Wow! What a start to the season. 10 coaches descended on General Games Malvern to spill blood on the pitch and kick the 2023 Premier League season off with a bang. Touchdowns, Casualties, Fouls and a surprising focus on Completions; Game Day 1 had it all, including some very interesting developments!
Firstly, i'd like to shout out Greg at General Games Malvern. Greg was awesome in providing us a space to play our first Games Day. It's always a risk saving a large amount of your play space for a group of people who just might not show up. He operated essentially on a promise that enough people would show up to justify the decision, so on behalf of the M.B.B.A. and the coaches participating in the 2023 season. Thank you! If you're reading this. Buy things from them. They're awesome.
The developing narratives that came out of Game Day 1 will be very interesting to watch as the season unfolds. Firstly, the Undead teams are going to be a menace in 2023. Secondly, the middle of the pack. The teams fighting for the 4th finals spot is going to be tight. There are lots of teams good enough to make the top 4, but with only 4 spots that race is going to go down to the wire. That said, we've got a lot to cover so let's dive in.
Grand Final Rematch: Dingley Bypass v Cemetery Dropouts
After a nail biting and heartbreaking Grand Final last year for the Cemetery Dropouts, Jo was keen to make a statement and enact some revenge on Andy for the mauling she received at the hands of a super powered Amazon team. This game lived up to the hype and was a real arm wrestle with both teams scoring to level the score at 1-1. Jo found a way through though and in the dying turns of the 2nd half, managed to break the dead lock and take the win with a final score of 2-1. This will fill Jo with confidence going forward who will be looking to make a deep finals run in 2023
.Return to the 2022 Top 4: The Pantheon v Ageing Action Heroes
The rest of the 2022 top 4 faced off with The Pantheon, coached by Daniel duking it out with a newcomer to the M.B.B.A., the Ageing Action Heroes piloted by no stranger to excellence, Seve. A tough and violent first half ensued with both teams taking the fight to the other but nothing landing for either team. The Pantheon were stopped on the goal line at the end of the first half to go into halftime at 0-0 and with no high score line in site, this game looked to go down to the wire. After a lucky bounce and a well executed piece of play, the Ageing Action Heroes managed to cross the line to break the deadlock at 1-0. The Pantheon would try and try again to break the Dark Elf armour, and tie the game up but just couldn't get the casualty to land. In the end the better mobility and agility saw the Ageing Action Heroes to victory and left The Pantheon in the unenviable position of having to start the season off with a loss.
Undead Teams - The Dead Walk
The Undead teams though. What are start to the season. Necromantic Horror are 4-0 with both Jo and Jamie cleaning up their first two opponents, and Shambling Undead sitting at 2-2 out of the gate. Both coaches, Scott and Josh collecting the round 1 points whilst dropping their round 2s to, incidentally, both of last years finalists. Undead teams have so far attained a combined win rate of 50% after winning 6-12 games across the first two rounds. This has propelled both Jo and Jamie into the top 3, as two of the three teams with perfect records after round 1. The other being Seve and his Dark Elves.
Seve has piloted his Dark Elf team to a 2-0 start fighting an arm wrestle contest against Daniel and The Pantheon. Seve also saw off Tim and his Underworld Denizens. Tim copped a schlacking against Mike and his dwarves, and was depleted going into this game. An erstwhile throw from a troll also took down a number of snotlings. Not the best way to use your resources but you know, Green skins. Seve, through solid play against tough competition has seen him into the undefeated bracket along with Jo and Jamie, and is right now a hot favourite to finish in the top 4.
The stat race is, similar to the league table is being dominated by the undead teams. Necromantic Horror have so far combined for 9 touchdowns across rounds 1 & 2, whilst the Shambling Undead and Necromantic Horror teams have combined for, wait for it, 32 casualties across the first two rounds. Who knows if this is an anomaly of the match ups but if this trend continues, i'm very scared of having to face all 4 of these teams across the season. May the Dark Gods grace me with their favour...
What about the rest?
A note on the middle of the pack. At this stage with almost all of the games played for rounds 1 & 2, there are 6 players with 1-1 records. That means that the ladder is sorted by tie breakers. This is a trend i think will continue over the next 6 rounds. My hot take after rounds 1 & 2 is that the 4th place on the ladder will get there via tie breakers. I don't believe there will be a clear top 4 on points at the end of 8 rounds.
As the season progresses the table will remain close, but the team gap will be felt in the stats, team values, and ladder tie breakers. The touchdown and casualty counts will matter a lot, and ultimately, the team that produces the most will most likely get the results. With not just a finals spot up for grabs but the double chance too. There is a lot to play for as the season progresses.