1. Blockchain Burners
The Blockchain Burners have enacted a complete and total scorched court policy in Season 0, engulfing the league in NBA Jam-style flames, and securing their rightful spot as the pound-for-pound #1 team in Swoops. Not only do they have a league leading 4925 wins* here in our beta free-for-all format, but have done so while winning a stellar 63% of their games. I cannot emphasize enough how impressive that is, but if you don't believe me, feel free to pop into our Discord and hear what other owners have to say about the Burners - especially when they're matched up in the lobbies.
While the amount of wins and their win-to-loss ratio are galactically impressive, how they're doing it is even more noteworthy. In a Swoops Season 0 where many users are looking to trot out the most high powered offenses, star-driven squads, and highlight-worthy single performers, the Blockchain Burners have taken a mid-2000s Detroit Pistons, well rounded, defensive approach, and it is paying off. Of their nine most played players, not a single one is over a three star prospect - meaning when they were coming out of the factory and into the Swoops Universe, none were expected to grow into superstar players; and while some players can defy the odds and become stars despite their prospect rating (we will have a blog post on this mechanic and the math behind it very soon), the Blockchain Burners may not have a single All-League player on their roster. Instead they have found a way to concoct the perfect mixture of "low-grade" materials which has resulted in a defensively fueled roster that slow-cooks teams, holding them to a league low 78 points per game.
They are led in games played and PPG (22.3) by one-star forward Tim McDunkalot. Timmy is the only Burner averaging over 17 points a game and despite being their leading scorer, he manages to turn it over only a Fort Knoxian 0.8 times a game. Their second leading scorer Ice McVeins also manages to keep the rock secure to the tune of 1.3 TOs a night, and starting PF Jam McPutback only twice a game.
Clearly ball security is a huge part of what makes the Burner so successful, but so are rebounds. Starting center Block McBoardy is true to his name and down nearly 14 boards a game which puts him near the top of the league. Timmy brings down 10 a night himself, power forward Jam McPutback adds another 9 a night, and even their guards Ice and Wheels McStretch chip in 4 and 5 a night respectively.
Despite a lack of elite scoring, distance shooting, or efficiency, the Blockchain Burners have found a way to focus on ball security, rebounding, and defense to turn an at-first-glance run of the mill team into the preeminent team in all of Swoops. A remarkable feat and something to point to for anyone worrying that they don't have the juice to make a formidable team.
* As of writing this the Blockchain Burners have become the first team to 5000 wins! A huge accomplishment and congrats to them.
2. Denver Cyber Bombs
The Denver Cyber Bombs have been planting C4 in the lobbies and detonating it game after game. They are second in the league at 4194 wins, grinding their way to a #1 seed in the tournament bracket and a potential first round bye. While they do not have a winning record by win percentage, much of that may be due to tinkering and toying with their line-ups, as they have 10 (!!!) players over 700 games played. This means the DCB have been plugging in a crazy amount of line-up configurations to see what works best, test out who fits with who, and what players are better or worse depending on the roster context; and frankly, that's what Season 0 is all about.
Clearly, the Cyber Bombs know which piece of Rocky Mountain machinery works best when it comes down to it. Refresh Russell, Hotspot Hill, Duck, Reign Man, and Stone McLockDown are all 1000-4000 game played players for Denver with winning records. McLockDown is particularly impressive with over 1000 games played, and when he's suited up, the Bombs have a 61.6% win percentage.
Let this be a warning to any GMs who are underrating the high win total, lower win percentage teams. With the incentive on games played right now, don't underestimate how formidable a squad like the Cyber Bombs can be when they put their best talent out on the court.
3. North Side 416ers
The North Side 416ers are only the third 4000-win team and by far the deepest team in all of Swoops. With 29 Swoopsters they have enough players to field a whole team, a sub team, a g-league affiliate, and a few AAU teams. Given the high amount, you would expect to 416ers to experiment a ton with their lineups and they do, with 9 different played breaching the 2000 games played mark. They have managed to win over half of their games as a team as well, which is remarkable considering the amount of mixing and matching that has been done.
By far the most used player for the 416ers is the sole named Swoopster on the team, Ice. Ice has played in a cool ~7000 games during Season 0 which the most of any single player, while putting up ~21 points per game on remarkable 49/44/89 shooting splits. Nice to see that the most active player in all of Swoops is also one of the most efficient.
That's certainly not the only efficient scorer on the team, as 268 and 456 have chipped in 25 and 22 points a game respectively through ~2000 games, while shooting in the high 40s from the field and in the case of 456, a staggering 44% from three.
The 416ers have a treasure trove of high prospect rating players with six four-stars and the five-star 456, so as good as they are now, one has to wonder how good this team could be with a few seasons of growth under their belt.
4. Globe TRONers
The Globe TRONers are one of Swoops most notable teams, a mainstay in the Discord and Twitter, one-half of the subjects of our first Swoops Series here on the blog, and an absolute dog in the lobbies as their star scorer Doge McDermott annihilated the competition in our first daily points challenge. Through just over 2000 games in our daily challenge, Doge McDermott averaged 26ppg for a good 54,838 total points on the day. I'm not even sure what to do with those numbers.
"Hey Doge, how many points did you score yesterday?"
"Just around the median household income of Montana."
Much like the Cyber Bombs the TRONers like to mix and match a lot of their roster and come in with a sub .500 record. But, given their level of comfort with the players on their roster and the win-loss ratio of certain lineups, they too will be throwing out a more than formidable five man squad come tournament time.
Whenever I see the Legends pop up in the lobbies, I can't help but wonder who is behind this mysterious team. As of now they "only" own five Swoopsters, opting to play the same lineup night in and night out under the cover of darkness. Perhaps this is just a team of repurposed animatronics from Legends of the Hidden Temple. Looking at their players they do seem to have a Red Jaguar, Blue Barracuda, Green Monkey, Silver Snake, and an Orange Iguana. Maybe I'm on to something here...
Whatever and whoever the Legends are, they are one of the most fun teams to check the box scores of because of their two-headed attack at the guard spot. Swoopster 584 and 585, brothers presumably, are two of the most dominant scorers in all of Swoops. Through well over 4000 and 5000 games respectively they are putting up 27.5 and 26 points a night, shooting 44/41/86 and 46/40/82 shooting splits, and both turn the ball over less than three times a game. It's almost the Swoops equivalent of what would happen if you put Dame Lillard and Steph Curry on the same team.
The Legends have surrounded their two superstar scorers with three quality rebounds, defenders, and ultra-low turnover Swoopsters and since completing their five man lineup have won 61% of their games.
If they can continue to find a way to support their two scorers, they are a nightmarish opponent come tournament time. Going to be very, very hard to slow them down.
6. Knights of Degen
The Knights of Degen are another team who have stuck with the same five Swoopsters every game, and while some owners may want to play around with different lineups and tinker with the data, it's hard to argue with the Knight's results. At just under 5000 games played, KoD have won a fantastic 62% of their bouts while putting up a Swoops-high 87 points per game. The polar opposite tactic from >60% win rate Blockchain Burners, but equally effective.
While there are teams like the Legends who rely on two guys to score the majority of their points each night, KoD have found a way to make the league's best offense a total team effort. Their points are evenly spread among their players with John Sparks (20.7), Degen King (20.4), Wall E Frazier (19.5), and Conan O'Dunkin (17.2) all making contributions. I'm not sure how many owners would have guessed that the preeminent offense in the league would be so balanced, I know I wouldn't have.
The Knights of Degen have a few notable stats that we can point to as reasons for success, Degen King's 13 boards a night, he, Sparks, and Frazier being 37%, 39%, and 41% shooters from behind the arc, and Pat Machinebo's low usage, 11 points and 10 boards a night, but what stands out most is the turnovers. Of their five players, Conan O'Dunkin averages the most turnovers a game with just two, everyone else is a sub-two turnover a night player for KoD meaning they are averaging well under double digit giveaways a night. When you're efficient on offense, don't turn the ball over and don't give up fast break opportunities, it's no wonder they've been so good thus far.
7. Killer Bytes
The Killer Bytes are another one of our tinkering teams. With 12 different players and a +0.0 net rating on the season (81ppg, 81 oppg), they have been content to toss out a ton of different lineups and figure out what they like, what they hate, and what is going to work best for these byte-sized ballers.
As it stands now, KB has found two players that are leading them to a winning record through well over 2500 games - AI Practice and none other than THE Honey Badger. However, their most interesting player in the box scores is none other than the king of the boards, Big Blue. Big Blue leads all of Swoops in rebounding at a relatively unbelievable 16.6 per game - essentially putting up 1970s NBA numbers on the glass. On top of that he's shooting 80% at the line and contributing 3 stocks a night, which I will be looking to see if that number increases with the update to the simulator soon upon us.
While KB sit under .500 on the season, it is clear that they have pinpointed a few winning players and have some extraordinarily talented Swoopsters on their roster. Excited to see how their team comes together as the season progresses and am sure that they have all the pieces to go on a big run come tournament time.
8. AI North 67s
The AI North 67s are one of the few teams in all of Swoops who have found a way to both tinker with a whole bunch of lineups and keep up their winning percentage over .500. They operate with full 15 man or "NBA sized roster" of players. Of those 15, 9 have played over 1500 games, 8 have winning records, and the 7 who have losing records are so close to to .500 that they may be called for not leaving the shooter enough space to land.
Speaking of landing, the 67s have been led by DeMars Rover for much of the season. To date, DeMars has been rolled out over 3500 games and put up a stat-stuffing line of 22 points, 8 boards, 3 assists, and a steal and a block per game on a respectable 47% from the field. Joining Rover in the highest win percentage players for the Kings of the North are Pops Rodmanario and Cadillac Frank. Pop is excelling on the glass to the tune of 13.5 rebounds per game, landing him in 16th place among all qualified Swoopsters, and is the quintessential "dirty work" player for the North. His front-court mate Cadillac Frank is not only one of the better interior defenders in the league, but an intriguing stretch big (37% from distance) who every time I read his name I think of as either a Dirty South rapper turned AI baller, or some sort of Boston Dynamics meets New York crime family robotic hit man who gave up a life of crime to become a professional basketball player.
While the stories I make up in my mind may only be interesting to me, the AI North 67s story this season should be interesting to everyone. As one of the earliest "big time" teams in the league, they have continued to put up rock solid performances, evolve their roster, and will no doubt be making a push to contend for the top four spots as Season 0 progresses. Not to mention, maybe the best logo in the league?
9. Unchained Web
Unchained Web have been a truly dominant team through the entirety of Season 0. They have won a fantastic 63% of their games while putting up 85 points a game while holding their opponents to 80 for a +5 net rating. Both of those numbers tie them with the #1 seed Blockchain Burners and are only exceeded by The King and the Duck who sit just outside the Top-10 teams by total wins.
While those numbers alone are enough to strike fear into opponent's cold, digital hearts (not to mention their ultra low-profile public image so far), Unchained Web are even more frightening when you realize they've done quite a bit of testing with their roster. Their .630 winning percentage is an accumulation of all sorts of roster constructions, some better, some worse. On the better end are the line-ups consisting of Swoopster-292, who has won 72% (!!!) of the 710 games they have played in. Even a Swoopster like Kyle Mint who has played in 2560 games has come away winning over 66% of their bouts. That suggests Unchained Web, as good as they are, have another level they can get to come tournament time.
In the majority of their games, Unchained Web has been anchored by Timmy Dao and Omar Dapp. Among players who have played over 300 games, Dao's 15 rebounds per game are second to only the Killer Bytes' Big Blue and only commits a shade over three fouls a night, quite low for a big man in Swoops. Dao is often paired with Dex Coleman in the front court who is an elite interior defender, chips in nearly 10 boards a night of his own, and nearly 18 points per game. Dapp in the meantime is the offensive battery for the team, putting up over 23 points through 3000 games, and filling out the box score with 5 rebounds of his own, nearly 4 assists, a steal, a block, and an exceedingly low 1.3 turnovers and 2.1 fouls per contest.
Unchained Web are another team who are doing this without a bunch of elite prospects. While Omar Dapp is every bit a five-star prospect, the next eight most-played players for the team are 3 three-star players, 4 two-star players, and the one-star winning machine that is 292.
If Unchained Web can be one of if not the best team in the league with these types of prospects, that should inspire confidence in other users that they can do the same. A role model and a winner, what's not to love?
10. The Robellion
The Robellion round out our Top-10 most winning teams in Swoops Season 0, and join the Globe TRONers as the other half of our critically acclaimed* seven-part docuseries on the very first Swoops Series.
The Robellion have been a league-staple since the very beginning of Swoops, a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far before games were even played. Now that games are being played, not only has their activity continued to shine, but the fruits of their labor as they test different lineups have a nice sheen to them as well. Despite sitting under .500 in total wins, their five highest played Swoopsters all carry a >50% record. Let that be a warning to teams who underestimate the Robellion - they clearly have some tricks up their Jedi-robe sleeves.
Much like the Globe TRONers, we have looked extensively into certain Robellion players through their Swoops Series. Jabar The Hutt, Kobe Wan Kenobi, Chuckbacca, Luka Skywalker, and Sith Curry to be specific. One player we did not see in that series was Admiral Shaqbar, who since then is not only leading the Robellion in points per game but has become one of, if not the best overall player on the Robellion. Shaqbar is a true stretch-five who is putting up a Miami-Shaqbaresque 21 points and 12 rebounds a night, but unlike his paint-dwelling namesake, is shooting an astounding 40% from three! That puts him solidly among the Top-10 qualified big men from distance.
However, this does pose a bit of a conundrum for the Robellion. Shaqbar is solely able to play the center position and their other leading scorer, and the only other player approaching 20 points per game, is another true center in Jabar the Hutt. As we progress through Season 0 it will be interesting to see who the Robellion choose as their leader going forward. Will it be a peaceful transition of power? A violent coup? Is a trade on the horizon?
Hopefully we find out by episode two...
* Critics and acclaim may be entirely made up and Swoops holds no responsibility in proving this claim to be true.