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How can Atlas make the playoffs? Breaking down postseason scenarios and rules

By Lauren Merola | Aug 19, 2023

With two regular-season games left in the season, six of the seven playoff spots have been decided, with the final seed left to be fought for by Atlas and Chrome. 

Through Week 8 in Denver, Atlas is seventh in the league, sitting in a fragile playoff position at 2-6, with Chrome trailing at 1-7. To remain in playoff contention, Atlas needs to stay ahead of Chrome in the wins column.

This race will go down to the wire.

How Atlas can clinch

Atlas secures a playoff berth by winning its remaining two matchups. If Atlas only wins one, Chrome needs to lose one.

Or, if Atlas and Chrome both go 0-2 in the final weeks of the regular season, Atlas will remain in the final playoff spot. 

How Chrome can clinch

If Chrome wins its closing two games and Atlas loses both, Chrome would post more wins and jump Atlas for the final postseason invitation.

If Atlas goes 1-1 in its final two games and Chrome wins out, Chrome would tie Atlas’ record (with three wins apiece) and the teams’ point differentials would determine the final rankings. In the PLL, the team in eighth place gets left out of the playoffs.


No. 1: If Chrome matches Atlas' win total, the team with a higher points differential gets the postseason nod. Atlas (-14) currently has a higher points differential than Chrome (-31).

To determine points differential, a team’s scores against is subtracted from its scores. Through Week 8, Atlas posted 100 points and allowed 114 against, so its point differential is -14. Chrome scored 64 points and allowed 95 against.

No. 2: If Atlas and Chrome finish the season with the same record and points differential, the third tiebreaker is Atlas and Chrome’s head-to-head record for this season. Atlas defeated Chrome 11-9 in Week 6 in Frisco, Texas. The two aren’t slated to play each other again this season, so Atlas would receive the final playoff spot.

(Fun fact: Chrome has never defeated Atlas in PLL regular-season or playoff history, so even if the head-to-head record tiebreaker included all of the clubs’ past matchups, Atlas would still reign victorious.)

Where do tiebreakers end?

If two teams boast the same record, points differential and number of wins in head-to-head matchups, the next tiebreaker is head-to-head goal differential, meaning the team that scored more goals on the other in direct competition advances. 

In this case, for example, Atlas scored 11 goals to Chrome’s nine in the Week 6 matchup. Atlas would have a goal differential of +2 and Chrome’s would be 0, so Atlas’ season would survive the tiebreakers.

If the head-to-head goal differential was also even, the final nod would go toward the team with the higher number of total goals that season.

Remaining schedule

Week 9: 

Atlas vs. Cannons (Aug. 18 at 11:30 p.m. ET) 

Chrome vs. Redwoods (Aug. 19 at 8 p.m. ET)

Week 10:

Atlas vs. Redwoods (Aug. 25 at 10:30 p.m. ET)

Chrome vs. Chaos (Aug. 26 at 9:30 p.m. ET)

The quarterfinals start Sept. 4 in Boston.