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When FIFA held the 2022 World Cup Draw on April 1, 2022, there were still a few group stage slots undetermined. However, in the last week, Australia beat Peru 0-0 (5-4) on penalties, and Costa Rica beat New Zealand 1-0 to officially cement their bids to the world’s biggest soccer tournament in Qatar.

A few weeks earlier, Ukraine beat Scotland 3-1 in a war-postponed qualifier but fell to Wales 1-0 to barely miss out on this year’s World Cup.

This means that 32 teams playing in the 2022 World Cup are set in stone. Here are the way too early predictions for which countries two countries will make it out of each group in the Group Stage.

Group A: Qatar (host country, No. 51 in FIFA World Rankings), Netherlands (10), Senegal (20)Ecuador (46)

The 2022 World Cup host nation, Qatar, actually got an easy Group Stage with a path to the Round of 16. The Netherlands, with its host of big-name European players like Frenkie de Jong, Virgil van Dijk, and Memphis Depay, should advance, no problem. Unfortunately for the host nation, new Bayern Munich transfer Sadio Mane’s Senegal has too much firepower to lose to two teams ranked below 45 in the FIFA World Rankings.

Group B: England (5), USA (15)Wales (18), Iran (21)

England has struggled in the UEFA Nations League after incredible performances in the 2018 World Cup and 2020 Euros. However, England manager Gareth Southgate should be able to turn it around by November. The USMNT has also struggled to figure out its defense with the loss of Miles Robinson, but that should get fixed in the next few months as well.

Group C: Argentina (4)Mexico (9), Poland (26)Saudi Arabia (49)

The World Cup Trophy is brought to Arad Castle within the 2022 World Cup Trophy Tour as the Group Stage is now set.
The World Cup Trophy | Ayman Yaqoob/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Group C is the first group that doesn’t go chalk at the 2022 World Cup. Argentina should go through in what likely will be Lionel Messi’s last World Cup. Poland will surprise some teams, too, as superstar striker Robert Lewandowski works to justify whatever transfer he makes this summer.

Group D: France (3), Denmark (11)Tunisia (35), Australia (42)

France is loaded and led by one of the best players in the game in Kylian Mbappe. I don’t have a ton of faith in Denmark and think it is slightly overrated by FIFA, but the team got a good draw. Tunisia only has one player in a top European league (Manchester United 19-year-old Hannibal Mejbri), and Australia needed penalties to get by Peru and sneak into the tournament. Yes, Denmark did just beat France in UEFA Nations League but come World Cup time, the French will be ready.  

Group E: Spain (7), Germany (12), Japan (23), Costa Rica (31)

As two of the eight countries that have ever won a World Cup, Germany and Spain are simply two of the best and most historic international football sides in the world. Both should cruise in the Group Stage. The only upset prediction here is that Germany will come out as the No. 1 team in the group, despite the lower FIFA ranking.

Group F: Belgium (2)Croatia (16), Morocco (24), Canada (38)

Both Belgium and Croatia are on the back end of Golden Generations. The core of both these teams have led their countries to great heights but haven’t won the big one. Belgium should get through on Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku alone. Here’s where I pick the biggest upset of the World Cup, though. I see Canada, which won CONCACAF, upsetting Croatia and moving on to the Round of 16.

Group G: Brazil (1)Switzerland (14), Serbia (25)Cameroon (37)

One last upset pick — and it’s not Brazil — even though they are already fighting each other in training camp. Here I see Serbia and 24-year-old striker Luka Jović, who could be the breakout star of the 2022 World Cup, getting the best of Switzerland and moving on.

Group H: Portugal (8), Uruguay (13)Korea (29), Ghana (60)

No drama in the last group, though. Portugal still has Cristiano Ronaldo, and youngsters behind him like Bernardo Silva, Bruno Fernandes, and Diogo Jota have developed into stars. With Uruguay it’s another team with an intriguing mix of established veterans (Luis Suárez, Edinson Cavani, Diego Godín) and promising young talent (Darwin Núñez, Ronald Araújo, Federico Valverde). For these reasons, both top teams should roll in Group H.

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The post The 2022 World Cup Groups are Officially Finalized, Here are the Way too Early Predictions for the Group Stage appeared first on Sportscasting | Pure Sports.


By: Tim Crean
Title: The 2022 World Cup Groups are Officially Finalized, Here are the Way too Early Predictions for the Group Stage
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Published Date: Thu, 16 Jun 2022 00:34:03 +0000

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Baller Awards

Is Megan Thee Stallion a ‘Jujutsu Kaisen’ fan? ‘Gojo Thee Stallion,’ explained

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Prior to the 2024 Crunchyroll Anime Awards, some anime fans had no idea that rapper Megan Thee Stallion was an anime enthusiast. But watching her speech as she presented the Anime of the Year Award, there can be no doubt about it: Megan is a weeb.

Personally, I’m Megan Thee Stallion’s newest fan and follower, and I hope I’m not the only one whose heart she unexpectedly won. Despite not being too familiar with her music and her career, the way her personality shone during the ceremony, and everything I’ve found out thereafter, contributed to a feeling of kinship. United by nerdiness, we could say.

Megan has previously cosplayed as other anime characters. One such instance that broke the internet – but not as much as recently – was when she cosplayed My Hero Academia’s pro-hero Mirko. And, objectively, she looked stunning.

But, even though some like myself only found out about her passion for anime recently, the American artist has never truly hidden it, in fact, and admirably, she seems proud of her nerdy side.

Megan Thee Stallion many cosplays
Screengrabs via X/IG

But when she cosplayed a female version of Satoru Gojo from Jujutsu Kaisen – who also won the Crunchyroll award for secondary anime character of the year – the internet went wild as if she had cast Domain Expansion over social media.

Megan Thee Honored One

Megan Thee Stallion is a Gojo fan
Screengrabs via Crunchyroll Anime Awards/theestallion

When she “made it to Japan,” Megan Thee Stallion posted on her social media pictures of herself dressed up as a female Gojo – arguably, the most widely adored character in the series. The combination of the beloved rapper with the beloved S-rank jujutsu sorcerer took the internet by storm, or, shall we say, by Hollow Purple. It escalated to the point that the hashtag “Gojo Thee Stallion” was trending on X (formerly Twitter).

The match made in heaven had people collectively losing their minds. So much so that many talented artists scrambled to make incredible works of fan art, further immortalizing the moment:

Megan thee Stallion Gojo cosplay fan art
Screengrabs via X (@shibewave_art/@feenwege/@kuroxcho/@NICOx2N/@ethjay)


Megan has such a gorgeous smile btw💜@Megan Thee Stallion . . . . . . #fyp #foryou #chicorish #megantheedtallion #gojotheestallion #satorugojo #gojo #gojoedit #gojocosplay #gojofanart #jjk #jujutsukaisen #art #blackartist #digitalart #procreate #smallartist

♬ HISS – Megan Thee Stallion

If the Crunchyroll Anime Awards were aiming at reaching a wider audience and generating more chatter this year, they surely have managed to attain the feat. Bring Megan Thee Stallion again next year and I’ll sit down – along with many others surely – to watch the event once more in 2025.


By: Margarida Bastos
Title: Is Megan Thee Stallion a ‘Jujutsu Kaisen’ fan? ‘Gojo Thee Stallion,’ explained
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Published Date: Sun, 03 Mar 2024 17:15:47 +0000

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Baller Awards

Oppenheimer Wins Big at the MPSE Golden Reel Awards


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Oppenheimer has now won both the Cinema Audio Society and the two key awards at the Motion Picture Sound Editors Guild. It is sweeping the season at an astonishing pace. The Zone of Interest did not win in its category, and was beaten by Society of the Snow. But really, Zone is more of Sound […]


By: Sasha Stone
Title: Oppenheimer Wins Big at the MPSE Golden Reel Awards
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Published Date: Mon, 04 Mar 2024 05:22:18 +0000

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Baller Awards

‘Attack On Titan’ should have been nominated for Anime of the Year and I’ll die on that hill


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This article contains spoilers for the final season of Attack on Titan

The Crunchyroll Anime Awards was a night to remember, partly because of the obvious snubs that fans like me couldn’t overlook. And yes, I’m talking about Attack On Titan’s snub for Anime of the Year.

Between the Bleach and Vinland Saga snubs, the anime community was in a justified uproar. However, the Anime of the Year award, the most anticipated award of the night, didn’t interest me because the near-perfect Attack On Titan didn’t even make the cut.

To put it mildly, Attack On Titan had an explosive year in 2023, finally concluding the highly acclaimed series after over 10 years. But the penultimate offering might have been arguably the most emotionally gripping moment in anime history. So why wasn’t it even a contender for the award? Crunchyroll, you will pay for these crimes! 

Why AOT Deserved an Anime of the Year Nomination

Two words: The Rumbling.

Attack on Titan has been a global phenomenon since its first season, but the twists and turns that led up to The Rumbling were the most satisfying. The plot only seemed to get more complex and mysterious with every new season, and every answer unveiled only led to a new question. The Final Season: Special 1 begins with The Rumbling, the highly anticipated catastrophic march of Colossal Titans on Marley, led by Eren, and covers how the characters rally together to stop him.

This special episode was perfect for many reasons. It brought us back to Eren’s point of view, showing us how he justified his actions to himself and how he had been grappling with the reality of his fate since he arrived in Marley. MAPPA also spared no details in depicting the devastation of The Rumbling, in a sequence that was quite difficult to watch, despite Attack on Titan’s reputation for gruesome scenes. Moreover, the special also had an emotional core, loaded with scenes like Armin and Annie’s heartfelt conversation, and Hange’s heart-wrenching send-off.

Altogether, all the themes of AOT were laid bare, and we saw the characters at their most vulnerable. Attack on Titan has been a colossal anime for a decade (pun intended), so a snub in the most recognized category seems quite dismissing of a decade’s worth of excellence. There is no doubt that this finale was more than award-worthy, and deserved to be recognized as such.

Did AOT get any nominations?

Fortunately, Attack on Titan wasn’t totally snubbed by the Crunchyroll Awards. Although the second part of the final episode wasn’t eligible for nominations due to its late release date of November, The Final Season, The Final Chapters: Special 1 received multiple nominations. Here are the categories that AOT received nominations in:

• Best Animation

• Best Continuing Series

• Best Director

• Best Cinematography

• Best Action

• Best Drama

• Best Main Character – Eren Jaeger

• Best Supporting Character – Hange Zoe

• Best Score

• Best Voice Artist Performance (Japanese) – Yuki Kaji

Overall, Attack On Titan earned many nominations at the 2024 Crunchyroll Anime Awards, but that is the precise reason why it deserved to have a spot among the Anime of the Year nominees. Nonetheless, the anime took home the awards for Best Drama and Best Score. Crunchyroll had better come through next year, and reward the fans, crew, cast, and of course, Hajime Isayama, with an Anime of the Year nomination for Attack On Titan at the 2025 Anime Awards.


By: Demi Phillips
Title: ‘Attack On Titan’ should have been nominated for Anime of the Year and I’ll die on that hill
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Published Date: Mon, 04 Mar 2024 10:37:56 +0000

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