Hello, sexy people of THL. Ragnaros League Season 9 is about to hit us like a Tsunami looking longingly at the coast of Japan, and its time to get a lil’ bit excited. You might have been living under a rock, but Teams have been announced, Divisions have been rolled, and Schedules have been decided. Once again, the PR cap has played havoc with old favourites, led to the dissolution of the band, and gone its own way to form a supergroup with Kanye West, Dave Matthews and Kermit the Frog. The mix of old hands, new powerhouses and surprise packages is going to lead to some fantastic storylines throughout the season; join old man Nade and relative newcomer rebobson as they make completely ill-informed predictions, provide their unjustified reactions, and generally just talk a whole load of shit.
As always, we’d like to remind our readers of a few things before we begin:
Let’s get to it.
Blue Division Reactions:
rebobson: Whoa nelly, talk about a mixed bag of a division. Starting things off strong, we have last season’s powerhouse team, the Thermic Whims, who are no doubt looking to build on last season’s undefeated regular season and playoff flop with a championship push this time around. The holy triumvirate of Switters, Brewski and Rizen have remained, so naturally any new addition would need to be of a similar caliber. Somehow, this has resulted in Jaxox of all people being recruited; could this be the most genius bait and switch in THL history, or simply a misstep by the genius mind of Switters? Only time will tell. If there was an award for underachieving, last season Noob Central would have won it; coming bottom of the League despite assembling something of a dream team. This time around sees exactly 0 returning players, captain Nade clearly having scared everyone off with his threats of actually playing this season. The team composition of 4 high-300 PR players has been a tried and true success story in THL history, especially when backed up by one of the League’s premiere 5-seeds in TheAnarchist. Maybe, just maybe, the Noobs won’t completely fuck this one up. I’m sure my co-author will be hoping so. Team Xnergy look to have made a stellar signing in ex-Swagoi 1 seed Earl; could the unthinkable happen and Xnergy make the playoffs by anything more than the skin of their teeth? Never rule out the X. Team Next Level look to be this season’s completely unknown package, captain Jammies and his merry band of relative unknowns could very well be the team to take a scalp or two this season. If history has taught us anything, it’s to never rule out the rookies with something to prove; this bunch may just be ones to watch. Finally, topping of this maelstrom of unpredictability, we have the Jumbo Skrimps. These guys win the award for League’s best name, and that is probably going to be the only thing they get close to winning this season, Sage having assembled a group a good 150 PR below any other team in their conference. Every member of this team is going to have to push to compete, and in the stacked Blurple Conference it might just be too wide a gap for the Skrimps, who may very well end up fucking barbecued. But hey, who doesn’t love an underdog story?
Nade: Wow… here we see the finalist team, the omnipotent squad, another playoff team, the worst team in the league, and a bunch of scrubs found themselves together in a division that looks much like the basket of gourmet chocolate, expired candy, store brand raisins, and rotten bananas that your grandma gave you on Easter a few weeks ago. Trying to figure out who will come out on top here would inflict a family-holiday-gathering-level headache within seconds. Will it be the godlike Whims or the fired up X? Or maybe these newer Jumbo or rookie ridden Next Level mysterious challengers? Can’t quite say. Trying to figure out who will come out on bottom, however, would be like trying to make your little cousin get you a beer from the fridge in exchange for that expired candy Nana gave you: fucking cake. You can count on the washed-up, has-been Noobs nine weeks from now preparing for an eventful postseason watching the playoff teams compete from the sidelines. Looking forward to a fun season with y’all, Blue. Best of luck!
Predictions for Blue Division:
Purple Division Reactions:
rebobson: Hot fucking damn, you guys. This division is more stacked than the sort of burger that leaves the guy off Man vs. Food crying into a bowl of nachos, turning the once proud tortilla chips into a goopy mess of salsa sadness. Season 7 finalists Dirty Mike & the Boys have brought their namesake back on board, hoping to replicate that season’s success with the exact same roster after the PR cap forced them apart last season. :hot_pepper: have done their utmost to fuck with the website by attempting to pull a Prince on us, but when you are a team which is comprised of the core of the previous season’s champions, you can pretty much do what you want, new captain IronFIRE might be onto something special here. (That said, RIP Hot Wolfmack). Collective Mayhem have not changed a single thing from last season, bar one word in their name; this was a team which was challenging for playoffs with this roster last season up until the incident, that top 3 of Markshire, Itachi and SmileyKris looking as formidable as ever. Speaking of the incident, hey look, it’s Prep Coin Concede! I sure hope that match goes off without a hitch. Prep Coin Concede continue their time honoured tradition of replacing one player per season, this time bringing in Bloodbath & Beyond star man Starlax to replace the outgoing… me. This is a team that always pushes for playoffs, so I expect that to happen once more, with key men JetLaw and Jaspyr leading the charge. Finally, rounding off this ridiculous Division, we have the Really Nice Guys, hoping to hell that nice guys really don’t finish last. It says a lot when a division’s biggest question mark is a team which is just solid from top to bottom, though the newly dubbed JRLawyernaut will be looking to start afresh after a pretty forgettable previous season. When you look at the pure quality in this Division, not to mention the Blurple Conference as a whole, this season is gonna be LIT.
Nade: To me this seems to be the most competitive division with a tough group of guys, gals, and glorified interns over here in Purple. Looking at this division’s breadth of players we find some highly-anticipated rookies, a multitude of league veterans, and a variety of season champions and hall of famers; it’s hard to point out any significant weakness on any of these squads. I put my money on Purple being the most exciting to watch this season, as I anticipate the point spread being the closest throughout. Don’t get too excited if you don’t see any Purple on your season schedule at the moment: you’ll evidently run into them Weeks 10, 11, and 12, and you won’t be as excited come then...
Predictions for Purple Division:
Red Division Reactions:
Nade: THL has done a really great job at making sure it’s hard for captains to stack their teams… (this is where you would then say “not”, Borat). These captains asked themselves, “How can I take the most amount of talent and pack them all onto the same team and act like it’s fair?” and then proceeded to do exactly that. Most of these teams are jacked up on players who historically do well at their slot, or found themselves positioned where they should dominate their seed. Props to y’all, Red captains. Well played.
Let’s break it all down. Red Division has by far the tightest team PR spread (39) with the lowest PR Maple Syrup Inc. (sitting comfortably at 1754), while ATL tops the division at 1793 (with the second most expensive team in the league). Last time we saw a spread like this was when Season 7 Purple had four teams flip flopping every week for playoff contention all the way to the end. Almost as competitive as Purple, I anticipate this being almost as close, but with one question hovering over what’s unquestionably the best breakfast condiment corporation: “Is Maple Syrup Inc. a team to take seriously this season?” Really Nice Guy candidate Saku and Canadian corporate partner Woodford return to bookend a union of unpredictability: two high-seeded rookies (LotusKnight and Tues), and a consistently underperforming Kr0ozin who’s coming off a winless season (though he’s now positioned himself for huge potential in the four slot). My heart thinks these guys can disrupt the doubt and put on an impressive performance, my brain thinks they haven’t quite tapped into their syrupy sweet spot just yet, and my mouth thinks that Dunkaroos are by far the best childhood snack food of the 1990s. That being said, Dad Legend, No Confidence, Defias Brotherhood, and ATL all could win this whole fucking thing and this division gives me anxiety. The paternal powerhouse Dad Legend inserts itself into Ragnaros League without warning and looks just as scary as the clowns they paid to traumatize the neighborhood children at Luca’s first birthday party (if you think they all don’t have a son named Luca then you clearly don’t live in 2018). Defias returns rookie undefeated sensation S3NP4I, forcing highly accomplished league veterans Twizz and c0mp to enter this season punching under their weight (which is a recipe for success if you ask me). ATL returns a team that we already know is way better than yours. Their southern hospitality sent many teams to the hospital last season, and I have high expectations that DZB and his Atlanta alliance will send the ambulance back to your side of the field this Spring. The biggest threat though, in my opinion, is HockeyBoyz3’s charm, hypnosis, or whatever the hell he used to get this group of studs and studettes to join forces in what I think is one of the strongest teams this season. Though the journey looks tough, I envision this road trip with a ferociously focused Aeo anchoring the wheel, utilizing the most trusted and accurate GPS voiced by rebobson, salivating as Brasky rides shotgun reading out the beer lists at all the best gastropubs along the route, all while Stephieee and HockeyBoyz3 sing along to Chumbawamba off-key at the top of their lungs and remembering to send in lethal just before they rope and win the fucking championship. My best advice if you’re playing in Red this season: resign before Vote of No Confidence terminates your position.
rebobson: Ooh baby, there are a couple of contenders in this division. Last season’s powerhouse team Always Topdeck Lethal bring back an unchanged roster, so they are bound to continue slaying this time around. Yasss queen. Vote of No Confidence look like something of a dream team if I do say so myself; and hopefully we aren’t let down too much by HockeyBoyz3. Defias Brotherhood and Dad Legend look set to solidly hold up the middle of the pack, and may just push out a frontrunner for one of those juicy, tender playoff spots if they have any players have a stellar season, a la S3NP4I last time around. Maple Syrup Inc., if last season is anything to go by will probably just be happy with not coming 20th. But they probably still will.
Predictions for Red Division:
Gold Division Reactions:
Nade: It just keeps getting more and more interesting. A championship team, some usual suspects, and some new squads with some reliable, battle-tested warriors. In other words, this division is basically what would happen if The Mighty Ducks, Keyser Söze, and Dragonball Z got together and said, “Let’s play some competitive children's card games and make it overly dramatic.” Or, in other, even shorter words: this division is Yu-Gi-Oh!
Anyway; Gold Division looks like some good old fashioned THL fun right here. Let’s start off by examining the returning squads: Pod People, Texas Stubbies, and Team Mox. Entering their sixth season, captain RidiculousHat and the Pod People are looking to capitalize on some Season 8 momentum with All-Star four seed DirestBear and a 60% performance from two seed MojoPowell. If that impetus carries forward, if Hat and RockBass put up the numbers they’re capable of, and if Zerotio can translate his PlayVig rankings into some Ragnaros rankings then we might be looking at their best season yet. Texas Stubbies return their championship roster (now under the leadership of Nate rather than MrMandingo aka DrMandingo aka PhDMX aka WhiteBoyWasted69). We can expect continued greatness from these aforementioned team leaders, and the same from their reliable stubb-givers Misadventure and Ozmanaut, all while our new favorite storyteller Shunsui21 humbly explains how they whooped everybody ass inside and out the shadow realm. Team Mox may as well be called the Bad Ass Mother Fuckers, Dammit (based on the first letter of their players’ names), and rightfully so - they’re cool dudes. Having lost league heavy hitters Bunnyman1400, ArthurRhodes and Mattatarms, captain Force Of Will was tasked with refilling some pretty big shoes. The highly-anticipated Appa finds himself well positioned on this roster to make some noise, Sylvanas All-Star four seed Machina finds himself up in the three (rolling the dice on format and seed swapping), and the league’s most highly educated individual on how to operate in the bottom, DocMcButt finds himself holding the caboose of this train: three seemingly good acquisitions but they establish Mox as the lowest PR team in the league this season - and the lowest I’ve seen in years. PR is known to “not matter”, so we’ll see if Mox can make a statement this season. Did I say seed swapping earlier? Gross.
In comes brand new Ragnaros teams Saronite Pain Gang and Board Resistance Fighters, led by new captains but old time crowd favorites Darkseid and TheTownDrunk. Though they started from blank slates, these guys made some real money moves and put together some dangerous troupes. Featuring 9 league veterans, many who again are well positioned in their slots, I’m certain these two teams will come in swinging and really put up some impressive numbers quickly. Excited to see how Sylvanas masters JimPhilos and arcaneTHL perform in Ragnaros land (somewhere they’re also quite familiar with), curious what Plantz has to offer, and I’m calling it now: Pain Gang finds a way to upset the Stubbies and take this division title.
rebobson: This division is more solid than a table built by someone infinitely more competent than you. The Poo People always compete to some extent, despite being burdened by RidiculousHat, and Season 7 champions Texas Stubbies will as always be looking to give ‘em the Stubb. Board Resistance Fighters have league stalwarts bluesombrero and TheTownDrunk holding up their top and bottom end, like some kind of pantomime giraffe playing a children’s card game, and Team Mox look to have acquired an absolute steal in returning hand Appa in the 2 seed. Saronite Pain Gang look to be the Plain Jane of the division, with nothing bad about their roster, but nothing particularly exciting either. A bit like your dad.
Predictions for Gold Division:
Well now, that’s been a whole lot of information. If you haven’t already felt like you’ve been bent over a barrel and shown the 50 states by this article, then, well…. It’s not too late. It would be pretty bad form if we just stopped this article dead in its tracks without a proper conclusion / one more poorly placed joke that really isn’t all that funny. So, in summary: Ragnaros League Season 9 is going to be like if your mom went to a Lil' Pump concert, got baked, and started yelling 'Gucci Gang ain't shit' at the bartender. Go email your fucking opponents and schedule your match, maggots. Peace!
-rebobson & Nade
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