ESEA IM 6s- S21 Week 1


Now that the move-up teams have been officially announced, it opens up the opportunity to create this season’s preliminary power ranking. The fact that Bird Noises have been pushed up to invite lends a level of parity that should make the IM playoffs that much more exciting. Even if Titanium White and The Bugs were also in IM, I did not envision either team really giving Bird Noises a run for their money. The biggest weak points of Bird Noises would have been mostly buttressed by the addition of several time invite medic Indust, as long as his hidden team murdering ability didn’t take hold.

Unfortunately I am not actually playing 6s this season and so I won’t have the benefit of actually playing the teams themselves to get a strong idea of how they function, but I’ll have more time to watch demos instead so hopefully it will all balance out. In this upcoming season, based off the rosters I can find it seems as if there is a massive drop-up in the strength of the teams past the top 4. Even among the top four, the top 2 could be considered a step ahead of the competition in IM assuming the players play up to their ability and find some team cohesion. Because there seems to be such a clog at the bottom of IM that I will need to see in matches I have elected to make this into a top 8. Without further ado let’s make some long-form inflammatory, scarcely researched comments that will sustain Morton’s next quarter.

#1: Dog1

scout Micah and Saam

pocket Ranga

roamer Liko

demoman Rikachu

medic Cookiejake

Strongest Player: Rikachu/Ranga (copout)

Wildcard/Question Mark: scout Saam

Dog1 comes into this season with a roster of fairly established names in IM and includes some players with invite experience in Ranga and Rikachu. Based off of power-classes alone this team stands out as having an absolutely oppressive amount of DM with Ranga, Liko, and Rikachu holding it down with the explosives. Having such phenomenally strong power-classes always makes the lives of scouts and medics much easier as the amount of damage those three can put out should be overwhelming to most teams. Much like my very first write-up of NFF last season, before I was proven horribly wrong about Sen and H5 moved over to scout, the biggest question mark for the Woof Squad will be their scouts. Micah I mostly recognize as an extremely high ceiling mentee of Seymour “God Among men, may his shine lead you to the promise land” Seymoo, anyone who spawns from such a powerful and mythical tree can only be assumed to be a god in the making. Hyperbole, purple prose, and puffery aside Micah is one of the many scouts in IM this season that carries a ton of DM into each and every game and Micah should be able to clean up any other deficiencies as the season goes on.

I listed Saam as the wildcard for this team because he has the least experience with his class at a high level. However is a champion of the PRESTIGIOUS Gold HL division on sniper just a few seasons ago so he clearly has the capability to move outside of the medic class and still preform to some extent. In logs he seems to fluctuate in a manner befitting a player in transition to a different class, going from crushing his former Juliet-esque lover Trippa to struggling against assumed mid-IM teams. The team will not necessarily live and die by his performance because this season lacks the scout combos to force that situation outside of a few possibilities, but the ease of Dog1’s wins will be directly affected by his performance. Overall I expect this team to take people to the Dawg Pound.

Predicted Record: 15-1

#2: Young Hunters SocialClub

scout Ex and Blues

pocket Phelon

roamer Photon


medic Lucrative

Strongest Player: demoman Kuestif

Wildcard/Question Mark: roamer Photon

Coming in second is a team that is much less Luxurious and Gold, but possibly more Mad. Lucrative has rebuilt his team with only a few continuities form his past few seasons. Phelon, Kuestif, and Lucrative have formed the core of this team for some time now and consistently play well but not at a remarkable level. There is not much to this team that is not known, they are extremely solid with some powerful players in Kuestif and the scout buddies. It will be interesting to see if the Young Hunters play to their strengths and utilize double gunboats to keep the heals around their scouts and demo. Photon is the newest pickup on the team, migrating over from a fairly productive season playing alongside Air and the Shakedown boys. He is the player on the team thus far with the least up-side, but Phelon should be able to cover up any weaknesses on his side with his ability to seemingly be everywhere at once, even if he is not always a world destroyer when he gets there.

Now, it would be a mistake to judge the Young Hunters based off the sins of MLG’s performance in Invite. They were not quite up to the snuff in Invite,but this version of the team is arguably better than the Mad Luxurious Gold that struggled in Invite. The scout pair in Blues and Ex, who is more inconsistent but every bit as good, are liable to take over an entire game for rounds at a time and Kuestif drops damage at a level matched by only a few demomen playing in this division. This team has a chance to be great in IM, or woefully mediocre. As it stands now there is a dearth of strong teams this season so Young Hunters should be in the top 3 based mostly off of their already established synergy and DM.

Predicted Record: 14-2

#3: Frickin Awesome Gamers

scout Yimi and dFlame

pocket Trippa

roamer Froot

demoman Odb

medic Luxor

Strongest Player: pocket Trippa

Wildcard/Question Mark: roamer Froot

Frickin Awesome Gamers, rocking the most “clever” name in IM, come in at third but I heavily considered giving them the bump up into second. This team’s raw ability to DM is reminiscent of last season’s NFF or Bird Noises. To that effect, I see a lot parallels between this team and the Bird Noises of last season. Two scouts with more than enough DM to pull of spectacular turnarounds in fights, with one scout being a little more established than the other. A pocket soldier, at the beginning of the season (Hellbent),that has been around for a few seasons that has picked up a large amount of gamesense and carries enough presence to change a game if they are begin to heat up in Trippa. A roamer in Froot that I honestly know next to nothing about, but will be sure to surprise me. Froot’s only full season occurred in S19 where he played Open on Slowbr0 with prominent members of Bird Noises. For whatever reason he did not continue into their next incarnation he seemed to consistently preform rather well, however open roamer is 70% playing against lemmings, 28% playing against a few DM lords, and 2% playing against actual skilled scouts. However, he does not need to be a consistent playmaker for this team.

Every other fragging class for this team can be expected to output a ridiculous amount of damage game to game. Finally the last comparison to Bird Noises is a medic who is in attendance for every game. Luor will look to have a better season than Matt did and dismantle this comparison. From the logs he appears to be doing as well as one can hope, he is building at a fairly fast rate and seems to be keeping heals in fights without racking up the death count. Half of the members of this team are looking to play their first full season in IM and as such will have to adjust to play teams with better gamesense like Dog1 and the Young Hunters. Whether or not they can overcome that wrinkle will ultimately decide where this team finishes, the Gamers have the firepower to end up in first place if they come together.

Predicted Record: 14-2

#4: Salty Spitoon

scout Tri and Ringo

pocket Sureshot

roamer Sneaky

demoman Schnell

medic Ictus

Best Player:scout  Tri

Wildcard/Question Mark: demoman Schnell

Coming in hot with the last second entry into IM and sitting at fourth because I already did most of the other write-ups and could not be bothered to move them above teams on that group is Salty Spitoon. The toughest restaurant/bar this side of IM, Salty Spitoon could conceivably win IM just like the other 3 teams atop IM. Salty Spitoon sports seriously strong scouts searching sunrises for frags that bring enough power to take over games, and maybe even the season. The combination of Ringo and Tri form the strongest scout pair in IM, as long as they consistently tri hard. This team sports 4 players who have won IM before, and six with invite experience. Sureshot and Sneaky are mainclassing, pocket and roamer respectively, bringing together a soldier combo that is so far ahead of every other combo not sported by Dog1 that it is almost laughable (barring Tooth team running the Tooth/Topshot combo bearing nearby as well). The only question mark for this team is how the most Confident Carl in existence will adjust to playing demoman. If he is anything like other players off-classing to demoman from some other fragging class, he is likely to have shockingly good pipes and shockingly bad stickies despite that being the easiest part of the class. All in all, the only thing that may hold this team back from being ridiculous will be how hard they try and prepare for games. Outside of their own personal effort, there is very little that can actually hold this team back.

Predicted Record: 13-3

#5: Snailed It

scout Skag and Skeez

pocket Shiki

roamer Rolling

demoman Glider

medic Peyote

Best Player: scout Skag

Wildcard/Question Mark: demoman Glider

Last season of Open’s 2nd seed going into the playoff come into this season of IM with an upgraded roster and a drive to improve. Last season’s promise ended dreadfully as they were upset in the second round of playoffs by Blue Elephant where new IM player Yimi displayed an incredible performance. Skag and Skeez once again play scout for Peyote’s squad, and bring a level of cohesion that no other scout combo in IM should bring to the table. Skag is arguably a top 5 scout in IM this season while Skeez is no slouch of his own, the two should be the driving force for Snailed It for this upcoming season. For some people Skag seems to be vastly overshadowing Skeez, so it will be intereting to see if Skeez can turn that paradigm around and show his detractors that he deserves to be considered an upper echelon scout like his partner in crime. Shiki remains at pocket being healed by Peyote, and is another up and coming player that should make his presence felt. The first new pick up of Snailed it is Rolling the roamer extraordinaire replacing “Guy whose Name I did not recognize”, and from the times that I have seen him play is extremely good at making plays out of nothing and coordinating with his fellow ground destroyer. Glider is replacing UGC 4v4 season 2 Gold 2nd place demoman Rex on Snailed It, and should be a pretty profound improvement as Glider consistently drops tons of damage onto opposing teams. Overall this team has an extremely high ceiling similar to Frickin Awesome Gamers and it would not be surprising to see them end up in the top 3 of IM at the end of this season.

Predicted Record: 13-3

#6: Six Guys New Year Toothmas

scout Pie_hero and Cake_Boy

pocket One of 4 People

roamer One of 17 People

demoman Mae

medic We’ll never know

Best Player: scout Pie_Hero

Wildcard: Roster

Continuing to confuse and astound me at every turn, Tooth team is continuing the musical chairs to another season. After a near death situation, someone brought the defibrillator and brought life back into the team, for now. The roster is filled with skilled players but as far as I know there are only four confirmed players; Pie_hero, Tooth, Mae, and Topshot. Chances are that Topshot will end up at either one of the soldier slots this season, either way Topshot is a highly skilled soldier with a large amount of experience that will be a force. Tooth will most likely end up on pocket or medic this season and either way will bring his wealth of gamesense to a leadership position that will keep the team focused and on the right path. At least, aside from getting and maintaining a consistent roster.

Predicted Record: 10-6

#7: Sparkle Gang

scout Spamfest and Fuzion

pocket P3nguin

roamer June

demoman Dash

medic Gandalf

Best Player: demoman Dash

Wildcard/Question Mark: pocket Penguin

Shining their way into seventh place, but first in terms of horrible forced puns for this power ranking, is the Sparkle Gang. Helmed by magical sparkling girl Spamfest-Chan, who loves that joke by the way, Spamfest is fragging his way into your heart. Spamfest brings a large amount of DM to the scout role, but at times gets a little out of control chasing frags without coming back to play the heals so it will be important for the fate of the earth that Spamfest brings that under control. Fuzion the other scout brings a similar set of strengths and weaknesses. Fuzion is another player that originates from the vast wastelands of highlander that is trying to make the transition into highlander. Of the classes, it is usually scouts and demomen who best make the transition into 6s. Penguin is an unknown quantity, at least to me, that will be replacing June on pocket as she makes the move to Roamer this season. June moving to Roamer should be best both for her and the rest of her team as she had the issue of overextending into the other team leaving her poor medic alone in Walmart, subject to all sorts of predators, going for damage and kills. Roamer seems like a much more natural role for June to play as long as she abstains from feeding the enemy team. Dash was a revelation for Sparkle Gang last season, bringing in large amounts of damage to help keep the Sparkle Gang in games and Gandalf safe when the rest of the team got characteristically aggressive. In the end Sparkle Gang should be a team that plays a role similar to that which Subspace Emissaries did for some time; that is to say they should dominate seventh (instead of eighth like it’s their birth right.)

Predicted Record: 9-7

#8: Netflix n Chill Yourself

scout Air and Wrech

pocket Mustardoverlord

roamer Connor

demoman Dunno

medic Bear

Best Player: roamerConnor

Wildcard/Question Mark: demoman Racer X

Rounding out the top 8 for the preliminary ranking this season is Mustard Squad v4, this time with more off-classers. This team features more pockets per capita than any other team in IM this season. Manning the 125 speedsters for this team will be two pockets attempting to free themselves from the sad zone in the manner that Bl4nk did. Air has in the past few seasons on occasion made the switch over to scout for certain games and maps, doing very well in the fragging department. Wrech is in a similar situation, sparingly making the switch to the game’s Bostonian and enjoying the freedom that it entails. Both seem to have strong DM on the class but they seem to enjoy the freedom the class brings a little too much; both players have been seen experiencing from degenerative head butt disease where they +1 into every target on the server and hope to just win DM fights. Hopefully the micromanagement from Mustard will reign some of that aggressiveness in. Mustard is continuing his stint on pocket, playing the class for the third season in a row, with arguably his weakest roster of the three. Mustard has normally had a breakout scout with carry potential in each iteration, hopefully Air will be that scout this season. Time will tell if Mustard has improved his jumping capabilities, it would not be hard to improve seeing as how he is starting from the ground to attempt to reach higher floors though (something he has historically had issues with in-game). Playing roamer for this squad will be IM CHAMPION ROAMER CONNOR, who will look to bring his particular brand of shenanigans to this squad. Bear will be manning medic, I would make a mauling joke but since he is not playing a fragging class just imagine I did anyway.

Predicted Record: 8-8


2 thoughts on “ESEA IM 6s- S21 Week 1

  1. xan please

    we are worse than wrech tatuwah jaguar cherries vaati and probably some others

    also p3nguin is probably the best player on our team


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