September 23rd, 2016
UGC Gold Highlander Season 20
Week 1 Matchups
The matchups are now out and the first games of the season will be taking place on Monday. Of course, the season isn’t even looking to be the same as it was just a week ago, with a couple teams dying and Fast Forward being moved up to plat to fill the gap left by the death of $$. We also have two teams that have been moved up into Gold from Silver to help get the division a bit more healthy player wise: Tune Squad and Girls in Dresses. Girls in Dresses’ roster is still largely up in the air, but Tune Squad is more or less ready to go.
With Fast Forward moving up to Plat, the season has become even more interesting than it already was. I’d guess that while previously Door and FF would be shoe-ins for placement, with FF’s departure there’s now two spots in the top three left open for contention. Seeing who will claim these two spots (and hopefully move up to Plat after that…please guys?) will definitely make the season an exciting one. However, I’m getting ahead of myself. For now, let’s focus on week one:
Meo’s prediction: 2-0 Door
Coming up from Silver roadkill, or The Wittmen as they’re now known, have pretty much the hardest first match they could possibly have. Not only does Door field the most experienced team of players overall in Gold this season, but they also have syath and zoey playing their mains of scout and sniper, respectively. This would be enough to make any team in Gold nervous and so far The Wittmen doesn’t even look like top Gold material.
However, rk was a very competitive team back in Silver last season, ultimately claiming second place in the Gold playoffs bracket. Although they have lost who many considered to be their best player, Fallen Lord, the team still has proven themselves to work well together. Indeed, their one advantage going into this match is that they have played together much longer than this new form of Door has, with rk holding an entire season under their belt. In the end, I don’t think this will be enough to even take a round off Door, but the rounds might be a bit closer than you’d expect.
Meo’s prediction: 2-1 sw
This is by far my match of the week. Two teams in the upper half of Gold squaring off in what should prove to be a close match? Yes please. Both of these teams have a lot of strong players, especially with Suicide Watch having recently upgraded their roster to include xen on sniper and unicorn wizard on soldier, plus moving voxdei to medic.
Not everyone may be sold on the voxdei med yet, but from my experience seeing him play the class he’s actually quite good at it. No doubt he’s a good sniper as well, but I think xen will prove to be a slight upgrade from vox and vox will be much better at medic than whoever Suicide Watch could have put on medic. In the end it doesn’t matter a ton, as I think both vox and xen would have proven much better than the sniper for DOES IT, conner, but the fact that Suicide Watch has improved their roster a bit still is nice for them.
Besides Suicide Watch having the sniper advantage in this matchup, a lot of things look pretty even between these two teams. The flanks of bigtoes and unicorn wizard for Suicide Watch will probably perform roughly evenly with (a very rusty) wish* and tenna. As far as the combo goes: Rhy should be better on demo than vurt, but voxdei will likely prove a stronger medic than jerrr. Lastly, Orga and Box of Cheese should perform about the same, which puts the two combos on roughly even footing. With the combo and flank looking pretty close for the two teams, the fact that Suicide Watch has xen on sniper and 88 fingers “skeez killer” edward on spy should give them the advantage in this match up. And lastly, let’s not forget that Suicide Watch has been scrimming hard this offseason while DOES IT has not been scrimming at all. This will likely prove the final nail in the coffin for DOES IT and Suicide Watch should walk away from this one with a victory.
*Normally wish would put DOES IT’s flank in an advantageous position over Suicide Watch’s flank, but wish has barely been playing tf2 in the last couple of months.
Meo’s prediction: 2-0 sb!
I don’t expect this match to be very close. Shooting Blanks is looking very likely to be a top three team this season, while I don’t have any reason to believe DAT will do any better than mid-Gold at best. DAT’s pickup of wxy on demo after the death of pingu posse will certainly make them a more competitive team this season, but I still don’t see them contesting top teams like Shooting Blanks. With players like triiiple on scout, Fallen Lord on sniper and uber on demo, sb should make quick work of DAT.
Meo’s prediction: 2-0 JAM
In an amusing twist of fate, the two basketball themed teams end up playing each other in the first week. This is an interesting matchup, as both teams do have solid rosters. Tune Squad in particular has a very solid roster with a ton of experienced players, both on backup and starter spots. However, Tune Squad has some big weak points like Niko Jims on demo, who has practically no experience on the class. Furthermore, there’s some off-classing going on over at Tune Squad with sleeping on scout and sharpshot on spy. All of this, plus the fact that Tune Squad is not scrimming this season, really only leaves sinned on sniper as Tune Squad’s shot at winning this game. Although a strong player no doubt, his ability to carry Tune Squad to victory against a team that has players like mirrorman on soldier, mondragon on spy and arzt on pyro seems questionable at best. That’s not even mentioning the fact that The Jammers have a strong sniper themselves in andrew. Considering all this, I think this should be a relatively easy win for the Jammers.
Meo’s prediction: 2-0 Ayylmao
Neither of these teams look to have particularly impressive rosters. However, Harambe’s Heroes is not only a no-scrim team, but also a lot of their team barely plays tf2 anymore. Because of these two factors I have to assume ayylmao will win this, based solely on the fact that they’re actually still playing tf2 regularly.
Meo’s prediction: 2-1 gst
Simply glancing at the rosters, you might expect this to be a bit of a roll for for galaxy swim team. However, not only have I been hearing that NGC is better than their placement last season would suggest, but galaxy swim team is also a no-scrim team while NGC is not. Thus, this is likely to be a rather close match. However, I still think that in the end galaxy swim team will be able to take the win here. Although a lot of their roster is inexperienced 6’s players, they boast a few key experienced players such as teapot on heavy, tiptoes on soldier and pomf on spy. If NGC proves to be a lot better than I expect them to be, then they might be able to win here. Otherwise, I think the highlander players of gst should be able to make the difference here and bring home a win.
Meo’s prediction: 2-0 9am
Both these teams are likely about to have a very rough season of Gold. However, despite both team’s prospects in Gold, this is still at the end of the day a match between a 6-4 Silver team and a 3-5 Silver team. Furthermore, Girls in Dresses’ roster isn’t even finished at the time of this article, so it seems pretty likely that this should be a roll in 9am’s favor.