Roamer: Sideways Whoopi Goldberg
Demoman: Kvn (Stalewaffle)
Coming into this week, SYOPS could possibly been as high as 6th as their level of skill was actually surprising, given the combination of a last second forming and a roster comprised of relatively unknown players. In the first version of this season’s SYOPS, they were taking rounds and scrims off of some very good teams in IM. Sadly they seem to have suddenly lost both Kairu and Knuckles from scout for some unknown reasons and have only one scout to replace them thus far. In the few scrims that I have played against Syops, Tatuwah seems to be an a scout on the rise as he is hitting a lot of very good shots as well as off-classing to an uncannily good Sniper. However he makes a few mistakes that wouldn’t be made by a more experienced scout in IM. He may struggle at some points in this season because IM is absolutely filled to the brim with amazing scouts but with help from his more experienced teammates in Cheeriss and KTB he can improve rapidly. SYOPS have not seemed to have found a solid 2nd scout yet, but tryouts have been seen in the form of Nate Rivers and Delpo. Frankly either one of these two scouts would be a ridiculous pickup and a testament to the sheer depth of scout talent hanging around out there. Either way, SYOPS looks to be a team rising in stock.
Playing soldier for SYOPS will be KTB and Sideways Whoopi Goldberg. KTB is woefully underrated as pocket having played on sub-par and mustard led teams for some seasons where he seemed to be a diamond in the rough for these teams. He plays a very long leashed, gunboats pocket that would have been perfectly in place on Pizzagon as he already does what they seem to want out of Deathy. I could use up this entire paragraph showing shock at how he hasn’t gotten a chance at high IM but I feel I will be repeating myself here. The fact that KTB is holding down the pocket spot for a 9th place team is either a testament to this being the best IM season in terms of parity in a while or to the idea that people need to find some inner circles to rise up the ranks.
Sideways Whoopi Goldberg will be the third roamer entirely new to this division, forming the final member of the triangle of new Roamer Blood. As with the other two, I expect him to struggle in places gamesense wise. None of the three seem to have any trouble hitting their rockets when they get the chance to take an even fight but have issues finding the correct fights to take. All 3 roamers have the chance to be very good players in IM, but time will tell if they can hang with some of the best in this division. Cushioning the view of their relative skill level is the fact that most of the roamers in this division aside from Rekuso and Fragg are more role players than highlight-reel creating playmakers.
Sir Kvn.SYOPS will fill in the demolitions expert for this version of SYOPS. Through extensive research I have found that Kvn is most likely Stalewaffle, a former mainstay of tf2.mix and a friend to the Rent-A-Homies boys if his steam groups and avatar is to be believed. He seems to favor speedy rollouts, sometimes to the detriment of his health in order to create more space for his teammates to operate in on mids by getting early damage onto the enemy team. Outside of mids he players a very aggressive demoman that is enabled by KTB playing his loose-leash style, and he hits the shots necessary to make Syops style of play work. Stalewaffle (at least under this account) has only played one season of ESEA before in S14, but he performed admirably against rather strong competition.
Cheeriss is SYOPS, and the team she is bringing into IM this time will have a lot of potential to be a strong IM team. At times one could accuse of her being a little too passive and sometimes valuing her health just a little bit too much, but that seems to have been a team dependent tendency and SYOPS has been seen making some very clean aggressive dry-pushes to take space and points.
Overall SYOPS as a team is a rather large question mark. They already seemed to have gathered a good sense of coordination, or they listen intently to their main caller (who I assume to be Cheeris). For a team mostly comprised of newer, unknown players having one main voice leading the charge consistently may be the best way for them undergo the learning process to play at an IM level. If Syops does make a strong pick-up in either Delpo or Nate Rivers, don’t be surprised if they rise up as high as the second tier of teams.