UGC Highlander Platinum- Week 6 Review + Week 7 Preview

July 20th, 2016

UGC Plat Highlander Season 19

And now for something completely different…

by VoxDei


It’s been a while since I’ve written regarding HL coverage, but brooky, bless his soul, is finally taking a break. Unless he decides to step back into the ring, I’ll likely be finishing off this season of Plat coverage.

Power Rankings are going to be short (and terrible) compared to brooky’s and can be found at the bottom of the “review” section of the article.

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Everything pretty much went the way that you would expect, but with a few surprising score lines.

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ESEA-O 6’s – S22 Week 5/6 Top 16 Rankings

July 11th, 2016

ESEA-O 6v6 S22

Week 5/6 Top 16 Rankings

by whymeo

 

Another couple weeks go by, another team dies. This time KICKFLIP has bit the dust, over ping related issues. Their death has left the Eastern Conference with even fewer strong teams, meaning that as we approach playoffs we must come to terms with the fact that some teams will be making it into playoffs from the Eastern Conference that don’t deserve to be in playoffs – and as a result some teams from the Central Conference that do deserve to make playoffs will not be. We’ll have a better idea of who exactly will be making it and who won’t as we enter week 8, but for now just keep in mind that teams in the Central Conference will have a much harder time making playoffs. Now, onto the rankings:

 

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UGC HL Season 19 Week 5

Intro

Well, the update of legendary hype has come and gone,  and we’ve got quite possibly the weirdest update. Competitive Pyros everywhere are further dumbstruck by Valve’s decision to push W+M1 over Airblast, Medics find themselves even closer friends with their Scout buddy, and Spies are enjoying a nice jog. Steel will be a nice place to see some of these changes, especially the Medic and Spy change. We’ve gotten over the halfway point, but most of the teams will have a post-season in playoffs, and just about all the teams will be planning to participate. With the three titans finished playing against each other, expect over the next few weeks to see some very interesting effects of the Swiss system become apparent.

 

Recap

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Vanguard is over, and it probably wasn’t as terrible as it was made out to be in the weeks before it. With it over, we have our top three seeds set, as the 5-4 victory of The Kids over Dunning-Kruger Effect will set The Kids as first seed, dK as second, and bote as third. While the victory was not at all indicative of what a proper matchup between the two teams would look like, it does end up mattering for seeding, if only that.

 

 

Almost across the board, victories were very convincing. bote took a 5-1 victory over #mcm, solidifying the separation between the top of Platinum and the rest of the teams. EVL took a victory, but have yet to lock in a Demoman, and were ringing Alto. It’s definitely not something to harp on, but brings a question up of how much of that victory will translate into future games. {DT} and Bv picked up 5-1 and 5-0 wins against FBI and A, the latter of which was moved down to Silver after the loss.

 

The only match that didn’t end in a convincing victory was Kid Warrior vs DeLisi. After a long, drawn out game, DeLisi came out of the match with a mere two rounds one, something that will possibly cause them trouble if they near playoffs and find themselves with the same record as other teams. On the other side, though, it does give kW some more legitimacy, at least if they didn’t immediately go into massive roster changes.

 

Changes

bote -Giraffe (fuzion / p3nguin / spring rolls / Rightjustify / brick / Spades Slick / Rogue / bo4r / Vipa)

With Giraffe having been sniped by The Kids, Rightjustify returns to bote. It’ll be interesting to see bote overcome this, as it’s definitely a change that makes The Kids stronger and bote weaker, in what was already an uphill battle for bote.

 

Dunning-Kruger Effect -Karl (Vand / Corsa / Billysaurus / b4nny / Jordan / Spamfest / Skeez / Axiomatic / Hng)

While this is a notably temporary change, only for two weeks, it does make dK weaker. Luckily, their difficult matches are over with, so we shouldn’t see anything noticeable from this change.

 

Dragon Tales -Castiel (Keith / crab_f / Lavableman / Drunk Uncle / Castiel / Ice / Mariposa / Enrique / Pearl)

In a change that apparently took place before Vanguard, Yipyapper picks up the Minigun to replace former leader Castiel, who to my understanding benched himself. Team leader duties were passed to Keith, one of the returning players from last season’s roster. Yipyapper is no doubt good enough to play at the level necessary, but it’s yet to be seen if this is the change that could give {DT} a much needed edge over the other teams battling for the last handful of playoff spots.

 

EVL -Rev (Jaaay / Cap$ize / Seven / ? / Fire / Niko Jims / Fishy-Lin / Vinny / Scruff McGruff)

EVL still have not found a Demoman, and that’s going to start hurting them more now. The playoff race will only become more and more apparent, and the lack of a starting Demoman, regardless of who they use and how often they use him, will become harder and harder for them to overcome.

 

Burt Macklin -rowpieces, retro (megaboy / paddie / Dowd / Coldster / Pie / Gamemaster / overseer / Milk / Devoi)

In an awful string of miscommunications on my part, it’s come to my attention that megaboy was in fact not replaced. They also seem to have ended the dual sniping between retro and Milk, leaving it to just Milk. These changes should make FBI a more solid team, which they’ll need if they have playoff aspirations.

 

The Kids -goldfish (slemnish / Etney / Katsy / Giraffe / Blues / Ender / Nursey / yosh / feint)

And just if you thought that the loss of Kresnik gave The Kids a bit of a hole in their strategy department, they airlift Giraffe off of bote, replacing goldfish. Giraffe’s received significant lauding in the recent seasons, and by no means is any of it undeserved. Easily one of the best Demomen currently, his addition to The Kids will arguably put them in a better position than they were with goldfish + Kresnik.

 

Life as Kid Warrior -civ, doppel, Akemi (beastie / meyy / Frost / exile / triiiple / Gaberoll / Speedy / ? / 88 Fingers Eddward

After a promising game on Vanguard vs DeLisi, kW then seemed to self-destruct, with three players leaving. Apparently unable to easily fill those spots, they shuffled players around, moving triiiple to Heavy and Speedy to Medic, while picking up Beastie and meyy to replace them. They’ve yet to fill the Sniper spot, but with Comanglia and egwat being thrown around as potential replacements, they’re at least going to be able to rely on that while they figure out just how much their other changes end up.

 

Man Crush Mondays -Jay, Minti (blinxy / Bunny / American / Ezrik / Mini / Shea / Couches / Watterson / Evil

I’ve still got a lot of confidence in #mcm, and these swaps only serve to further solidify those changes. American and blinxy are both fantastic players, and should strengthen #mcm’s roster.

 

As for teams that didn’t change their roster:

Apolodosh (Lehcs / soccersteve / Bleek / Bonesaw / NotACleverMan / In_Sanity / Sullyy / Proto)

Chill Penguins (Whymeo / June / HA Johnny / monkey66 / Paals / Chicobo / Gamma Orionis / SpaceGhostsCoffee / Kris18)

Goof Birds (Syath / Spec Deck / Geosus / Coco / Freelander / Exaflamer / Mojoe / barycenter / Daynife)

The DeLisi Experience (wish / super / November / Max / caboose / Poseidon / Affliction / Zoey / Phone)

 

Next Week

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Welcome to CP_Steel, the best map or the worst map in rotation depending on who you ask. It’s common consensus, though, that CP_Steel requires the most coordination, so hopefully we’ll see confirmations of just which teams hang out at the top of the groups (top three aside), and the others that struggle.

 

As mentioned, the top three should have easy games this week – DeLisi shouldn’t be able to contest an even stronger Kids, dK should have no trouble beating evl.gg, and bote have no intentions of losing another match, whether {DT} like it or not. Sadly, with all of those teams having finished facing each other and having no challenge going forward, there’ll be three sacrificial lambs each week, destined to take a loss unless something awfully strange happens. The real matchups to care about are the latter three, and even then those aren’t too fantastic. With the demotion of Water Under Abridge, we bid farewell to Bye weeks once again, meaning more teams should be sitting out – just in time to give :> their Bye week.

 

Bv vs AD should go to Bv, who have just seemed to be a stronger team. If AD can take a round, or even the victory, then it’ll definitely cause some shuffles in where teams will end up in playoffs, but it’s hard to see that happening. #mcm vs kW is a similar matchup, especially with kW’s recent huge changes compared to #mcm’s relatively simple upgrades. :> vs FBI is the final matchup, and :> are going to be desperate to make sure they don’t lose that. They’ve had an awful road to the midseason point, and will be looking to patch up their record and make an attempt at playoffs. FBI, on the other hand, will be hoping to snag a victory here, in order to avoid the dreaded last rank now that A, the team they beat, is now not in the division.