There are a couple good reasons to not make this post. The first is that I’ve been hoping for a long time that zipppa would make it instead. The second is that it is in really bad taste. And nevertheless, here we are. This isn’t about the end of the world. Been there, done that. This is just about the next bad thing that will happen. There are a lot of potential imminent geopolitical disasters left on the table. Will the US invade Venezuela? Will a no-deal Brexit cause food riots and general chaos? So, zipppa, if you want to predict the other conference, well, you know what to do.
(1) Baltics kinda-invaded / (8) N. Korea and U.S. unite, attack S. Korea Baltic invasion is a veteran team that has a lot of experience and great pedigree. We were really excited about them about four-five years ago, but it remains to be seen whether they still have the quickness to prevail in today’s league. The no. 1 seed may be vulnerable to a younger team, but not this particular young team: NK-US barely squeaked into the playoffs against such teams as “Another attempted caliphate” and “scientists mutating viruses to be much more deadly and then accidentally releasing them”. For them, it’s an achievement to just make it, and they should enjoy the sights, but barring a complete collapse, Baltic Invasion should be able to handle the upstart. Baltics in 5.
(3) Kashmir / (6) Facebook-induced murder pandemic Kashmir is a stacked team with loads of geopolitical disaster talent, but it appears that it doesn’t have the feistiness that the playoffs require. Their timid showing recently, with an easy deescalation, shows Kashmir to be the kind of team that is afraid to go to the dirty areas. Especially Imran Khan, who was once a promising prospect, acting extremely reasonably should throw cold water on any thoughts of Kashmir turning into a huge geopolitical disaster anytime soon. Meanwhile, the prospects for FIMP have been tearing it up in the minor leagues. Their solid fundamentals, breadth of talent, including such former unknowns as murderous Buddhists in Myanmar, and embrace of analytics means they are truly a complete team. Bet on the upset. Facebook in 4
(2) Iran-Israel war / (7) Pan-global White Nationalist Uprising Two relatively uninspiring teams, Iran-Israel gets such a high seed by virtue of winning the always fearsome Middle East division, but is just too small a team to have the physicality needed to go far in the geopolitical disaster playoffs. Meanwhile, pan-global white nationalists are pursuing an obviously self-contradicting strategy. One has to wonder about their coaching staff. It figures to be a grind. Don’t turn to this series for entertainment value. Playoff series are not about teams in a vacuum, though, they’re about teams facing each other. And in this case, Iran-Israel can easily outmanoeuvre and out-smart the opposition. Iran-Israel in 5
(4) The Death of Putin / (5) A Rogue Nuclear Submarine We’ve been seeing terrorists getting nuclear weapons in the playoffs for so long we feel like we know what to expect. Observers around the team worry that pushing from the playoffs every time around is really hurting development — is the best strategy to get top end young talent by “tanking” and doing terribly, like ISIS is currently doing, for example? But there’s a new strategy for terrorists wanting nuclear weapons that’s not exactly tanking: submarining. Stories like this remind us that there is still room for a lot of inventive approaches in the game. Meanwhile the smooth transitions following the deaths of all-powerful autocrats recently have made us think that managing the death of Putin will not be as difficult as it seems. And besides, Putin seems pretty healthy. Subs in 6