Happy Holidays, THL, and welcome to Ragnaros League Season 8! In case you missed it here, the team rosters were revealed, divisions were rolled randomly, and conferences have been established. The official Season schedule is up and the New Year will mark the beginning of an intense new Season. We find ourselves with an exciting balance of brand new teams mixed in with long established league franchises, and boy are we in for some interesting storylines. In this article, League veterans Markshire and Nade will walk you through their preseason reactions, predictions, and biased opinions.
As always, we’d like to remind our readers of a few things before we begin:
Now that we have a mutual understanding here, let’s get started!
Blue Division Reactions:
Markshire: The latest victims of the random division rolling system appear to be the entirety of Blue this season. Just wow. For those of you keeping track at home, Blue contains all of the last 3 Season champions in Hearthstone Academy and the Texas Stubbies, and 2 of the last 3 runners-up with Dirty Mike and the Boys. Sure, teams change from season to season, but the captains and core of these 3 teams have largely remained intact from their playoff runs.
Joining these recent powerhouses are one old team (Defias Brotherhood) and one new team led by old players (Really Nice Guys). For Defias, captain c0mp moves to the 4 Seed as they bring in sudden and unexpected free agent #2 Croak NA (TophatDemon) in the 2 Seed. RNG is captained by League veteran Joshsampson and boasts All-Star Krakshot in the #5 slot and two-time championship winner AndyRogers as the 1 Seed.
Class is back in session for everyone’s favorite group of high schoolers (Hearthstone Academy). After a disappointing Season 7, HSA goes back to it’s championship roots by picking up many players from the now dissolved H*ckbois. DMB sees it’s namesake fall to the perils of the PR cap, but brings on league vets TonyMontana and ArcaneTHL to compensate. All-Star Sirlos jumps ship to the Stubbies who are primed for another championship run. One thing's for sure - by the time playoffs start there's going to be a lot of salt in the Blue Division.
Nade: Anytime I see championship teams get paired together I get excited. I’m talking about that level of excitement when you’re watching Katy Perry music videos with your girlfriend and have to put the couch pillow on your lap to hide how excited you are. With only three rookies mixed in with twenty one seasoned veterans (and one professional DQing demon), battling in this division is going to be epic. I’m most eager to witness the return of the Queen (AndyRogers), to see how c0mp stomps it out as a freakin' 4 seed, and watching Shunsui21 (the skinniest of pimps), give ‘em the stubb while harnessing the heart of the cards. I don’t even think a pillow can hide my excitement anymore if I’m being honest. I’ll explore other strategies.
Pre-Season Notes/Predictions for Blue Division:
Red Division Reactions:
Markshire: With three new teams, Red doesn’t have quite the same pedigree behind it as Blue does, but still brings a lot to the table. Team Next Level captain Jammies brings over his former Sylvanas League teammate Altenberg to join league vet Darkseid and two rookies. After winning a championship with the Texas Stubbies last season, Nate and Misadventure band together with durtymike on the best ride no longer on Netflix, the Thunder Gun Express. They pick up rookie Lyondenn in the 4 seed and veteran TheTownDrunk to fill out the team in the 5. Rounding out the new teams is Maple Syrup Inc., where captain Chiggmo brings along fellow Canadians Tweeg, Behemoth, and Saku along with former Entropy captain and Hall of Famer Jaxox.
Team Xnergy returns most of the usual suspects, although the jury is still out on whether or not X will give it to ‘em this season. Put me down as a strong maybe. Arguably the strongest looking team in the division is Thermic Whims; They’re only in their second season, but after making the semis last season and returning studs like THL Legend Race winner Rizen and picking up two-time champion Brewski it’s hard not to put them down as the favorites. Brewski’s commitment is so strong he’s already installed Google Fiber to prevent any DC losses from tarnishing his record. It’s easy to say that Red is the weaker division in its conference, but these new teams have a ton of potential: I can’t wait to see what happens.
Nade: I was definitely excited about Blue, but after looking at this division I’ve now achieved Next Level excitement as X just Thunder Gunned a Thermic couch pillow and covered it in Maple Syrup. That’s all I’m gonna say about that... (PM me if you want pics).
Pre-Season Notes/Predictions for Red Division:
Purple Division Reactions:
Nade: Anything look familiar here? Here’s where we see history repeat itself. With Team Mox being a close resemblance to N.W.A., this is almost identical to the Season 6 Purple Division (just swap Defias Brotherhood in for the Spicy Boys and it’s a mirror image). We see The Pod People and Team Swagoi return their franchise players, while Noob Central has decided to shake things up a little by dipping into the free agents pool. The Spicy Boys are all business in the front while they party in the back; they mix mostly new players in with a couple of league veterans and they DGAF about how that looks. Their team name might suggest they’re bringing some spicy memes, but we’ll soon see if captain Wolfmack and his pack are on the hunt for blood or just some good old fashioned fun. Team Mox is a brand new team under Force of Will’s first Ragnaros captainship, but they show promise with a squad of players who have a history of success together, and looks to carry on the N.W.A. torch while NaCl takes a break from his captaincy. There’s a lot of talent in this division and Season 8 may very well mimic the tight competition we saw in Purple last season. Super excited to see how things shake out. Y’all know I like to shake things out...
Markshire: From Noob Central’s pickup of 1 Seed All-Star Stephieee in the #2, to Hall of Famer Slimsch, to Swagoi returning top 16 Dreamhack finisher Earl in the #1, this division has a ton of studs. I expect the veteran teams to lead the pack, but we’ve seen new teams do very well in the past, so I wouldn’t be too surprised to see Mox or the Spicy Boys take this one either.
Pre-Season Notes/Predictions for Purple Division:
Gold Division Reactions:
Nade: This division is ratchet. To start, there’s confusion over the division color (whether it’s Gold or Orange), so I’ll just call it the Vomit Emoji Division until further notice. Like last season’s Blue, I consider this the dumpster division of Season 8. It’s wet hot garbage. But if there’s anything you’ve learned about me in last season’s storyline, I’m totally into it.
Vomit is easily my favorite division to watch this season. With playoff team Prep Coin Concede paired with an ATL that’s hungry to get noticed, it’s going to be exciting watching them battle it out alongside two brand new teams with some interesting player compositions (and of course, those gosh darn memers). Bloodbath & Beyond brings over three longtime Defias brothers who have great capability, but haven’t had a consistent level of success; it’ll be interesting to see if YellowDart and Starlax can help the Bloodbath brotherhood reach its potential. The Bad Hombres lose some franchise players, pick up some old amigos, and have arguably improved on their talent; despite being memers I wouldn’t be surprised if they squeaked their way into the playoffs (if Project Mayhem didn’t exist, that is…). Which brings us to the final team in the Orange division: a brand new squad captained by League veteran FollowDurden, led by the Hall of Famer 1 Seed monster, Markshire, anchored by what should be a reliable 5 seed in Starden, and featuring some unknown entities holding up the middle. Markshire Mayhem has the potential to steamroll this division and come out on top (if they can get through PCC), though I do still think there’s so much untapped potential that Gold is going to be the most fun to follow.
Markshire: Spreadsheet geniuses Jaspyr and BlueSpartan might have some trouble with their numbers this season. With Hockeyboyz3 and the Bad Hombres in the division, things are gonna get a little memey and a little weird, but that makes it all the more hot and exciting. :jaspyrzipper:
Pre-Season Notes/Predictions for Gold Division:
With 8 new teams and 16 new players the New Year is bringing in a whole bunch of newness. Who knew? All we know is that Season 8 will be tons of fun. A lot has happened between these teams and these players over time, and we hope our words have helped veterans and newbies alike catch up on some League lore. It’s been fun informing y’all on the deets, and now it’s time to hit the data sheets. Check out the new meta reports, email your Week 1 Opponent, and let the games begin!
Happy feast of Winter Veil,
Markshire and Nade.
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