#3 Pizzagon Esports vs. #6 Six Guys Off
If you absolutely forced me to put one game on upset alert, I would point to this one. Of all the matchups this may just be the closest game. The rosters are just so close to each other raw skill wise regardless of which roaming soldier Six Guys Off decide to deploy. Both teams have a scout combo that is more than capable of taking over an entire game, pockets that can devastate teams with well timed pushes and solo ubers, demomen that will be solid for a game then string together vac worthy pill sprees, and medics. Again I simply have no concept of how to really judge medics in relation to one another outside of ridiculous outliers and experience. The comparison between the pocket/medic combo is just too close to call as both have displayed the ability to be top IM pockets and turn entire fights with a couple of well placed rockets. Rekuso’s and Fragg’s roaming soldier style are actually pretty similar employing skilled jumps and seeding just enough chaos among the other team to make every push that much more hazardous for opposing teams. I think this the only game that should go to three maps.
Map Breakdown: Sunshine
Pizzagon showed out last time they played on Sunshine where they dispatched NFF, albeit a vastly weaker version of NFF, in devastating fashion. Pizzagon took advatange of every misstep and that NFF had across the board behind some extremely strong calls of their own. Pizzagon also showed a firm grasp of how to play the sunshine mid, something that is actually a bit of a rarity for most teams in IM. Six Guys honestly didn’t play anyone on the map and so I don’t know how much of that I can take into account here, especially because that was during the roster Dark Ages for Six Guys. Six Guys Off have the requesite DM to turn this game into an absolute slugfest where small moment decision making will decide push after push snowballing into rounds. Six Guys is a very smart team in their own right but I’ll give the edge to Pizzagon. Jarret and friends seem especially motivated at this point, it can be argued that they were coasting at times throughout the regular season stopping a roll to bomb as 5 on mid for fun. The Pizzagon calling on a relatively new map will bring them through.
Map Breakdown: Granary
Granary has a much mroe concretely established meta aside from some of the changes that the Pro Version has brought. Ultimately these changes affect last more than anything and will factor in, but won’t be entirely game changing. These two last saw each other on a Gullywash game that saw Reukso absolutely butcher his way thgouh Six Guys while Pie made every attempt to be the one that the Guys needed, a game that Pizzagon ultimately won. However this was rather early into the season where Six Guys were just hitting upon the optimal version of their roster. Despite what I perceive to be an overall calling advantage for Pizzagon (one of the very few advantages that may exist in this matchup) I think that Six Guys can actually take this map. On a map that is so pocket and uber focused, I actually give the advantage over to Farnsworth on this occasion. Of all the pockets in IM, Farnsworth actually has the most damage done per heal as pocket of the playoff teams. While that isn’t really enough on its own to give Six Guys Off the edge, I expect them to able to rebound after a loss on the first map and for just enough of the all too important scout fights to go in their favor to take the game. I’m extremely excited to see the scout combos go at it and fully expect every fight to be an explosive dice roll.
Six Guys Off 5-4
Map Breakdown: Metalworks
If you think about it, Metalworks is really just Granary’s darker cousin. Both mids are skyboxless and godless monsters that prey on any demoman that has any expectations of living through the mid along with their medic. Both have 2nd points that have a deceptive amount of ways to push but only really allowing one avenue except in extreme situations. The lasts are similar in their own special ways that are too obvious for me to even insult your intelligence by going over here. While the map has not been figured out to the extent that Gran Gran has, some pushes in Metalworks are entirely self-explanatory. I’m going to make the proclamation right here and now that no team pushing out of house into 2nd from mid with small advantages will succeed, even remotely. While solo ubers from the pockets will once again be huge, it won’t be quite to the same extent of Metalworks becuase so much of actually winning pushes in Metalworks comes down to how effectively the rest of the team positions themselves for the after fight. Every inch matters on this map. Ultimately I believe that Pizzagon is the type of team that will actually come into the game with some type of gameplan for the smaller things while Six Guys will be more loose. In this occasion, like Sunshine, I think it will push Pizzagon just over the edge.