March 13th, 2016
UGC Gold Highlander Season 18
Week 8 Review and Playoffs Preview – Guys, we made it!
by VoxDei and whymeo
It’s the wonderful thing about playoffs in UGC is that you never know all 8 spots before the last game. We had some very important matchups take place, including Don’t Tilt vs Shadowball and All Washed Up vs Baited by Rhy.
This week had a lot of seemingly one-sided matchups with only two games going to a 2-1. Although, it is important to note that a 2-0 does not always indicate a roll.
(Home team vs Visiting Team)
Final result: / ^ )> won 2-0
meo’s Prediction: / ^ )> wins 2-0
VoxDei’s Prediction: / ^ )> wins 2-0
meo’s MVP: mae / ^ )>
VoxDei’s MVP: sigh / ^ )>
Match length + Logs: 27:21 // http://logs.tf/1307849
meo’s Writeup: Despite great performances from both smilez (sniper, appel) and jayden (spy, appel) this match was more or less a roll. Even though rue (heavy, quails) has encroached on mae’s monopoly over the heals, mae still manages to put out impressive numbers. This match was no exception, with mae leading his team in damage and tying sigh for frags. Everyone on quails had a good game, and scariest of all is that kev (sniper, quails) matched smilez in frags and damage. Sure, he probably wouldn’t have if the game wasn’t quite as big of a stomp and he still lost the svs, but it’s clear that kev is improving on sniper. If kev can match other gold snipers, then chances are looking really grim for anyone to put a dent in quail noises.
VoxDei’s Writeup: I mean, what can you say here? Sigh got more kills than the flank of appel combined. In fact, the top 4 performers on quails nearly got as many frags as all of appel. This isn’t to say that appel is a bad team, but more to show that quails is within a league of its own within the division. Their numerous iterations starting from the beginning of the season have somehow made this a stronger team with Voll’s move from Soldier to Medic and eventually Sigh stepping in on Soldier. Right now, the way Quails are playing, they are looking for their road to 11 straight victories and a #1 on their badge. I’m giving Sigh the MVP over mae because of his high-damage, high-frag performance as well as his numerous Medic, Sniper, and Spy picks. Keeping SmileZ and Jayden down are a huge boost for any team. Voll also has finished out the regular season (6 GP on Medic) with 0 drops.
Final result: sJ won 2-0
meo’s Prediction: sJ wins 2-0
VoxDei’s Prediction: sJ wins 2-0
meo’s MVP: DynamoVic sJ
VoxDei’s MVP: Goldfish sJ
Match length + Logs: 36:56 // http://logs.tf/1307894
meo’s Writeup: Unfortunately for -aa-, the off-classing that was talked about on the forums didn’t end up taking place. With everyone on sJ playing their mains, -aa- didn’t stand much of a chance here. Octa (heavy, -aa-) put up a good effort, going 30 – 22, but the rest of his team simply wasn’t able to match his performance. With dynamovic easily winning the sniper duel and sJ’s combo of goldfish (demo, sJ) and battlebull (heavy, sJ) putting out much more damage and frags than -aa-’s, sJ easily took the game.
VoxDei’s Writeup: There was really only one way this could go. -aa- is not a bad team. They’ve performed well against a fair number of teams this season, but sJ is still the team they have been since week 1 and provide little chance for any team to outperform them. DynamoVic has continued his recent surge this week with another high performance game, securing himself as one of the top Snipers coming into playoffs. Milk did manage to keep it impressively close despite the roll, but was unable to really prevent Dynamo from going big. However, the only other players with any notable performance were caban and Octa, which certainly was not enough to topple the sJ powerhouse.
Final result: Jeebus won 2-0
meo’s Prediction: Jeebus wins 2-0
VoxDei’s Prediction: Jeebus wins 2-1
meo’s MVP: Kairu Jeebus
VoxDei’s MVP: Kairu Jeebus
Match length + Logs: 31:51 // http://logs.tf/1307844
meo’s Writeup: This match was much more one-sided than Meme Stealers match against sJ last week. With rob (scout, KILLME) the only one able to go positive on Meme Stealers, sully (sniper, KILLME) losing the sniper duel quite heavily to comanglia (sniper, Jeebus) and JJslim (soldier, KILLME) having an uncharacteristically bad performance, Jeebus took this game easily in a 2-0. I don’t think either JJslim or sully played as well as they normally do here, and the game would have been a little closer if they had, but I think this was bound to be a 2-0 in Jeebus’ favor no matter what. With Jeebus of new flank of kairu (scout, Jeebus) + rolling (soldier, Jeebus) going off (especially kairu), this game was just bound to end in Jeebus favor.
VoxDei’s Writeup: Admittedly I thought this was going to be a closer game, but Meme Stealers’ coordination issues shine in unspectacular form here. When you keep in mind that the first round cap by Jeebus was 4:38, including the 1 minute setup time, you know for a fact that you’re in trouble. Meme Stealers are unable to rebound on their Offensive start with a 15:30 time which was handily beaten by Jeebus. The only person who kept up in any capacity was rob, who picked up 32 frags while still capping the cart for his team in most situations. Despite his solo fragging performance, everyone on Jeebus was able to get in on the fun and post up some decent numbers in this game and coast to an easy win.
Final result: -ts- won 2-1
meo’s Prediction: ● wins 2-1
VoxDei’s Prediction: -ts- wins 2-1
meo’s MVP: zoey Shadowball
VoxDei’s MVP: DrZoidy -ts-
Match length + Logs: 40:49 // http://logs.tf/1307907
meo’s Writeup: This game was a real heartbreaker. Shadowball almost capped in the last round of the last half to win the game 2-1, but just couldn’t quite manage and as a result landed right outside playoffs at 9th place. Zoey had one last good performance, going 44 – 13, top fragging and crushing Jake (sniper, tilt). It’s especially sad to see that she won’t be making playoffs, as she was a top 3 sniper in Gold this season. Brick (heavy, shadowball) and Dave (spy, shadowball) also had good performances. Shockingly, the flanks of both sides underperformed, with spec deck (soldier, tilt) being the only flank member to break even. On the don’t tilt side, credit for the win largely goes to their combo. DrZoidy (demo, tilt) went huge, with 39 – 11 and 483 dpm. Beanie (heavy, tilt) also had a lot of frags and died very little, as usual, with 27 – 12. Finally, although outclassed by zoey, Jake did well on sniper for don’t tilt.
VoxDei’s Writeup: This one was close. This one was damn close and off the back of zoey, as one could expect. Shadowball gets snubbed from playoffs with this loss, and a heartbreaking one at that. Shadowball go all in to surge themselves into a playoff berth, but come up empty in the final seconds of the tiebreaker round, with the cart pixels away from falling to the pit. There really isn’t a whole lot you can posit from logs in a close game such as this. Zoey absolutely did monster work, but Shadowball was unable to fully capitalize on her performance. It seemed to be a more well-rounded game by Don’t Tilt, which may have been the deciding factor. It’s rough to see Shadowball’s promising season end with a departure such as this, but those are the facts of life. Don’t Tilt, the former #1 seed turned CPR victim is still pushing their way through and find themselves sitting in #4 for the playoffs.
Final result: DOES IT won 2-0
meo’s Prediction: DOES IT wins 2-1
VoxDei’s Prediction: DOES IT wins 2-1
meo’s MVP: super DOES IT
VoxDei’s MVP: super DOES IT
Match length + Logs: 35:00 // http://logs.tf/1307869
meo’s Writeup: This game wasn’t nearly as close as I expected it to be. DOES IT’s flank of juicy (scout, DOES IT) and super walked all over Aw^. With b1am no longer on scout and sithreis (soldier, Aw^) having a bad game, there wasn’t much to contest DOES IT’s flank. Sharpshot (heavy, Aw^) was the only one really able to contest DOES IT much and it simply wasn’t enough. With this win, DOES IT secured their spot in playoffs. Definitely a good showing from them.
VoxDei’s Writeup: DOES IT take a pretty quick romp through Aw^ with this win and prevent Aw^ from any chance at playoffs. Conner had yet another impressive performance this match, shutting down doxed in the second half after a solid 1st half. It was a rough game for Aw^, not really showing up on offense or defense, but DOES IT clearly has a lot more strength in their roster than most realize. Expect a solid outing from them throughout the playoffs with this win proving that’s where they belong.
Final result: ££ won 2-0
meo’s Prediction: N/A
VoxDei’s Prediction: ££ wins 2-0
meo’s MVP: Max ££
VoxDei’s MVP: exlo ££
Match length + Logs: 38:08 // http://logs.tf/1309761
meo’s Writeup: Father did put up a good fight here, holding last against pepe for close to five minutes in the second half. Unfortunately, pepe’s dm was too much for father and they took the game 2-0.
VoxDei’s Writeup: ££ pick up a victory over father here in rather surprising fashion. What looked to be a quick roll, ended up taking a bit longer as they had difficulty capping last in a fast enough time. For a game they were supposed to tear through, they managed a near 10 minute time, compared to father’s ~11:30. They seemed to pick things up the second half with a sub-6 minute time, but we saw games between closer teams go much faster than this. Still, the frags were about as one-sided as they can get, with 6 players from ££ outfragging the entirety of father, but it suggests an issue that’s been plaguing them since the beginning of the season- coordination.
Final result: IFA won 2-0
meo’s Prediction: IFA wins 2-1
VoxDei’s Prediction: IFA wins 2-1
meo’s MVP: wish IFA
VoxDei’s MVP: wish IFA
Match length + Logs: 31:11 // http://logs.tf/1307938
meo’s Writeup: No, that mvp isn’t an error. There was some off-classing on this match and wish was indeed fragging on the engineer class. With wish and arzt (heavy, IFA) both getting 43 frags, IFA took this game fairly easily. Egwat (sniper, No.2) and Arron Dominion (heavy, No.2) both had good performances, as usual, but it wasn’t enough for No.2 to get the win here. With this win, IFA ends their season at 4-4, far from the glory days of IFA but not as bad as it was looking for them at one point.
VoxDei’s Writeup: IFA continue to screw around this season, but still manage to end at 4-4, which is the first time they’ve fallen so low in Gold. No.2 kept up fairly well with frags, but IFA’s defense was too strong to allow them to take a round here. Their 4:35 time when winning the first round helped too, of course. Arzt and wish top out the leaderboard for frags and damage, but not too far behind are many of the players on the No.2 side. It just seemed as though IFA had a stranglehold defense that No.2 couldn’t quite seem to push their way through which caused them this loss.
If you asked me in the beginning of the season if No.2 would go 2-6, I would have believed you. If you had asked me in Week 4, I would have called you crazy. 5 straight losses put them in this position, but they did manage to keep it tightly contested in most of those games, even this one considering they kept up with some of the raw DM power of IFA’s roster. A little bit more time working on coordination and No.2 could be back in Gold next season, ready to fight.
Final result: U$A won 2-1
meo’s Prediction: U$A wins 2-1
VoxDei’s Prediction: U$A wins 2-0
meo’s MVP: eagle U$A)
VoxDei’s MVP: Campy U$A
Match length + Logs: 52:02 // http://logs.tf/1307895
meo’s Writeup: A very close 2-1 game, perhaps because there wasn’t much left to fight for. With “lft s19” in multiple players names in this match, it was clear that both teams were already starting to move on from this season. Campy and eagle managed to bring home the game with a combined 108 frags, but cynex (scout, TOPGUN) deserves a shoutout for top fragging over everyone.
VoxDei’s Writeup: I’m really hyped the way this game turned out between these two teams. A struggle is the weakest term to use in regards to the season that was lead by U$A and #TOPGUN, but they clash here until the bitter end in a 52 minute game to close out the season. Neither team was fighting for a playoff spot, but rather just to have a good game, which is why I sense that #TOPGUN re-readied up after the end of Week 7’s games. The game ended 2-1, and #TOPGUN was pushing last when the final seconds were ticking off the clock in overtime, but they were unable to secure the cap. Performances on either team were strong, with cynex and WiLLmaTiC doing work for #TOPGUN, and eagle, campy, and kezia promising the same for U$A. I really hope to see these players back in some capacity in Gold next season as they had some really strong showings, but alas, the chapter ends for S18.
Welcome to the playoffs and welcome back to cp_steel. We are going to be witnessing the beginning of a pretty rousing set of playoffs. To inject my own personal opinion into this section, we have a fair amount of really closely matched teams. I feel like the 3rd-7th ranked teams could play eachother in any fashion and the outcome would be close, whereas games against -quail noises- and sJ may have some more obvious outcomes.
(Home team vs Visiting Team)
-quail noises- vs Meme Stealers 2.0
meo’s Prediction: / ^ )> wins 2-0
VoxDei’s Prediction: / ^ )> wins 2-0
meo’s Player(s) to watch: / ^ )> – yimi , sigh , mae | KILLME – rob , sullyy , shotaway
VoxDei’s Player(s) to watch: / ^ )>- yimi , sigh , mae | KILLME – rob , sullyy , shotaway
meo’s Writeup: Although Meme Stealers are a good team, it’s hard to see much of anything but a roll with this game. As usual, rob and JJslim are looked towards to bring home the win for the Meme Stealers. Sadly for KILLME’s flank, they have to face off against the undisputed best flank in Gold of yimi + sigh. With Quail Noises likely to come out on top on the flank, Meme Stealers simply don’t have many other tricks up their sleeves to bring out against Quails. Sure, sully out sniping kev (sniper, quails) is a possibility, but on a map like steel it’s hard to see Meme Stealers be able to spin that advantage into a win. Meme Stealers won’t go out without a fight, but no matter what angle I look at it this is a 2-0 for Quails.
VoxDei’s Writeup: Meme Stealers end up sneaking their way into a playoff berth with Shadowball’s loss to -ts- on Badwater last week. Unfortunately for them, they get matched up with the #1 -quail noises-. Meme Stealers are outmatched at almost every angle here. Their flank is what shines, but the flank of yimi and sigh over on the quail’s side should edge them out. Coordination and combo play also heavily favor quails as well which should lead to a relatively quick 2-0. Unless Shotaway and Sullyy can do something absolutely insane to continually prevent mae and Voll from steamrolling through points, there’s really no hope here for the Meme dream team.
Social Justice Wariors vs Papa’s Peddlers
meo’s Prediction: sJ wins 2-0
VoxDei’s Prediction: sJ wins 2-0
meo’s Player(s) to watch: sJ- crab_f , goldfish , Dynamovic , ££- Max , watterson , spring rolls
VoxDei’s Player(s) to watch: sJ- crab_f , goldfish , evil | ££ – whymeo , Max , Teapot
meo’s Writeup: sJ are definitely the team likely to win this, but we’re not counting ourselves completely out over at pepe. We’ve been practicing hard and I think we’re ready to capitalize if sJ makes any big mistakes. However, if sJ plays like they normally do this game will certainly go to them.
VoxDei’s Writeup: If any team besides quail noises has a chance to knock sJ down to the lower bracket, they are going to do it on a stopwatch map, which has proved to be the one point of weakness for sJ this season. However, I think that loss is more likely to take place on Upward more so than Steel. This is a relatively even matchup of skilled players, but the deck is stacked in sJ’s favor with their superior coordination. The flank of Uber and crab_f should be sufficiently challenged by whymeo and exlo, but crab_f’s DM will probably be superior. In terms of the combo, goldfish should be able to keep this in control for sJ, but watch out for Max who has some insane DM abilities of his own. I’m interested as well in this Sniper battle, but disappointed that it had to happen on Steel. The recently surging DynamoVic is going up against the consistently high-performing Watterson. There will be some brief moments of direct SvS, but nowhere near the battle we would see on other maps. A 2-0 for sJ as they are way to strong to drop to the lower brackets in the first round of playoffs.
Team Jeebus 2: Need for Jeebs vs Baited by Rhy
meo’s Prediction: Jeebus wins 2-0
VoxDei’s Prediction: Jeebus wins 2-0
meo’s Player(s) to watch: Jeebus– kairu , comanglia , Mr. DelDongo | DOES IT – super , juicy , triiiple
VoxDei’s Player(s) to watch: Jeebus– kairu , Ezrik | DOES IT– Super , waterr
meo’s Writeup: I think this game will be closer then people expect. DOES IT’s combo, especially June (pyro, DOES IT), have consistently shone throughout the season very smart play and a lack of over-extending. This will serve them extremely well on defense on steel and I expect well executed rotations and good coordination when backing out of points from DOES IT. However, Jeebus is also a team well known for their coordination and sadly for DOES IT, Jeebus simply has the edge here when it comes to player-by-player comparison. With players like kairu and comanglia, Jeebus definitely has the dm advantage here. Although super is likely to put out a ton of damage as well as get some key picks for DOES IT, in the end Jeebus should be able to power forward in this match through sheer dm alone. This game definitely shouldn’t be written off as a roll, DOES IT is going to make Jeebus sweat a bit in this match, but I still see Jeebus taking this 2-0.
VoxDei’s Writeup: Jeebus and Baited by Rhy both seem to be a force on Stopwatch, with a 4-0 on the season for the game mode for each team. The difference is, Jeebus beat teams like appel and Don’t Tilt to reach that point whereas Baited by Rhy took on far less. Still, the overall advantage seems to be in Jeebus’ favor with their coordination and combo being stronger. I expect Super and waterr to make some solid plays to prevent any quick steamrolls through points, but the threat of kairu and Comanglia should make it very interesting. I think that Baited by Rhy have a chance to keep this a close 2-0, perhaps losing their momentum in the final seconds of a hold where Jeebus will have the chance to capitalize. Baited by Rhy is also experiencing some level of roster issues this coming week with Conner’s computer apparently on the fritz. Their lineup is going to be a Question Mark coming in, but we’ll see what they bring to the table.
Don’t Tilt vs appel by VoxDei
meo’s Prediction: appel wins 2-1
VoxDei’s Prediction: appel wins 2-1
meo’s Player(s) to watch: appel – Smilez , jayden, Drunk Uncle | -ts- beanie , perception , spec deck
VoxDei’s Player(s) to watch: -ts- – DrZoidy , beanie | appel – bunny , jayden
Bet on Saloon!: https://saloon.tf/match/195
meo’s Writeup: The seeding doesn’t lie here, this game is likely to be the closest match of the week. It was pretty clear from the very start of the season that these two teams were a cut above most of Gold, however both of them dropped three games to other high-Gold teams. The team that wins this game is the team that will be looked to, along with Jeebus, cause an upset against sJ or quails. This isn’t the first time these two teams have faced off however, having played each other week 4 on viaduct. That game went 4-2 to appel and I’m sure Don’t Tilt are hungry to prove that they’re the better team after that loss. No matter who wins, it’s sure to be a close one. I learned first hand that beanie (heavy, tilt) is a force to be reckoned with on steel, having been on the receiving end of a 20 kill streak from him in our steel match against Don’t Tilt. Appel’s combo are no slouches either though and I especially expect to Drunk Uncle (demo, appel) to perform well and outperform don’t tilt’s last minute demo replacement, dogfloaties. With their combo’s relatively evenly matched, I think the outcome of this game will come down to the flank and I think blinx (scout, appel) + bunny (soldier, appel) have the advantage over DrZoidy (scout, tilt) + spec deck (soldier, tilt). Appel’s flank will also have added help from american (pyro, appel) who will be spending most of his time on the flank on steel and is likely to get some nasty surprise kills onto Don’t Tilt. As long as bunny and blinx can manage to cause more damage than Don’t Tilt’s flank and Smilez (sniper, appel) can keep Jake (sniper, tilt) from causing much trouble, appel should be able to have a repeat of week 4.
VoxDei’s Writeup: The match of the week is none other than Don’t Tilt vs appel by VoxDei. The #4 and #5 seeds, respectively, duke it out for a chance to prevent themselves from falling into the lower bracket.
– DrZoidy vs. blinx | Edge: DrZoidy
DrZoidy’s DM has shone through whether on Scout or Demo this season and his Scout game has been a huge decider for his team. Zoidy has the edge on Scout v Scout battles, but in terms of overall flank play, thats where it gets tricky…
– SpecDeck vs bunny | Edge: bunny
bunny has a very consistent way of playing Soldier and absolutely tears up on the flank. His ability to play with his Scout-buddy, blinx, sends him into a different stratosphere as well. Expect him to have the edge Soldier v Soldier in the choke-y hallways of Steel.
– Perception vs American | Edge: Perception
American probably has more Pyro mechanics down, but his playstyle will most likely hinder his team as he will spent much of the time dead. Perception may not end up with as many frags, but will be able to play cleanly to prevent Jayden from getting done what he does best. Expect American to boast more frags on the flank, but at what expense?
– dogfloaties vs Drunk Uncle | Edge: Drunk Uncle
Truth be told, it’s been a few seasons since I’ve seen dogfloaties play. Can he still hang? Does he work well with their combo? Notably absent from scrims on Steel so far and that can only prevent further bonding between the combo. His aggressive playstyle may match that of -ts-, but whether they will be in sync is a better question. Drunk Uncle’s DM may be weaker, but it is solid and consistent and should do a lot to help appel succeed.
– beanie vs Vipa | Edge: beanie
Heavy main turned monster or Spy main turned Heavy main? My money’s on beanie. Although Vipa has done a great job filling in, taking down the #1 Heavy in Gold is no small feat.
– kainoa vs Zaku | Edge: Zaku
Of the pair, kai definitely has the better DM, but Zaku’s Engie mechanics will go a lot further for appel in this one. Kai will help his team immensely on Offense, but with a little help from his team, Zaku may make B or E an impenetrable fortress.
– Snook vs brulée | Edge: Snook
Snook is likely to die less than Brulée because of beanie and Perception. They both have solid numbers so far throughout the season and have been able to stay alive when their team has needed them to, but Snook’s Medic mechanics and survivability should win out here.
– Jake vs SmileZ | Edge: SmileZ
Jake has not had the easiest time getting back into Highlander as the Sniper v Sniper battles have been a weaker point of his. On the other hand, that is exactly where SmileZ shines. It will be a low outing most likely for both of these Snipers, due to the nature of the map, but expect SmileZ to win when his team needs him to on those clutch SvS moments.
– Kris18 vs Jayden | Edge: Jayden
Jayden is more likely to get picks on the combo of Don’t Tilt despite the superior spy checking abilities. Kris is bound to get a few crazy stabs in, but Jayden’s determination and quick thinking has lead to overall better play on the season thus far.
Game edge: appel by VoxDei.
appel should be able to bring this one home in exciting fashion in a 2-1 against Don’t Tilt. Keep your eyes peeled for non-stop aggressive flank action, the quick-moving combo of Don’t Tilt, and the sneaky Spy plays of Jayden as he ruins pushes. Overall, appel is stronger where it counts, having a more cohesive team and stronger pick classes. Don’t Tilt may win the DM-fight and prove to have some quick maneuvers for destroying sentry nests with their aggression, but coordination will win out in the end.
Week 8 Stats
Stats this week will be part of a secondary article.
Team of the Week