Pre-Season Rundown #7: Happy Schnapps Combo

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Class Breakdown

Scouts: Monkeysuit and Split

Pocket: Air

Roamer: Photon

Demo: Skyrolla

Medic: Tron

Analysis

Playing scout for the Happy Schnapps Combo will be Monkeysuit and Split, both scouts posses a good amount of IM experience but have never quite broken the upper half of IM before and will look to change that this season. I see Split turning out this season to be an alternate universe version of Tooth at the combo scout Both are extremely smart players with spectacular gamesense, but neither really possess the kind of oppressive DM carried by some of the higher IM scouts. In continuing the alternate universe comparison, Split has the edge over Tooth in DM but Tooth through virtue of his experience has accrued more gamesense. Monkeysuit is a player that has essentially been a journeyman through many different teams over his seasons as a player, usually being a lynchpin of every team but not quite the carry threat of his squad. He has often played the flank scout to work off a strong pocket’s damage, a style of play that seems to suit him extremely well. Now Monkeysuit will go from Bsc to Air and look to breach high IM.

Pocket for the Happy Schnapps combo will be Air while Photon will be occupying the roamer position. Air is a player that either just doesn’t get the chance at greener pastures, or just seems to have some strange preference for teams that may be marginally below his skill level. Despite having the capability to be the best pocket in IM at any time, he has never really played on a team where that he has been allowed the ability to really win games off the strength of his play. A lot of his effort is normally spent keeping his team above water. He has a strange tendency to switch off of Pocket at the slightest indication and play a highly aggressive DM based scout. I’d expect to see this on Viaduct this season as he did last season where he plays scout to allow for one of his normal scouts to off-class to add a different dimension to his team’s play. Photon is a new player to IM this season and will be playing roamer. He has not seemed to play an entire season yet but has played at least half of three different seasons on different squads and seems to consistently be a threatening player. I’d have to see him play more in matches to get a better idea of how he plays, but Happy Schnapps Combo is a team that will revolve almost entirely around the strength of Air to carry it forward and Skyrolla as their secondary threat. He should at most be asked to force ubers and open up space for his combo to take over the game.

Holding down demo and playing with Air for his third straight season will be Skyrolla. Skyrolla is a player that has historically placed pretty well and held his own, but appears at times to essentially be the Andy Dalton Demoman specifically and teams in general. If your team is inferior as a whole and can be beaten by Skyrolla, he can and will roll you hard. But if not, then he may get exposed as there are facets of his game that are just lacking. Overall he is extremely solid but as some players on other teams already discussed, he exemplifies my main worry with the team. He is a very solid mid-IM demoman who will play very well well in the right games, but I think that mid-IM may be his ceiling. He is a jack of all trades for the demoman, but a master of none

Tron seems to be playing medic for this team, he only has two seasons of experience in ESEA and is by far the newest player on this team. His lack of experience may lead to some difficulties for his team and his synergy with Air but he should have some vital aid in the form of Split who has played many seasons of medic in both 6s and HLs. I expect him to be brought up to speed rather rapidly.
My general summation of this team is that they are an extreme mid-IM team, only not holding down the 8th position because of the fact that they can claim to edge out the 8th place team. Important to note is the fact that the 7-9 group of teams are even more interchangeable than the 4-6. All of these teams may possess the capability to force their way up the rankings, but thus far it seems rather unlikely and they will need to find some source of improvement to make that jump.

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