September 30th, 2016
UGC Gold Highlander Season 20
Week 2 Matchups and Power Rankings
Well, week one went by with nary an upset (save for gst vs. ngc, but that was a forfeit due to technical issues in the end). Week two is looking to be a lot more interesting, with a lot of potentially close match ups happening. Before we get to this week however, let’s do a quick recap of last weeks matches:
Week 1 Recap
Last week was a pretty interesting week for matches, not because there were a ton of nail-bitingly close matches, but because for once I was almost right about all the outcomes! Now that’s unusual. In fact, if the server hadn’t crashed in gst vs. ngc which led to gst deciding to forfeit the match, I very well might have been right about all the match outcomes. Damned tf2 servers.
Besides my lamentations about the gst vs. ngc match, week 1 was a pretty solid week overall. I think most teams probably walked away from their matches happy with their performances, as their was a lot of close matchups – even with some games that I thought would be a roll one way. Speaking of that, let’s start with Dedoris vs. The Wittmen:
My prediction: 2-0 Door
Match result: 2-1 Door
My MVP: syath (scout, Door)
I was very shocked to see that The Wittmen took a round off Door in this match. Looking at the logs, the frags weren’t very close: with 343 for Door and 281 for The Wittmen. This would suggest to me that while Door’s dm was definitely superior in this matchup, The Wittmen were much more of a coordinated team than Door was – which allowed them to take one half. In the end, however, having players like syath (scout, Door) and caboose (heavy, Door) absolutely destroying their counterparts on The Wittmen led to Door taking the win.
Despite these very lopsided performances for some of the classes, there were a couple players on rk that really held their own with Door. In particular, water cat (sniper, rk) went almost entirely even with zoey (sniper, Door). Their frags, damage and even svs were all almost exactly the same. I’m not sure if this was a result of an exceptionally good performance out of water cat or an out of character weak performance from zoey. Either way, water cat certainly did well in this match and I’d say to keep an eye on him to see how he continues to perform this season!
On top of water cat’s unexpected performance against zoey, ash (demo, rk) also far exceeded my expectations. Unlike water cat, ash actually outperformed Door’s demo of coco, if only by a little. If water cat and ash continue to play like this throughout the season, rk is going to be a lot more competitive in Gold than I previously expected. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing how they do!
My prediction: 2-1 sw
Match result: 2-1 sw
My MVP: wish (scout, DOES IT)
I should have known better than to say wish’s (scout, DOES IT) lack of time spent in tf2 the last couple of months would impede his performance. The guy’s a beast, he just simply doesn’t seem to have bad games – even when he has barely played tf2 for two months in a row! He really showed up for Does it in this match, top fragging for the entire server.
On top of that, I was also shocked to see bigtoes (scout, sw) only several frags behind a wish in top form. So this match ended up having both scouts absolutely pounding on a payload map, which is a tad unusual. Despite wish’s amazing performance however, Unicorn Wizard (soldier, sw) completely outplayed tenna (soldier, DOES IT) which led to Suicide Watch having the upper hand on the flank.
Besides the flank the teams were pretty even with the notable exception of sniper. Xen (sniper, sw) absolutely destroyed conner (sniper, DOES IT) in the svs 20 to 8, as well as racking up quite a lot more frags and damage than him. This huge sniper advantage and flank advantage, as well as a few other small advantages such as voxdei (medic, sw) and Iso (engineer, sw) dying less than their counterparts on DOES IT, led to Suicide Watch being able to take this match in a relatively close 2-1. Honestly, with Suicide Watch having such a huge sniper advantage I’m a little shocked to see that they dropped a round to DOES IT, especially considering that DOES IT isn’t even scrimming at all this season. Suicide Watch probably still has a lot to work on coordination wise, but if they can just come together a bit more as a team their strong roster could well see them into playoffs. Either way, even if the match was perhaps a bit closer than it should have been, I’m sure they’re pretty pleased to walk away from this one with a win.
My prediction: 2-0 sb!
Match result: 2-0 sb!
My MVP: chris (heavy, sb!)
Although this match did end up a 2-0 as expected, it honestly was a lot closer than I thought it would be. Both halves were close, the second half especially. Part of this might be because of some good performances from DAT, especially wxy (demo, DAT) and vhnhjh (spy, DAT), but there were also some unusually poor performances from Shooting Blanks.
Triiiple (scout, sb!) did a lot worse than he normally does in scrims and ended up having to be carried on the flank by gabe (soldier, sb!). Fallen Lord (sniper, sb!) ended up going more or less even with podgy713 (sniper, DAT!), which is also a lot worse than normal based off both their scrim results. Perhaps it was a case of nerves for Shooting Blanks, but whatever it was this match was a lot closer than it likely should have been.
Triiiple and Fallen Lord aside however, you still have to give credit to DAT for keeping this close. Even though they weren’t able to walk away with a round, they still performed quite well this match. I think they were probably a lot happier with how this match went than Shooting Blanks was.
My prediction: 2-0 JAM
Match result: 2-0 JAM
My MVP: grandislayer (heavy, JAM)
This match wasn’t even close. In a quick 30 minute 2-0, The Slammin’ Jammers absolutely dunked on Tune Squad, being literally one frag away from doubling Tune Squad’s frags. Not only did The Jammers absolutely dismantle Tune Squad, but the logs even show some of Tune Squad switching off from offclassing to playing their mains, perhaps in a bid to make the match somewhat closer. Whatever the reason, it didn’t help and the Jammers absolutely rolled through them. Everyone on Jammers played well and ended up with some insane stat lines, like grandislayer had 40 kills and a mere 7 deaths. It’s hard to call whether this match showed that The Jammers are amazingly good or Tune Squad is extremely low-Gold, but either way there’s not a whole lot to say about it.
My prediction: 2-0 Ayylmao
Match result: 2-0 Ayylmao
My MVP: rockmonkey (sniper, Ayylmao)
I expected Ayylmao to win based off the fact that they’re scrimming while Harambe’s Heroes are not. I did not expect it to be a huge roll in Ayylmao’s favor, however, which it very much was. With rockmoney (sniper, Ayylmao) and Lucky (demo, Ayylmao) absolutely destroying Harambe’s Heroes, this match was over right quick. I’m interested to see how Ayylmao performs against better teams.
My prediction: 2-1 gst
Match result: 2-1 ngc
My MVP: m0nsta (soldier, ngc)
Unfortunately, this match was not entirely completed. The server crashed during the third half, with about one minute left to go. According to who I talked to from The New Generation Crew the match could have gone either way, but it looked to be in Galaxy Swim Team’s favor. We’ll never know how it would have went though, because after the crash gst chose to forfeit the match.
Based off logs the game looks to have been pretty close, with a slight edge to gst. There were good performances on both sides, with vari (sniper, gst) and m0nsta (soldier, ngc) standing out in particular. This match does allay any fears I had about gst’s off-classing 6’s players not being able to perform up to snuff, with all of them doing well enough (well, rowpieces struggled a bit on engie but besides that). Based off this, I would expect them to perform well in future matches.
Anyway, seeing as the match didn’t even finish it’s hard exactly to draw conclusions off of it. Both teams performed pretty well, but in the end it didn’t really matter. We’ll see how they do in future matches.
My prediction: 2-0 9am
Match result: N/A
My MVP: N/A
Girls in Dresses was forced to forfeit this match, as they were not able to field nine players from their roster and Nine Angry Men denied all ringers GiD were able to come up with (seriously guys?). Since then GiD has been moved down to Silver, per their request.
Week 2 Power Rankings
1. The Slammin’ Jammers (JAM)
With both Door and Shooting Blanks showing weakness in their matches this week, The Jammers make the most sense as numero uno, for now at least. My experience scrimming against them also suggests they are currently the strongest Gold team. With established players like mirrorman and Arzt Hispanian and rising stars like andrew, grandislayer and mondragon it’s no wonder this team is a formidable Gold team. Door and Shooting Blanks are going to have to pick up the pace if they want to keep up with The Jammers.
2. Dedoris (DOOR)
Roster wise, Door would be the obvious choice for 1st place. However, with a rather weak showing against The Wittmen I don’t think Door can quite claim the 1st place spot. They more than have the roster to win this season, with tons of plat and top-Gold talent, but right now they’re still looking shaky in both scrims and matches. I think syath should keep this team from losing to anyone outside the top five, but right now it’s looking Door is going to need to put some work in if they want to prove they’re even 2nd best.
3. Shooting Blanks (sb!)
[triiiple/Gabe/ŁΛMBDλ/Uber/Chris/IcedKappa/Bonesaw/Fallen Lord/Rimbus Reynolds]
Much like Door, Shooting Blanks is currently looking weaker than one would expect based off their roster. With both triiiple and Fallen Lord under performing in their match against DAT, their spot as #3 isn’t solidly established. However, I think they’ll be able to bounce back and hopefully perform better in the coming weeks.
4. Suicide Watch (sw)
[bigtoes/Unicorn Wizard/pooping/vurt/Box of Cheese/Iso/Voxdei/xen/88 fingers edward]
With a win over DOES IT, suicide watch is looking pretty strong. Although their roster might not be quite as strong as teams like Door, they have no weak points in their roster and it shows. Suicide Watch is overall quite a solid team; I think they have a good shot at beating any team this season and maybe even making top three. Suicide Watch is definitely a team to keep an eye on.
5. The Wittmen (rk!)
With a solid performance against Door last week and pickups of not only dotsy on scout, but also rosario on engineer, The Wittmen are looking stronger and stronger. I’d definitely rate this as the team most likely to cause some upsets this season. They very well might make playoffs.
6. Catgirls.tf (DOES IT)
Although they did lose to Suicide Watch, DOES IT managed to keep the game close. I expect the raw dm of wish to keep this team near the top for most of the season, but not quite able to beat the very top of Gold. Furthermore, this roster does have a number of players who aren’t really top Gold level for their classes, which leads to teams I’ve ranked below DOES IT potentially being able to beat them. Time will tell!
7. galaxy swim team (gst)
Although technically they lost to The New Generation Crew, this was because they forfeited after the server crashed in the third half. It seems, based off what I’ve heard and how the logs look, that gst was more likely to win that last half than ngc was. We’ll never know for sure, but either way it was a good performance for their first match. This team is largely held back by their no-scrim nature, but even so I have the feeling that I might be under ranking them.
8. The New Generation Crew (ngc)
Like most of the teams I’ve placed in the bottom half, I very might well be under ranking ngc. It really kind of depends how good gst actually is, because ngc had a pretty even game with them. The flank of Duke and m0nsta seems to be a formidable one and everyone on ngc is a competent player. They’ll be more than capable of causing some upsets.
9. Disingenuous Assertions (DAT)
I’m starting to sound like a broken record here, but I might be under ranking DAT. They have both a good demo and sniper with wxy and podgy and they certainly gave Shooting Blanks a run for their money last week. We’ll see how things go for DAT, but it certainly will be an uphill battle if they want to make it into the top 5 this season.
10. Tune Squad (TS)
[Sleeping/Davidb/sous chef/Niko Jims/dobb/??/KS/sinned/sharpshot]
Yes, these guys got cremated by The Jammers last week. Even so, I don’t think TS belongs quite at the bottom of Gold. They have a lot of experienced players and besides, The Jammers look to be one of the best teams in Gold this season, so getting destroyed by them hardly puts you in last place. I don’t think these guys are going to go positive this season, but they’re not going to lose all their matches either.
11. Ayylmao (˙͜>˙)
These guys absolutely decimated Harambe’s Heroes, but I’m not entirely sure that means a whole lot. Rockmonkey and Lucky appear to be this team’s best players, but I don’t think they’ll be able to carry has hard as they did last week against more formidable teams. They might be able to cause a small upset against a mid-Gold team, but I don’t expect these guys to contest the top four at all.
12. Nine Angry Men (9am)
With a forfeit win over a now silver team, the only thing 9am really has going for them is that they’re probably not as bad as Harambe’s Heroes and they have Willmatic on sniper. Willmatic is familiar with carrying low-Gold teams, but I think 9am might even be a bit much for him.
13. Harambe’s Heroes (HH)
After Ayylmao completely wiping the floor with them, Harambe’s Heroes are looking like they’re going to have a fate similar to that of everyone’s favorite gorilla – or maybe just go 0-8 in Gold.
Week 2 Matchups
My Prediction: 4-2 Door
On a different map I think this match up might be even closer, perhaps even going in the favor of Suicide Watch. However, on a koth map I fully expect syath (scout, Door) to roll up his sleeves and get to work putting out some ridiculous frag counts. If xen (sniper, sw) is able to beat zoey (sniper, Door) in svs this game could end up being really close, but I first of all expect zoey to come out on top in the svs and secondly still think that syath would be able to carry Door to victory even if zoey lost the svs.
There’s a lot of strong players on both teams however. Suicide Watch’s flank of bigtoes (scout, sw) and Unicorn Wizard (soldier, sw) can’t be counted out and both teams have solid combos. I expect all the rounds to be close between these two teams as a result, but Door to walk away with a win in the end. Who knows though, if xen and 88 fingers edward (spy, sw) are able to outperform their counterparts on Door, which I think is definitely possible, perhaps Suicide Watch could pull off a win here.
My prediction: 4-3 rk!
This one looks to be another close match up. Much like Door, DOES IT has a scout carry in their pocket with wish (scout, DOES IT), but they also have an overall much weaker team than Door. I think wish will do very well on this map, but he probably won’t be able to quite carry DOES IT to victory. As long as Water Cat (sniper, rk!) and ash (demo, rk!) perform like they did last week, it should be just enough for them to take the win here. This match will likely be such a close one, however, that it will come down to individual performances deciding which team takes the win here. It really could go either way, but my money’s on The Wittmen!
My prediction: 4-1 JAM
In the off-season, Shooting Blanks was looking like perhaps the best team in Gold. Teams have quickly caught up however and The Slammin Jammers seem to have even surpassed them. If triiiple (scout, sb!) and Fallen Lord (sniper, sb!) are able to come back from the slump they were in last week, perhaps this game will be closer. However, right now it’s looking like The Jammers might just take this one easily. With the huge sightlines of Lakeside, both andrew (sniper, JAM) and mondragon (spy, JAM) will feel right at home and will certainly make it hard for everyone on Shooting Blanks to keep their heads attached to their shoulders. Furthermore, with Shooting Blanks combo likely to be distracted half the time by trying to keep track of where both andrew and mondragon are, mirrorman (soldier, JAM) should have ample opportunity to get a lot of good bombs in. Overall, I just see the map playing into The Jammer’s hands, plus The Jammer’s are just looking like a stronger team right now. However, if Shooting Blanks is able to prove me wrong here and win, they’ll solidify their place as a top three team. These are both two very good teams who I’m sure very much want to win this match, so it should be an interesting one no matter what!
My prediction: 4-2 DAT
I think wxy (demo, DAT) and podgy (Sniper, DAT) should be enough for DAT to take the win over Tune Squad. If sinned (sniper, TS) is able to beat podgy in the svs this match might be a close one, but at the end of the day Tune Squad is a no-scrim team and a mostly off-classing team. I simply don’t see Tune Squad being able to beat a team like DAT that has a lot of solid players all playing their mains and is trying hard to improve through scrims.
Oh, and as a side note, I’d also keep an eye on vhnhjh (spy, DAT) to see how he does this week. So far he has been doing quite well for DAT and if he keeps it up he might be a big factor in future matches.
My prediction: 4-0 gst
This should be an extremely quick roll. Harambe’s Heroes got absolutely stomped on by Ayylmao and I’m fairly certain that gst is capable of doing the same. Gst’s dm is just too far above Harambe’s Heroes for HH to have a chance.
My prediction: 4-1 ngc
Ayylmao did prove to be a lot better than I was expecting, but I don’t see them beating ngc. Rockmonkey (sniper, Ayylmao) and Lucky (demo, Ayylmao) might be able to do a lot of work for Ayylmao, but I don’t see them able to beat an experienced team like ngc. Besides, ngc has great players themselves, like Hedgehog Hero (demo, ngc) and m0nsta (soldier, ngc).
Nine Angry Men vs. BYE WEEK