The 4 ISL Teams Headed for Las Vegas Are (Almost) Locked-In Already

All eight ISL teams have now competed twice and only have the derbies left before the finals in Las Vegas. Looking into the current team season points, Energy Standard and the London Roar sit in first place, two points ahead of the Cali Condors.

In the event of a tie, the total meet points will break the tie between teams (“meet points” being defined as the 1023, 990, etc. below – the cumulative points scored at the meets, not the 4-3-2-1 based on finish order at the meet). That means that Energy Standard technically leads the standings with 33 more meet points earned than the London Roar. The remaining rankings stay the same with the LA Current 38 points ahead of Iron for 4th and the Aqua Centurions 67 points ahead of the Breakers for 7th.

Overall ISL Team Standings – Total Meet Points
Rank Team Match 1 Match 2 Total
1 Energy Standard 530 493 1023
2 London Roar 484.5 505.5 990
3 Cali Condors 457 490.5 947.5
4 LA Current 457 408 865
5 Iron 402 425 827
6 DC Trident 330.5 332 662.5
7 Aqua Centurions 300.5 331.5 632
8 NY Breakers 278.5 292.5 571

Advancement to the final is not based on the top 4 overall teams, however. Only the top 2 from the US and the top 2 from European advance to the Vegas finals in December. Even with derbies left to be raced, the way the math works out makes it a virtual lock that the current top 4 teams, Energy Standard, London Roar, Cali Condors, and LA Current, will advance to the final. Any other outcome would take a near-miracle.

Current Projected Top 4 Finals Teams
Rank Team Cluster Season Points
Total Meet Points
1 Energy Standard Europe 8 1023
2 London Roar Europe 8 990
3 Cali Condors USA 6 947.5
4 LA Current USA 5 865

As aforementioned, the top two teams in the European cluster are Energy Standard and the London Roar. Sitting 3 points away in third place is Iron while the Aqua Centurions sit in fourth. Iron kept themselves in contention for a spot in the final by jumping the LA Current in Budapest last week and finishing 2nd, but it’s still very much a longshot. For them to crack the top 2 in Europe, not only would they need to win the European derby and have either Energy Standard or London Roar finish last (which seems a near-impossibility given the Aqua Centurions’ performance in the first 2 meets), they would need for it to not be close – they’d have to finish well ahead of the 4th-place team in scoring.

European ISL Team Standings
Rank Team Season Points
Total Meet Points
1 Energy Standard 8 1023
2 London Roar 8 990
3 Iron 5 827
4 Aqua Centurions 2 632

In contrast, the US cluster has a closer battle for the top two spots. The top three teams (Cali Condors, LA Current, DC Trident) are all separated by one point.

USA ISL Team Standings
Rank Team Season Points Total Meet Points
1 Cali Condors 6 947.5
2 LA Current 5 865
3 DC Trident 4 662.5
4 NY Breakers 2 571

Going further into potential change-ups for the US-based cluster, the LA Current has a shot at leading the US cluster if they were to take down the Cali Condors, though there’s no obvious benefit to being 1st rather than 2nd within a continental group. The race for second place could be a very big mix-up if the DC Trident takes second over the LA Current (with the Condors winning). If this happens, both the Trident and Current would be tied with 7 points. According to the ISL rules, the tie would be determined by the number of meet points scored in total across 3 meets (that is, “meet points,” or the 947.5, 865, 662.5, etc. as listed in the table above).

Unfortunately for the NY Breakers, if the best-case scenario were to happen with them on top and the remaining finish goes Trident, Current, and Condors, the Breakers would not have the chance to make it to the finals as they would still sit one point behind a three-way tie. Given the big gap in scoring between the Trident and the Current, however, the only real way for this group to shake up at this point would be if the Breakers pulled a miracle and jumped the LA Current in DC.

Up next on the ISL schedule, the US-based teams will contest for the top 2 finals spots at the Geary F. Eppley Recreation Center in College Park, MD on November 16-17. The next week, November 23-24, the European-based teams will then battle for the top 2 at the London Aquatics Centre.

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3 years ago

Top 4 are a lock, would be interested to see how it would pan out if there was a draft similar to major American sports

3 years ago

How were the team rosters determined? Was there a draft, or was it a free-for-all to sign competitors?

Reply to  LateToTheParty
3 years ago

It was a free-for-all, though there was a designated period where each country had the first crack at their home nation swimmers.

3 years ago

There is some other interesting implication of team type of competition at derbies: the strongest team can select who they want to see in final competition by not performing at full capacity at derbies. For example the team #2 has very strong relay that is stronger than the one of team #1 and will take for sure a lot of points from team #1 in final meet. Then let team #3 get to the final by not competing strongly in races where team #3 has chances to earn good points and bypass team #2. Kind of “Survivors” game. Will it look unethical? Yes, from spectators point of view, but not from the team’s one who may win this way the… Read more »

3 years ago

Mathematically the Breakers can be in a 3-way tie on the 2 to 4 places. With a Breakers, Condors, Trident, Current finish Condors have 9 point the other three 6-6-6 points. Highly unlikely though

Reply to  Octopus
3 years ago

In this scenario, to get in the final, the NY Breakers would also need to outscore LA Current in total points. Given the current ~300 point deficit and that NY Breakers is projected to be probably at least ~150 points behind LA Current in the derby, that 450 point over-performance is actually impossible.

3 years ago

That is the demonstration of imperfection in design of preliminary part of this tournament that causes some unfairness. LA Current got lucky that its group had the weakest team – NY Breakers. That allowed them to get more points than DC Trident who lost some points to Centurions who are not strong but still better than Breakers. Should we switch two weakest teams Centurions with Breakers the competition between Americans teams for the second place would look quite different.

Reply to  Yozhik
3 years ago

You are right, but an elimination system always has and element of luck

Reply to  Octopus
3 years ago

It’s true but in this case the luck was predetermined by recruiting process. The system that is in use now works well when all teams are about of same strength.

3 years ago

I’m pulling for Iron. Lots of swimmers I want to watch in Vegas . Speaking of which is swim swam going to host anything their?

3 years ago

Why dont they have a meet with all 8 teams?

Reply to  Owlmando
3 years ago

Well that would make the regular season rather meaningless, wouldn’t it?

Reply to  Braden Keith
3 years ago

Braden, you’re so cool.

About Nick Pecoraro

Nick Pecoraro

Nick Pecoraro started swimming at age 11, instantly becoming drawn to the sport. He was a breaststroker and IMer when competing. After joining SwimSwam, the site has become an outlet for him to research and learn about competitive swimming and experience the sport through a new lenses. He graduated in …

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