As it turns out, today is, in fact, Monday and there are, in fact, matches today in my beloved Advanced division. In fact, the match today is between my dear friend
Blintank (no z) and the most fearsome Europeans ever to grace Advanced. Will my American friends suffer an upset in the Revolutionary War (Pt. II)? Short Answer: Mayhaps. Lower Bracket Finals: 1 Korean, 9 Keyboards vs. division dysphoria (0-2)
Maps (in order): Product, Swiftwater, Steel
While I questioned the picks and bans of brandon last week, they showed me in their match just how wrong I was. While they failed to win the map that they chose (Lakeside), they (almost) 5-0 swept gotta blast on both Ashville and Steel. While they struggled against marker and e-boy on Ashville, they showed that maybe it was more of a fluke that they took such a decisive L rather than it being indicative of their overall level of skill. While I thought that Steel would be closer, it ended up being fairly one-sided with dysphoria managing to hold for 7:40 against gotta blast in the first round and had a 4:50 time to win in the second round, beating g2b's time of 5:50. It seems that they just out coordinated gotta blast, something I thought they would struggle to do.
1k9k had a (unfortunately predictable) loss against marker and e-boy after suffering the loss of
FunnyBunny who were replaced by
rebyte. They lost both Product and Ashville 3-0. It seemed that their team, overall, just struggled to get much done against the team of
Markers. This match will, more than anything, depend on their ability to adjust to yet another new set of substitutes in
Markers (of marker and e-boy) and
Zoomzxe (of Impostors). While both of these players are top-of-the-division on their class, it will depend on how well they mesh with the gamers on 1k9k more than how good they are, as we saw last week especially with their mixed scrim results going into this match.
I expect that, with the presence of
Markers on Sniper, 1k9k will begin to feel closer to as strong as they have felt in the past on Product. However, I do not think
Zoomzxe is quite as good as
FunnyBunny at just not dying and holding onto advantage. Without that edge, the uber-centric playstyle of combo
san antonio 1998 green mustang might struggle to put in work. This problem will only be compounded by the impressive gameplay of
Cheers and the threatening presence of
piney for dysphoria who has the ability to stop the 1k9k combo dead in their tracks. If
Theoretical Spy is able to put in enough work, 1k9k may be able to take a few rounds, but it will not be easy.
Predicted Map Score: (1-3)
Match Score: 0-1
On Swiftwater I would usually give the edge to 1k9k but considering the fact that dysphoria simply outplayed gotta blast on Steel, a much more coordination-focused map, I am hesitant to say that 1k9k will be able to out-coordinate dysphoria here. I think that the Sniper matchup here is fairly even so I will say that either Spy (
Zokie0 for dysphoria or
Theoretical Spy for 1k9k) going especially big could allow their team to take some rounds that they should not. However, I think that the combo of
extrasolar for dysphoria is better than the combo of 1k9k with the exception of
Bliztank for 1k9k being a higher-impact gamer than
Cookie for dysphoria. This map should be close, at least on paper, with only a slight edge to dysphoria's combo but I think that will be enough to secure their 2-0 W here. If they miss this chance, and 1k9k gets the momentum, this is also a map that could easily break their morale just enough to allow 1k9k to pull out a win on Steel.
Predicted Score: 1-2
Match Score: 0-2
If the match goes to Steel, which it could, then I think it will depend more than anything on who has the momentum of winning Swiftwater. Dysphoria carried immense momentum from a clean 3-1 win on Ashville into Steel and then won the map 2-0. If they are instead upset on Swiftwater it could swing the match in favor of 1k9k. That being said, momentum can only do so much. Last week, dysphoria proved they can play the map while 1k9k has never been tested against a high-Advanced team in a match on the map. That is not to say that 1k9k cannot play the match, just that their lack of familiarity may come back to haunt them. I expect to see big things out of
Cheers who have all performed well on the map in the past. The players most likely to shut down these gamers are
Markers. I think that the edge of the combo of Dysphoria will carry over onto Steel.
Predicted Result: 2-0 to whoever wins Steel
Predicted Match Result: Whoever wins Swiftwater wins if it goes to map 3. Player vs. Player Matchup
Cheers (Medium Advantage)
Cheers has been dominant recently, even performing very well against
randyw for marker and e-boy. There is no doubt that he was already at the top of the division and with his current streak of performances he might even be the best in the division. J_Peg has been a very solid performer but I think he might just be outclassed here.
Diego (Small Advantage)
I think Kami is one of the best soldiers in the division at both Product and Steel. Since both of these maps are being played, I want to give him a slight edge here. That being said, Diego also has the ability to do well on all the maps in this match if he is given the space to put in work.
Cookie (Medium Advantage)
Bliztank is just able to do a lot of work for his team and his ability to get the funny picks has been a driving force to his team's ability to win. That being said, when he is not holding his W key he is able able to do a lot. The ability to not hold W and still have a sizable impact is what gives him the edge over Cookie here.
san antonio 1998 gren mustang <
brandon (Small Advantage)
While brandon being LFT in Main may indeed be a bit funny the reality is that he has the ability to play demo at a top-Advanced level. Mustang has shown himself to be a solid performer, especially on Product, but he lacks the raw DM ability which has allowed dysphoria's combo to wreak havoc in almost all of their matches on almost every map.
extrasolar (Medium Advantage)
Bz is a good player who has improved a lot. That being said, the Premiership (in ETF2L) Heavy extrasolar simply has him beat in experience on the class. On a different class this might be less important but the edge offered to the smarter pootis, especially on maps like Steel and Swiftwater, can easily allow them to perform while the other pootis is left unable to do anything.
Abridge (Medium Advantage)
Zoomzxe is an Invite-level medic. He might be a bit silly sometimes but he has both the ability and the brainpower to perform exceptionally well here. That being said, if his combo fails to do anything, Zoomzxe will as well.
Reptiguru (Small Advantage)
I think Constantly is the better Stopwatch Engineer and there are two Stopwatch maps being played. At KOTH I think that Reptiguru is a Medium Advantage player.
piney (Small Advantage)
With his own team, Markers may be able to compete with piney but that is only because his own team has had weeks to learn what Markers needs in order to succeed against good snipers. Without that edge I think that a matchup that I would normally say was even will instead be tipped slightly towards Piney. Piney simply has the aim and the gamesense to punish any Sniper who lacks information.
Theoretical Spy >
Zokie0 (Large Advantage)
Theoretical Spy is just good at the class. He may not be the best in the division but he is honestly not far off with the ability to do disgusting amounts of work. Especially against
Cookie, I expect Theo to be able to do even more work than he usually does for his team. His ability to pick
Piney will likely be one of, if not the biggest, decider of who wins this match. Good Luck to Both Teams in This Match. I Look Forward to Seeing Either of You in Grand Finals!