October 9th, 2016
UGC Gold Highlander Season 20
Week 3 Matchups and Power Rankings
Well, It’s time for the third week of matches. Last week was about as boring as it could get, with all the matches but one being 4-0 rolls. And the one that wasn’t 4-0? It was a 4-1. Hopefully this week we’ll see some closer matches, and I do indeed expect us to. First, however, let’s do a quick recap of week two:
Week 2 Recap
My prediction: 4-2 Door
Match result: 4-0 Door
My MVP: syath (scout, Door)
This match was not close at all. A large factor in this result was just how badly xen (sniper, sw) got outsniped by zoey (sniper, Door). Zoey did well, but it’s not like she absolutely went off, so it seems like xen might have just been having a very bad night. Hopefully xen can come back and Suicide Watch can be more competitive with the top of Gold in the future.
Notably, Suicide Watch’s flank of bigtoes (scout, sw) and Unicorn Wizard (soldier, sw) were able to keep up with Door’s flank despite losing 4-0. Even though syath (scout, Door) did come out on top, it was rather impressive that suicide watch’s flank was able to do so well despite their team losing so badly. It does seem like a sign that not all hope is lost for Suicide Watch.
My prediction: 4-3 rk!
Match result: 4-0 rk!
My MVP: conner (sniper, DOES IT)
After DOES IT’s close match with Suicide Watch I was expecting them to be able to hold their own against The Wittmen as well. Unfortunately for DOES IT, wish (scout, DOES IT) wasn’t able to continue his impressive performance from last week. Perhaps the rust is affecting him after all, as he didn’t look like the wish of season’s past is in this match. Besides DOES IT’s carry not doing as well as they’d hope, The Wittmen simply just didn’t have any weak points. The entirety of The Wittmen played well. No one stood out a ton on the team, but everyone did their job expertly. A no-scrim team like DOES IT simply wasn’t able to keep up.
As a side note, Conner (sniper, DOES IT) deserves a shout out. Despite his team losing 4-0 was actually able to outsnipe rk’s sniper and top frag for the entire server. If he keeps playing like he did in this match, DOES IT might be able to come back from this performance.
My prediction: 4-1 JAM
Match result: 4-0 JAM
My MVP: triiiple (scout, sb!)
Even more of a roll than some of the other 4-0’s this week, this match must have given Shooting Blanks some pause. Although it is true that Lakeside does play to the strengths of The Jammers, with two of their best players being their sniper (andrew) and amby spy (mondragon). Still, Shooting Blank’s kind of got demolished. Triiiple (scout, sb!), Fallen Lord (sniper, sb!) and Rimbus Reynolds (spy, sb!) were the only players on Shooting Blanks to do well this match. Everyone else on sb! struggled greatly, and it really showed in the scoreline. I still believe in sb’s ability to bounce back from this, but it’s looking harder and harder each week.
My prediction: 4-2 DAT
Match result: 4-0 DAT
My MVP: wxy (demo, DAT)
There’s not a whole lot to say about this match, as it was a large roll in the favor of DAT against a team of off-classers. The match did continue to show that wxy (demo, DAT) and podgy (sniper, DAT) are DAT’s strongest players. Wxy especially went insane in this match, going over 700 dpm!
My prediction: 4-0 gst
Match result: 4-0 gst
My MVP: vai (sniper, gst)
Two no-scrim teams walked in, and one emerged victorious. Not surprisingly, galaxy swim team was the one to take this match. Harambe’s Heroes kept it a bit closer than I would have expected, but at the end of the day it was still a 4-0 win for gst.
My prediction: 4-1 ngc
Match result: 4-1 Ayylmao
My MVP: Shido (spy, Ayylmao)
I was quite shocked to see The New Generation Crew not only lose this one, but lose it handily. Hedgehog Hero (demo, ngc) and iXton (spy, ngc) made a valiant effort to keep their team in the fight, but in the end amazing play from some of Ayylmao’s players like LAB8 (scout, Ayylmao) and Shido (spy, Ayylmao) brought a win to Ayylmao. If they can cause even further upsets is still left to be seen.
Week 3 Power Rankings
1. Dedoris (DOOR) [+1]
Despite the loss of their demo, coco, after a convincing 4-0 win over Suicide Watch Door is starting to look like that Plat team we all expected them to be. The only team that seems to have a chance at beating them this season is The Jammers, and I’m looking forward to seeing what happens when they finally square off.
2. The Slammin’ Jammers (JAM) [-1]
Through no fault of their own, The Jammers move down one simply because of how strong Door is looking. They very well could beat Door however, indeed, it’s looking like they might be the only team that could do it.
3. The Wittmen (rk!) [+2]
With both Shooting Blanks and Suicide Watch getting completely destroyed in their matches last week, The Wittmen rise through the ranks. Whether or not they’re actually better than sb and sw I’m not certain about, but the fact that they took a half off of Door the first week definitely does seem to suggest we’ll be seeing some great performances from The Wittment this season.
4. Shooting Blanks (sb!) [-1]
[triiiple/Gabe/ŁΛMBDλ/Uber/Chris/IcedKappa/Bonesaw/Fallen Lord/Rimbus Reynolds]
After a disappointing 4-0 loss to The Jammers, things are looking rather rough for Shooting Blanks. It’s still entirely within their grasp to place this season, but the road ahead is looking a lot harder.
5. Suicide Watch (sw) [-1]
[bigtoes/Unicorn Wizard/pooping/vurt/Box of Cheese/Iso/affliction??/xen/88 fingers edward]
Similar to Shooting Blanks, Suicide Watch got handed a 4-0 loss in a match I expected to be closer. Furthermore, sw has lost voxdei on medic and is in risk of losing other players. If they manage to keep most of their roster together, then they should be able to remain near the top of Gold. Still, their chances of making playoffs aren’t looking particularly great currently.
6. galaxy swim team (gst) [+1]
Beating Harambe’s Heroes isn’t much of an accomplishment, and galaxy swim team mostly moves up due to shifts elsewhere in the rankings. Percy replacing vari on sniper is probably a downgrade, but since this team is still largely an enigma I’m putting them at 6th for now. They very well might prove worse than teams below them however.
7. Ayylmao (˙͜>˙) [+4]
It looks like I really underrated Ayylmao. Last week they pulled off a 4-1 win over The New Generation Crew, which raises them quite a few spots in the rankings. It will be interesting to see if they can go even further than this.
8. Catgirls.tf (DOES IT) [-2]
With a rather convincing 4-0 loss to The Wittmen, DOES IT drops down in the rankings a couple spots.
9. Disingenuous Assertions (DAT) [-]
Although DAT did quite well in beating Tune Squad 4-0, I’m still not sure if they’re better than the teams I have directly above them. We’ll have to wait and see.
10. The New Generation Crew (ngc) [-2]
With a 4-1 loss to Ayylmao, ngc drops down further in the rankings.
11. Tune Squad (TS) [-1]
[Sleeping/Davidb/sous chef/Niko Jims/dobb/??/KS/sinned/sharpshot]
Tune Squad mostly moves down a spot because of Ayylmao moving up, but losing 4-1 to DAT doesn’t help.
12. Nine Angry Men (9am) [-]
Nine Angry Men had a bye week last week and retain their spot as a result.
13. Harambe’s Heroes (HH) [-]
Harambe’s Heroes still look to be dead last this season, and they will have to prove otherwise in upcoming matches.
Week 3 Matchups
My prediction: 2-0 JAM
I simply don’t see this match being close at all. There was some talk on the forums of The Jammers possibly off-classing, but even if they do that I’m sure they’ll switch back to their mains quickly if anything starts going wrong. The Jammers roster is simply too strong for Nine Angry Men to be able to make much of a dent here, and andrew (sniper, JAM) will make things even more painful for 9am on a map like Upward. If 9am even manages to make one half close it will be quite an accomplishment considering the odds they’re up against.
My prediction: 2-0 Door
I certainly have underestimated Ayylmao so far this season, so I don’t want to totally count them out here. LAB8 (scout, Ayylmao), RockMonky (Ayylmao) and Shido (spy, Ayylmao) all showed up big for Ayylmao in their match last week against The New Generation Crew, and if they could do it again they might be able to make this match a close one. Still, I simply don’t see Ayylmao being able to contest zoey (sniper, Door) on Upward or syath (scout, Door)…just being syath. If Ayylmao manages to take a half here I’ll be thoroughly shocked, but it wouldn’t be the first time they’ve surprised me.
My prediction: 2-0 The Wittmen
I’m still not sure exactly where either of these teams stand in Gold this season, but I still think it’s pretty safe to say The Wittmen will take this one. They already have taken out one no-scrim team of experienced Gold players in their 4-0 clean sweep against DOES IT last week and I have no reason to suspect that gst is much better than DOES IT. Thus, The Wittmen shouldn’t have a ton of trouble in this match.
My prediction: 2-1 DAT
This will probably be one of the closer matches this week, but in the end I think this map plays more into the strengths of DAT than NGC. Upward is a pretty standard highlander map, so inevitably the two most important classes are Demo and Sniper. Both teams do have good a demo, with wxy on DAT and Hedgehog Hero on NGC, but I think wxy has an edge over Hedgehog Hero. Furthermore, podgy713 (sniper, DAT) will likely be able to outsnipe markers (sniper, ngc). As long as wxy and podgy play well in this match, I think this one will go to DAT. Still, it will likely be a close one either way.
My prediction: 2-1 sw
These two teams have had a slightly disappointing start to the season, finding themselves outclassed in matches against teams in the very top of Gold. I’m sure that both these teams would like to win this match and prove that they’re still in the race for top four — and thus still in the race for playoffs. This is likely going to be a real close one, but Suicide Watch should have the sniper edge with xen. If xen is able to come back from his poor performance last week and out snipe Fallen Lord (sniper, sb) Suicide Watch could very well win this game. Sniper may matter even more than normally, as both these two teams are currently undergoing some roster issues in regards to their combo. As a result, they may be less coordinated and a good sniper may be able to completely dominate the game.
Suicide Watch further has some advantages in the fact that they’ve retained their second strong pick class player, 88 fingers edward on spy, while Shooting Blanks has lost one of their best players in triiiple on scout. All in all, it seems that Suicide Watch’s roster is currently a bit more stable than Shooting Blank’s, and that could tilt the match to Suicide Watch’s favor. It’s a hard one to call though, and this is definitely my match of the week.
My prediction: 2-0 DOES IT
DOES IT has had a rough start to the season, but I think this match will give them an opportunity to bounce back. As I’ve said before, not only does Harembe’s Heroes not scrim, but most of their players barely play tf2 anymore. As a result, they’re simply not a very formidable team. DOES IT should be able to make quick work of them and get to thinking about how to approach the rest of the season.
Tune Squad vs. BYE WEEK