#BidWatch: What’s At Stake At Elite-Select?

We’ve entered the home stretch of the club regular season, and the bid picture is starting to take shape. While a few regions have carved out some breathing room, others are staring down a scary proposition at Regionals. There are always more than 16 Nationals caliber teams, and in the game of musical chairs that is the rankings algorithm, someone worthy is going to miss the cut.

The music hasn’t stopped yet, however, and with a few weeks left the snow globe could still get a shake. Let’s look at where things stand now and how they might change.

Men’s Division

Current Bid Allocation

Great Lakes: 2
Mid-Atlantic: 2
North Central: 2
Northeast: 2
Northwest: 3
South Central: 2
Southeast: 2
Southwest: 1

Notes

  • Ah, another edition of a time honored tradition: the Southwest bottleneck. So many solid teams and so little chance of anyone other than Revolver making Nationals. With only a single bid and Revolver choking the hope out of anyone else’s plans to win the region anytime soon, it’s a tough look for #21 Guerrilla and #23 Condors. Both will be essentially playing for their seasons at the Elite-Select Challenge this weekend in Columbus, since in the Southwest a second bid is all but a prerequisite for survival.
  • The Mid-Atlantic currently sits with just two bids. Temper is way out in front in the rankings, but they have missed Nationals in three straight years, losing multiple heartbreaking games-to-go over that time. A two bid Mid-Atlantic would put Temper’s nerves to the test, as they would need to finally beat Patrol or Truck Stop to make their long awaited return to the big stage. Patrol has a big win over Truck, so if they play well at ESC, they could land both themselves and Truck in bid range.
  • There was chatter heading into the season about whether the Northeast could get three teams into semis at Nationals, but as it sits now, they only have two bids! Of course, GOAT hasn’t opened up their USAU account yet because of Worlds: they play for the first time this club season at Elite-Select. You would expect GOAT to take care of business and give the Northeast a drama-free three bid Regionals, but we’ve seen GOAT punt regular seasons before only to swoop down and steal a bid in the series.
  • Right now the Southeast has two bids, but you could see that final number settling anywhere from one to three, as Turbine at #14 could easily fall out with a poor ESC, while Chain Lightning at #18 could make themselves relevant in a hurry with a few big wins this weekend.

Mixed Division

Current Bid Allocation

Great Lakes: 1 (Auto)
Mid-Atlantic: 3
North Central: 2
Northeast: 3
Northwest: 3
South Central: 2
Southeast: 1
Southwest: 1

Notes

  • Everyone who was dreaming back in May about a knife fight at a one bid Mid-Atlantic regionals between Space Heater and AMP will be disappointed. Space Heater have played enough games to earn a bid, and West Chester Loco’s excellent season has the MA sitting pretty with three bids. Oh well, at least this means we are still potentially on track for a score-settling Mixtape v. Space Heater game at Nationals.
  • The rest of the field looks about right, with the dominant Northeast taking three bids and the mixed desert that stretches from the Southeast to the Great Lakes stuck with only one a piece. Northeast may be the single most stacked region in the country from the algorithm’s perspective, with three teams in the top seven and nine in the top 32.
  • The biggest surprise may be Lochsa holding down the Northwest with a third bid. It is still to be seen the Boise, Idaho, outfit can hold on, but if they do, then the dominos will start to fall. The North Central, in particular, could be in trouble, as they have four teams in the top twenty, but only two bids, with NOISE precariously perched on the final spot at 15.
  • The South Central has two bids, which looks about right. Public Enemy haven’t been outstanding this year, but they should make shame. and Love Tractor sweat a bit at a fun “pick two of three” Regionals with no dominant team and not enough bids for all the good ones.
  • The Southwest, sitting with just the Polar Bears inside the bid range, needs a big weekend from at least one of Mischief (ESC), Blackbird (ESC), and 7 Figures (NW Fruit Bowl) to stake a claim to multiple bids. There may be more on the line for the Southwest this weekend than any other region.

Women’s Division

Current Bid Allocation

Great Lakes: 2
Mid-Atlantic: 1
North Central: 2
Northeast: 1
Northwest: 3
South Central: 2
Southeast: 2
Southwest: 3

Notes

  • The Northeast in the Women’s Division is looking a lot like the Men’s Southwest. A generationally dominant team surrounded by several high caliber squads who are just below the bid line. While Iris, Bent, and Siege would most likely be out of luck if Brute Squad remain the only bid earning team in the region, they may have a lifeline in the form of the 6ixers. Toronto will begin their USAU season in earnest at Elite-Select and should bring a second bid to the region. Of course, trying to steal a 6ixers bid will be no picnic for the second tier teams in the Northeast, but everyone should be glad to get two bites at the apple.
  • The Northwest teams can’t complain too much about only having three bids, but they will certainly be more comfortable if Underground gets the job done in Columbus and locks up a fourth. Otherwise, look out for a tightly contested Regionals that will end with at least one Nationals caliber team getting left at home.
  • Wicked are undefeated so far this season, which has been enough to get them to #16 in the rankings, momentarily giving the North Central a second bid. They are hanging on to that bid by their fingernails and even a little slip the rest of the way could send that bid packing out to the Northwest or Northeast and force Wicked to once again crash up against the experience and savvy of Heist at Regionals.
  1. Patrick Stegemoeller

    Patrick Stegemoeller is a reporter for Ultiworld and also a lawyer who lives in Washington DC. He hopes that his BA in History will prove to be valuable at some point. You can find him on twitter at @patstegs.

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