(Photo Courtesy of PLL)
After Thursday’s semifinal contests, No. 1 seeded Whipsnakes LC and No. 7 seeded Chaos LC will meet in the championship game of the 2020 PLL Championship Series.
Whipsnakes comes into this game as the top-ranked, undefeated defending champions looking to defend their title from last season and Chaos comes into this game on an impressive run after going 0-4 in group play.
Here is a look at one key for each team to have the chance to hoist the cup and exit the bubble as champions.
Key: Offensive Success in the Six-on-Six
Yes, Connor Fields absence in their past two games is notable. But even more notable is the scheme/style change that Chaos has undergone over the past few games. Instead of trying to go NASCAR speed and utilize their weapons in transition like last season, Chaos has become a much more efficient six-on-six offense during the playoffs.
With Josh Byrne and Curtis Dickson leading the charge for the majority of this season, Chaos has been able to play a more settled box-style offense. Utilizing pass down/pick downs, cutters, and getting their midfield more involved with guys like Austin Staats coming out of the box, Chaos has completely revitalized their offense. Having so many dangerous options should really benefit them against this Whipsnakes defense, who is one of the best in the league, but just like we saw against Chrome and Archers, expect there to be some mismatches that can be exploited and missed reads or late slides due to just how many weapons Chaos can exploit on offense.
Also keep in mind that Tommy Kelly and the Chaos faceoff unit have been a big part of this revitalized offensive effort from Chaos. If those guys don’t show up on Sunday, Joe Nardella and Whipsnakes will burn a hole right through this squad.
Key: Control The Pace
From Kyle Bernlohr in cage, through their midfield, and attack, Whipsnakes are a team that runs on pace. And they are at their best when they are able to control that pace and force their will on their opponent, which they have done multiple times during this series.
As seen in their semifinal win over Redwoods, they have enough weapons up and down the field that anyone could step up and take the reins on any given day. It doesn’t have to be the Matt Rambo and Zed Williams show all the time. However, they showed that when they start to lose control of the pace of the game, especially in the transition game, they can get burnt. It will be crucial for Joe Nardella to set the pace, like he did last time against Chaos, at the faceoff dot and their midfield and defense to really show up and slow down this Chaos attack, which has changed a bit but can still exploit holes in any defense with their talent and ball movement.
If Whipsankes can come out with the same poise they have in the six-on-six, defensively, while still utilizing the talent and transition ability of their SSDMS like TJ Comizio and Ty Warner to help spark offense, they could very well be walking out of the bubble as champions.