Thirty minutes to release, and I still don’t even have an Intro written. Why are you here anyways, go watch the Superbowl! Week 3 is over, closing the door on 5CP for hopefully as long as possible, and ending a sad week of point farming and scrounging. Viaduct should be a lot more fun, with KoTH being more suited to Highlander, and Viaduct being an old friend to many of us. Platinum seems to be demystifying, with score lines being set indicating a more structured rankings than what had been seen in the first handful of weeks. All of the teams are still powerful, and even the worst teams currently have high level players and a lot of potential, but we may be seeing the gaps between teams widen.
:> vs .$$, .$$ victorious 5-1
This week was really depressing, with no match being particularly close. .$$ took an expected victory, but fUZION and Rightjustify led the Goofbird brigade against it being too savage of a defeat, pulling in respectable KA/D stats. However, against the numbers that Lazy, Feroaffer and Trelan pulled in, not much evidently could be made of it.
knd. vs aMw, knd. victorious 5-0
knd. take the shutout victory on Gullywash, continuing their perfect record. With yosh and vlad both pulling in similar numbers, and Split having a particularly muted game, aMw lost their biggest playmakers. On other classes, the flank especially, the knd. players well outshone their aMw counterparts. While aMw does have some excellent players, Vlad and Split either being given a hard time or just not performing well means that aMw was going to struggle – and when you’re facing the best team in the league, you absolutely need every foot you can stand on.
mtn vs dK, dK victorious 5-2
In what is hopefully the end of dK’s roster curse they seemingly inherited from aMw/moment., dK took a respectable victory against mtn., in a scoreline tied for closest in the week. There’s a 5CP rant somewhere there, but that’s for offseason forum posts. The two people pulling in the best numbers for both teams were b4nny and Sigh, with b4nny picking up overall better numbers for dK than Sigh could do for mtn. With both teams having some roster turbulence going into this, it’s easy to write off anything that can be derived from this battle as a fluke.
EVL vs m|M, m|M victorious 5-0
What was hoped to be a close game turned out to be a 5-0 roll, which instead of reviewing EVL’s abilities and potential, I will blame entirely on 5CP. Half-hearted jokes aside, it’s actually a bit disheartening to see this, as it hints to the large murky area in the rankings is slowly dissipating, with teams now being comfortably able to dismantle other teams, where perhaps in the past it was not so clear. Whether it was an overestimation of EVL, or an underestimation of m|M isn’t completely clear, but the numbers speak for themselves. Platinum is beginning to solidify, with teams finding their destined place in the rankings.
Bv vs ‘92, ‘92 victorious 5-2
Chill Penguins finally pull some points together, taking two rounds off of ‘92 Dream Team, tied with mtn. vs dK for the ‘closest’ match this week. With the whispers in my ear consisting of ‘you’re underestimating Bv!” growing stronger as the weeks past, and Bv getting ready to face some teams more on their level (and knd.), perhaps the two rounds mean more than I imagine that they’d imply.
1: Kids Next Door [Scizor / Etney / Katsy / Jarrett / Kresnik / Ender / Nursey / yosh / Dimento]
With Gullywash week realistically having little moving capabilities for the top teams, knd. sit comfortably in #1, with their 0 Rounds Against score glittering in the corner of their eye. With the entire bulk of their most difficult games in the final three weeks, that may just be what they occupy themselves with while waiting for the big games against .$$, dK, and ‘92.
2: Dunning Kruger Effect v3 [Paddie / b4nny / Huey Lewis / Muma / Xan / Jordan / Karl / Corsa / Acooma
Metawe has departed, though he was never intended to play for the rest of the season – just until a more permanent replacement could be worked out. And, after a roster shuffle affecting five classes, that replacement has been found. [ex]Karl rotates over to fill Metawe’s spot on Medic, a class he most notably played with the Hateful 8 + Decimate crew – amusingly enough to replace phorofor. To fill his spot, [ex]Xan switches over to Heavy, with [ex]muma switching to Demoman to fill that. The final switch is [ex]b4nny, completing his 6s class history in Highlander by making the switch to Soldier. And, to fill the final spot, an actual new player comes in, with former backup Paddie starting. With that hopefully being the last permanent change, dK can prepare to face their fellow playoff contenders.
3: $ilver $avages [Godwash / Jackster / Lazy / Invader / Trelan / Angryofficer / Skeez / Feroaffer / Rolls Royce]
.$$ has been largely quiet in the whole scheme of things, not making any roster changes or doing anything of particular note. Their games so far have indicated a smorgasbord of high level DMers, but their competition as of yet isn’t the top of the division, with all of the playoff contender games across the game being in the latter half of the season.
4: ‘92 Dream Team [Slemnish / trippah / jekjekj / odb / Vanilla Love / LittleDeath / saam / SGC / Scruff]
An easy game against Bv with some heavy offclassing and two substitutes will mean little for ‘92 in the long run, but hopefully won’t give ‘92 hubris that will cripple them when they play against .$$ on Steel. While the roster used certainly was viable, when the missing Saam and odb return, it’ll be a bit more difficult to justify and/or pull off these huge team-changing jumps.
5: Route From Smokin Trees [Syath / Route / Brandy / sigh / brick / SailsAway / Coldster / barycenter / Deaft]
After pulling two rounds off of dK, mtn. are graced with the return of Route himself, replacing Crasian on Soldier. While on paper they’ve yet to pull in a win, and perhaps are being overranked, their game against .$$ being so close is a large indicator of mtn.’s ability to prove themselves against the rest of the division after the Week 1 loss against :>.
6: Memento Mori [air / Doll / Geosus / Giraffe / eerie person / Spades Slick / Apple / Bagel / Triton] +1
After shutting down EVL, m|M pull their own +1. Them, along with :> and mtn., are potentially going to change drastically sooner or later, as the three of them seem fairly equivalent with each other. m|M especially is subject to the mtn. vs :> question, where :> had a poor game against .$$, which mtn. nearly beat, but had beat mtn. While m|M does get the nod to move up in an awfully stagnant week, as it’s figured out just who’s above who between these three teams, things should be more clear.
7: Goofbirds [fUZION / p3nguin / Deejay / Rightjustify / Civ / Exa / Drake / Jesus / Daynife] -1
Goofbirds drop down a spot, if only due to m|M’s decimation of EVL. As mentioned earlier, :> could be ranked as high as #5 and as low as #7, and will likely get shuffled up and down as the weeks go on. Exa subs in for sigafoo this week, with Sigafoo being gone due to real life issues.
8: EVL Gaming [Linkuser / Capsize / Billysaurus / Avast / Bonesaw / kNyne / Rogue / Bowswer5 / Stabby]
The underdog story of EVL comes crashing down after m|M hands them a 5-0 loss. While they still have the potential to take victories, after this week they’ll find it harder to find those chances and capitalize on them.
9: A Million Ways [Madoff / Fire / Digresser / Split / Fireshaker / Spamfest / Spork / vlad / feint]
Somehow, aMw has shaken off the curse of continuous roster changes, but despite having several standout players on their team, are struggling to get anywhere. Losing to EVL will hint to a difficulty in pulling in wins against many teams that on paper, the rosters indicate could go either way.
10: Chill Penguins [Seer of Shadows / Dreadnought / HA Johnny / Monkey66 / IssGonRain / SilentDom / Gamma Orionis / bo4r / Danish]
With the whispers of “you’re underestimating Bv” growing louder and louder, Bv’s potential breakout could happen very shortly, having dealt with three out of the four likely playoff teams in the first three weeks. Once they face knd. in Week 5 (after a game against EVL), those supporters will either be satisfied with a sudden winstreak by Bv, or disappointed in the potential being apparently wasted.
aMw vs :>
Goofbirds will have a game this week to prove themselves, standing to lose a lot here, and prove themselves better than the handful of teams they’re contesting with. aMw, on the other hand, know that winning this battle will set themselves up as a contestable team for the season. With aMw’s stars, Split_, Vlad, and Spamfest set to be able to shine on Viaduct, this should certainly be a winnable game for either team. 4-2 in favor of :>.
dK vs .$$
The first of the ‘playoff level’ games, ,$$ get ready to face the reinvented dK and attempt to swipe a +1. The conditions are ideal as well, with Viaduct being one of .$$’s strongest maps historically. With dK completing their roster shuffling, and with some unknown potential hidden in it (Xan), it’ll be .$$’s game to lose. 4-3 in favor of .$$.
m|M vs .knd
m|M is certainly a powerful team, but they’ll be facing a knd. who have yet to drop a round, on one of their stronger maps. With very few exceptions, knd. should outclass m|M across the board. If m|M can play out of their mind, especially if Giraffe can outplay Jarrett, and the team in general can shut down yosh, m|M certainly have the chance to make things interesting, but it’s hard to see m|M getting it here. 4-1 in favor of knd.
‘92 vs mtn.
Before ‘92 stomped m|M, I figured if there was any team to overtake ‘92 and slip into playoffs, it’d be them. Now, mtn. seem the most likely to do that. With the potential of a huge offclassing shakeup on ‘92 now looming, it’s hard to predict what should be a close game. If ‘92 have playoff aspirations and realize that mtn. is one of the last challenges to their spot, they’ll show up strong, especially off of odb and slemnish. 4-2 in favor of ’92 Dream Team.
Bv vs EVL
Bv’s first game where they may have more than a ghost’s of a chance, they’ll face an EVL hoping to spend the week licking their wounds and reconfirming to themselves that they deserve to play in Platinum. Bv, on the other hand, will want to take this game as their own confirmation, to prove the rumors of “Bv’s actually pretty good” more credit than various scrim logs. I personally have yet to find confidence in Bv, but definitely hope to be proven wrong and shown a great game. 4-1 in favor of EVL.