PKL 8 preview: The story of every team in one line

Pro Kabaddi League

The first line sums up their previous seasons, while the second looks at their upcoming campaign. Also, a bonus pre-season prediction of the six teams that we think will feature in the playoffs.

Bengal Warriors

Won their first title despite missing talisman Maninder Singh in the final and were consistency personified throughout.

Managed to retain most of their best players and have added proven performers like Rishank Devadiga and Abozar Mighani.

Bengaluru Bulls

Pawan Kumar Sehrawat scored points by the truckloads yet again as the then defending champions reached the semifinals, where they lost to Dabang Delhi KC.

Have added more support for Sehrawat in the form of skillful raiders like Chandran Ranjit and Deepak Narwal but their defence lacks experience.

Dabang Delhi KC

The prodigious Naveen Kumar was the standout player of the season and led them to the final where their senior players imploded on the biggest stage.

Naveen and Vijay Kumar Malik will be key again but they have added tons of experience in the form of Ajay Thakur, Sandeep Narwal, Manjeet Chhillar and Joginder Narwal.

Gujarat Giants

After topping the league phase in their first two seasons, Gujarat looked jaded and finished ninth.

They have the best defence on paper, with Parvesh Bhainswal, Ravinder Pahal and Sunil Kumar in their ranks, but none of their raiders has a proven track record in the PKL.

Haryana Steelers

Vikash Kandola impressed in a young team that punched above its weight to make the playoffs.

Surender Nada is finally back and how his fitness holds up might be key to their fortunes.

Jaipur Pink Panthers

Had a star-studded squad but failed to make the playoffs (same as the season before that).

Bizarrely chose to retain their perpetually bickering players from last season and Deepak Niwas Hooda, Amit Hooda and Sandeep Kumar Dhull will now need to repay the faith.

Patna Pirates

Pardeep Narwal was on song again but the three-time champions lacked in quality elsewhere and finished a lowly eighth.

Failed to address their biggest problem traditionally - their defence, but seemed to have got reasonable replacements for Pardeep with a combination of Sachin, Monu Goyat and Prashanth Kumar Rai as the main raiders.

Puneri Paltan

Anup Kumar impressed as coach but their big players failed to deliver as they finished a disappointing 10th.

Had a superb auction with Anup's influence clear; and in Baldev Singh and Vishal Bhardwaj, they have a defence better than most others.

Tamil Thalaivas

Perennial wooden spooners, finished absolute bottom for the third year in a row.

They will do well to finish anywhere above the bottom three after another poor auction.

Telugu Titans

Siddharth Desai suffered from second season blues and the team missed the playoffs to finish 11th.

Might be an encore as they seem to have pinned all their hopes on Desai again.

U Mumba

Impressed like always in the league stage but were stopped in the semifinals by the eventual champions.

Retained their best players, Abhishek Singh and Fazel Atrachali, but failed to make a mark at the auctions with a vastly reduced purse; squad depth will be a concern for them.

UP Yoddha

Were typically efficient and cohesive as a team to make the playoffs for the third successive season.

With Pardeep Narwal, Nitesh Kumar, Shrikant Jadhav and Sumit in their ranks, their starting seven is as good as it gets.

ESPN's picks for six playoff places -- Bengal Warriors, Bengaluru Bulls, Dabang Delhi KC, Gujarat Giants, Puneri Paltan, UP Yoddha