UGC Platinum HL Season 20 Playoff Preview

Playoffs Preview

Rather than bothering to remind you that both Fast Forward and #mcm got trounced last week or writing up Power Rankings, like they haven’t been the same for weeks, I’d rather spend some more time talking about our playoff picture.

That’s right, the rest of the league may not be done, but to accommodate the round robin, there were only 7 weeks for Platinum, so the division skips out on Product despite being forced to play Millstone last week. I recently learned from the top tier source for all UGC information that this means Product cannot be played during playoffs. This is quite upsetting because despite being overplayed on TF2C, it’s actually one of the most dynamic and exciting maps in TF2, mainly because it’s ability to be engaging and fun in any game mode, which I’ve stated a dozen times before.

Still, the top 4 was about what was expected since Upward week when Fast Forward proved themselves one of the top dogs in the division over #mcm. The only thing we can hope for at this point are competitive matches as we hold our breath for The Kids vs dK, its Grand Finals rematch, and Bv vs Fast Forward in the elimination match. What is it that people say about assuming?

With the playoffs being Double Elimination, we’ll see The Kids square off against Bv first, with dK and Fast Forward going at it for the second straight week after dK mopped them up on Millstone. The one benefit that the underdog teams have is that they get to fight a best of 3.

Likely this will lead to an elimination match between Bv and Fast Forward with the winner taking on the loser of the Upper bracket games and without getting ahead of myself, probably losing.

That’s right, take your bets now. VoxDei has predicted another Grand Final matchup against The Kids and dK. A crazy prospect, right?


Playoffs – Week 1 Matchups

We’ve arrived at the final week of the regular season for Platinum on a new, relatively untested map, pl_millstone. It definitely has the chance to really favor the team who prepares harder, rather than just the overall stronger team.

(Home team vs Away team)

The Kids (7-0) vs Chill Penguins (4-3)

Predicted outcome: 2-0 The Kids

Maps: Ashville, Steel, Upward

I really can’t find the timeline where Bv pull the upset over The Kids. I thought I put it somewhere, but maybe it was just a faint dream, a whisper of sleep depravity and insanity.

Being quite frank, The Kids hold the advantage over Bv in pretty much every aspect and Bv will have to be careful with their map selection to find a way to even secure a round (yup, not even a map) against The Kids, which is something they failed to do in Week 2 against the #1 ranked team.

Going down the line, it’s hard to find one place where Bv might have an advantage, but it’s gotta start with heavy-hitters crab_f and m66. To have any chance, both of these guys need to be playing out of their mind, which is not out of the question. Both players have been a huge part of why Bv has been successful so far this season. Other players that will need to step up big are Gamma, American and blinx, which is a tall order considering who his sniping counterpart is.

Lastly, Bv’s coordination will need to be miles above what I saw on Borneo week, which was akin to a house fire with shrieking heads trying to find their way out of the burning building that was their game plan. This is all up to the combo who was, for lack of a better word, abysmal during that match. Of course, things tightened up when they played against #mcm and easily swept them aside to make way for their playoff dreams, but things are going to need to stay that way to have any chance here, especially considering the skill gap between who they beat and who they will need to beat.

For The Kids, I don’t think they have too much to sweat about. Their combo has been on point, with Vanilla Love shredding Plat in his first season with The Kids, rounded out by Giraffe, and the mainstay Nursey. It definitely helps that they have Vand and Etney on the flank as well as the best Sniper in Highlander topping things off to cut down Bv if things get a too hairy.

At this point I haven’t received word of what the maps will be, but regardless of choice, the outcome is clear. 2-0 for The Kids.

Dunning-Kruger Effect v4 (6-1) vs Fast Forward (4-3)

Predicted outcome: 2-0 dK

Maps: Ashville, Swiftwater, Upward

This definitely has all the makings to be a much more competitive matchup than the other happening this week. dK is coming into the matchup a weaker team than the #1 seed, whereas Fast Forward definitely hold an advantage over Bv, meaning the skill gap between the teams is closer, albeit still pretty far.

Still, it’s hard for me to believe that Fast Forward has the stuff to take a map off of dK. Although a number of players performed well in their Millstone match, especially exile and Sully, dK’s bo4r on the whole has been a far superior Sniper and should rebound on a map more comfortable for him. Exile shouldn’t have much of an issue matching his performance, since he’s been consistently one of the best Demomen in Plat this season, but unless civ can outplay Karl, Fast Forward’s combo will still be a notch below dK’s.

Keith should be able to put up some strong numbers, but he’s going to need his flank partner (whether yuki or crimson) to step up in a big way, which rarely happened this season in order to outperform Spamfest, bobby, and Billysaurus on the flank. Things just get too stacked on dK’s side for Fast Forward to pull out the upset.

It all starts with Fast Forward’s pick classes. If Sully can make space and Spu isn’t stonewalled by Billysaurus, then they have a chance to play a competitive game, since it will allow Exile and Civ to get more aggressive, which in turn helps the flank, but finding a way to stop bo4r and vipa is not going to be easy and will require another top-tier performance from most of their team.

The map choices aren’t exactly favorable for Fast Forward, but I do see them having chances to be successful. dK did lose a round to Bv on Ashville in the regular season and Fast Forward rolled the now-crashed Jeep 4-0. With them being on a level slightly above Bv, it does mean they can perform well enough to keep it close. The Swiftwater choice makes sense too, since they were able to take a round off of The Kids in Week 1 of the regular season, before they knew what kind of team they’d be. Although I’m anticipating a 2-0 (in maps) if it does go to the tie breaker, I don’t see dK having much trouble finishing off the match on Upward despite the disadvantage of not having played in this season due to their opponent forfeiting.

dK will advance to the Upper Bracket Final, whereas Fast Forward will face elimination in the Lower Bracket Semis against Bv in all likelihood.

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