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Invite Week 3 Review & Week 4 Preview


   Alto   - 9/30/2018

Week 3 Match Reviews

The exciting match results continue, although unfortunately we weren’t able to capture that in the cast. We saw the results of two matchups being unexpected this week, meaning that our conceptions of how these teams stack up are definitely up for question.

Galactic Kids Next Door vs. IRENE

Map: koth_cascade_rc1a
Predicted: 4-2 KND
Result: 4-0 IRENE
Logs 1 Logs 2

I think it’s safe to say that this game was not what anyone thought it’d be. Even with KND’s weakness on cascade, common thought was that they were still the better team, but the results of this match show that there is clearly some discrepancy between thought and reality. Be it KND’s performance on cascade, their overall strength, or the strength of IRENE’s new roster, something was clearly misjudged on my end because this match was one of the biggest stomps I’ve ever seen between two teams of this level. IRENE put on a clinic on how to play tf2 (or at least cascade), with every playing taking part and shutting down their counterpart, with maybe the exception of arekk. Bo4r had an absolutely massive performance, taking pages out of >>’s book last week by killing Bowl early and often in fights and pushes. B4nny and habib were massive, with b4nny seemingly spending more time on KND’s side of the map then his own, and carcin utilized lower extremely well as a distraction allowing Jarrett and the flank to crush the Kids. KND looked lost the entire match, only finding a small bit of momentum at the end to no avail, as their juggernaut demoman was shut down and Nursey was getting farmed by IRENE’s superior aggression. Sounds odd to type, I know, but she really couldn’t catch a break. I mentioned it on cast, but there was a bomb by Habib in the first round where he killed Nursey in the middle of her combo, and it felt like that was it. KND’s the team where that doesn’t happen, between Nursey’s own skill and their combo’s skill at protecting her. Simply put, I think it was one of ‘those’ games. They didn’t have oblivion again this week which definitely hurts, but unlike their last loss it wouldn’t have made enough of a difference. While I’m hesitant to draw too much out of this for KND, I think IRENE’s performance shows that they’ve “arrived”, so to speak. Unless they majorly falter in the coming weeks, I think this match sets up IRENE as the team to beat this season.

MVPs: bo4r (top frag), carcin, Jarrett (combine your logs if you want more indepth MVPs!)

Fast Forward vs. Chill Penguins

Map: koth_ashville_rc1
Predicted: 4-0 >>
Result: 4-0 >>
Logs 1 Logs 2

While the other two upsets this week (rightfully) steal the show this week, even though Bv didn’t manage to take any rounds against >>, I think this was a good match from them. In both the 2nd and 3rd rounds Bv managed to stake a legitimate shot at winning, wit the 2nd round being a 7 minute slugfest where the 3rd was slightly shorted but buoyed by a 16 kill round from turkeylips, who nearly top fragged overall. It’s not necessarily anything tangible for Bv in terms of match points, but I still think it’s a step in the right direction that’s showing improvement from week 1.

MVPs: turkeylips, wish, spamfest

Apolodosh vs. The Faction

Map: koth_lakeside_final
Predicted: 4-2 f
Result: 4-2 AD

The hits really do keep coming, don’t they? There are a lot of factors that went into this match, some of which involve league policies and administrative discretion, that I don’t think it’d be right for me to comment on. Know that much like KND/>>, this match has some asterisks.

That being said, it’s good to see that AD’s round off of IRENE last week wasn’t just a flash in the pan. This could’ve (and should’ve) been anyone’s game, but AD played strong as a team to clutch it in the end. Looking at the logs, it’s clear the match seemed to be a battle of Andrew vs. dev, old Jammers pick classes pitted against each other. Andrew was clearly setting the pace of the game from the start, with his near-constant presence getting kills on point, retaliated by dev’s lockdown over bathhouse. Due to some pauses, Arzt lagging and some of the aforementioned asterisks this game was a long one, with both players seeing a roster change mid-match as AD brought in Bowl and The Faction called eerie back in towards the end. This might be the reason, then, why neither combo seemed to be especially dominant; both put up acceptable statlines and damage but neither appear to be the driving force behind the win. Additionally, all those delays increased the length of the match significantly, and long matches tend to turn into endurance tests just as much as skill tests. AD as a team, both this season and in past seasons, have played some true marathons (IRENE v AD this season, AD vs. DK last season, DpM vs. money s23). It’s obvious that as time went on and tilt started to set in, AD was winning the mental game by quite a decent amount, clearly experienced at staying in mumble past 11pm EST if it means taking a win.

Without having seen the match live it’s hard to accurately tell how things went, but shaayy managed to put up a strong performance in light of andrew’s dominance, whereas Dongus crumbled against dev’s presence on flank. Syath was able to outperform pablo in scout battles, but factoring in the engineers and soldiers it wasn’t enough to buoy the flank from being lost. Likewise, Mad had a much easier time of it than Joe did, with his +10 frags almost evening out the pick class frags. Overall, AD put up a strong team front and was able to capitalize on the weaker members of the Faction and pull out a win. I don’t think this match means that the potential I talked about f having in preseason isn’t there, just that it’s apparently harder to pull out than initially thought.

MVPs: dev (54 frags, 2nd overall, +35 over counterpart), andrew (58 frags, 1st overall, +19 over next highest on team), shaayy (44 frags, 3rd overall)

Week 4 Match Predictions

Just when I thought we may have had a “weaker” slate of matches last week, we have some surprising results that are definitely shaking up the standings, making the preseason “battle for 3rd’ between >>/f a little more spicy given f’s loss last week. Additionally, a slumping KND square off against a surging AD, a match that until last week would’ve likely been overlooked but is now potentially a key matchup going forward. As the second set-map week comes in, all of the teams in the middle of the pack jockeying for position are going to be bringing their all.

Galactic Kids Next Door vs. Apolodosh

Bans: n/a
Map: pl_upward

Feels bad for AD that they don’t get to work a pick/ban this time, due to the apparent work it’s done for them in past weeks. With their historic performance on Vigil, KND’s faltering on Swiftwater in week 2 and AD being able to nearly upset IRENE on Borneo (that KND wasn’t able to take a round against last week), it feels like more of the maps in the rotation favor AD as far as them taking a round goes, but unfortunately they’re stuck on Upward. It’s difficult to get a read on either team’s position right now, since AD’s consistently outperformed expectation and KND looked really lost last week, and I’m not sure how much of that gets chalked up to Cascade. Shaayy’s been an extremely consistent performer who should have the leg up on SGC, and if Dev and the AD flank are able to roll last week’s performance into this one there’s a definite chance they take rounds. KND’s harder to read, because I want to assume they’re going to surge back after last week, but I said that after week 2 and the exact opposite happened. I don’t think AD has the raw DM to completely shut out KND in the same faction, but they certainly have the cohesion to pull out a long game and to shut down Bowl. He’s had a rough past two weeks, and is going to need to refine his play going further if KND wants to live up to expectations.

Prediction: 2-1 KND
Gamechangers: dev, shaayy, Bowl, obliv (if he shows up?)

The Faction vs. Fast Forward - Match of the Week

Bans: n/a
Map: pl_upward

This match will be casted by MDS and myself at!

Similar to KND, I think the Faction benefits from being defaulted to Upward this week. I think it’s hard to argue Andrew currently being the best sniper in league right now based off of season performances, and Upward is arguably his best map. The Faction is limping into this coming off AD’s long, upset win on Lakeside and playing on their best player’s best map is exactly the kind chance they need to prove they’re still in this season, against a Fast Forward who have by all means overperformed so far this season. The Faction will be having crab_f take over soldier duties from the dearly departed Dongus with Witness subbing in for heavy as eerie has work commitments. Crab vs. Dongus is a difficult comparison to make, with Dongus’ success on dK last season opposed by crab’s superior experience. Witness should also be more than capable on heavy, meaning that the questions about Faction’s legitimacy this season remain the same: can their flank make enough space against higher teams for their combo to work off of? Can they make momentum and advantages when Andrew isn’t top fragging the server? Will the combo synergy ever take off? Will Joe be stuck in amby/DR spy rehab until the end of his days?

Coming off a closer-than-expected but still dominant win over Bv, >> remains in the same spot strength-wise after their win against KND. They’ve got decidedly more momentum on their side than Faction, but also a lot less to prove. Wish and rain are still performing well, their combo remains reliable, and Fallen and Dongo are one of the more consistent, productive pick class combos in the division. While the narrative of the early weeks of the season may have painted them as the main character of this anime, with their two toughest matches out of the way the spotlight shifts to Faction and AD; AD taking the ‘challenger’ spot from >> after their wins, and Faction looking to (re)gain their lost glory/power ranking spot. The ball’s really in their court right now, needing to come up with strong performances both this week and next against a surging IRENE to really stake their foot back in the playoff race. For this match, the questions above are what’ll be important. I think they can take a half off of Andrew’s contributions alone, but Fallen’s been improving steadily and we saw last week that Andrew going off isn’t enough to secure f a win. I’ll be looking for crab to have a strong debut and Joe to step up after a poor performance last week to help him out.

Prediction: 2-1 >>
Gamechangers: crab_f, Joe, Fallen

Chill Penguins vs. IRENE

Bans: n/a
Map: pl_upward

”Take your lumps like a man, Private Twinkletoes.” - The Soldier, TF2

Prediction: 2-0 IRENE
Gamechangers: turkeylips, smitty, zoey

Power Rankings

1. IRENE (+2)
2. Galactic Kids Next Door (-1)
3. Fast Forward (-1)
4. Apolodosh (+1)
5. The Faction (-1)
6. Chill Penguins

Lots of movement after week. I was clearly jumping the gun when knocking IRENE down after them dropping a round to AD, but in my defense I don’t think anyone expected their win this week to be nearly as strong as it was. I don’t feel confident in putting >> ahead of KND though, given how close their match was, making me think that IRENE’s really just that far ahead of everyone else if they’re able to keep up their performance from last week. I’m jumping AD over f here because they really haven’t had a bad week, whereas The Faction’s underperformed to some extent in ⅔ weeks so far and only looked good against Bv, who’s a clear 6th right now. Expect upward movement from The Faction if they’re able to win this week and show that last week was just a glitch.