Hey, a bit belated, but how about some predicts? :)
(6) vs. Horrendous Houndooms (2)
Defending champion Horrendous Houndooms begin their title defense against a tough and motivated Darkrais team, led this year by returning manager, Skarph. PG's team has many familiar faces from last year, clearly indicating PG's belief that drafting a similar team from last year will translate to success this year as well. Skarph's begins with himself and Bacon, the latter who I believe went for the most an AG player ever has in a team tour draft. Expectations undoubtedly are high, and with a talented group of players, perhaps another deep run is in order.
BO3 Multigen Skarph
vs PurpleGatorade ~ Already happened
National Dex BaconEatinAssassin
vs Guardsweeper ~ Guardsweeper has been a solid Nat Dex AG player this year entering AG out of nowhere, and he did put together a nice run in the USUM AG Cup. However, Bacon is the better player and builder here and I'm sure the win in the last Nat Dex AG SSNL will only build his confidence.
National Dex lotiasite vs Staxi
~ One of my highlight matches for this first week. A rematch of the last AGLT where Staxi took Loti out in Round 2, this should feature some pretty high quality play and teams from both. Loti is a good tour player and I'm sure will be eager to get revenge, but I have a feeling about Staxi here.
National Dex ericwangswim
vs byronthewellwell ~ This one is a bit of a mystery to me. But it's not for lack of knowledge about the players. Byron is an excellent player in a lot of tiers, and I imagine he can pick up Nat Dex AG pretty quickly, but I don't believe he has played a lot of the tier so far. ericwangswim, on the other hand, has
played a lot of Nat Dex AG recently, but his lack of experience in many big tours may hamper him initially. I'll roll with eric on this one (sorry, byron).
Galar Dex l'habitat
vs Alkione ~ Seeing as though l'habitat is the reigning Galar Dex AG champ, I'm going to bold them here. However, Alkione is a solid player who I'm sure has been playing at least some SS Ubers (maybe a lot--I'm not sure there), and he performed quite well last AGPL (including a critical finals win for the Houndooms), so he has AG team tour experience assisting him as well.
vs Skysolo ~ Another really close match here. Dockiva is coming off a run to USUM AG Cup finals, so he is in top form. Skysolo, however, is not to be underestimated after a very strong series of performances last AGPL (going 5-2) and a victory in the finals against Viv. I expect Dockiva's excellent teambuilding and metagame knowledge to help him get the win here.
USM GRNBLN vs Catalystic
~ Another excellent match for sure. Two of the probably top ten USUM AG players going at it is always nice to catch a match of. GRN has been around fairly often on PS recently, playing in room tours and on ladder, so I have a feeling he won't be terribly rusty (if at all). Cata has been less active in AG recently, but he tends to perform well in tours, so I'm sure he'll put up a solid showing. Very close here, but I'll give the nod to Cata.
ORAS ADF Test
vs absdaddy ~ This should be fun. ADF is a friend who's known for his unorthodox builds that he manages to make work time and time again. It's pretty remarkable honestly. I'm not sure how much ORAS he's played recently, but I believe he used to play it pretty often. Absdaddy did play ORAS for the Houndooms last year, sporting a decent record of 2-3, so he could be well-equipped to improve on that record this year. ADF narrowly takes it with a sweet tech or two.
(5) vs. Salt Mining Sableyes (3)
New AGPL managers Icemaster and Fardin emerge this year with strong teams. Fardin's makes use of many OM talents, so a test for the team will be how quickly some players can acclimate to and learn their respective AG tiers. Ice's task will likely be how to best harness the massive amounts of talent and teambuilding support and translate those into winning lineups and matches.
BO3 Multigen Pigeons vs Fardin
~ Very excited for this match. When it was first announced that we would in fact have a Bo3 slot in this AGPL STour-style, I thought of Pigeons and Fardin as two of the top people for it. I'll say Fardin narrowly takes this one in three winning ORAS and USUM while Pigeons wins Nat Dex.
National Dex Icemaster
vs Jrdn ~ With all due respect to Jrdn here who is a quality player in many tiers--especially, of course, OMs--I think Icemaster is the very solid favorite here. He's been one of the best Nat Dex AG players so far this Gen, making the shift from USUM AG to Nat Dex look seamless.
National Dex Kaitlyn
vs xavgb ~ Stresh put together an impressive record last AGPL, quietly sporting a strong 3-1 record in USUM AG. However, MDB has been playing much more Nat Dex AG than her opponent and in my opinion is the favorite here.
National Dex Terracotta vs Andyboy
~ As far as I know, neither Terra nor Andy have played a lot of Nat Dex AG. Andy I did see laddering for a while on the Nat Dex AG ladder prior to AGPL, but regardless, Nat Dex isn't terribly hard to get a decent grasp on the meta and what to expect in battles. This I'm sure will come down to which team can better prepare and teach its player rapidly.
Galar Dex crucify vs cromagnet
~ My man cro! :D He's been looking solid in Galar Dex recently from the few matches I've seen here and there, and he's done quite well in Ubers recently. crucify I believe is a pretty good player in several tiers, and I'm sure on a team like Icemaster's with Terra and others as potential Galar Dex slot players, they are well positioned here. I'm expecting a high quality match.
vs Zesty43 ~ Already happened
vs Leru ~ So, to be upfront, I'm not very familiar with Leru. I believe they've played in SPL before but beyond that, I'm not very sure. Megazard is very solid in USUM AG and a strong tournament player in general, so it would take a lot for me to bold against him even if I knew more about Leru's skill in USUM AG.
vs Highlord ~ Highlord is a quality player in old Gens--particularly old Gens of Ubers and DPP OU--but I think he's going to have a tough time overcoming ORAS Goddess Chloe, particularly when she has been so active and playing a lot of AG in the months leading up to this tournament.
Good luck and have fun, all! Go Abyssal Arceus!