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Invite Week 1 Review & Week 2 Preview


   Alto   - 9/14/2018

Week 1 Match Reviews

While not every match ended up delivering last week, the one close game we did have delivered in spades. While it was unfortunate that DENNYS or Bv were unable to put up much of a fight, IRENE/>> (casted by zagron and myself, VOD available here) more than made up for it. Let’s get into it.

Note: DENNYS will be referred to as such until I get word of a more permanent name change.

IRENE vs. Fast Forward

Map: koth_product_rc9
Predicted: 4-2 IRENE
Result: 4-3 IRENE

What a barnburner to open the season. This match had a lot of ways it potentially could’ve gone, but I doubt anyone expected these two teams to be slugging it out in frantic, messy DM fights for as long as they did. The easiest way to sum up this match is sorting the logs by kills: Fallen outfragged anyone else in the server by 12, followed by 6 players from IRENE, then the rest of >>. He went above and beyond expectations by consistently competing with and winning against bo4r, but the rest of >> was just ever so slightly getting edged out by the DM and experience on IRENE to allow them to nag such a narrow victory. The game was chaotic and wild, but also had some beautiful collapses and fights, so I’d really encourage you to watch the VOD if you haven’t already (and that’s more than me just self-promoting!). It’s got all you would want in a cast.

It’s actually hard to analyze in retrospect because the fights were all extremely close and split-second calls and decisions led to huge gains and losses that resulted in rounds. Some observations: IRENE had the better ubers, but >> tended to win the longer, more drawn out fights due to their better coordination and collapses. >>’s holds were directly tied to how well they were able to prevent b4nny from edging 60+% of the cap on his own, and the rounds they won all had b4niel getting caught repeatedly. I’ll make a conservative guess and say that 30/36 of Jarrett’s kills came from decloaking in the same corner in main, showing that even though he outfragged DelDongo his adaptability on Spy is still lacking, something that teams with more preparation/their main pyro could take advantage of. >>’s flank got outpaced as expected, although rain did show good awareness on the class having some absolute devastating bombs in post fights. That being said, despite having 10 more than rain, almost all of speedy’s deaths seemed to get his team at least something, which wasn’t always true of his counterpart. Exile managed to outdamage habib while having far lower kills and more deaths, meaning he’s either not being protected enough or dying from his damage. Finally, Skye showed that she’s definitely rusty in HL gamesense, donating quite a few kills over to DelDongo and Fallen that someone more experienced in the gamemode may not have given. Going forward, IRENE’s definitely going to be a tough team to beat, but the rest of the league should be thankful that >> showed they are mortal and for laying a pretty solid groundwork for how to beat them.

MVPs: Fallen Lord (57 frags, 1st overall, +12 over 2nd), Jarrett (33/36 kills on combo + sniper), b4nny (72 K+A, 1st overall, +13 over 2nd, 11 captures)

Galactic Kids Next Door vs. DENNYS

Map: koth_product_rc9
Predicted: 4-1 KND
Result: 4-0 KND

A bit of a disappointment for the Daydreaming Ding Donguses (Dongi?), unable to really make KND sweat coming out of the gates. I don’t think this is damning for DENNYS by any means, as they were expected to come into the season slow out of the gate and it’s better to have a weak showing against KND than against, say, AD or >>. That being said, it’s certainly disappointing because it feels like DENNYS has all the pieces to really bring it to the Kids, but weren’t able to put it together this week. There’s not much to say: every combat class on KND went positive when Nursey wasn’t even playing, Bowl broke 600 dpm and KND was able to drop Wall 4 times, 3 coming from Jacob. DENNYS’ bright spot this game was andrew, the only one on his team able to pull a neutral k/d, and winning the SvS 9-4 while his team was getting rolled.

MVPs: Bowl (623 dpm, 1st overall, +142 over 2nd, 5 med kills, 3rd frag), Jacob (29 kills, 2nd overall, 5 med kills, 3 drops)

Apolodosh vs. Chill Penguins

Map: koth_product_rc9
Predicted: 4-0 AD
Result: 4-0 AD

While I was hoping for this match to be a lot closer than it was, it just wasn’t in Bv’s cards. In fact, this match was extremely close to KND/DENNYS (AD outfragged Bv 184-110 to KND’s 181-106, differentials of 74 and 75), which isn’t exactly the kind of close we’re hoping for. Once again, we see the every combat player on the winning team go positive, and this time two players on the losing team go neutral (smitty and zoey). Shaayy absolutely subjugated Bv this game, going 41/13 with an insane 651 dpm. Pablo had a good showing, the only other player to break 30 frags, with River behind them at 25. If anything, Bv’s bright spot here is Dinko, coming into his first real top-level match while having fairly competitive stats with xbs considering how hard his team was getting rolled. It’s not a good omen for Bv considering that AD is the one team they’re likely to take a win off of this season, but they’ve got 9 weeks left to improve and thankfully next week is a stopwatch map.

MVPs: shaayy (41 kills, 1st overall, +10 over 2nd, 651 dpm, 1st overall, +162 over 2nd)

Week 2 Match Predictions

In all likelihood, week 2 looks to be a less competitive than week 1, as there’s only one match this week that’s likely to be close.

Galactic Kids Next Door vs. Fast Forward - Match of the Week

Bans: Steel (KND), Borneo (>>), Vigil (>>), Upward (KND)
Map: pl_swiftwater_final1

This match will be casted by Zagron and myself at!

Fast Forward continue their rough early schedule, having to play IRENE and KND in back to back weeks. While I don’t think we’re likely to see a game as close as what we saw with IRENE last week, >> definitely proved they can tussle with the big boys, especially with the potential emergence of Fallen. I feel bad bringing him up so often, but it’s very likely that if he can continue his week 1 performance all season that he’ll be one of the most dangerous players in the league. On top of that, he’s quickly looking like >>’s strongest member against a KND who’s sniper is most likely their weakest; while SGC did top frag last week, he heavily lost the SvS and the enemy spy was heavily shut down, leading to me the conclusion that he was somewhat riding on his team's success. Swiftwater’s a good map for >> to play around this mismatch, as it’s really the only one they’ve got. 2nd and 4th are both points where it can extremely hard to gain any momentum as the pushing team, and the small chokepoints help to neutralize the DM differences between the two teams and let >>’s coordination shine through. If >> can play around Fallen and keep him safe while making sure that Bowl and Jacob don’t run away with the game in the meantime, them taking a half or even the match isn’t out of the question.

That being said, KND’s win condition sits at a much simpler ‘Kill Fallen’. If SGC’s able to compete with Fallen in the SvS or Jacob is allowed to get on him, it’ll spell disaster for exile and crew. Similar to last week, >> is outclassed in DM and experience just like they were against IRENE, but in this case they’re likely outcoordinated as well and putting all their eggs in one gourd basket. I don’t want to make it sound like SGC and Fallen are the only two players in this game that matter, but for the sake of the narrative around this game, they might as well be. Switch the two and this match looks bleak for >>, mandating that SGC massively step up and putting a lot of additional pressure on DelDongo to go ham against what is probably the best spychecking combo in the league. In both cases, the path to victory is there, but the former is a lot more actualized assuming >> plays as they normally do, whereas the latter relies on multiple players overperforming combined with underperformances from KND. My prediction for this is 2-0, but expect these to be very close rounds and don’t be surprised if >> can snag a half either.

Prediction: 2-0 KND
Gamechangers: Fallen Lord, SGC

Apolodosh vs. IRENE

Bans: Steel (AD), Swiftwater (IRENE), Vigil (IRENE), Upward (AD)
Map: pl_borneo

I feel bad writing AD out of this one because every time I do that they surprise me, but I think IRENE won this match once they banned Vigil. I have to question AD’s choice to ban steel, considering that I don’t see IRENE’s roster functioning well on Steel without a strong voice like Karl in the team to lead them around. Assuming that Froyotech can’t play Borneo is an assumption that’s led many Prolander teams to ruin, and even if shaayy is going to keep up with bo4r (which is possible), my personal thoughts are that Borneo does a bad job of allowing AD’s trademark aggression to shine, on offense at least. I still remember DpM holding team spu on borneo last for 5+ minutes running Arzt (then playing pyro) on phlog, taking aggressive ubers into spu’s combo. This is a different time, however, as players of IRENE’s caliber are going to punish overaggression on defense rather than be caught out on it. As always, assume there is and always be a chance of AD snagging a round, but I’m not thinking it’s too likely.

Prediction: 2-0 IRENE
Gamechangers: shaayy, RonnieJ, madringme

DENNYS vs. Chill Penguins

Bans: Vigil (DENNYS), Upward (Bv), Swiftwater (Bv), Steel (DENNYS)
Map: pl_borneo

While DENNYS may have looked anything but menacing last week against KND, Bv’s certainly seeing them as the Goliath to their David. It’ll take a lot for Bv to even cap last, with their problems starting with andrew and pretty much continuing down the rest of the DENNYS roster. I’d have to imagine smitty won’t be as reliable on PL map meaning that even more will be on their pick classes to make advantages, and I’d really like to see the team play around Johnny a little more. I don’t think his play is anywhere near the level that it used to be, but by some of his… striking K/Ds it’s clear he’s playing aggressively to try to make something happen, so if the rest of the flank worked with him it might make a miracle happen. And I say this because I feel like Bv needs a miracle to win; they don’t match up well with DENNYS in my opinion. But who knows? Maybe we’ll see pigs fly and phlogs burn.

Prediction: 2-0 DENNYS
Gamechangers: 88, zoey, Johnny

Power Rankings

1. Kids Next Door
3. Fast Forward
5. Apolodosh
6. Chill Penguins

No change in the rankings this week. >>’s tight game with IRENE combined with DENNYS lack of ability to put knd under any kind of pressure only solidifies their current placements. AD’s 4-0 over Bv means the bottom of the table isn’t likely to change any time soon either.