Hello and welcome to what will inevitably by worst written and most rushed power rankings for the entire season, I’ve got little time and a lot of work to do so this will be extremely short. I’ll try to make up for it with detailed analysis of the playoff matchups.
The brownest map since Dust2 has finished and was relatively benign in terms of marquee matchups. Most of the teams simply took care of thier business and are getting ready to move on to the next week. Viaduct week is absolutely stacked this week in what I’m going to just call revenge week for the sake of catchy names. Sadly this week would have been the one I would like to make the most amount of ridiculous pre-week predictions butttttt I’m not. Sorry. Maybe.
1. -Bird Noises-
Bird Noises came out and put in a sub-20 minute destruction of the Syops boys and girls in a convincing roll. Then they surprised and shocked me by entering into a 57 minute slugfest that was aboslutely astonishingly close. It appears that Spamfest just played out of his mind the entire game topfragging and logging a ton of damage while still turning in 17 point captures. I haven’t the time to watch it in full but honestly Sparkle Gang is not a team that Bird Noises should struggle this mightily with. I haven’t done the full math but this game looks to have been played at a much faster pace than -Bird Noises- usual affairs with almost 5 frags a minute compared to the usual 4.1 or so a minute in their other close games. I’ll maintain their position at first now because the other top teams have struggled moreso with other teams far below them and Sparkle Gang seemed to have been swinging above their weight class this game.
Bird Noises only plays 1 Viaduct game against Bruiser Brigade, instead they have a gaem against FAT Gaming on Granary. This is by far the match of the week and when I thought it was viaduct I was willing to argue that the game depended upon what class H5 played. But seeing as the game is actually on granary, I think the skill of the -Bird Noises- soldiers will give them the advantage with Botmode on scout. It will be -Bird Noises- chance to avenge their only loss this season.
2. Pizzagon Esports
Pizzagon had a very pedestrian week on Viaduct, dispatching Sparkle Gang (I’m sorry Rekuso I know that -Bird Noises- struggled against a team you rolled, but their total body of work this season is more impressive) and getting a forfeit win. This week they have what may actually be the best game of the week, by virtue of being on Viaduct instead of Granary, where they play against FAT Gaming. They pretty easily dispatched FAT on Sunshine week, but on a more DM heavy map like Viaduct I think that FAT will put up a vicious fight. Both teams have the ability to play music chairs with their class setups if they feel like it in order to mix up and adjust to what the other team is giving them. Scizor can snipe full time moving one of the soldiers to Scout but so can Sen which could move H5 to scout. To me whatever class H5 plays is a huge factor in the result of this game. Overall I just predict a high octane game that sure end very closely. If FAT pull off both of these wins, they will make me look extremely stupid for where I place them (SPOILER ALERT, it’s 4th)
3. Exultance TF2
I just have no idea what to do with these guys. As a great poet once said: they’re hot and their cold, they’re yes and they’re no, they’re rolling and they’re rolled. One round they are juggernauts, the next push they look like they are playing under radio silence. I didn’t actually have the time to slot in a watch of their STV against FAT Gaming on Metalworks (I’ll do that before the playoff write-ups), but for now I’ll assume they showed their incredible brand of shell game where you think you’ve got them before they’ve got you right where they want you then let you out of the trap only for you to walk into another one of their traps. I put them all the way up in third based solely on the strength of their results, essentially back to where I first put them all the way back in the 1st week. If it wasn’t for their incredible implosion against Liko and the Manlets on process, Exultance would probably end this season with 15 wins. Essentially they are guaranteed to go 14-2 barring another ridiculous implosion and depending on how many rounds PIzzagon get in their games they can end up only in 2nd or 3rd seed. Pizzagon can get a max of 13 rounds with 2 games on Viaduct and 1 on Granary to end up with 72 RF to Exultance’s 71. So if Pizzagon loses a game or doesn’t get the max rounds by 2 Exultance grabs 2nd. Fat Gaming can’t pass them even with a perfect week and max rounds, they can tie rounds but I think it will come to Head-2-Head which Exultance controls. So for all their various shenanigans, they are still top 3 are worse.
4. FAT Gaming
FAT Gaming had a massive spree of easy games for most of teh season starting after their loss to Pizzagon in game two. They easily handled Six Guys and Liko during the mid-season. Essentially the biggest game they could have had post Pizzagon was Exultance but they couldn’t pull out a win. The only game that really mattered that much and they didnt’ quite come out firing on all cylinders. I’ll have to really look at that game to see what went wrong but I can start without watching it by looking at their roster. They simply didn’t have the same level of strength at this point in the season on paper that they started it with. Had Botmode been on Pocket this entire season and H5 come in to play scout this team could be ridiculous, and it can still do it. After the Exultance step they went back to rolling on Badlands.
These next 3 games for FAT Gaming will be pretty huge. They play the other teams in the Top 3 and can end the season with some momentum and some statment wins to make me look stupid for dropping them this much. This is a tough team that can make the switch at a moment’s notice to improve. Their games against Pizzagon and -Bird Noises- will both be rematches and should be incredible. NO matter what happens, FAT Gaming can’t drop below the 4th Seed but they can potentially take the 3rd seed if they beat Pizzagon and make the other games close. If there was any time for FAT Gaming to put their collective foot on the pedal, it is now.
5. Six Guys Off
The Six Guys, especially big boy Fragg and Phlps, went off on Badlands against Liko and the Manlets on Badlands before slowly dragging themselves to a victory against Syops later in the week. In the game against LIko and the Manlets, Fragg was all over the place making plays on several different classes and phlps went to work with Pie_Hero and Farns showing up all over the rest of the game. I don’t quite know why but Liko pulled in Blues to sub during the server crash and switch but his fragging power just wasn’t quite enough to topple the Six Guys, they were just going far too hard.
Six Guys playoff destiny is almost entirely in their hands, all they have to do is take care of business against some 3 mid and low IM teams and they end the season with potentially 12 wins and just enough round wins to get over Liko and the Manlets. Whoever ends up in 6th most likely has the unfortunate quest of having to beat Pizzagon. But, maybe they can pray to some evil deity and call upon that power to force FAT Gaming to get roundless rolled in their games against the top 2 teams (I doubt that will happen at all) they could potentially get more rounds for than FAT. That would be ideal but incredibly unlikely.
6. Liko and the Manlets
Liko and the Manlets lost a very close game against Six Guys Off on Badlands before turning to roll Dildo Gaggins. They have the chance to play the role of dreamcrushers this week as they play against two teams looking to force their way into playoffs. They play a rematch against Syops, a team they beat convincingly in week 1 before they started to suffer under roster issues. Syops is on a big losing streak after playing every top team imaginable and need some more wins to secure their spot. Then they pivot and crush the playoff hopes of Shakedown as well. Blues came in for the 2nd sequence against Six Guys Off, we’ll have to see how this all plays off but they should be able to secure themselves 2 pedestrian wins and begin to prepare for playoffs
7. Syops TF2
They have been suffering under a very tough set of games against the higher ranked teams in the last 3 games. Syops looks to get a rebound game and should secure an easy win against Dildo Gaggins on Viaduct bringing them up to 8 wins with 40 rounds. They then turn around and have to face off against Liko and the Manlets before getting a Granary game against Shekel Shakedown. While there is potential for Syops to pull an upset on Viaduct against Liko, it is unlikely meaning that their playoff life can potentially rely completely on their game against Shakedown. Syops actually beat Shakedown in a game on process earlier in the season in a game that is permanently barred from nude beaches and tried to sue for “ugly shaming”. They play against Shakedown on Granary in what should almost entirely be a game of KTB vs. Air (assuming he shows up, or that Candle was secretly an alt of his in the badlands week for Shakedown). I’m predicting they come into the game against Shakedown at 8-7 with 42 RF.
8. Ice Road Terror
Making their first appearnce in the top 8 this week and in such a vital time in the season, the Ranga boys have fought their way into playoff contention off the strength of their Rounds For that they managed to consistently steal from top teams. They then finalized this position by taking all the free wins they could have possibly gotten from the low-IM teams. They are a team that is surprisingly stout running Sleeping Life on Demoman away from his home Pocket class UNTIL PROCESS WEEK and Waldo playing Direct Hit roamer supreme. They later picked up Megawac to fill in the demoman role, someone who plays most of the classes in the game but someone I’ve always considered a soldier main.They immediately have the replay Too Stew who they rolled on Badlands on Viaduct and we should see a similar result. Then will likely get a loss against Six Guys off bringing their win loss total to 7-8 and probably 39 RF and setting up a huge game against Sparkle Gang for the 8th seed in playoffs
The Great Playoff Scramble
Ok. The top 6 slots are effectively locked in barring absolute shenanigans from the top 6. 7 and 8 are up for grabs in interesting ways. Let’s take a look at this.
Teams In Contention for 7 and 8: Syops TF2, Ice Road Terror, Shaekdown, and the Sparkle Gang
Syops 7-6 with 36 RF
Ice Road 6-7 with 37 RF
Shakedown 6-7 with 35 RF
Sparkle Gang 6-8 with 35 RF
Currently Syops has the inside track being the team with the most wins and the least losses. Sparkle Gang is the only team with just 2 games left to play and being tied with the least rounds won puts them in a difficult position. For the sake of my personal sanity and time I’m only going to look at the best case (also likely) scenarios for them and look at a possible ending. For ease sake, since each teams play a team in the top 6 of IM I am going to give them an auto-loss for that game.
I already argued that they will most likely win against Dildo Gaggins but lose against Liko and the Manlets. I’m going to assume they get the same amount of rounds. So that sets up a game with Shakedown where Syops currently sits at 8-7 with 41 RF.
If Syops reaches 9 wins (their magic number shall we say) they should safe because that will keep Shakedown away from 9 and Ice Road should get a max of 8 wins.
Best Case likely: 9-7 46 RF
Worst Likely: 8-8 43 RF
I don’t envision a world where they lose to Dildo Gaggins so I won’t add that
Ice Road Terror
They should win against Too Stew once again before losing to Six Guys Off but rarely do they loss games without taking a round or two, I’ll pretend they get two rounds against Six Guys Off on Viaduct due to some sort of shenanigans. They should come into their game against Sparkle Gang with a 7-8 Record 43 RF, a team they rolled before on Granry.
Now, if Ice Road Terror wins this game AND Syops Loses against Shakedown While getting the maximum amount of rounds they end up at 8-8 47 RF which would net them 7th.
If they lose to either Sparkle Gang or Too Stew they will end up with 9 losses, which will be devastating. If that happens they may be 7-9 43 RF which puts them in danger of not making the playoffs at all.
Most likely best: 8-8 47 RF
Worst likely scenario: 7-9 43
RED ALERT: 6-10 39 RF
Shakedown have a slightly tougher road to force their way into playoffs. They play against Mad Marx and Liko on viaduct. Again I’ll give them a loss and a win, they haven’t played against Liko before but I’ll give the scout and demo edge supremely to Liko which should result in a 4-1. Bringing them around to 7-8 with 40 RF against SYOPS. They can potentially
Most Likely Best: 8-8 45 RF
Worst Likely: 7-9 42 RF
RED ALERT: 6-10 39 RF
Already sitting at 8 losses and an incredibly likely 9th loss and already tied with Shakedown for the less rounds for, they may need a miracle to not be eliminated from contention automatically in their game against Ice Road. Either way they can play a spoiler. Chances are that they come up against Ice Road with 6-9 with 35 RF. Automatically out. BUT, there is a chance. A very small chance but one still exists. They need Shakedown essentially to get dismantled 3 games in a row. And they need to pull off a revenge upset against an Ice Road Terror team that 5-0’d them on Granary to even stand a chance
Most likely scenario: 6-10 38 RF
Most likely Best: 7-9 40 RF
As you can see, these bottom seeds can be a bit of a cluster. I made it as simple as possible (except for a few generous Round donations to make the scenarios seem even more interesting) but there are a lot more possibilities where some teams get more or less rounds. So this will be a very interesting week to see who makes the playoffs.