March 18th, 2016
UGC Gold Highlander Season 18
Playoffs Week 1 Review and Week 2 Preview – Upward: Round 2
by VoxDei and whymeo
We had some crazy awesome games take place this past Monday and we got to cast two of them. With these games, we separate 4 of the teams in the Lower Bracket of playoffs, one loss away from packing it in for the season.
Steel is still the map of upsets, #SaveSteelS19.
(Home team vs Visiting Team)
#1 -quail noises- vs #8 Meme Stealers 2.0
Final result: / ^ )> won 2-0
meo’s Prediction: / ^ )> wins 2-0
VoxDei’s Prediction: / ^ )> wins 2-0
meo’s MVP: mae / ^ )>
VoxDei’s MVP: mae / ^ )>
Match length + Logs: 34:06 // http://logs.tf/1320241
meo’s Writeup: This match was the most one-sided of all the matches this week, not particularly surprising for the 1st seed vs. 8th seed match in retrospect. Meme Stealers had it especially rough, with a very large number of their regular players gone. They were missing their rob, zuchima and hostile. Not having rob is especially a blow to Meme Stealers, as he is by far their most consistent player and has been a driving force in a lot of their wins. As far as Quails goes, it’s the same things you’ve always heard. Mae owned with over 600 dpm, rue, yimi and sigh weren’t far behind him in frags and everyone on quails played well. This match was a good start of the playoffs for them and as long as they all keep playing like they have been it should be an easy trip to grand finals.
VoxDei’s Writeup: quails have a pretty easy tear through their first week of playoffs, with the Meme Stealers unable to keep up in any capacity. Try as they might, the high octane
flank combo everything of quail noises just suppressed any chance of an upset by the #8 seed. Notably absent was star Scout, rob, whose presence was sorely missed. In fact, Meme Stealers highest performing member was a ringer from Bv, Seer. Any way you slice it, this game was never out of control from quails, who continue their win streak this season.
#2 Social Justice Warriors vs #7 Papa’s Peddlers
Final result: ££ won 2-1
meo’s Prediction: sJ wins 2-0
VoxDei’s Prediction: sJ wins 2-0
meo’s MVP: Max ££
VoxDei’s MVP: tiptoes ££
Match length + Logs: 32:32 // http://logs.tf/1320275
meo’s Writeup: Thanks to an insane 6k by heisen in the last round and good play all around, ££ took this game 2-1.
VoxDei’s Writeup: Wow. Just wow. Not even ££ thought they would walk away from this win without divine intervention and somehow, as #7 they have pulled the upset over the #2 seed and have knocked sJ down to the lower bracket far earlier than anyone would have anticipated. This was 100% a team effort, so it’s hard to pin it on the back of one play or player. It just seems that ££ came in more prepared than sJ and outperformed them in terms of play style. Because of the team effort, I named tiptoes, the teams main-caller, as MVP for this stunning victory, but Max deserves his share of praise as well.. sJ are far from out of the bracket yet, but they now should be ready to understand that each game from this point could be their last. ££ now riding high on this victory will be hoping to string it into more and vie for placement. Also, funny to note, the fastest game of the week was this one, even though all others were over in a 2-0.
#3 Team Jeebus 2: Need for Jeebs vs #6 Baited by Rhy
Final result: Jeebus won 2-0
meo’s Prediction: Jeebus wins 2-0
VoxDei’s Prediction: Jeebus wins 2-0
meo’s MVP: Ezrik Jeebus
VoxDei’s MVP: Ezrik Jeebus
Match length + Logs: 38:39 // http://logs.tf/1320283
meo’s Writeup: The outcome of this match was rather expected and sadly for DOES IT it ended up being a match that Jeebus easily won. With the kill count at 267 for Jeebus and 176 for DOES IT, it’s immediately evident that this game wasn’t very close. In DOES IT’s defense, they were missing both their main Sniper andSscout and had to bring a sub Sniper and Demo (wish and tenna, respectively) in as well as move Rhy to Scout. Despite a good performance from wish, actually mildly out-sniping Comanglia, and triiiple this game was in Jeebus’ control from the beginning to the end. Jeebus’ coordination and DM were just too far ahead of DOES IT’s, and Jeebus’ players like ezrik, wlly and kairu really stepped up and delivered.
VoxDei’s Writeup: Similarly to what quails did to Meme Stealers, Jeebus manages to do to DOES IT. DOES IT is outfragged by nearly 100, and were unable to stop the top 4 players on Jeebus from racking up 175 kills. To put this in perspective, the entirety of the DOES IT team put up 176. Ezrik’s performance was one of the best of anyone this week, posting up ~1.4 KPM, the highest amount in any match. It was definitely a tough ride for DOES IT, but their sub Sniper, wish, managed to put up decent numbers, along with super and triiiple, but they could not capitalize off of the play of these three members. Jeebus play a red-hot ££ next week while DOES IT has to go up against a fuming sJ roster.
#4 Don’t Tilt vs #5 appel by VoxDei
Final result: appel won 2-0
meo’s Prediction: appel wins 2-1
VoxDei’s Prediction: appel wins 2-1
meo’s MVP: Drunk Uncle appel
VoxDei’s MVP: brulée appel
Match length + Logs: 38:26 // http://logs.tf/1320290
meo’s Writeup: This match was a bit of a roll, with Don’t Tilt unable to even cap E during appel’s defense in the second half. With 14 minutes to cap E, appel easily won the lost round on offense and took the game 2-0. The biggest contributor to Don’t Tilt’s problems in this match where, as usual, yet another roster change. Don’t Tilt moved DrZoidy off of Demo for this match so he could go back to his main, Scout. Unfortunately, Zoidy is a very good Demo and was the main thing holding Don’t Tilt together after their numerous roster issues. With dogfloaties on Demo, who didn’t perform nearly as well as Zoidy had been, Don’t Tilt was very weak in this match. A much weaker Demo meant that beanie also became a heal vacuum, taking 37% of Snook’s heals this match. Now, beanie is a good Heavy, but taking such a large amount of heals on Heavy is ridiculous no matter how good your Heavy is. With Don’t Tilt’s roster in a sub-optimal state, appel was able to capitalize with great play from their players. Drunk Uncle far outperformed dogfloaties, top damaging and top-fragging in the server. SmileZ held 2nd place for frags and 3rd for DPM, rather shocking for Sniper on steel. Thanks to Drunk Uncle and SmileZ’s great performance, as well as a rather weak line up from Don’t Tilt, appel was able to take this game.
VoxDei’s Writeup: I really have to hand it to the combo of appel here, and honestly, they all deserve the MVP nod. Vipa did die significantly more than Drunk Uncle and brulée, but was willing to sacrifice himself to keep his Medic and Demo alive- and it worked. Kris18 was not able to get a single Med pick, completely obliterating my prediction that appel’s combo would have more trouble staying alive. Clearly everyone on appel came to play and completely outmatched Don’t Tilt on every level. Is it simply me underestimating appel or overvaluing Don’t Tilt’s play? My gut tells me the latter after seeing this weak performance by some of their best players. SmileZ still manages to put up some good stats, even on a weaker Sniper map, further solidifying his stature as a top Sniper in Gold. Jake did take the SvS slightly with a 7-5, but Don’t Tilt probably didn’t get to bear down on SmileZ as much as they would have liked. Don’t Tilt don’t play an easy match next week and could face elimination if they can’t pick up the pieces before they get back on Upward. The last time they played it, they won, but that was several dozen roster transactions ago. appel play their toughest competitor yet, with -quail noises-, the team they lost to on Badwater just two weeks ago, but have a chance to guarantee placement with a win.
Upward is back for round 2 of 3, as it will be played in the lower bracket games on 3/24 as well before moving to Product for a couple weeks.
(Home team vs Visiting Team)
#1 -quail noises- vs # 5 appel by VoxDei
meo’s Prediction: / ^ )> wins 2-1
VoxDei’s Prediction: / ^ )> wins 2-1
meo’s Player(s) to watch: / ^ )>- sigh , mae , pomf | appel – Drunk Uncle , SmileZ , Jayden
VoxDei’s Player(s) to watch: / ^ )>- sigh , mae , Kev | appel – Drunk Uncle , SmileZ , Jayden
meo’s Writeup: I think this game is going to be a lot closer than people expect. Quails have always struggled with Upward and even though the only remaining long-time members of quails are mae, bubs, and juss, I think a part of the team’s Upward issues start with mae. Quails always struggled with pushing 3rd on Upward and often over-extend on defense, and I think that mae will continue to have this same problem. If appel is going to be able to contest quails, they’ll need to be able to at least come close to them DM-wise. Everyone on appel is going to need to be on point with their DM in this match. Smilez is a good start, as he’s likely to out-snipe Kev, but the rest of appel needs to step up here and hit some really great shots in this match. If appel’s DM is on point then I honestly would not be surprised to see them take this, but I definitely still believe this match is more likely to go to quails. Sigh is going to be an absolute monster on Upward and I expect to see some crazy bombs from him as well as a constant output of damage. Mae, although struggling a bit on this map, is still sure to put out massive amounts of damage. Pomf can’t be forgotten either, especially because the huge sightlines are sure to make an amby spy feel right at home. There are definitely a lot of reasons to think quails will take this one, but I still do have the suspicion that quails remain weak on Upward. Quails should still take this, but it won’t be the roll people expect.
– yimi vs bff-forever | Edge: yimi
If this had been last season I probably would have given this to bff. However, bff is a bit rusty and he’s not the same Scout he was on Bv and yimi has been looking like the best Scout in Gold the entire season. If bff turns it up and performs like he was back in Plat however, then yimi might just find a worthy adversary on the flank.
– sigh vs bunny | Edge: sigh
Bunny is certainly a very good Soldier, but there’s no getting around the fact that sigh has been putting out some insane numbers on Soldier this season. Definitely don’t sleep on the bunny + bff flank, but sigh and yimi are likely to come out on top here.
– bubs^ vs american | Edge: bubs^
Bubs has been having the better season than american, so I’ll go with the safe option and give him the edge. However, american’s performance has been on an upward trend (no pun intended) lately, so I wouldn’t be shocked if he matched bubs^ or even outperformed him here. This one could go either way!
– mae vs Drunk Uncle | Edge: mae
Both mae and Drunk Uncle are very solid demos and Drunk Uncle definitely plays a much more safer, conservative demo than mae, but I think mae’s DM will win out here.
– rue vs Vipa | Edge: rue
Vipa has been doing well off-classing to Heavy for appel, and I kind of regret not putting him in the top 5 Heavies for playoffs, but even so I don’t think he’ll quite be able to match rue. With Plat experience and a lot of heals from Voll, rue should come out on top here.
– Juss vs Zaku | Edge: Zaku
Both are very smart Engineers and shouldn’t make many mistakes on defense in this match, but Zaku has better Engineer DM then juss, so I’d expect him to marginally outperform Juss in this game.
– Voll vs. Brulée | Edge: Voll
Voll has been doing very well on Medic for quails and I expect his coordination with his combo to be a bit above brulée’s. As a result, this should lead to less unnecessary deaths for Voll and better ubers.
– Smilez vs. Kev | Edge: Smilez
This is an interesting one. Smilez has a far better overall season record then Kev does, but Kev has been rapidly improving on Sniper. Whether he’s ready to take on Gold’s very best yet or not is yet to be seen. Keep an eye on this Sniper duel – it will be an interesting one. In the end, I have to go with Smilez though.
– pomf vs. Jayden | Edge: Jayden
Probably the hardest one of them all to call. Jayden has been doing a little bit better then pomf overall, but pomf is going to feel right at home with his Ambassador on Upward. Expect a lot of headshots out of pomf and a lot of backstabs out of Jayden, but in the end I think Jayden will come out on top with a few more essential picks over pomf.
VoxDei’s Writeup: So an interesting thing right off the bat for this matchup is that / ^ )>’s only loss this season comes on Upward to the team that appel just beat. Now, there’s a lot different now than there was 8 weeks ago. -quail noises- looked weaker and Don’t Tilt looked stronger, but also appel looked weaker than they are now too. appel has come into their own and have a good chance to keep this competitive. The only unfortunate thing for them is that they are outmatched on both the flank and the combo, really being stronger with their pick classes- SmileZ and Jayden. Now, pomf is not a weak Spy, but I feel like Jayden’s knife skills will do more to disrupt quails than pomf’s amby will do to appel, but it will mean a lot of trouble for SmileZ to keep up with Kev. I think that yimi and Sigh may prove too strong to allow appel’s flank from doing too much work and the combo of Rue and mae are absolutely dangerous. The chances of Zaku keeping up a sentry for too long on Defense are slim to none with mae behind an uber.
#7 Papa’s Peddlers vs #3 Team Jeebus 2: Need for Jeebs
meo’s Prediction: N/A
VoxDei’s Prediction: ££ wins (2-1)
meo’s Player(s) to watch: N/A
VoxDei’s Player(s) to watch: ££– spring rolls , Max , watterson | Jeebus – Ezrik , Comanglia , Mr.DelDongo
Bet on Saloon!: https://saloon.tf/match/209
meo’s Writeup: Should be a fun one!
VoxDei’s Writeup: Both of these teams are on fire coming into this game, which is going to be a clash of epic proportions. Both excel in their own way, but whose way will bring them a victory and guarantee placement among their peers in Gold this season? They benefit from experienced and balanced gamers, topped off with some raw DM, but who has the edge?
– whymeo vs. kairu | Edge: kairu
Ah, the role of a Scout on Upward- what a wonderful thing to do. In a straight DM fight, I think kairu should have the edge here, how limited it may be while stuck on the “cart bitch” role. On Defense however, in places where some Scout v Scout battles may take place on flanks in Shit House or within Tunnel, kairu will probably end up winning the majority of those fights.
– exlo vs Mini | Edge: Mini
Honestly, it’s a tough choice between these two, but I ultimately gave the edge to Mini because of his gamesense. In a straight DM battle, I could see exlo winning out most times, but I think Mini will take a more coordinated approach to this game and in the end make more valuable plays.
– Spring Rolls vs Sunfire | Edge: Spring Rolls
In terms of the Pyro’s role, I think Spring Roles takes the edge face to face. Sunfire always has some tricks up his sleeve, namely the Phlogistinator, but Spring Rolls has some crazy Pyro mechanics that will probably lead him to more Spy picks and frags overall.
– Max vs Ezrik | Edge: None
Wow, I honestly cannot say how impressed I am with each of the Demos for these teams. I can’t even really choose between the two in a head to head. Both have put up insane numbers throughout the season and both have lead their teams in frags and damage multiple times on the way to victory. They will both be put to the test and I’m excited to find out who walks out the victor.
– Teapot vs WLLY | Edge: Teapot
WLLY has not proved to be in a form that we’ve come to expect in past seasons, but Teapot is still putting up the same decent numbers for their team. Both are a rock and should have some solid stats for a Heavy, but I wouldn’t expect either to have some crazy 1.4 KPM, 350 DPM game. Teapot takes the edge with WLLY’s recent absence and his overall (slightly) higher stats throughout the season.
– Rice-a-roni vs Shea!| Edge: Shea!
Admittedly, Shea! is more of a DM Engie than of the turtle-ing variety, but the DM should benefit his team greatly with an open map like Upward. He should make the game difficult for Proto and be more of a force on offense, so he takes the edge here.
– tiptoes vs Couches | Edge: tiptoes
If you asked me a few weeks ago who had the edge between the pair, I would have answered Couches, no question. Recently, tiptoes has been on a streak with some amazing stats, while Couches’ has been on a bit of a decline. I don’t know if his team is not protecting him or if the combo isn’t in sync, but his stats have not been great. Couple that with tiptoes’ consistently rising performance, and the edge goes to ££.
– watterson vs Comanglia | Edge: watterson
I’ve said since the beginning of the season that watterson is the best Sniper in Gold, and that spot has only truly been rivaled by SmileZ. Comanglia has some good SvS abilities, but watterson has more potential to go off and wreak enough havoc for his team to coast into some easy point captures. With the fact that watterson has the most HS/M of any Sniper in Gold, and with that, some of the highest DPM and KPM (#4 and #3 respectively) there’s no doubt he holds this edge.
– Proto vs Mr.DelDongo | Edge: Proto
This is a tough one to call. I think Mr.DelDongo has more potential to go off, but in terms of the overall boost a Spy gives to the team, I think Proto’s calls will do far more in the long run. We’ve seen some great games out of him (namely Lakeside) so there is plenty of fragging potential, but the clear, concise calls you get from your Spy are essential in taking a victory. Edge for Proto.
Game edge: Papa’s Peddlers
££ are on Cloud 9 after their upset over the #2 seeded sJ. Although Jeebus absolutely ruined DOES IT last week, I think in terms of overall performance ££ were more impressive. Taking down a titan who has only lost to the #1 seeded team all season is a far bigger accomplishment in my eyes. Jeebus had some wild stats by some of their best fraggers in that game, but I think may be unprepared with what ££ bring to the table, in regards to team play. With Comanglia most likely spending a lot of time at the Resupply cabinet with the threat of watterson and Proto, and players like Ezrik and WLLY maybe a bit too scared to get aggressive, the only chance is with the flank, which doesn’t have as big an impact on Upward as it can on other maps. With the combo and pick classes in the favor of ££, I’m expecting a win on their side.
#8 Meme Stealers 2.0 vs #4 Don’t Tilt
meo’s Prediction: KILLME wins (2-0)
VoxDei’s Prediction: KILLME wins (2-1)
meo’s Player(s) to watch: KILLME – rob , Sullyy , shotaway | -ts- – DrZoidy , beanie , Jake
VoxDei’s Player(s) to watch: KILLME – rob , Sullyy , shotaway | -ts- – DrZoidy , beanie , Jake
meo’s Writeup: I wrote a whole thing about how Don’t Tilt was sure to lose this game and was quite certain that would be the case after Don’t Tilt’s performance last week against appel. However, I then heard that Zoidy is back on Demo! Goddamn that changes shit, because if Zoidy plays anything like he did his last two games as Demo he’s going to fucking pound. This shouldn’t be a roll though, largely because I think Meme Stealers’ pick classes will outperform Don’t Tilt’s. Sullyy is likely to out snipe Jake by a bit, but also look out for shotaway and rob to get a lot of important picks this game and be the players to keep Meme Stealers in this fight. However, despite the power of Meme Stealers’ pick classes I think Don’t Tilt’s combo of snook, DrZoidy, Beanie and Perception just outclasses KILLME’s by so much that they will be able to take this game – and probably fairly easily at that.
– ? vs ? | Edge: ?
However controversial it is, I just have to give the edge here to ? against ?. Yes, at the time of writing both teams are unsure about who their Scout will be for this match.
– Spec Deck vs JJslim | Edge: Spec Deck
JJslim has been rather inconsistent this season. At times, he looked like he even matched his godlike scout partner, rob, but at others he has struggled to get his frags into the double digits. While JJslim at his best might be better than Spec Deck, Spec Deck’s consistency compared to JJslim definitely makes him the more likely to perform this match.
– Perception vs Linkzz | Edge: Perception
Linkzz is a fairly solid Pyro and has been playing well with his team and putting out good numbers this season, but it’s hard to rival Perception and his shotgun aim. Perception is really only rivaled by spring rolls as far as Gold Pyros go and I expect him to outperform most Pyros this playoffs.
– DrZoidy vs Zuchima(?) | Edge: DrZoidy
Yet another spot that is uncertain for these two teams, Meme Stealers aren’t sure who will be playing Demo for them this match. Zoidy put his team on his back and dragged them to victory in their match against Shadowball and also had an amazing showing in their Lakeside match against DOES IT, so I feel safe saying Zoidy will have the edge over whoever Meme Stealers fields.
– beanie vs HostileHamster | Edge: beanie
There’s no getting around the fact that beanie is one of the best heavies in Gold, really only rivaled by rue and carcin (before he left to go roster ride plat smh.) Especially taking into account that Hostile doesn’t even know what his combo is going to be yet for the match, I think beanie should easily have a much better performance than Hostile here.
– kainoa vs Ice | Edge: kainoa
Kainoa definitely seems to have better engineer DM then Ice based off of season statistics and since I’m fairly certain upward is a very straightforward map for engineers on defense the main difference between their performances should be dm. So, kainoa should have the edge here.
– Snook vs alto | Edge: Snook
This is a tough one to call. Both are experienced Medics that are good at their class, but I think I have to give the edge to Snook simply because alto’s combo is currently in disarray. With alto not even sure who he’ll be playing Demo with, Snook should find it much easier to perform with players he’s been practicing weeks with.
– Jake vs sullyy | Edge: sullyy
Another tough one to call. Both of these Snipers have had good games and bad games this season, but sullyy has overall looked a little more impressive. I wouldn’t be surprised if Jake turned up for this match and out-sniped sullyy though. Really this could go either way!
– Kris18 vs shotaway | Edge: shotaway
Although Kris18 is probably overall better at Spy mechanics, being a master at getting stupid backstabs, shotaway seems to be a more consistent Spy. Plus, Kris18’s performance has fallen off somewhat as the season has went on.
VoxDei’s Writeup: All the money is on Meme Stealers to take this and I can see why. Don’t Tilt has gone overboard. In all honesty though, this game is really hard to predict. Both are volatile teams with strokes of greatness and games that can only be described as laughable. Kindred spirits will face off on a map everyone should be familiar with at this point and the win will go to the team who can keep the other off balance. I want to give it to KILLME simply for the fact that they will do more to surprise Don’t Tilt, who are more likely to fold under the pressure of one failed push than any other team in Gold. With the psychological game in play, the memes from KILLME may put Don’t Tilt over the edge in a game loaded with BM and obscenities. In the unlikely event everyone keeps their cool and come prepared to prevent their season from being over, Don’t Tilt may walk away victorious in a squeaker.
#2 Social Justice Warriors #6 Baited by Rhy
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 | DOES IT– juicy , super , triiiple
VoxDei’s Player(s) to watch: sJ – crab_f , Goldfish , evil | DOES IT– super , Tenna , conner
meo’s Writeup: This must be a tough pill to swallow for everyone over at DOES IT. With £££ mounting an upset over sJ, DOES IT is now forced to play against sJ to try and keep their time in playoffs alive. With sJ not wanting their season to end here, I think they’re going to come out in full force for this match. With DOES IT’s season hanging in the balance, super is sure to do his absolute best in this match and I expect some crazy Med picks and plays from him, but I just don’t think it will be enough. sJ is by far the stronger team than DOES IT, far outclassing them DM-wise. Yes, sJ let their guard down last week and lost, but when it comes down to it I just don’t see sJ willing to get anything below top 3 – and they have the skill to make sure that happens. With DynamoVic almost sure to win the Sniper duel, goldfish to put out a lot more damage than DOES IT’s combo and evil certain to absolutely wreak havoc on DOES IT’s defenses, there simply doesn’t seem like there’s much hope for DOES IT. If they manage to win it will be one of the craziest upsets I’ll have ever seen and it would truly be exciting to see, so good luck to DOES IT!
VoxDei’s Writeup: Pack it in boys. sJ are going to be out for blood and will leave no opportunity for upset in this match against DOES IT. Upward is one of sJ’s stronger stopwatch maps (which they have notably struggled with) so they have a shot here to put it to rest. Perhaps I’m a little too quick to dismiss DOES IT, but they failed to perform against a weaker team last week on Steel. Perhaps the more familiar and defined Upward will prove to be a bit better for them, but with Goldfish on the other end of an Über, it really only feels like it can go one way.