Leading into the final Regular Season event, all eyes are focused on the crucial Playoff point race. Those finishing Top 7 in MLG’s 2006 Season Points after Orlando will earn an automatic bid to New York’s Superstar Division, a guaranteed prize check, and the chance to fight for over $70,000 and the 2006 Playoff Title. For those teams on the bubble, solid Orlando performances are of utmost importance, because those placing outside the Top 7 must fight through what will surely be a grueling battle for the final Superstar Division invitation.

Final Boss stands alone at the top as the only team which has clinched its invitation to New York’s Superstar Division. With their MLG Chicago Finals victory over Storm Ventures, Final Boss claimed the Playoff’s top seed, regardless of their Orlando performance. The reigning MLG Champions will look to extend their unblemished 2006 record and reach peak form as the Playoffs and Vegas Championships approach.

Carbon claimed the second seed with points from their Chicago roster, but now trail Str8 Rippin in points since the acquisition of gh057ayame, who missed Anaheim and holds a mere 835 points. However, the team can retain their second seed by outperforming Str8 Rippin in Orlando. Tsquared’s side will be looking to rebound from their disappointing 7th place exit in Chicago, and have looked to Cpt. Anarchy to aid in their return to glory. The two rivals have met at each event this season. While Str8 Rippin were victorious in the first two encounters, Carbon have leveled the score by ending Str8′s tournament hopes in both Anaheim and Chicago. Each will be looking to prove its new roster against the other in Orlando’s Championship Bracket.

Str8 Rippin and Carbon currently sit second and third respectively in the season points race. Although neither Carbon nor Str8 Rippin have technically secured their playoff passes, failure to advance requires a nearly unthinkable scenario, comprised of each of the following elements: An abysmal (read 30th-32nd) performance, coupled with a 1st place finish by MoBDeep.net, followed by Shook On3 Gaming as runners-up, top 5 finishes by both Storm Ventures and XiT Woundz, as well as a top 8 placing by Legendz. Needless to say, the two teams will have little to worry about, and can secure New York Invitations by simply avoiding first round exits in Orlando.

Storm Ventures, who surpassed XiT Woundz and earned the fourth seed after reaching MLG Chicago’s Championship Match, currently sit 5th in the points race behind the newly formed and unseeded Legendz. Should the debut squad survive Orlando’s Open Bracket, they will incur the Dream Team clause and claim the Championship Bracket’s fourth seed. Legendz and Storm Ventures will likely meet in Orlando’s Winners Bracket Round 3, while XiT Woundz will find themselves bumped to 6th–their lowest seed of the season. XiT can reclaim a Top 5 seed by outplacing Storm Ventures in Orlando. For Storm Ventures and XiT Woundz, a top 16 finish will all but secure their spot in New York’s Superstar division, barring a top 3 finish by MoBDeep or MoB PowerTripBev. Similarly, only a second place finish by MoBDeep can jeopardize Legendz’ playoff hopes.

Over 1,000 competitors turned out at MLG Orlando for one last shot to earn an invite to the Playoffs without having to fight through the intense Wild Card rounds in October.

Shook On3 Gaming, who placed fourth in Chicago, currently possess the seventh and final Playoff invitation. Just beyond the cutoff is the newly reformed MoBDeep, who was hurt by its members’ poor (or absent) Chicago performances. Although the team is not out of the running for a Playoff position, they must outperform Shook On3 Gaming by at least 250 points in Orlando to reach the top 7. While there are a number of ways this can happen, such a differential will require either a spectacular performance by MoBDeep or a relatively poor showing by Shook On3. Should Shook On3 Gaming land another Top 8 finish, MoBDeep must snag at least the bronze medal to earn an automatic bid to New York’s Superstar Division. MoB PowerTripBev, while still in contention, trails Shook On3 by 330 points, and will need to produce its best performance of the season to stand a chance of earning an invitation.

While several other squads are still in theoretical playoff contention, their path to snatching a Superstar Invitation requires a first place Orlando finish, coupled with a subpar performance by Shook On3 Gaming. Although in theory teams with as few as 1860 points are mathematically within contention, MoBDeep and PowerTripBev stand the only realistic chances to earn an invitation.

Once more, the center of the standings saw a generally upward shift, as the previously 5th (eX), 6th (MoBDeep), 10th (SMB) and 13th (MoB 4 Down) seeded teams have disbanded. Consequently, both Triggers Down and FBI Michigan, who failed to repeat their top 8 Anaheim performances, claimed greater seeds. FBI Michigan narrowly passed Triggers Down in the season points race and now hold Orlando’s 8th seed.

Also, due to the number of disbanded teams, GTY curiously improved from 14th to 12th seed despite a subpar 21st place performance. They were, however, surpassed by Zone 6, who earned the tenth seed with their 11th place Chicago performance, and FBI NiceLikeRice, who claimed the eleventh seed with a surprising 10th place showing. These three squads will be looking to pass Open Bracket entrants Under The Influence and KSI Pro in the 2006 points race and secure the Playoff Division invitations awarded to the teams seeded 8th-14th at the end of the regular season.

XG2K.com placed top 16 once more, and slid into the 13th seed, followed by Team Terrabite. Several squads made a splash in Chicago and earned Semi-Pro status. Most notable are Looney Gaming, who made their MLG debut with a top 16 finish and now hold the 17th seed. On Point and Xtreme Gamingx respectively debuted to 15th and 16th seeds with Top 24 performances.

Orlando Pro Teams

- 1. Final Boss (1) – Walshy, OGRE1, OGRE2, Saiyan = 8000

2. Carbon (3) – Shockwav3, Gandhi, True_Karma, gh057ayame = 5185

3. STR8 RIPPIN (2) – Tsquared, Foulacy, AYBFonzi, Cpt Anarchy = 5240

4. Storm Ventures (7) – Ramby, Poon, Legit, Naded = 4260

5. XiT Woundz (4) – Bonfire, KillerN, Itwasluck, Samurai = 4200

6. Shook on3 gaming (8) – DaRk_VeGeTTo, hslightking, Pyrocy, Shook_On3 = 3820

7. MoB PowerTripBev.com (9)- Triple007, IIPisToLII, elamitewarrior, FoSsiK = 3490

8. FBI Michigan (12) – Mackeo, Tupac, Slim, Victory_X = 2860

9. Triggers Down (11) – SK Halogod v2, Toxin, Detach, ToxinsNeighbor = 2790

10. Zone 6 (15) – Spainiard, Butt3rz, Cypher = 1855

11. FBI Nice Like Rice (20) – LegendJRG, snwborder5, Donut 5SiX1, RioOoOo = 1576

12. Gty (14) – [_Scrub_], drbob, OVERSHIELD, BigTimer13 = 1880

Orlando Semi-Pro Teams

13. MoB XG2K.com (16) – FearItSelf, RuDYReBoRN, xHokuM, TimeliestBrute = 1392

14. Team TerraBite (18) – quinn, Dysphoria, jo3, JuS = 1300

N 15. on Point (n/a) – st0n3r_2, OGRE3, McGavin = 762

N 16. Xtreme Gaming (n/a) – callmegod, bLooD187, SilverSon = 695

N 17. Looney Gaming (n/a) – LOONdog, Shoota II, ApoK, Suffer = 517

N 18. GI H2Access.com (n/a) – BuLLeTz, SuReShOt, Xenios, FireIsHot = 523

19. AyR (24)- ex DrumMeR ex, xSleepy, SoulRebelz, xSn4kE = 438

N 20. Yo Bref Staaaank (n/a) – I Got Cats, IlliniFan22, NinthMorpheus, MikeMan27 = 337

- 21. Sick By Definition (21) – PoWeeZy, xXrB, KillerDrizzle = 360

N 22. Team Matrix Lounge (n/a)- MudVayne, Be LiKe MyTh, Smoltz = 241

- 23. Go Outside (23) – Trojan, Swat-Lotus, Dark3n = 270

24. I PBR I (25) – Devastator, xShaKuRx, Ix HeLLBoY xI = 250

Notable Open-Bracket Entrants

LeGendZ – Vash, Mack, Defy, StrongSide = 4480

MoBDeep.net – Havok, MimiC, AcidiaN, MeLLoZ = 3570

KSI PRO – Gspot, Blackjak, Solshy, SadPanda eh = 2230

Under The Influence – Talent, Nitrouss, Legend, OmegA – 1979

*Note: Changes in seed are based on rankings released as of August 17th, 2006, compared against those released July 11th, 2006. Team changes made since August 17th may not be reflected, and consequently rosters and point totals may be dated. However, only disbanding will result in loss of seed. Roster changes and new point totals will not affect Chicago seeds.

Playoffs Format: The Three Tiers of Competition
- Wild Card: This division is OPEN to EVERYONE, regardless of previous attendance or performance at an event, or lack thereof. If you or your team does not rank in the top 14 players/teams for the competition of interest, or if you have never been to a prior event, you will be competing in the Wild Card division for the competition of your choice.

- Playoffs: This division is limited to the teams/players ranked 8th-14th after the conclusion of the regular season, as well as one team/player from the Wild Card division. The team/player that finishes 1st in the Wild Card division for a specific competition will advance to the respective Playoffs division, joining the 8th-14th players by rank after the regular season to battle it out for a spot in the National Championship.

- Superstar: This division is limited to the teams/players ranked 1st-7th after the conclusion of the regular season. The team/player that finishes 1st in the Playoffs division will advance to the Superstar division. All eight teams/players in the Superstar division are invited to the National Championship.

In other words, it is possible for a team/player to seemingly come from nowhere and make it to the National Championship. That team/player will need to place 1st in the Wild Card division and 1st again in the Playoffs division. It will be tough, but it is possible. There have been quite a few upsets in the past, and at an event of this magnitude, it is certainly possible.