November 21st, 2016
UGC Gold Highlander Season 20
Week 1 Playoffs: upward
We’ve been waiting for it for quite a while now and it’s finally here — Gold playoffs are about to start! The format for playoffs will be a four team double-elimination bracket, with each game being only one map except playoffs which will be best of three maps. Personally, I’m a little said to see that they didn’t go with the best of three maps for every game with a pick/ban system like they did with Plat, but it’s not that big of a deal.
Anyway, the first week matches will be on pl_upward. I’ll be doing a class by class comparison for each match. Class by class comparisons have been somewhat controversial in the past, but I had some requests to do them for playoffs so I will be. Please keep in mind that my opinions are just that: opinions. I’m often wrong about which player will perform best in a match, so please take the class by class comparisons with a grain of salt.
Scouts: JJslim and LAB8 | slight advantage: LAB8
These are the hardest two players to try and guess who will perform better, as JJslim has been notoriously inconsistent the two season I’ve covered him in Gold. On meme stealers, playing soldier, JJslim would go from top fragging and carrying his team one match to almost bottom fragging for the entire server the next match. His performance this season has been more consistent, with more great performances than poor ones. However, he still has had some mediocre games this season. On the other hand, LAB8 has been consistent for Ayylmao this season and a big part of their success. While it is entirely possible that JJslim could come out on top here, LAB8’s consistency makes me more inclined to give the advantage to him. And so I will.
Soldiers: Mirrorman and Juno | advantage: mirrorman
Mirrorman has been integral to The Jammers’ this season, and is almost certainly the best soldier in Gold playoffs. Juno is far from bad, but his performance overall this season has not been nearly as impactful as mirrorman’s. Still, Juno has had a few stellar games here and there so it’s not entirely impossible that he could give mirrorman a run for his money. I’m fairly confident in saying mirrorman will come out on top, however.
Pyros: Arzt Hispanian and Ein | advantage: Arzt Hispanian
Neither of these pyros have particularly insane stat lines this season, with both of them playing pretty standard pyro. Arzt has, however, been by far the most consistent pyro in Gold this season. He hasn’t had many games with high frag counts, but he almost always has kept his deaths fairly low and contributed a decent amount of frags and damage to his team, while keeping his combo safe. Ein isn’t bad by any means, but he just hasn’t performed as well as Arzt has throughout the season.
Demos: Source and Lucky | advantage: Lucky
Quite frankly, source is probably the worst player on The Jammers. Now, The Jammers are quite good, so don’t get the wrong idea — I’m not saying that he’s bad. Still, on a team of such top notch players, source stands out as much more average. Lucky on the other hand, has stood out on Ayylmao as one of their best players. Source will play respectably, but I think Lucky will do a bit better.
Heavies: grandislayer and pazer | slight advantage: grandislayer
Both these heavies haven’t been particularly notable this season. Grandislayer has had some good games, especially near the start of the season, but he’s taken somewhat of a back seat to other players on The Jammers like andrew and mirrorman. Pazer likewise has had a few great games here and there, but mostly has just been an average Gold heavy. I think this one could go either way, but I don’t expect either of them to win their team the game. Such is the life of heavy, I suppose.
Engineers: hyphen and ?
I’m afraid I’ve committed the common crime of not paying much attention to the engineers this season. I’ve been especially bad on this front however. When I went to do this class by class comparison, I was shocked to find that yui is no longer the engineer for Ayylmao…and that she hasn’t played a single game of competitive tf2 since October 11th. Oops.
Anyway, Ayylmao has used two different engineers in their last two matches and I’m not even sure who their main engineer is supposed to be. Sorry about this one.
Medics: turkeylips and Happy Bob | advantage: turkeylips
Turkeylips is honestly just getting the benefit of the doubt from being on the better team here. I don’t really know which medic is the better one here. They both seem reasonably respectable at their class, but neither of them are insanely good at medic either and it’s had to tell minute differences between medic skill.
Snipers: andrew and rockmonkey | advantage: andrew
Andrew is so good that (sometimes to their detriment) the entire playstyle of The Jammers is based around him. Rockmonkey is no slouch at sniper either, but he can’t really claim to have the same impact as andrew. Andrew has dominated this season, out sniping pretty much everyone he has come up against. I don’t really see rockmonkey being able to match him.
Spies: Scruff McGruff and Shido | advantage: Scruff McGruff
Shido has actually been pretty impressive this season, but Scruff is an established Plat spy. I expect them both to do well this game, but Scruff to come out with a couple more important picks.
Final Prediction: 2-0 JAM
Ayylmao has a lot of talent on their roster and honestly in pure dm they come relatively close to The Jammers. However, they don’t have nearly as strong a sniper as The Jammers nor the general levels of the teamwork that The Jammers have displayed. The Jammers have shown themselves capable in the past of winning even when getting out fragged, thanks in no small part due to their ability to play around andrew. I think this play style will continue to work for them in this match, and they should come out without dropping a half.
My prediction: 2-1 DOOR
It seems The Wittmen have changed their roster at the last moment, so I might screw this up. Apologies in advance.
Scouts: triiiple and dotsy | advantage: triiiple
Both of these scouts have proven to be solid mid-season pickups for their team. Triiiple is just a bit ahead of dotsy in my opinion, although dotsy has proven to outperform my expectations so far this season.
Soldiers: Unicorn Wizard and hiway | advantage: Unicorn Wizard
Unicorn Wizard has been a solid soldier in Gold for a little while now. Hiway has performed well for The Wittmen on demo this season, but after making the sudden jump back to soldier I don’t know if he’ll be able to keep up with Unicorn Wizard.
Pyros: zuchima and dusk | slight advantage: dusk
Zuchima just can’t decide what he wants to play for Door. He’s switched back and forth between heavy and pyro multiple times this season. Dusk has been pretty consistent for The Wittmen this season, and considering the fact that he’s actually been on pyro for them the entire time, I think he might have a slight edge in this matchup.
Demos: syath and water cat | advantage: syath
I’m honestly a bit baffled on the decision to move water cat to demo. Now, I don’t think water cat is a terrible demo or anything, but he was doing just fine on sniper. And it’s not like The Wittmen’s new sniper looks appreciably better than water cat. Anyway, neither of these two have spent much of the season playing demo. I think syath is much better at the class however, and will easily come out on top here.
Heavies: dc and Randy Wittman | advantage: Randy Wittman
Randy has proven to be an extremely solid heavy this season. He played a huge roll in The Wittmen’s victory over shooting blanks on borneo, getting a lot of very impressive kill streaks at just the right moments. Dc on the other hand…well, does anyone even know if dc is any good at heavy? He seems to just be filling the roll because zuchima doesn’t feel like playing heavy and Door needed someone. I doubt he’ll do badly, but randy should win this matchup.
Engineers: kainoa and gus | advantage: kainoa
How much impact an engineer is likely to have on upward is debatable, but kainoa is certainly the more experienced engineer here. If any dm ends up being involved for them on this map, kainoa would also likely outdo gus in that regard as well.
Medics: alto and cider | advantage: alto
Once again, comparing medics is not easy and I’m pretty much just going with the more experienced medic here. Alto does drop me a lot in etf2l though…hm.
Snipers: zoey and gert | advantage: zoey
I honestly have no clue who gert is and why The Wittmen decided to put them in at the last minute. In scrims so far he appears to be quite solid, so I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad decision. Either way, zoey is a very strong sniper with Plat experience, so I fully expect her to come out on top here.
Spies: zagron and proto | slight advantage: proto
Potentially the most controversial of these, but it seems to me proto has been doing better than zagron this season. Proto has had issues with being wildly inconsistent in the past, which is why some might question my giving him a slight advantage over zagron, but it seems that he has mostly gotten over his issues with consistency over the past two seasons. Either way, these two spies are very close in skill level so this matchup probably won’t matter a whole lot. They’ll likely perform very similarly.
Final Prediction: 2-1 DOOR
This being upward, sniper matters a lot. As long as zoey is able to outperform gert, which I think she should, Door should be able to take this. The Wittmen may take a half off due to their being a much more coordinated roster, but even that is in question with their last-minute roster shake up. Even if The Wittmen were to play the game of their lives, Door’s far superior dm should be able to keep The Wittmen in check and secure a victory for themselves.