Scout: Phlps and Tooth
Roamer: THE FRAGG
Starting from the scouts, I believe that Tooth and Phlps are already a strong scout combo that will only improve as the season goes. While Tooth does not have an incredible amount of time playing scout in 6s competitively, he is one of the smartest players out there and definitely one of the smartest players in IM specifically. Already in the pre-season he seems to be able to hold his own DM wise against pretty much any scout in the division, and any possible deficiencies he may have at first can be covered partially by the fact that he is the combo scout. He does not have to hit every meat shot out there, he needs to play intelligently to fill in wherever his combo needs him and I believe Tooth is well-prepped for this kind of role. Phlps, his scout partner is one of the most woefully underrated scouts in the entire division and maybe in greater TF2. The dude is just a tenderizer, he just DMs with blatant disregard for human life. If there is anything else we can say about Mustard, is that he tends to find the most ridiculously skilled lesser known scouts from HL and gives them a chance to shine. He still was somewhat limited, but that seems to be entirely gone with Six Guys Off as Phlps is going 10 2 10.
Continuing the woeful underrating of Six Guys off, the soldier combo of Farns and Fragg are going to rip some teams apart in this upcoming season. Farnsworth has a wealth of experience on pocket and plays a very balanced pocket role, not quite as loose as Deathy’s or KTB’s gunboat pocket but not nearly as attached to the heal beam as Mustard or Trip. He is very willing to detach himself from the beam to go make space, while returning to his medic for extremely solid ubers. Some of this can definitely be attributed to seasons of experience with Kig as his medic as they work together extraordinarily. I would rate Farns as the third best pocket this season. Picking up the roamer role is Fragg who, simply put, makes plays. In Topshot Boys two seasons ago in IM, whenever they would stall out and need something done Fragg was the man for the job. If there is some hole in your flank chances are that Fragg has already used it to get a pick or a force. Players who are this opportunistic would normally get caught out a lot as they probe for plays but Fragg does not seem to get trapped in that pitfall. Whether this impressive game-sense is due to him being reigned in by his teammates or he just seems to know does not matter. Either way he manages to be clean with his bombs and keeps his death count free of unnecessary inflation.
Continuing his stint as demoman for the third straight season is Topshot. He has shown dramatic improvement over his last few seasons as he made his transition from roamer to demoman. He is interesting in that he seems to almost have better pills than stickies, though his proficiency with the stickybomb launcher is far from deficient. He plays a very solid demoman and is consistently well coordinated with his team for peaks and pushes, putting damage on the right places and people. He plays a very controlled demoman in that he doesn’t take bad fights and he protects himself more than adequately before making what could potentially be a dangerous peek. I look for him to continue improving at his class because so much of demoman is experience and gamesense, which takes time to accumulate. The transition can take an extended length of time for anyone, and especially switching from a class that generally sacrifices itself to the blood god. I tend to have him hovering around the 5th best demoman in IM. This season has a pretty good amount of skilled demomen in comparison to past seasons, which generally had one or two in a league of their own.
Kig is the third addition to the team coming with Farns from The Grime in invite. He seems to be a highly intelligent medic who plays extremely well with his team, not being afraid to potentially put himself in danger to get heals on people mid-fight without taking spam meant for other people. His seasons of experience with Farnsworth definitely shows in some borderline hivemind moments as Kig has gotten used to what Farns wants to do and when. It is this mix of experience and skill that leads me to award Farns and Kig the best pocket/medic combo in IM. Whereas all of the other competing pockets are switching medics and having to rebuild synergy, Kig and Farns already possess it in spades.
All in all, Six Guys Off is a team which is surprisingly underrated. They have the DM and Gamesense to hang around with any other team in the division. Their soldiers make more than enough room for Tooth and Phlps to pick teams apart and do not expect them to make dumb calling mistakes. This is a team comprised entirely of intelligent players with a large amount of experience in high IM and some Invite. I wouldn’t be surprised if by the end of the season I’m proved wrong and they make a serious run at the top 3.