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Previewing the 2020 PLL Championship Series group play matchups

Note: This article has been updated to reflect the recent PLL waiver wire signings.

The Premier Lacrosse League has released the matchups for group play of its 2020 PLL Championship Series this summer. Here are each of the seven PLL teams’ four opponents and the storylines to watch during group play.

Archers LC

2020 Opponents: Chrome LC, Waterdogs LC, Atlas LC, Whipsnakes LC

The Archers kick of their season with a rematch with Chrome LC, who they beat in overtime of the very first game in PLL history. They’ll then face old teammates Ben McIntosh, Christian Cuccinello and Danny Eipp when they take on the Waterdogs. It will also be the first time that newly acquired Josh Currier faces off with his younger brother Zach Currier in the PLL. Their final two games will be against the Atlas and Whipsnakes, two teams who they battled with in close games last season.

Atlas LC

2020 Opponents: Redwoods LC, Waterdogs LC, Archers LC, Whipsnakes LC

Ben Rubeor‘s Bulls will square off against the Redwoods, Waterdogs, Archers and Whipsnakes this summer. The Atlas are another team that had a lot of roster changes this offseason, adding Rob Pannell, Craig Chick, Romar Dennis and Bryan Costabile. The Atlas have a tough schedule, having to face last year’s runner-ups in the Redwoods, who prevented them from making the playoffs last year, and the defending champion Whipsnakes, who swept them last season. The Waterdogs, who feature former Bulls Kieran McArdle, Noah Richard, Ryan Conrad and Steven DeNapoli, will also be no easy task and the Archers boast a 2-1 overall record against an Atlas squad hoping to turn the corner this year.

Chaos LC

2020 Opponents: Waterdogs LC, Redwoods LC, Whipsnakes LC, Chrome LC

Andy Towers and Chaos LC will have their work cut out for them this summer. They’ll face a Waterdogs team that features former Chaos players Brodie Merrill, Charlie Cipriano and Kyle McClancy. Then they’ll face the two teams that knocked them out of the postseason last year in the Whipsnakes and Redwoods. Finally, Matt Gaudet will get his chance to show the Chaos that they should have held onto their 2020 first-round draft pick, as the Chaos face the Chrome in the final game of group play.

Chrome LC

2020 Opponents: Redwoods LC, Archers LC, Chaos LC, Waterdogs LC

The new-look Chrome LC will have a lot to prove this summer, and they’ll get to do it against the Redwoods LC, Archers LC, Chaos LC and Waterdogs LC. It’s tough to predict how this team will fare given they added a plethora of new weapons on defense in Jesse Bernhardt, Donny Moss, James Barclay, Foster Huggins, Tom Rigney, Reece Eddy, Jake Pulver and Eli Salama. They also lost Chris Sabia and Drew Simoneau to the Waterdogs LC in the expansion draft. Ultimately, it’s a fresh start for this Chrome team, now lead by Tim Soudan, and the sky is the limit.

Redwoods LC

2020 Opponents: Chrome LC, Atlas LC, Chaos LC, Whipsnakes LC

The Redwoods will face Chrome LC and Atlas LC first in the 2020 PLL Championship Series, but their most intriguing matchups will be against Chaos LC and Whipsnakes LC. The Redwoods and Chaos have a lot of history already dating back to the Nick Ossello-Blaze Riorden fight of Week 3 all the way to the Myles Jones-Sergio Salcido trade this offseason. It will be both Jones and Salcido’s first crack at proving their worth to their old team and backing up the trash talk they threw each other’s way following the trade. Then fans are treated to a rematch between the Woods and Whips, with Coach Nat St. Laurent‘s squad looking to enact some revenge on the team that stole the 2019 PLL Championship from them in the final minutes last season.

Waterdogs LC

2020 Opponents: Chaos LC, Archers LC, Atlas LC, Chrome LC

While the Waterdogs have yet to play any team, every game will be a revenge game for Andy Copelan’s squad. Players who were on the Chaos, Archers, Atlas and Chrome last season will have a chance at proving to their old teams that leaving them unprotected in the PLL expansion draft last February was a mistake. Notably lacking from the Waterdogs group play schedule is a matchup with the Whipsnakes, a team that they snagged Ben Reeves, Connor Kelly, Drew Snider and Ryan Drenner from in the expansion draft. Fans will just have to wait for a potential playoff matchup to see the Dogs and Whips square off.

Whipsnakes LC

2020 Opponents: Archers LC, Atlas LC, Chaos LC, Redwoods LC

It’s hard to say any schedule is favorable in the PLL, but the Whipsnakes schedule features teams they had large amounts of success against in 2019, boasting a 7-3 record last season against their 2020 opponents. The Archers gave them the most trouble, with the Whips splitting the series of one-goal games with them. The Chaos and Redwoods both secured victories against the Whips as well, but were the victims of blowout losses to the Whips. Finally, the Whips will look to earn their third straight victory in the famed Atlas-Whipsnakes/Hopkins-Maryland rivalry, after taking down the Bulls twice last year.

Hutton Jackson is a professional video editor, co-founder/host of Pro Lacrosse Talk and editor-in-chief of Lacrosse Playground. He is also an Emmy-winning associate producer with two major sports networks and oversees Lacrosse Playground's video content as the head coordinating producer. Hutton played four years of college lacrosse at DeSales University where his highest lacrosse accolade was being named to Inside Lacrosse's 2014 All-Name Team with current pros Challen Rogers, Deemer Class and Larken Kemp, an honor that didn't require stepping on the field. When he's not writing on lacrosse, he can usually be found diving around the crease in your local men's league and ranting about Baltimore and D.C. professional sports.

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