Week Three is here, bringing us one third of the way to completing the regular season. As many have predicted and discussed in the past, Platinum has been looking really good this season. The lower ranked teams are going toe to toe with some of the higher ranking ones, with many teams shifting in rankings simply because on any given day, they’re better or worse than their neighbors. While there’s still potential for a simple 9:0 8:1 7:2 scoreline throughout the division, expect a few circles to pop up – meaning, Team A beats Team B, but Team B beats Team C, who had beat Team A.
Silly estimations and explanations aside, we’re heading to Gullywash this week, the only 5CP map to make its way into the rotation, the community-decided ‘best 5CP HL map’. Whether or not that’s a compliment or a compromise, expect a fair bit of flanking, wrap-arounds, and stalemates.
knd. vs :>, knd. victorious 4-0
While :> certainly had a strong roster for Ashville, and against nearly any other team could’ve taken rounds if not a win, knd. was simply above their paygrade. On :>’s side, the stats seem fairly predictable, with the flank pulling in the most kills, with fUZION being the only player managing to go positive. The knd. stats show the same story, with players like Kresnik, yosh, and Jarrett pulling in a huge amount of kills for a paltry amount of deaths. If there’s anything to take from this roll, it’s the distinct separation between the highest level of Platinum and the rest. Of course, I say that…
.$$ vs mtn, .$$ victorious 4-3
And .$$ barely manage to pull away a victory. With .$$ being one of the teams expected to have easily taken a playoff spot, a close game like this will no doubt open them up for other teams like ‘92, m|M and :> to overtake .$$ and throw the season’s conclusion into further disarray. While it certainly could’ve just been a bad week for .$$, the score sticks, and will encourage other teams to finish what mtn. started.
aMw vs EVL, EVL victorious 4-2
As if by design and poor scriptwriting, EVL take the victory in their game against aMw, stepping up yet another single spot in the rankings. Vlad and Split_ certainly gave it their all for aMw, with Linkuser, Avast, and Billysaurus doing the same for EVL. With a 225:220 Kill count for aMw and EVL respectively, it came down to the strategy, and which kill mattered more – and while it certainly was close, EVL came out on top.
dK vs Bv. dK victorious 4-0
After dK’s performance Week 1 which dropped them down to #2, it was considered dropping them down once more, below .$$, due to roster changes and .$$’s decimation of Bv. I gave it one more week, to see how dK would face against .$$’s W1 opponent. dK managed to shut down Bv more or less just as well as .$$ did, with every dK player securing a positive KA/D. Similar to :>, Bv’s flank shone the brightest, with Seer, Dreadnought and bo4r pulling in the best numbers.
m|M vs ‘92, ‘92 victorious 4-0
In what was expected to be a close game that would have significant effect for rankings and playoffs, ‘92 Dream Team absolutely crushed m|M, with odb and Vanilla Love making the ‘92 combo downright terrifying. While throne, Eerie person, and triton put in a ton of effort in getting frags while avoiding dying too much, there wasn’t much they could do as ‘92 took a very convincing victory.
1: Kids Next Door [Scizor / Etney / Katsy / Jarrett / Ender / Nursey / Yosh / Dimento]
With a lack of disappointing performance from knd., they’ll successfully stay at the top spot, not interested in giving it up anytime soon. With their matches against dK, .$$, and ‘92 coming in the last three weeks, knd. should be able to reasonably not have any fear of loss until then. While pulling off a literal perfect season until then, with no rounds dropped, is a bit more to ask of them, it’s certainly not out of reach.
2: Dunning Kruger Effect [b4nny / Muma / Huey Lewis / Xan / Karl / Jordan / Metawe / corsa / Acooma]
After cleaning up their roster after the confusion following Week 1, with Muma returning and Metawe stepping in to replace Phorofor, dK are looking to stabilize. They’ll face four teams in the next month looking to accomplish what m|M failed at, and strong victories against those, especially .$$, will further cement dK from slipping down any more ranks and losing seed positioning.
3: $ilver $avages [Godwash / Jackster / Lazy / Invader / Trelan / Angryofficer / Skeez / Feroaffer / Rolls Royce]
.$$ hasn’t moved anywhere, but are showing the cracks in their armor that teams will be wise to exploit to slip into the coveted Top Three. While .$$ is certainly powerful, mtn. have proven that they’re certainly beatable. A game against dK coming up next week will be very telling for both teams.
4: ‘92 Dream Team [Slemnish / trippah / jekjekj / odb / Vanilla Love / LittleDeath / saam / SGC / Scruff]
After worrying about ‘92’s apparent fraying at the edges, they shut down m|M and shut down any thoughts of that. They’ve finalized their Pyro too, and if they can avoid a few of their members freaking out and calling it quits, they can defend their position and slip into playoffs.
5: Route From Smokin Trees +2 [Syath / Crasian / Brandy / sigh / brick / SailsAway / Coldster / barycenter / Deaft]
mtn. is a fantastic team to prove how close Platinum is this season. After being demolished by :> in Week One, they changed up their projectile classes slightly, and then immediately turned around to take .$$ to a single point in Week Two. mtn, :>, and m|M will likely find themselves shuffling in these handful of spots, as they’re probably the closest of all of the teams this season.
6: Goofbirds +1 [fUZION / p3nguin / Deejay / Rightjustify / Civ / Sigafoo / Drake / Jesus / Daynife]
Despite losing to knd. 4-0, they slip up a spot as m|M come crashing down. While it is strange for them to be under a team they beat handily the week before, mtn. did have roster changes, and this season is closer than any recent season of memory.
7: Memento Mori -2 [air / Doll / Geosus / Giraffe / eerie person / Spades Slick / Apple / Bagel / Triton]
The next team our season’s protagonist, EVL Gaming, will set their eye on, m|M are going to be desperate to pull a win this week and not go from peeking into the playoff spots to struggling to avoid a double digit finish. m|M is one of the teams that on any given day could take either a win or a loss against most of the teams this season, so their place currently should mean little.
8: EVL Gaming +1 [Linkuser / Capsize / Billysaurus / Avast / Bonesaw / kNyne / Rogue / Bowswer5 / Stabby]
EVL take the victory against aMw, setting themselves as the romanticized protagonist of this season. A game against m|M, the team right above them, will further that story. Should they win there, aside being incredibly amusing and worth a New York Times bestselle, they’ll have proven beyond any doubt their inclusion in the group of teams able to trade with most of the teams in Platinum, potentially leaving aMw and Bv in the dust.
9: A Million Ways -1 [ Madoff / Fire / Digresser / Split / Fireshaker / Spamfest / Spork / vlad /
A loss against EVL is not good for aMw, as if it will indicate anything for future matches, it means aMw will struggle to find wins against many of the teams in the remainder of the season. Of course, if there’s ever a season to throw expectations out the window, this is that one. aMw has given both teams they’ve played a run for their money, so that certainly points to good things.
10: Chill Penguins [Seer of Shadows / Dreadnought / HA Johnny / Monkey66 / IssGonRain / SilentDom / Gamma Orionis / bo4r / Danish]
Chill Penguins have had no luck so far, facing off against two high level teams in the first two weeks, giving Bv no ability to prove themselves. A third week against yet another one of the top 4 teams is no help either, further requiring the Penguins to remain chill and bide their time until they can face a team more on their level.
:> vs .$$
After a close game against mtn., .$$ are going to want to make sure they don’t repeat the same mistakes and even give up the win to :>. Gullywash should bring out the strong points of .$$, with Godwash, Jackster, and Invader all looking to be forces to be reckoned with. With :> likely outclassed where it matters from a theoretical point of view, it’ll be hard for them to pull more than a couple of rounds. 5-2 in favor of $ilver $avages.
.knd vs aMw
Kids Next Door continue on their rampage, hoping to keep that perfect record perfect. As with every time aMw plays a match, Vlad and Split will shine here, but Yosh and Jarrett are quite possibly their biggest challenges in the division. aMw certainly have the ability to take some rounds here, especially with their record of taking rounds against all their opponents, but I think a handful of knd. members are going to be trying ever so harder to make it out of the 5CP map of the season still holding their perfect record. 5-0 in favor of Kids Next Door.
mtn. vs dK
After a close game against .$$, mtn. will want to repeat that against dK. They’ll find it significantly harder, however, as dK on Gullywash should be better than .$$ on Ashville. Expect b4nny and Muma to pull in a huge amount of kills for dK, while mtn. will be supported by barycenter and Deaft. dK’s Karl vs mtn.’s brick will be a fun match of wits, as both are intelligent players who should provide significant strategic benefit to their teams. brick’s not been the most active player though, and Karl has a team with more experience, so dK should be able to come out of that one. 5-2 in favor of Dunning-Kruger Effect v3.
EVL vs m|M
EVL continues their story, ready to play yet another team one rank above them. m|M, on the other hand, will be absolutely desperate to not lose this. And, in all honesty, article narrative aside, EVL do have a good chance here. While m|M may be their hardest challenge yet, EVL certainly has the potential to do it. bowswer5 will likely be facing his ‘easiest’ (yosh and Vlad, come on) Sniper opponent so far in Bagel, and with stabby and Linkuser already performing for EVL, bowswer5 being on top should give this Gold upstart the chance they need to find themselves next week with another +1. 5-3 in favor of EVL Gaming.
Bv vs ‘92
Chill Penguins just can’t catch a break. First .$$, then dK, and now ‘92? Their hope here will be to get some rounds on the board, something they have yet to accomplish. ‘92, on the other hand, will be using this week to tighten the loose knots firmly. A bad game for ‘92 could throw things in further array however, just judging on what I’ve seen in SGC’s streams. 5-1 in favor of ‘92 Dream Team.