January 23rd, 2016
UGC Gold Highlander Season 18
Week 1 Review and Week 2 Preview – Ashville to Ashes
by VoxDei and whymeo
Week 1 comes to a close and we’ve officially christened a new season of UGC Highlander. For all those uninformed, last week’s map was pl_upward and the results look like this
Something interesting, but pretty much entirely unimportant, only two home teams managed to snake together a win.
In lieu of our normal Top 10 list from last season, I’ve created a giant stats database in a Google Spreadsheet. If you’re interested in seeing this week’s stats, you can check them out here! You can sort using the (Sortable) sheet, if you sort the regular ‘Week’ sheet, you’ll temporarily break some of the other pages for yourself. I’m working really hard on getting the player stats in there, so hang tight! If you would prefer the old method, please let me know in the comments and we can pick it up again next week! (Strawpoll)
Be sure to check out our Power Rankings this week! We’ve added a public poll and ELO rankings as well for some additional viewing. Please take the time to cast your vote in the poll! Note that it says Week 2 as we are coming into Week 2, although based on the performance of Week 1’s matches.
Let’s get into the review of last week’s matches.
(Home team vs Visiting Team)
Final result: sJ won 2-1
meo’s Prediction: appel wins (2-0)
VoxDei’s Prediction: appel wins (2-1)
meo’s MVP: evil (, sJ)
VoxDei’s MVP: Goldfish (, sJ)
Match length + Logs: 0:44:11 // http://logs.tf/1214505
meo’s Writeup: Despite carcin doing his absolute best to carry appel to victory on Heavy, after winning the first half appel quickly lost their momentum and over the next two halves, giving sJ the victory. Evil went absolutely huge for sJ, getting 38 kills on Spy. Evil’s amazing Spy performance combined with goldfish’s (as always) high DPM were likely the two biggest factors in sJ’s win.
Just looking at the logs alone appel’s current lack of coordination really shows through here. Appel’s medic, brulée, got picked a total of 5 times by sJ’s spy and sniper each, suggesting appel’s combo still struggles to play together and plays too aggressive (i.e. walks into Sniper sightlines a lot.) SmileZ (appel) won the SvS by a good bit – killing DynamoVic (sJ) 14 times while DynamoVic only got 9 frags on SmileZ. However, evil was allowed to get a ridiculous 12 frags on SmileZ, which likely was the cause of DynamoVic being able to put out more frags and damage than SmileZ despite losing the SvS. If appel had played a little closer around SmileZ and protected him from the Spy, he likely would have been able to shut down DynamoVic even harder and put out the Sniper frags a team needs to win Upward. Don’t get me wrong, considering how uncoordinated and aggressive appel has been playing, this wouldn’t have been any easy task for them. If they can’t adjust their play style and learn to play a little more together appel is going to find it hard to beat the top Gold teams this season.
VoxDei’s Writeup: This match sets the tone for Social Justice Warriors who are out to prove their stay in Gold is not a fluke. Although there was no doubt their presence would be made, a strong 2-1 victory against appel is sure to make people listen. We are beginning to realize that this isn’t the appel of seasons past, but rather a new iteration, filled with the same struggles that plague newer Gold teams. sJ win here out of pure cohesion, which is a huge advantage that they have over a fair amount of teams this season. Great DM and a solid roster? Expect more wins against top teams down the road.
Final result: Jeebus won 2-0
meo’s Prediction: Jeebus wins (2-1)
VoxDei’s Prediction: Jeebus wins (2-0)
meo’s MVP: pie_hero (, IFA)
VoxDei’s MVP: pie_hero (, IFA)
Match Length + Logs: 0:29:37 // http://logs.tf/1213842
meo’s Writeup: IFA managed to lose this match 2-0 despite out-fragging Jeebus by a few frags and out-damaging them by nearly 10,000 points of damage. Pie_hero outsniped xig on all fronts: frags, damage, and in winning the SvS. Interestingly, for this match TERRY CREWS was on Demo and pharaoh was on Soldier. Both did fine, TERRY CREWS in fact did extremely well on Demo, but I can’t help but wonder if IFA’s inability to capitalize on pie_hero and TERRY CREWS’ frags and damage was a result of the sudden roster shake-up. We’ll see if in the future IFA returns to their old lineup and if this will improve their performance. I personally think this match has set the tone for what we’ll be seeing out of IFA for the rest of the season, but if any team can make a comeback it would be IFA with their top-notch roster.
VoxDei’s Writeup: When you think about how these two teams would rank in pre-season, this felt like a rather one-sided matchup for IFA. Later in the offseason it became a coin toss, and finally became a strong 2-0 victory the other way. The logs tell the story that one would expect. IFA came out strong with solid numbers by skilled players, but were unable to play coordinated enough to take down Jeebus, now proving to be a formidable team. Although a weaker performance stat-wise than they probably would have liked, a 1-0 record against a tough team will surely be enough to get over it.
Final result: The Syndicate: Reborn won 2-0
meo’s Prediction: Quail Noises wins (2-1)
VoxDei’s Prediction: N/A
meo’s MVP: vinny (, -ts-)
VoxDei’s MVP: vinny (, -ts-)
Match length + Logs: 0:33:44 // http://logs.tf/1213916
meo’s Writeup: Well, I really have to eat my words on this one. I said vinny was going to get owned by kev and I look like a big old fool now, because he absolutely destroyed Quails. This is what I get for judging vinny based solely on pre-season scrims. What really matters are matches, and vinny certainly performed in this one. There really isn’t a whole lot to say here, vinny won the SvS, top fragged by 15 kills and out damaged even mae (, / ^ )>) himself. When a Sniper goes off like that on upward there simply isn’t much you can do, as Quails found out. Now, I don’t mean to say that the only reason -ts- won this game was because of vinny. Beanie (, -ts-), air (, -ts-), and kris18 (, -ts-) all had great games too and I think -ts- very well could have still won this even if vinny hadn’t gone off like he did. Still, it is undeniable that vinny contributed the most out of anyone to win here.
VoxDei’s Writeup: Interested in watching the cast of this game? Do so here! My writeup can be summed up in a short sentence by a member of quail noises- “They were the better team.” In fact, that’s all it really comes down to in a showdown between still the top two teams this season. One of them came prepared and simply outplayed the other. You can ignore the stat lines completely and that’s all you need to know in this one. The preparation and non-stop Upward scrims paid off. (Someone tell IFA!)
Final Result: ££ won 2-1
meo’s Prediction: N/A
VoxDei’s Prediction: ££ wins (2-0)
meo’s MVP: spring rolls (, ££)
VoxDei’s MVP: watterson (, ££)
Match Length + Logs: 0:49:37 // http://logs.tf/1215197
meo’s Writeup: This was one hell of a close game. If heisen (, ££) hadn’t gotten some crucial forces on jeremy (, ●) in the third half, the game would have likely gone to Shadowball. Shadowball’s combo of coco (, ●) and lui (, ●) both put in a lot of work for Shadowball. Lui even tied zoey (, ●) for top frags on Shadowball, no small feat on the heavy class on upward. Watterson, as he always does, top fragged by a mile and even top damaged. Even more impressive than Shadowball’s combo, heisen’s expert bombs and watterson’s excellent sniper play, however, was spring rolls on pyro. Spring rolls somehow managed to go 51 – 36 on pyro, out fragging everyone in the server besides watterson. Twelve of spring rolls’ kills were on the enemy soldier, unicorn wizard, and eleven were on the spy, sinister. Spring rolls clearly did a huge amount of work protecting the combo and if he hadn’t been playing so on point, I doubt we would have gotten the win.
VoxDei’s Writeup: I’m honestly really surprised that Papa’s Peddlers dropped a round solely because of the performance of watterson and spring rolls combining for 119 kills over their 50 minutes on Upward. Zoey put up a hell of a fight, as did Lui and the entire Shadowball team, but they couldn’t keep up. They set an impressive 5:11 minute time in overtime as they were attacking first, but Papa brought it to the house in under 4 minutes. Now that’s world-class delivery!
Final Result: SPACEBEARS won 2-1
meo’s Prediction: U$A wins (2-0)
VoxDei’s Prediction: SPACEBEARS wins (2-1)
meo’s MVP: Sharpshot (, SPACEBEARS)
VoxDei’s MVP: Campy (, U$A)
Match Length + Logs: 0:54:57 // http://logs.tf/1215820
meo’s Writeup: In quite a weird sight for an Upward match, neither team’s Sniper top fragged. Instead, Sharpshot and Campy (, U$A) stole the show for this game. Both put out a ridiculous amount of frags, but in the end SPACEBEARS played a better overall game than U$A. It’s interesting to note, SPACEBEARS has stand out performances on all the classes you’d least likely expect, with Sharpshot fragging like a madman on Heavy, sithreis matching his Demo in damage and out-fragging him significantly on Soldier, niko jims out-fragging his Scout and Demo on Engineer and Sous Chef out-fragging the enemy Pyro by quite a bit while keeping his deaths low. I don’t know what exactly SPACEBEARS are doing to have such unlikely classes being the ones getting the kills, but hey, it worked!
VoxDei’s Writeup: I sometimes don’t like to put MVPs who were not on the winning team, but the man earned it. 65 frags and 500 DPM over the course of almost an hour. That’s a level of consistency that should be admired, so hats off to Campy on this one. Still, it wasn’t enough as Sharpshot came through for his team, putting up some incredible stats in the process. SPACEBEARS deliver a close 2-1 victory, but not without its pitfalls.
Final Result: cNd won 2-0
meo’s Prediction: cNd wins (2-0)
VoxDei’s Prediction: cNd wins (2-0)
meo’s MVP: eagle (, cNd)
VoxDei’s MVP: eagle (, cNd)
Match Length + Logs: 0:35:55 // http://logs.tf/1213915
meo’s Writeup: Although close in frags and damage, cNd took this match in a 2-0. No one really stands out in the stats and everything seems like business as usual, the Snipers top-fragged, the Demos put out a lot of damage and the Scouts died repeatedly because FUCK UPWARD…*cough* moving on… It seems cNd took this match simply because they’re the more experienced team and not off the back of any one player.
VoxDei’s Writeup: Not a bad game out of Mature Dads Only in a stats perspective. Obviously, in terms of their strategy, something was not on point which lead to a 2-0 loss against them. cNd was meant to take this game handily, and they did. Eagle put in enough work to top his team in frags and hand out 14 kills against the enemy Sniper. Benn, the Soldier for cNd managed 428 DPM for his team and they secure a 2-0 victory and a 1-0 start to the season.
Final Result: DOES IT won 2-1
meo’s Prediction: DOES IT wins (2-0)
VoxDei’s Prediction: DOES IT wins (2-1)
meo’s MVP: pwnu (, KILLME)
VoxDei’s MVP: conner (, DOES IT)
Match Length + Logs: 0:42:23 // http://logs.tf/1215821
meo’s Writeup: When your sniper kills the enemy sniper 5x more than the enemy sniper kills yours, you’re going to have a relatively easy Upward game. This is exactly what conner (, DOES IT) did to chairuser (, KILLME.) Alto’s (, KILLME) debut also didn’t got that amazingly, getting out-damaged by his Scout and Soldier and out-fragged by almost everyone. With poor performances from their Sniper and Demo, the two most important classes on Upward, KILLME didn’t really stand a chance here. Pwnu (, KILLME) did have one of the best Scout performances this Upward week, top-fragging for the entire server on a pl map as Scout and dropping 300 dpm, but it simply wasn’t enough to deal with conner and super’s (, DOES IT) excellent play.
VoxDei’s Writeup: Them boys does it and did it and manage to pick up a solid win against a team that had the chance to go big. DOES IT has been an impressive team this offseason and have put in a fair amount of work to excel and they do so here. Conner and triiiple (, DOES IT) combine for 87 frags and toss down some huge damage with their Demo, super. It will be exciting to see if they can keep playing at a high level as the season progress.
Final Result: No.2 won 2-0
meo’s Prediction: SWAK wins (2-0)
VoxDei’s Prediction: SWAK wins (2-0)
meo’s MVP: rupee (, SWAK)
VoxDei’s MVP: egwat (, No.2)
meo’s Writeup: Even with the loss of their star player, br0nze, a lot of people still expected SWAK to pull through and be a mid-Gold team yet another season. So far, things are looking grim after losing to No.2. Great performances from jbird (, No.2) and egwat (, No.2) led No.2 to a fairly painless 2-0 win.
VoxDei’s Writeup: No logs and no STV in the sizzlers means no point. I mean, No.2 had a good game, SWAK not so much, but there’s very little to read into with just sizzlingstats. However, maybe it’s even unnecessary for this game. Nearly everyone on No.2 outperformed their counterpart on the enemy side. That’s a 2-0.
Final Result: -aa- won 2-0
meo’s Prediction: Shh! wins (2-0)
VoxDei’s Prediction: Shh! wins (2-0)
meo’s MVP: naknak (, -aa-)
VoxDei’s MVP: cabanmeister (, -aa-)
Match Length + Logs: 0:37:58 // http://logs.tf/1215822
meo’s Writeup: Shockingly, Alphabet Alliterations take their first match in Gold and even manage to kill Silence of the Pans in the process. Despite beep! (, Shh!) top fragging, naknak (, -aa-) and cabanmeister (, -aa-) did too much damage for Silence of the Pans to contest -aa-.
VoxDei’s Writeup: I know I predicted a 2-0 for Pans here, but I’m not at all surprised at the outcome. Shh! was a team doomed from the start and earn the title of first team death in Gold this season, which will award byes to lower ranked teams for weeks to come. beep! (, Shh!) tried his best to throw down and bring one home for his team, his 41 frags were not enough to seal the deal. -aa- pick up a W, but not a very impressive one unfortunately. If they can repeat performances like this though, maybe they do belong in Gold.
Final result: wu^ won 2-0
meo’s Prediction: #TOPGUN wins (2-1)
VoxDei’s Prediction: wu^ wins (2-1)
meo’s MVP: WiLLmaTiC (, #TOPGUN)
VoxDei’s MVP: WiLLmaTiC (, #TOPGUN)
Match Length + Logs: 0:35:04 // http://logs.tf/1215824
meo’s Writeup: Poor WiLLmaTiC. The man goes 51 – 32 with 451 DPM, top fragging and damaging. In fact, he had the highest kills per minute of literally anyone this entire week. He fragged so hard his team actually had 26 more kills than the wu^ despite losing. And to top it all off he won the SvS 17 to 10. The problem is…besides fatswimdude on the flank and sprok on spy, his team just isn’t playing very well. After this game though, it’s clear that WiLLmaTiC certainly isn’t looking to go out without a fight this season and on a class like Sniper, he might just be able to carry his team to some wins.
VoxDei’s Writeup: So we finally learn the roster of Wu Tang here, who manage to take a very messy 2-0 victory wherein their Medic dropped 3 times. In fact, the top 4 fraggers in the server were all on the #TOPGUN side, lead by WiLLmaTiC whose top notch performance will definitely make some noise in their next matchup. Damage stats were mostly dominated by #TOPGUN as well, but clearly a lack of coordination, experience, and/or strategy were enough to lose them the game.
Tired of reading? WE HAVE SO MUCH MORE!
Welcome to Ashville…
We’re coming in to week two with a koth map that lends more to good strategy than DM, which is well welcomed for teams going up against some strong opponents. With so many flank routes and possibilities for holding, we should see a lot of interesting play from teams.
(Home team vs Visiting Team)
meo’s Prediction: cNd wins (4-1)
VoxDei’s Prediction: cNd wins (4-0)
meo’s Player(s) to watch: cNd – minti,
vurt *, eagle , dave | -aa- – naknak
VoxDei’s Player(s) to watch: cNd – flick , eagle | -aa- – caban /
meo’s Writeup: Although cNd’s match against Mature Dads Only was closer than I would have expected and -aa- did manage to beat Silence of the Pans, I still think this is quite a one sided matchup in cNd’s favor. Dave and
vurt* are certain to cause huge amounts of trouble for -aa- on a map like Ashville. Eagle is also likely to out snipe whoever -aa- manages to get on sniper, with their regular sniper being locked out of his steam account.
* Arzt Hispanian is now demo for cNd
VoxDei’s Writeup: -aa- tossed down a victory against a weak team last week, but this is going to be a great test to find out where they’re ranking. The problem is that I can’t see them pulling through with so many threats on cNd’s side. Caban put up some good numbers last week as Sniper and should do well whether he stays there or moves back over to Scout, but he’s gotta look out for flick and eagle in either position. I wouldn’t be surprised if -aa- can shed some time off of the clock in each round, but 3 minutes sounds like a stretch. 4-0 for the Caddy shack.
meo’s Prediction: Jeebus wins (4-0)
VoxDei’s Prediction: Jeebus wins (4-0)
meo’s Player(s) to watch: Jeebus – kairu , Mini , Comanglia | No.2 – egwat
VoxDei’s Player(s) to watch: Jeebus – Mini , ezrik | No.2 – zuchima , egwat
meo’s Writeup: Although No.2’s introduction to Gold was a fairly easy one, facing a weakened SWAK, things are about to get rough for them. Even high-Gold teams are terrified of Team Jeebus 2.0 now that they’ve picked up none other than Comanglia on sniper. Although No.2 has some solid players of their own, such as egwat, Team Jeebus is packing a ton of firepower with their new roster and it seems that No.2 simply stands no chance.
VoxDei’s Writeup: No.2 is about to get their first real taste of Gold. I can’t take away from their win last week, but Jeebus just has the upper hand in every aspect. They have players of amazing caliber and coordination which outmatch No.2’s roster. Zuchima could do some work, but kairu will be there to contest on the flank with Mini, whose gamesense is out of control. Although a less Sniper-friendly map than other koth matchups, Comanglia has aim, what more do you need? 4-0 Jeebus and the boys.
meo’s Prediction: -ts- wins (4-0)
VoxDei’s Prediction: -ts- wins (4-0)
meo’s Player(s) to watch: –ts- – specdeck , beanie , vinny , kris18 | wu^ duke_jukem
VoxDei’s Player(s) to watch: –ts- – DrZoidy , beanie , kris18 | wu^ – huynhy
meo’s Writeup: After defeating Quail Noises themselves does -ts- really stand any chance to lose against wu^? I personally don’t see any possibility of it. It’s ashville, so expect a lot of work from vinny on sniper as well as the flank of spec deck and DrZoidy (scout, -ts-). A great performance from their star heavy beanie is also sure to happen as always and TMP (pyro, -ts-) will get a lot of kills if wu^ let him.
VoxDei’s Writeup: Another lopsided matchup in Week 2. Arguably the best team in Gold this season against a team vying for mid-Gold at the highest. That’s not to say the players on wu^ aren’t good, but they’re just simply outmatched. This has a good chance to be the fastest match of the week, so watch for some high DPM out of -ts- and some very one-sided logs.
meo’s Prediction: N/A – meo plays for ££
VoxDei’s Prediction: ££ wins (4-2)
meo’s Player(s) to watch: N/A
VoxDei’s Player(s) to watch: ££ – whymeo , tiptoes , watterson | DOES IT – super , conner
meo’s Writeup: N/A
VoxDei’s Writeup: Papa’s Peddlers are a strong team, but I think they would be hard pressed to pull off a clean win here. There are going to be mistakes, but I’m not sure if DOES IT is going to be able to capitalize as often as they will need to. There will be some shaky play on either side, but in the end it’s in Papa’s hands. And no, that’s no mistake. Watch tiptoes… He’s going to pull some crazy stunts.
meo’s Prediction: sJ wins (4-1)
VoxDei’s Prediction: sJ wins (4-0)
meo’s Player(s) to watch: sJ – crab_f , goldfish , DynamoVic , evil | SPACEBEARS – sithreis , sharpshot
VoxDei’s Player(s) to watch: sJ – crab_f , goldfish | SPACEBEARS – sharpshot
meo’s Writeup: After sJ’s win against appel, they are by far the favorite to win this match. SPACEBEARS proved themselves to be a solid mid-Gold team in their win against U$A, but sJ is a contender for first this season. Yet another one-sided matchup this week, only excellent play from both sharpshot and sithreis will even get any rounds on the board for SPACEBEARS.
VoxDei’s Writeup: There’s only one way this can go. sJ have a strong, well-rounded roster which will easily take down SPACEBEARS. Although SPACEBEARS do have a pretty solid core, I just don’t think they have enough to pull a round here. crab_f is going to have a great game, so it will be up to SPACEBEARS to find out the best way to counter the flank of sJ.
meo’s Prediction: appel wins (4-0)
VoxDei’s Prediction: appel wins (4-3)
meo’s Player(s) to watch: appel – blinx , bunny , ZZ , SmileZ | KILLME – pwnu
VoxDei’s Player(s) to watch: appel – blinx , bunny | KILL ME – rob , mason
meo’s Writeup: Although appel had a disappointing loss against sJ, they should be able to pull together and take the win against KILLME easily. The only player that has stood out so far on KILLME is pwnu and one man can only do so much. A clean 4-0 for appel.
VoxDei’s Writeup: appel looks to be in bad shape and KILLME is a volatile team. Very volatile. What I mean is that they’re probably the biggest boom or bust team this season. They’ll either wipe you or just crumble. I think they’re going to prey on a weakened appel team, but they won’t be able to hang in to win. By round 6, they’re probably going to be so sick of the game they’ll just dial it in. appel’s flank is damn scary, but expect a very close game.
meo’s Prediction: ● wins (4-2)
VoxDei’s Prediction: ● wins (4-2)
meo’s Player(s) to watch: ● – lui , Unicorn Wizard , coco , zoey | U$A – campy , moof
VoxDei’s Player(s) to watch: ● – lui , zoey | U$A – kezia , campy
meo’s Writeup: I was really impressed with Shadowball when we played them in our match. They seem to be determined to get into playoffs and have the DM and coordination to do so. If they want to get into playoffs though, they’ll have to win their matches against the other teams that are vying to get in at 8th-6th seed such as U$A. Lui on scout and Unicorn Wizard on soldier for Shadowball will be a huge advantage on Ashville. However, I think moof and campy are slightly better than their counterparts on Shadowball, which will keep the match competitive. In the end though, I believe Shadowball to be the more coordinated team with better overall DM and as a result they will likely take this with relative ease. 4-2 for Shadowball.
VoxDei’s Writeup: Shadowball clearly has some wheels turning in the right direction, taking a round off of Papa’s Peddlers last week. They have a roster with depth and clearly some chemistry to go with it. I don’t think they can stop U$A from taking a few rounds, but they’re the better team here and U$A will have to play stellar to top them.
meo’s Prediction: / ^ )> wins (4-1)
VoxDei’s Prediction: Tune in Monday to find out!
meo’s Player(s) to watch: / ^ )> – yimi , voll , mae , pomf | IFA – wish , TERRY CREWS /, pie_hero , vipa
VoxDei’s Player(s) to watch: / ^ )> – mae , pomf | IFA – wish , vipa
meo’s Writeup: Although Quail Noises started off the season with a loss, it’s likely to be the only one they get in the regular season. IFA is the least likely high-Gold team to add another loss onto Quail’s record, as they’ve been struggling to play as a team just like Quails has, but lack the monumental DM of Quails. This match should be a clean win for Quails.
VoxDei’s Writeup: Will IFA bring their A-game against one of the toughest teams they’ll play all season? One of these early front-runners will start with a rough 0-2 record for the season. There will be a clear sense of urgency and determination from each team to help build a case for playoffs this season. Will the unmatched DM of Quail Noises be enough to walk away with the win or will IFA’s Highlander experience create a mountain too high to climb? Watch live at 9:30pm EST this Monday on twitch.tv/voxxxxxxxxxx to find out. Cast starts at 9!
meo’s Prediction: #TOPGUN wins (4-2)
VoxDei’s Prediction: #TOPGUN wins (4-2)
meo’s Player(s) to watch: #TOPGUN – WiLLmaTiC , fatswimdude , spork | father – phone , caboose
VoxDei’s Player(s) to watch: #TOPGUN – WiLLmaTiC | father – phone
meo’s Writeup: Although Top Gun lost their match to wu^ last week, they actually outfragged wu^ by quite a bit. When a team out frags the opposition while losing it’s never a good sign for their team coordination, but I’m fairly confident that Mature Dads Only is a worse team than wu^ and Top Gun already out DMed wu^. On a koth map against a low-Gold team, I think WiLLmaTiC, fatswimdude and sprok will just be a source of endless frags for Top Gun and will be too much for the enemy team to handle – no matter how much the rest of Top Gun throws.
VoxDei’s Writeup: I’m actually really interested in this matchup. Both team performed pretty well in their losses last week. #TOPGUN performed better, but father had a more difficult matchup. If WiLL does as well as he did last week, there’s no reason to assume they won’t win, but repeat performances are often difficult.
Secretly We Are Kawaii vs BYE Week
Team of the week: Recognizing skilled play throughout the division
Seeya next week, folks!