UGC Platinum HL Season 20 Week 1 Review and Week 2 Preview

Week 1 Review

Our season began with a few surprises in the mix, but most outcomes were pretty much certain. It’s really looking like we could have some serious competition for the top 4 spots this season, which bodes well for Platinum in the future. Let’s get into some games.


(Home Team vs Away Team)

The Kids vs Fast Forward

Predicted Outcome: 2-0 The Kids

Final score: 2-1 The Kids

Match length + Logs: 52:45 // http://logs.tf/1530157

So who could have predicted this? Probably no one. I was utterly surprised to find out that The Kids dropped a round to Fast Forward, so I did some investigative work.

I hope that people don’t think I’m trying to diminish the work that went in from Fast Forward to snag a round here, but there definitely had to be something else at play for The Kids to drop a round so early in the season to a team they outclass across the board.

The Kids lost their first round here after coming off of a scrim victory in which dK failed to cap all 5 points. With this bravado leading into their match, their guards were down and they let Fast Forward roll 3 of the points within just a few minutes to make life hard on The Kids to start.

Now, it’s surprising that The Kids couldn’t rebound off of a poor transition off of the second point, and I applaud Fast Forward for being quick enough and coordinated enough to take advantage of the sloppy play from their opposing teams, so that round will definitely be one to boost the morale of the Fast Forward crew moving on in the season.

The next two rounds really weren’t really something to write home about though, unfortunately for them. In the 2nd round, Fast Forward was unable to cap the 4th point and in the overtime round, they weren’t even able to push second.

Fast Forward should still walk away from this game with their heads held high, as they’ll be among the best teams to take a loss this week.

Turquoise Jeep Records vs Chill Penguins

Predicted Outcome: 2-1 Smangs

Final score: 2-1 Bv

Match length + Logs: 57:24 // http://logs.tf/1530172

This can’t be the start to the season Turquoise Jeep was expecting, and it appears it’s already put a damper on some of their hopes for the remainder of it.

Bv surprised a number of people when they came out of the gate with a big W over a team that most rivaled them in skill. There was definitely the air about the match that there would be a lot to prove, and Bv came out with a huge upswing while Jeep remains humbled in the loss.

Now, there isn’t any doubt that the Turquoise Jeep team is weaker on their offclasses for the season, but Bv coming out with a Week 1 victory is huge for determining who will be the top 4 come season end. The match ended up a close 2-1 in which Bv was able to outplay Turquoise Jeep on the map, not just with DM.

The frags and damage kept relatively close overall, but Bv just seemed to have a better handle on how to play the map. It’s no doubt that Jeep was definitely suffering without the boost of their Spy Jayden. The first round was a race to the finish, with the cap set at a blazingly fast 4:48 by Turquoise Jeep. Bv was not able to beat this time and suffered a 0-1 deficit to begin.

Perhaps after this Jeep got a little too comfortable as they weren’t able to take down Bv after this. Bv managed to stonewall the Jeep offense on last to take the second round, and capped the overtime round with plenty of time to spare to secure the victory.

Bv will definitely walk away from this with a feeling of accomplishment while Jeep goes back to the drawing board to figure out what to do to stop this from happening again if they want to make it to playoffs.

Dunning-Kruger Effect v4 vs grapeSquad

Predicted Outcome: 2-0 dK

Final score: 2-0 dK

Match length + Logs: 36:02 // http://logs.tf/1530616

Well, there’s not too much to say about #1 vs #8, especially when #8 only finished their team 3 days before match start.

The game wasn’t close. dK capped all 5 points in the first round in 7 minutes and grapeSquad was unable to cap 4th. In the 2nd half, grapeSquad finished their cap in 14 minutes, a time beaten by almost 10 minutes by dK.

I hope this doesn’t discourage the grapeSquad, as I’m sure they understood what they were getting into. A few members on their team managed to pull some decent stats, but overall were outmatched by the dK roster.

Man Crush Monday vs Memento Glory

Predicted Outcome: 2-0 #mcm

Final score: 2-0 #mcm

Match length + Logs: 30:34 // http://logs.tf/1530150 (1st half had doubled damage stats)

I’ve gotta say, I’m a little surprised m|G wasn’t able to convert a round with their new roster. Their downfall is likely a lack of practice, a completely new team put up against one of the best this season who had been practicing hard.

#mcm did seem to be in solid control for most of the game. Their first attack round took a full 11:30 to go the whole way, which isn’t the kind of round a fully dominant team pulls out, but they did manage to keep m|G from capping the 4th point.

The second half was more tilted to the #mcm side, with them covering m|G’s time by over 5 minutes, securing a 6:38 time and a victory. Since damage stats can’t be trusted, it’s hard to know who performed statwise, but it seems that Yipyapper was able to play well enough for m|G to prove he’s going to be a solid member of their roster.

Most things went #mcm’s way in the stats of course, with the big two, watterson and Evil putting in the bulk of the work (in terms of kills) for their team, along with the flank of shea and bunny.

I’m hoping that m|G is just going through some growing pains and will come out stronger after their loss this week. They have a good chance of competing with a number of teams if they can get more practice in.


Power Rankings

Just to remind any and all readers of the articles who may have me added, no I will not update your ranking mid-week or right after your win <3.

As you can imagine, the top of the division remains generally unchanged, with some small movement in the lower half. I’ll be taking in account two things in the Power Rankings. 1) How the team did in their last match and 2) how strong the roster is compared to the other teams in the division.

Don’t forget, because of #2, there may be movement despite wins/losses as rosters were not finalized for a few teams at the time of the last article.

(Rank, Team, Tag, Change in ranking)

1. Dunning-Kruger Effect v4 (dK) [-]

[Spamfest/Bobby/Billysaurus/odb/Karl/Spades Slick/metawe/bo4r/vipa]

So dK finally rounds out the roster, with some positives all around. Later in the night that I released my first article, I learned that Spamfest and odb were likely to join the ranks of dK. Although they miss out on Vand, who’s now joined The Kids’ roster, Spamfest has already proved to be a valuable substitute, although maybe not as strong DM-wise. The big pickup for dK is undoubtedly on Demo, with odb replacing the role that was split by b4nny and corsa last season. odb has a lot to offer in the Demo position for dK and will do his part in ensuring a repeat for the dK crew.

The difficulty for dK is losing Deaft just before season start, but they quickly replaced him with vipa, who should fit the role comfortably, despite having to try to fill the shoes of a Top 2 Spy last season.

With an easy matchup and a 2-0 victory, including their completed roster, there’s no reason to move these guys from their #1 spot for a while.

2. The Kids (The Kid) [-]

[Vand/Etney/Lazy/Giraffe/Vanilla Love/Ender/Nursey/yosh/feint]

As mentioned before, The Kids dropping a round on Swiftwater week to a team that was nearly in Gold is surprising, but I don’t think it’s time to sound the alarms just yet. The Kids suffered from the fact that they did not have a complete roster until days before the first match, but a team with this level of experience and skill dropping a round doesn’t bode well for their chances as the season progresses.

A big pickup for them is Vand, who will no doubt fill the gap that Slemnish left in the roster, and has played level with him consistently throughout the course of the last season. Vanilla Love sure isn’t Kresnik, but he should absolutely be able to perform better than Blues did last season, and The Kids were 8-0 going into playoffs.

The Kids have a bit to go to prove they can succeed over the #1 ranked dK, especially with their round loss last week, but a bit more practice and I’m sure we’ll see another powerful clash for the #1 spot soon.

3. Man Crush Monday (#mcm) [-]

[shea/bunny/Geosus/Ezrik/Rue/DrZoidy/Couches/watterson/Evil]

To be honest, I thought I’d catch more flak for #mcm being ranked over Turquoise Jeep last week, but it’s clear that I was assuming that most people were going to overvalue the team of competent off-classers.

#mcm is one of the few teams who had a complete roster well before the season began and their level of dedication and consistency will continue to keep them above most of Plat this season.

A solid roster and a 2-0 victory over the improved m|G team means there’s little to argue in regards to #mcm staying #3.

4. Chill Penguins (Bv) [+1]

[whymeo/crab_f/American/Monkey66/Paals/Chicobo/Gamma Orionis/blinx/Kris18]

Well it appears I should have gone with my gut and believed in the skill that I saw from Bv during the offseason. Despite a relatively close game with Turquoise Jeep, their win definitely sets them apart from their struggling counterpart.

As with #mcm, their roster remains relatively unchanged, apart from the official pickup of blinx on Sniper which most had already assumed, so there isn’t much debate that Bv will be #4 for the time being.

5. Turquoise Jeep Records (Smangs) [-1]

[SmileZ/Rolling/November/fuzion/Jackawa/Brick/RightJustify/Carcin/Jayden]

Turquoise Jeep already find themselves slipping after Week 1 of the season. They definitely had a tough start, playing the dedicated Bv squad, but it was a game they still had a chance of winning.

The difference between these two teams at the beginning of the week was marginal, but Bv proved they belonged to jump above.

Jeep will be making some changes for the remainder of the season. In an effort to form a suitable roster before their Week 1 match, Brick moved to Engie and November filled his place on Pyro.

I’m afraid that dedication may end up wavering with a number of the players in the crew if things continue to progress this way, so I hope things start to turn for the better for the team. However, with so many variables floating in the air, it will be interesting to see if Jeep is ready to do battle in Week 2.

6. Memento Glory (m|G) [+1]

[linkuser/Cap$ize/marty/Yipyapper/eerie person/Sailsaway/Rogue/bagel/Scruff]

So this is where it gets tough to start ranking. In what may seem questionable, I move a team who lost 2-0 to #mcm over a team that took a round off of The Kids. The reason for this is the roster that m|G has put together after the article’s release last week.

m|G had about as many question marks as it did players just a week ago, but they’ve since rounded things out with pickups of Yipyapper, eerie person, and bagel, while moving Cap$ize to Soldier. Early scrims seemed promising for the new crew, which will probably come into their own as the weeks progress. It’s no doubt it must be difficult to walk into a matchup with a top 3 team who has scrimmed consistently as a team who finished their roster just days before Monday.

I expect big things from these guys in the following weeks.

7. Fast Forward ([››]) [-1]

[keith/Yuki/Oblivion/Exile/Civ/biz/Coldster/sullyy/Cloudshade]

Through no fault of their own, Fast Forward drop a place in their rankings and find themselves closer to the bottom.

They had a pretty solid show against The Kids, nabbing a round and putting up some decent point totals, but I don’t think that this roster is one that puts them directly over m|G.

If they continue to exceed expectations and m|G has a few more matches like last week, [››] could soon become the surprise of the season.

8. grapeSquad ([♥]) [-]

[Pablo/benn/spring rolls/goldfish/Honesty/Ice/??/akemi/Shotaway]

It’s hard to fault grapeSquad for their demoralizing loss last week because the played the undisputed #1 ranked team and they had just a few short days of practice before going into Swiftwater week, but regardless they stay at the bottom of the board.

We’ll definitely be keeping a close eye on their matchup coming up against Fast Forward to see how the two new teams go at it, but they’re going to need to rely a lot on Goldfish and the rest of the team needs to perform a lot better than they did last week.


Week 2 Matchups

Ready for Lakeside? We welcome our first of 3 KOTH maps this season which is an exciting map for any spectators for the games played. We’re going to see some awesome matchups all around, meaning that Week 2 may be one of the best of the season in Plat. Pay close attention!

Chill Penguins vs The Kids

Predicted outcome: 4-1 The Kids

Last season, a much weaker Bv managed to take a round off The Kids on Ramjam and shocked a number of players. Now they square off on Lakeside, but this should be a much more comfortable map for The Kids despite seeming a bit weaker than they did previously and with Bv’s hugely improved roster.

I don’t think that Bv has the stuff to win the game against the Kids. There’s too much strength with Vand and Etney that whymeo and crab_f won’t be able to contend against. But if American can do some +forwards into the enemy flank/combo, it may help Bv in their conquests. However, at the end of the game, Vand and Yosh are likely to be the difference makers for The Kids.

The advantages certainly lie 100% in The Kids’ favor. A stronger flank, combo, and pick classes are in their court, and it’s hard to argue against that. However, with the swagger that Bv has picked up as of late, it’s not far-fetched to see them taking a round or maybe two and making The Kids question their dominance a bit this game.

Memento Glory vs Turquoise Jeep Records

Predicted outcome: 4-2 Smangs

It’s hard for me to predict for a Jeep victory with the shambles that their roster is currently in, but I have to believe they still hold an advantage against m|G.

Being a KOTH map, Jeep will likely have a better show of things than they did against Bv on Swiftwater, especially because of fuzion, who is proving himself to be more than just a quality Scout.

Jeep’s flank is still strong with SmileZ having a wonderful Scout performance last week and Rolling back on his main, which means we should see a pretty awesome battle against Linkuser and Cap$ize for flank control on Lakeside, which can be so important.

One important change for the Jeep roster this week is that Carcin will be unavailable meaning saam will take his place on Sniper against bagel for m|G. bagel is a strong Sniper, but saam definitely has more practice these days which puts the advantage on Jeep’s side. What can sway the battle wildly on one side will be if the Razorback ban proves to be detrimental to either Sniper, so Scruff for m|G and Jayden for Jeep will have to stay focused on keeping the enemy Sniper down.

I have my doubts on whether or not the Yipyapper-Rogue combo can outplay fuzion and Rightjustify so the edge stays in Jeep’s court for now, but eerie person on Heavy can provide a necessary lift for the m|G crew.

We should see a very close battle against these two, and this is my match of the week. I believe it will be a close 4-2, with a few rounds barely edged out by Jeep to take the win here.

Man Crush Monday vs Dunning-Kruger Effect v4

Predicted outcome: 4-1 dK

Man Crush Monday is about to go through their first real trial of the season against the omnipotent dK roster. Both teams are favorites for placement this season, but it’s no doubt that dK has the stronger team on their side.

The good news for #mcm is that they get to do battle with dK on a map that highlights some of their best players and focuses a lot on DM to win, with the map being KOTH. However, besides Ashville, Lakeside is probably one of the more strategy-heavy KOTH maps played in Highlander.

In no particular order, #mcm’s most valuable players are Ezrik, watterson, and Evil on Demo, Sniper, and Spy respectively. For dK we see something similar with Spamfest, odb, and bo4r being at the top of the dK list- Scout, Demo, and Sniper. These are all classes who can turn the tides of a game on Lakeside with an MVP performance.

The dK flank has the edge over #mcm with the previously mentioned Spamfest teaming up with bobby for dK against Shea and bunny for #mcm. Although shea has proved that his talent goes beyond Engineer, it’s not an easy task to go toe-to-toe with someone with Spamfest’s experience. The best part is both have played high-level Engineer and will now do battle on Scout.

In terms of combo, the advantage is a little harder to draw. dK features a brand-new combo, but is one with considerable experience under their belt. odb, Karl, and metawe have long been strong performers on their respective classes. On #mcm’s side, Ezrik, Rue, and Couches have a season of experience (2 for Ezrik and Couches) and their skill on their classes are not anything to scoff at either.

Where it gets interesting is the battle of the pick classes. Although vipa was not in my “dK top three,” it doesn’t mean I don’t think he’s not one of the top Spies in the division. His opposite number on #mcm is in exactly the same boat. The same goes on the Sniper battle between bo4r and watterson. One could argue ad nauseum as to which players are better, but the argument is very rarely clear cut.

Both Snipers have proved to be in the same echelon of skill, trading well in scrims against each other and outperforming most of their Sniper counterparts in the division. The trouble is that there’s no match from the last season against these two. The only match between dK and #mcm was Ramjam, where watterson outsniped a rusty Timeless.

Since dK is likely to have an advantage on the flank, plus the Razorback ban, watterson is likely to struggle to stay alive a lot more, meaning we’ll see a relatively even SvS, but bo4r should walk away with a better stat total. As for Spies, vipa will probably be less successful on the enemy combo because of the way Geosus plays Pyro, but will get the bulk of his kills on watterson. Evil will probably put more work in on the combo, which means he might be able to put up better stat totals because of it.

grapeSquad vs Fast Forward

Predicted outcome: 4-2 [››]

So the battle of the newbies comes in Week 2 and I’m excited to see how it plays out.

Both teams are eager to prove they belong in Platinum and the winner of this will definitely set themselves apart from their counterpart, likely for the remainder of the season.

With the way things have been looking and the roster on paper, Fast Forward definitely seems to have the edge over grapeSquad and should end up taking the win overall.

Fast Forward had a surprising performance against The Kids and Sully is showing further improvement after his time on Apolodosh last season. Sully’s performance in this match should be a deciding factor as he’s likely to blow away akemi SvS and in kills.

There’s not much about grapeSquad that I think can keep them in this game very long. Very few members of their team outclass their counterparts, with Shotaway and Spring Rolls being among two to hold that honor. The question will really be answered by which combo is more in sync, and I’ll trust that exile and Coldster will find a way, despite Goldfish being the strong presence that he is. I can’t stress enough how much I think a match-only Demo does not bode well, regardless of how good the player’s individual skill may be.

Still, there’s enough inexperience for either side to mean we’ll see a relatively competitive game, but I don’t think that Fast Forward will ever feel like they have lost control enough to potentially lose the game. For the health of Plat this season, I would love to be wildly incorrect. 4-2 [››].

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