So the sun sets on week 4 and we move on to the most brown map in a Valve game since dust2. In a week I considered nicknaming “Change Places” due to the sheer quantity of roster changes. We have a corporate takeover of flipper skippers, numerous players moving to greener pastures, and a few put out to pasture. These sudden, drastic roster changes have made this week far more exciting then it could have been and so Badlands week may be a strong one for spectators. Personally I’ve never been a fan of the map, but I’m in the minority (again) so I’ll stay away from railing against it.
Micah and Saam
Dog1 continues to show that they are the strongest team in IM this season, and are looking to put together a season of perfect. This may be early to bring it up, they have 4 games left that should be interested as of this writing. Micah has continued to show improvement, slowly attempting to elevate his game to the level of his power classes. His partner no so much, Saam seems to continue to play at an extraordinarily mediocre level against every team that Dog1 plays. It I disappointing because he is the only possible weakness on a team full of heavy-hitters. They still managed to conquer one of the only teams that could conceivably exploit this weakness in Snailed It. At this point, highlighting the accomplishments of the power classes on Dog1 would be redundant as they continually live up to the hype. This week the litter will meet Frickin Awesome Gamers who have just lost one of their better players in dFlame. They may be fielding Train as their other scout for this game alongside Yimi, and if so will present the biggest threat to Dog1’s supremacy as Train could take over the game if he isn’t held in check. Either way, look forward to this game as it should be the Match of the Week
Last Week’s MVP: Liko
#2: Netflix n Chill Yourself
Air and Wrech
At 7-0, Netflix n’ Chill is one of the two teams to be undefeated at this point in the season. They have made a major roster change, picking up the Sneakiest Bear this side of the arctic to play pocket. We must poor one out for the sacrificed, citing “personality issues” the Chill squad has elected to cut MustardOverlord. Apparently he was all about the Netlix, but lacked in the Chill department and the team was forced to make a difficult decision. It will be interesting to see how the team adjusts after leaving their maincaller and the major target of most of their heals. Sneaky has made forays into Pocket a few times before and has historically done quite well so they should not be lacking in overall skill, Sneaky can actually complete jump_beef. If this team can maintain a sense of direction in their games then they should see an net improvement as their DM has been buttressed by this addition. It’s strange because he most definitely was not the weak point of this team, but unless they force the captain to walk the plank that will not be changing anytime soon. The Netflix n’ Chill gang will face a massive challenge as they will have to face down Flipper Skippers 2: Electric Skipaloo who have made some season changing additions. This game definitely deserves some attention, because it should be full of fireworks as both teams possess an enormous amount of DM but are seeing changes that affect their cohesiveness and calling.
Last Week’s MVP: Air
#3: Snailed It
Skag and Skeez
As a result of actually having a loss and not playing anyone that actually matters since their game with Dog1, the Snail Squad was passed by Netflix N’ Chill. As I alluded to before, the Snailed It team coasted through last week. Zigurat Complex never stood a chance despite the fact that they won a round, the Snailed It team is extremely strong. Glider seems to have seen some uncharacteristic struggles, receiving the most heals on his team but not quite converting that into damage or frags. Instead this game saw Shiki and Skeez destroy the Ziggurat Complex, crumbling it down to dust. They also played a defeated a Flipper Skippers team that had not quite made their roster changes. As part of the series of interesting games coming up on Lord Brown, the Snailed It team will play young Hunters Social Club. YHSC has still played no one up to this point, aside from their loss in week 1, and a win here will shoot the Clubbers up the rankings should they come out victorious. Snailed It is a strong team and we are deep enough in the season for the players on Snailed It without strong IM experience to get used to the division, so I expect this game to be another great one.
Last Week’s MVP: Shiki
#4: Frickin Awesome Gamers
Yimi and (Kev2019,Train,Fuuzi0n legendary 4 scout lineup)
I can’t keep letting Lil Chubby Ducks maintain a high ranking when they keep losing games, even if it is only to the top 3 or so teams. Therefore the Frickin Awesome Gamers, whose name I’ve probably been misspelling up to this point, move up one spot to 4th. Despite being far above the level of Sparkle Gang, they came out with a profoundly flaccid performance most likely due to being dazzled by Magical Girl Spamfest-Chan and her band of sailors. Whatever the reason, they should not have struggled at all with a team that needed to get a last second replacement demoman without experience in IM. I considering maintaining Lil’ Chubby Ducks position based solely on this weak performance, but winning is still winning. Though after their win the Gamers have lost one of their better players in dFlame who has rejoined Mausy and the gang in the slowest transformation into Tonight’s Entertainment possible (though they will not be seeing Tri join their ranks, so it’s more of a daytime show then primetime). They have fuuzi0n of Rent-A-Homies fame listed on their roster but he is not paid up as of this writing so I expect either Kev2019 or Train will be playing in his stead. Both are strong options, but should the Gamers get train to show up for tonight’s match he will leave a much larger mark. Either way, Frickin Awesome Gamers will be visiting the Dog1 Kennel. We have repeatedly seen that Dog1 can bleed, but no one has been able to successfully put them down and I expect that trend to continue here.
Last Week’s MVP: Trippa
#5: Lil’ Chubby Ducks
Pie_hero and Yeeegz
The Ducks are looking to be the gatekeepers to High IM, beating teams below them and taking the teams above to the very brink before finally losing. They have the inconvenient habit of losing multiple rounds to teams that they have no business losing rounds to, but I’ll let that slide by for now. In last week’s game against Netflix n’ Chill, we saw the characteristic Tooth team musical chairs. Yeeegz made his illustrious return to IM scout while Split moved to medic for the game, no one knows what happens to Topshot (I say instead of taking the 2 minutes to ask). Yeeegz put together a rather monstrous game, as he was finally reunited with his long lost love in Pie_Hero. I guess that makes Yeeegz into a Catwoman-esque character, since they have mostly played against each other until this game. The scout combo as a whole was rather terrifying, but it was not enough to put down the Netflix tea who finally gave Air the amount of heals necessary to play his preferred style of scout. Hooli played pocket this game and seemed to struggle the entire way, bottom-damaging for his team and being unable to exert a strong enough influence to keep up with his scouts and demoman. Mae continues to prove that he is one of the best demomen that IM has to offer with another strong performance, unfortunately it was once again a failing effort. This week the Duckies play against the Hunters Club, and they can only hope it is Rabbit season.
Last Week’s MVP: Yeeegz
#6: Young Hunters SocialClub
Ex and Blues
The Young Hunters continued to have the easiest schedule in IM where they only had to play a single game on Sunshine against “Elite Pwnage Squad”. Unfortunately their opponents did not quite live up to that team as they were toppled with the greatest of ease. The easy road the Shooters ends here though, as they will have to face down Snailed It and Lil Chubby Ducks. It is mid-term time and we get to see what the Hunters have learned thus far, hopefully they have not gotten lazy from an easy first half of the semester. We will finally get to see how good the Hunters are, and if they come out of this week with a few wins may see themselves thrust into the Top 2 or 3 teams in IM. But as a result of them playing basically no one, there is not much to say about their games up to this point.
Last Week’s MVP: Phelon
#7: Flipper Skippers
Ictus and Mikey
Schnell (Most Confident of all Carls)
Welcome the newest team to IM, as there has been a fusion of members of the now dead Salty Spitoon and the old Flipper Skippers. In what I’m going to call the Salty Skippers, for all of one sentence, is a roster full of extremely strong players. They have high IM and even some Invite experience basically across the entire board now. This roster should be able to shake the hierarchy of IM with these roster additions. With this roster they will see their first test very quickly as there is no allowances allowed for late registration. They pay against Netflix n’ Chill, our 2nd ranked team and will look to make a quick upset that will see them shoot up the rankings. I refused to move up pre-emptively as we need to see results before I let that happen. They have the roster to make it happen and have few more important games against good teams. But should they win those three games; against Dog1, Netflix, and Lil Chubby Ducks then expect to see them shoot up the rankings.
Last Week’s MVP: Ictus
#8: Shadow Ninja Warriors
Glukkon and Vaati
Grasping on to their spot as a result of no other team being worth being above them (though I am keeping my on an improved Based World) the Shadow Ninja Warriors are again 8th. They have a pretty disappointing week on sunshine, being mercilessly slaughtered by the Dog1 gang. Apparently a few peasants with whatever tools they can find laying around was not enough to be the sharpened steel wielded by the K9s. Rather anachronistically they played their other Sunshine game on the 16th , six days before the Dog1 game and the Warriors managed to win that game in relaxing fashion. This week they will only be playing Elite Pwnage Squad after planting a flag in the already decomposing corpse of Salty Spitoon
Last Week’s MVP: Glukkon