UGC Plat Highlander Season 19- The “Elite” Eight

August 5th, 2016

UGC Plat Highlander Season 19

The “Elite” Eight

by VoxDei


I’m moving in a bit of a different direction for this week to save some time. The wrap up of the games this past week will be brief, since it was all pretty much a mess besides Bv vs DeLisi.

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The first match this week is #mcm vs .knd, which ended the way you would expect- a .knd win. The unexpected part was the one round that #mcm managed to take on .knd this week. Whether .knd is just vulnerable on KOTH maps (Bv took a round earlier this season) or they were just taking it easy (a cop out, in my opinion) the scoreline will read the same.

Now, this didn’t end up affecting anything for #mcm. In fact, this week overall helped them a bit because with Bv losing (which I’ll get to later) it means they play DeLisi in Week 1 of playoffs rather than Bv playing DeLisi again. The significance of which I’ll explain during the “preview” write up.

dK vs. :> ended in a forfeit. I believe Daynife has confirmed that Goof Ducks will receive a medal if they do not participate in playoffs, since they have unreadied. A disappointing season for this crew, no doubt, due to the screwy scheduling.

kW vs bote also ended the way you would have expected. A 4-0 for bote went down and kW actually ended up being the last ranked team in standings. This would have put them out of playoff contention had both :> and {DT} not stepped down from the season.

EVL vs. {DT} is not really at all surprising here. {DT} took the game 4-2, with 7 ringers on their team. In fact, I should really say that Apolodosh with a couple ringers from {DT} took down EVL, since nearly half of their roster came in to play. Although I predicted a 4-3 win for EVL, it really shouldn’t come as much of a shock that they  would struggle in a game like this. Despite ranking above a few teams in the standings before this week, they’ve seemed to be a weaker team, largely due in part to a lack of motivation. Despite {AÐT} taking the victory and knocking EVL out of playoffs, crab_f told me that the team would drop out of playoffs for two main reasons- The main roster of {DT} has no will to play and they didn’t want to screw EVL out of playoffs due to their 7 ringer roster.

As many anticipated, Bv vs DeLisi ended up being the game to watch. Really it was the only game worth watching when it comes down to it. Bv actually take the L in this affair, with big performances out of zoey, phone, and caboose. Bv kept it tight from what I saw in the EVL cast. Very few times did I see anything resembling a true roll, but it seemed like Bv was mainly taken down from a strategic standpoint. Frags did filter into DeLisi’s favor, but that’s not what kept them out of the game considering Monkey (654 DPM 1st half) and June (34 frags, 7 med picks 1st half) had some solid performances. Bv just looked lost navigating the map as a team and DeLisi was able to keep a tight lock on their own during pushes and defenses. The only solace Bv can take from this is that they have still made playoffs pulling in at 6th place. DeLisi can also cheer being ranked 4th overall and playing #mcm week 1 instead of a top 3 team, had they been lower on the standings.


Playoff standings

So .knd, dK, and bote coast into the top 3 spots this season, not much to anyone’s surprise, but what about the other 5?

First, as a community we were under the impression of a 6 team playoff, which recently changed and it will be including 8 teams. The best part? All but 8 teams have dropped from scheduling (from 15 in Week 1 to 8 after Week 8) so everyone gets a playoff berth this season. Congratulations, you didn’t die!

Snarkiness aside, I do understand the decision to push it to 8 teams. Before week 8’s matches, there was a lot of talk about teams like #mcm or :> being screwed out of playoffs due to the Swiss scheduling. I think it was a good thought to make sure those teams get included by increasing the pool to 8 teams. I don’t think that UGC could have operated under any assumption that 2 teams would die and allow this 8 for 8 nonsense.

The funny part however is that #mcm would have made playoffs either way, being ranked 5th. Since Bv and EVL lost (as well as the more obvious :> and kW) their 4-4 record was enough to keep them sitting in a cool spot above the rest. The real benefactor to this is EVL who saw their season nearly end with their loss to {DT}. I think kW understood they never really had a shot in the first place, so this should come as a pleasant surprise. The losses of every 3-4 team did wonders for #mcm, since they rank in the middle of the pack. The 4 and 5 spots are the place to be since you find your way around playing the top 3 teams until the 2nd week. Had Bv been victorious over DeLisi, we would have seen Bv host DeLisi as the respective 4 and 5 seeds and #mcm have to play bote on Steel.

All this aside, it means that there is going to be a pretty solid fight for 3rd or 4th place. DeLisi, #mcm, and Bv will all be hoping to make it at least to 4th place, and a weakened bote roster could be vulnerable going into playoffs, despite still being a notch above these teams.

In terms of Power Rankings going into playoffs, there’s little doubt that it would look very similar to the current standings, with each team in their rightful place. The only point I would argue is putting #mcm over DeLisi, switching those two spots. The rankings would then read:

  1. .knd
  2. dK
  3. bote
  4. #mcm
  5. DeLisi
  6. Bv
  7. EVL
  8. kW

Despite a lot of talk around Bv being one of the best mid-Plat teams this season, they took too many losses to teams that were supposed to be under them. One in Week 1 vs Dragon Tales, and the most recent being to DeLisi, of course.


Playoffs: Week 1 Preview

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(Home team vs Visiting Team)

The Kids vs Kid Warrior: Reborn

Predicted Outcome: 2-0 The Kids

It’s hard to imagine a timeline where Kid Warrior can take this game. On a straight DM fight between these teams, .knd would win 10/10 times. However, we’re talking about cp_steel here which requires a lot of strategy and cohesion. Suffice it to say kW is outmatched here as well. Now I did a quick crunch of the numbers and I think this means that .knd would win out 15/10 times. That’s right .knd has a 150% chance at winning. What that means is kW will lose 0-2, then start next week at an 0-2 deficit for Product.

It is rather surprising to see kW end up in playoffs considering their record and performance this season. With 7 teams dying, they found their way into the 8th seed, but it will likely just mean an extra two weeks of practice as they gear toward next season. .knd has earned their spot as the #1 seed, getting the easiest matchup tossed their way, so we should see no sweat on their brows until the Upper Bracket Finals (not to be confused with Grand Finals.)

As for a side note, when these two teams played earlier this season, Kid Warrior changed their name to “Kid Warriors Next Door Over.” This prompted the change of Kids Next Door to “The Kids” to avoid any unnecessary similarity between their names. Step up your game Frost.

Dunning-Kruger Effect v4 vs EVL Gaming

Predicted Outcome: 2-0 dK

EVL is in a slightly different boat than kW. What I mean by that is EVL had a good chance at making playoffs BEFORE the team drops, but due to their loss to {DT} they were initially out of the running. It’s hard for me to find any ray of hope for EVL in this game, which should come as no surprise. They’re coming off of back to back losses to #mcm and a blend of players from two 2 win teams ({AÐT}.) dK on the other hand has bolstered their roster and plan to earn their 1st place badge this season. In addition to bo4r on Sniper, there were talks of Deaft starting for dK in playoffs, however he never made it to their roster before the locks went through. Whether he’ll be approved throughout the entire playoffs will remain to be seen, but it should be inconsequential for this matchup.

The Knotty Buoys vs Chill Penguins

Predicted Outcome: 2-0 bote

This matchup is a representation of two “down on their luck” teams. What I mean by this is bote, previous contenders for 2nd place find their passion waning with the loss of bo4r after Week 7, and Bv ended the season a disappointing 3-5; a record that went the wrong way of their wish to not end 4-4.

This really is bote’s game to lose, and I don’t see them doing that. The flank of fuzion and p3nguin should be able to mince whymeo and June, which will make them less of an asset to their team. With the way Bv was playing as a team against DeLisi, I just don’t see that cohesion being rebuilt despite how comfortable they may feel playing Steel. SGC, Bv’s Ace this season, will likely be a non-factor as well. He should perform admirably as a Sniper for a team who won’t be able to get their footing (on Steel no less), but that’s not exactly a desirable position to be in. I think in a straight SvS battle, SGC wins over SmileZ, but SmileZ will have a lot more protection, time, focus, and buffs which should help him expel the main threat on the enemy team. Expect a 2-0 for bote here, but it shouldn’t clock the fastest time this week.

The DeLisi Experience vs Man Crush Monday

Predicted Outcome: 2-1 #mcm

A number of players on #mcm, friends, forum lords, and myself included have talked a big game about #mcm being an underranked team. A team that has performed better than everyone outside of the Top 3, but ironically had an outside shot of making playoffs. They end the season ranked just under a team that many of the same believed to be blessed with some easy scheduling due to Swiss. As fate would have it though, these two teams get the chance to go up against each other in Week 1 so #mcm and their supporters get a chance prove themselves right.

It should be a solid matchup, assuming DeLisi is allowed to use the players that abandoned their roster before the lock. Two of their best performers last week, Jayden and zoey, are actually rostered elsewhere and were allowed by Bv. Whether #mcm will show the same generosity is up in the air, but it could go a long way in determining this match.

DeLisi still has some firepower in both positions still on their roster, including players like Percy (not Perception) and bagel who could snipe in Zoey’s stead. In regards to Spies, they’re a bit more thin at this position. Phone has dabbled with the class with the team throughout the season and Sinister is on the roster (no idea if he’s actively played) but something tells me they’ll make due.

It’s hard to think that such a messy team may have a chance on Steel, which will require optimal team performance, but #mcm hasn’t been picture perfect against teams they’ve beaten this season. Of note, their 2-1 victory over the last-ranked Kid Warrior on Steel earlier in the season didn’t exactly end as easily as anticipated.

As for me, I’m going to swing the #mcm way. These teams played a long while ago (Week 2) with a 4-1 victory going to #mcm on Product. In the matchup, watterson showed his dominance over Zoey putting up 55 frags to Zoey’s 33. He’s also performed with high marks all season, regardless of the matchup, so whether Zoey, Percy, or Bagel suits up, he’s got a good chance of being the X Factor. I also trust in the flank of a team who’s remained relatively stable throughout the season to the hectic DeLisi roster, which has featured a number of different players in different roles since Week 1. Their combo of Caboose, Max, and Affliction will have to be putting up some stellar performances to prevent DeLisi’s defeat. This will be especially difficult with Evil lurking behind every corner, which should make November’s role all the more difficult.

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