P-pyros? A… a team of Spies? Nine players on a team? Where’s my matchmaking metagame? What happened to competitive TF2? Everything looks… different…
Oh right. Hello again! Last time I did something like this, it was with a tearful farewell and a hope for no uproar. Yet, uproar there was, and here I find myself again, writing about the “gamemode with no future.”
But, let’s leave our opinions and theorizing at the door, and enjoy some good old-fashioned… writing about bashing skulls in. Damn, it’s good to be back.
Well! Now with the pointless and silly theatrics out of the way, let’s talk about the thing y’all are really here for. The Class Wars event. The HL season itself won’t be happening for a little while longer, and while we all tantalizingly wait for that, we’ve got something just as good.
For those who don’t know what the hell I’m talking about, Corn Ducks leader Daynife has organized an event consisting of nine teams all participating in a single-elimination tournament. What makes this unique, however, from any random Captains Pick tournament, and what lends the tournament its name, is the novel restriction of who may play on what team. Nine teams is awful for a single-elimination bracket, so what gives, Daynife? As I so cleverly hid in the introduction, and was so obviously understandable from the title, each team will be formed of people who profess to main the class.
Each team was assigned a leader based on interest when signing up, and were charged with forming their starting lineup. Unlike the name connection to a popular pub mod, the teams still consist of all nine classes, just with people who are more proficient in other classes trying their hand at a newer experience.
However, with 9 not being a proper tournament number, various fixes were considered. In the end, the decision was to have two teams play a qualifier match, with the loser not participating in the tournament. That decision, and the issue with how exactly to seed the teams, were both taken care of by asking all the leaders to rank the nine teams (including their own!), with the averages being used as seeding for the tournament. Some teams have changed slightly, but overall everything is basically the same.
Team Demoman [Average: 1.6 | 1/1/5/1/1/3/1/1/1, voted self 1]
With only two leaders lacking belief in the Demomen, Muma’s team comes into the first team nearly uncontested. Muma was the only one to rate his team #1, and the confidence shows. Only a few players on this team aren’t also known for their proficiency on their listed class, and while those classes are certainly relevant, those classes are pretty evenly split across the various sectors of the team – Rightjustify is arguably the combo’s only weakness, and Invader/odb play the more lone-wolf classes. If Invader can’t hit his shots though, other teams like Scout, Engineer and Medic will find themselves with a distinct advantage. Should the rest of the team cover up those weaknesses, they’ll have little to worry about. And that’s only if Invader can’t hit his shots. There’s no reason to expect this team to not make the finals.
Team Scout [Average: 2.2 | 2/2/1/3/3/1/4/2/2, voted self 2]
While the Scouts don’t have nearly the roster of 2nd Mains that Demoman does, they have it where it counts. While leader Smobo, who had voted, has mysteriously gone absent and has been replaced by multi-class extraordinaire Uber, it certainly hasn’t weakened the team. The pick class combination of Pomf and Slemnish is arguably one of, if not the best of this tournament. With a surprising amount of players playing on classes that at least I wasn’t aware they were proficient on, I’ll have to defer to the scores to back up their ability.
Team Sniper [Average: 4.4 | 3/7/7/2/2/4/8/3/4, voted self 3]
Unlike their other “placement seeds” brethren, Team Sniper finds themselves with quite a few doubters, especially in the 7s they received from Soldier and Pyro, and the 8 they received from Medic. While some players on this team seem a bit strange, the list of sign-ups that didn’t get in seem to indicate a lack of struggle when picking classes. With a considerable amount of teams having apparent lack in their abilities, bowswer and co. definitely have something to prove, instead of something to defend.
Team Engineer [Average 4.4 | 8/3/4/6/6/2/3/4/3, voted self 2]
With at least one team revising their list since “I didn’t realize the Engineers could actually field a good team”, Team Engineer seem to have come out of left field to impress enough teams to slip into ‘technically-third’. While they tied with Team Sniper in Average, disregarding the self-vote pushes Team Sniper above them, hence their loss of seed. With an absolutely terrifying flank and a meme-fueled combo, Team Engineer, as the votes imply, will either have their combo play at an acceptable level and allow their flank and pick classes to make shark chum out of the other teams, or wear their weakness on their chest and have more HL-experienced combos roll through them. As much as Yipyapper declares he’s a Demoman main, he doesn’t have much recent experience on it in Highlander.
Team Heavy [Average 5.3 | 5/5/2/5/5/8/2/8/8, voted self 5]
Team Heavy consists of a few players playing classes they arguably main, and then several people on classes seemingly to just fill out the remaining spots. Kresnik, m66 and Kainoa stick out as obviously those on their preferred classes, with Karl and Trelan likely confident enough on Sniper and Soldier. The remaining players seem more or less placed by preference. Eerie person will have the most eyes on him against a smorgasbord of powerful Scouts on the rest of the teams.
Team Soldier [Average 5.6 | 4/6/8/4/4/5/9/6/5, voted self 6]
Team Soldier marks the team with a complete lack of off-shoot supporters, with the highest seed they received from a vote being #4. While some standout players like mason and Carcin will provide a decent enough backbone for the team to not keel over, but a distinct lack of players who are on classes they’re also known for mean that Team Soldier will struggle if they face any team with multiple players on classes they’re confident at. As of writing Jackster is the intended Sniper, but supposedly cannot make it, so it’s unknown who will be stepping in to replace him.
Team Medic [Average 6.0 | 6/4/6/7/7/7/5/5/7, voted self 5]
Something that other lower level teams don’t have that Team Medic has is more than one or two outstanding players. Nursey is one of those players who’ve been playing Highlander at the top level long enough to pick up any class at an acceptable level. Justin Time has already proven himself as a powerful Demoman, and I doubt anyone hasn’t heard of the Jesus-killer himself, Saam. With such overall doubtful ranks, an upset would result in quite the different tournament progression with an immediate Scout elimination.
Team Spy [Average 7.6 | 9/9/9/8/8/6/7/7/6, voted self 6]
The first of two teams forced to play an extra match due to the manager voting, Team Spy have an interesting line-up. While Deaft is expected to be one of the better Spies in Gold in the upcoming season, and Feint’s played Pyro for MenaceToSociety before in the Grand Finals, a questionable combo and weak flank means that should they win their pre-tournament match, their game against Team Demoman won’t be pretty.
Team Pyro [Average 7.6 | 7/8/3/9/9/9/6/9/9, voted self 3]
While technically tied with Team Spy, it doesn’t particularly matter. The two teams are playing against each other, with the only notable difference is the captain’s confidence in his team. While they definitely have some players notable for playing on their listed classes, an apparent lack at Pyros having significant offclass skill means the Pyros will have significant issue accomplishing much in this tournament.
While I won’t predict the matches due to the higher chance of missing players, you can watch the tournament happen over at http://www.twitch.tv/blackoutgamingtv with Sigafoo and Voxdei, and BlackOut Jon providing camera. See you there, this Sunday at 4 EST!