'm fucking dying.
Superfedtv: I'd say Pass Block doing a thing but that was last season. I'm thinking this will be the season where we have a 3-0 lead get spoiled.
Krusader: The Championship game will be decided in the most brutal of fashion... Kicks.
Dreamifi: That's a hard one... especially since I have a very high tolerance for crazy so most things that freak other people out just doesn't affect me!
I could see FreddieGibbs doing a Long Pass and catching it with a Black Orc on the final turn of the game... for the score
tself: Harringzord will accidentally turn into Krusader and start rambling incoherently in Spanish in the middle of a stream due to the stress from trying to get 58 games streamed in one week!
For an ingame related answer: Eldril will actually use Pass Block to win a game instead of sitting on the sidelines the whole match.
Cynergy: A touchdown from a caught crowd throw-in to decide the result of a game
So there you have it folks! A whole bunch of things that now definitely won't happen...
The REBBL Playoffs begin at 19:00 UTC on Wednesday 3rd July with Despicable Meme vs [G] Absolute Disaster