The first week of the season was the most exciting of any open seasons that I can remember, where most of the time the first week is a series of rolls with only a few good matches here and there. This week we saw some big upsets over relatively well known players getting dunked on by a healthy host of newcomers. The match comms from some of these matches were especially juicy, and with tensions running high this early on in the season, its going to make for some entertaining trashtalk. These rankings are tenuous at best right now until we can get some more information, as I don't think some of these teams are ranked very appropriately, but for now we'll just see who steps it up to climb to the top of the pile.
1. Sparkle Bunnies (2-0)
Sparkle Bunnies had a good week to start their season off, facing their strongest competitor Maus Trap very early on in the season. There was some issues about the server routing for some of the players apparently, so even though it was a 5-2 victory for the Bunnies, it may not have been the clearest of wins. Despite some of the connectivity problems from Maus Trap, the match was still a good one. What I found most interesting was the fact that Hero spent more time on sniper than he did on soldier this match, putting a lot of that responsibility on Kent to keep their medic alive. Oobls (or Gloobii if you're into that kind of thing) did pretty well with this change of play as well, including a ridiculous backcap of last in front of a few players from Maus Trap who had just spawned by gls. I will be eager to see what else this power pair can do the rest of the season. This week on Granary we'll see these guys and gals go up against another power ranked team, OPERATION QUINN. Personally, I don't know if Sparkle Bunnies will have too much of an issue with this team, but Testify and Clorg are sure to be the real threats going into this match.
2. Maus Trap (1-1)
Since I just got done talking about Maus Trap's first match against current rank 1 Sparkle Bunnies, I won't take too much time to talk about it. I will say that it completely sucks to have most of your projectile classes struggling to play with around 200ms, and that this simple fact was enough to tilt some of the boys on Maus Trap that severely effected their game. The good thing is they've gotten this out of the way pretty early, and can just concentrate on building some team cohesion for the next 7 weeks. It doesn't help that I'm painting a big target on them as the team to beat this season, but I like to think Mausy and friends are more than up to the challenge. This week they'll be my MOTW which I will cover at the end of this piece, and another match that is likely to be a roll against Powerthirst Inc. The rest of their schedule looks pretty smooth, with only their viaduct match against Off Top standing out as one they could be challenged on but only if Off Top gets their shit together or doesn't die before then.
3. Hans Fan Group (2-0)
Since I fully expect this team to die at any second (Bsc should be recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award of Most Teams Killed in ESEA) I might as well get them in here at 3rd before they are whisked away by the advent of the Ultimate Sadness. For players of their caliber, they might have the easiest schedule in Open if I didn't know how hard bsc can throw. Good thing Seymour is a god, and defiance is just too much for Open otherwise I wouldn't see this team lasting past week 3. All humor aside, I think the potential of this team could be pretty huge if they really buckle down and play the game. With the wealth of experience from pretty much all of their players I would think this team would be an easy shoe in to stay in the top 3, but like every single season Bsc finds some way to disappoint me. They'll be playing hi open (questionable validity of this team name) and Pinoy Boys. Pinoy Boys should give them a good game, and more than anything if Cloudmaker and crew can walk away with a win it reveals a whole lot more about both of these teams of what we can expect for the rest of the season.
4. Graveguns Aneurysm (2-0)
To avoid certain people not able to see the names of the players from the preview, I've abbreviated some of the players names in the hopes that will fix the problem. Dingo, let me know if its still messed up. Anyway, Hippo and the boys had an interesting week one with a match that ended 3-2 with only 2 rounds in the second half before the half timer ran out. Nate and Power Mangoes did a ton of work this match, as expected. If I want to continue to create horrible names for scout pairs in the vein of Brangelina or Kimye, I'll just be calling these guys NateMangoes or Power_Rivers. Both of these are pretty bad, but not as cringe worthy as Bennifer. The next couple of weeks will be pretty smooth for Graveguns Aneurysm until they have to play Maus Trap on badlands, but I don't think they're going to just roll through all of their opponents until then.
5. OPERATION QUINN (2-0)
- Monkey Suit
Clorg may actually be the best demo in Open this season besides Mausy, as evidenced by their epic comeback win last week against LARGE Gamers. The situation was dire for OPERATION QUINN going into the second half 3-1, only to take 4 rounds back to back for the win. Clorg finished just under 20k damage with Tes not too far behind at 12k. CHE had a perfect game in a 10 minute roll during their second match (as if anyone didn't already know) but other than that the match wasn't very interesting. The three main threats on this team will be Clorg, Testify, and Monkey Suit, who was the best Medic in Open Season 14. Enhance and Marquee are both decent players in their own right, but I don't see them as big play makers very consistently. This team will be playing Sparkle Bunnies this week which may prove to be their undoing, but will really give us a taste of their mettle. The game will be close if Monkey can manage not to bait his entire team at mid and if Clorg goes absolutely bananas during team fights. Their schedule is actually pretty even going down the list, but more so than anything OPERATION QUINN will have to protect their place in the rankings from aspiring teams more than anyone else in these rankings.
6. Hotel Moskau (1-1)
With their upset win over Off Top in a close 5-4 victory last week, Hotel Moskau will be the first team to impress me this season. Uncharacteristically of most Open medics, I was pretty impressed at how Idrae made it consistent to be in the right place at the right time, although my biggest criticism of this team at this time is how slow they tend to play. Sleepless is going to join the ranks of up and coming highlander demos that have made it to sixes, but before everyone gets their panties in a twist I don't see him at the same caliber as Block. I do see a lot of potential and more than anything one of the main components of this teams success. This season, Hotel Moskau is going to be hard pressed to improve with such a difficult schedule on their plate, but I'm just going to call it right now: this team will come back so hard in the second half of the season and upset someone in playoffs. That’s going to be my million monopoly dollar bet, lets hope I'm right.
7. Off Top (1-1)
Off Top has had a rough start to the season with a close win (4 to 3) over Thigh High Socks and a heartbreaking loss to Hotel Moskau. The team hasn't had a whole lot of time to scrim, and its fairly obvious when watching them. Hopefully, this set back serves more as a wake up call rather than on everyone trying to quit all at once, as I still think this team will be decent the rest of the season. Right now, Nev needs to put the time in to catch up with the awareness the rest of his teammates have, or he will continue to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. After that, some rust needs to shaken off the combo, and James needs to bait a little less. They've got plenty of challenges on their schedule if the last two matches are anything to go off of, so here is to hoping the first week was just a hiccup and the rest of these IM Playoff players can step it up.
8. Thigh High Socks (1-1)
Thigh High Socks played with Yeegz on roamer while Mana was out of town this last week, but should have their regular roamer this week. Zalfy threw up some big numbers in both of their matches, but Carolina showed that Zalfy wasn't the only one on the team to do some work. In their match against Off Top, Carolina pretty much stayed alive the whole time for the first half, while dishing out some big damage. While in a lot of cases I could say that Off Top's mistakes are what made this match so close, but its hard to ignore good performance from a demo and a scout. After I embarrassingly confused Sky_ with Skyrolla, I was pleased to see that he was still a player that can hold his own, indicating to me that this team revolved mostly around their combo with support from Zalfy. I will be excited to see what these guys can do after the viaduct week, as I don't see their schedule as being all that crazy for them.
9. Airs team without rainy (2-0)
This is one of the teams that I have a strong suspicion is a little too low on this ranking, but without some more concrete results they'll have to be stuck in here at the 9th spot for the time being. Both of their week 1 matches weren't much to talk about, but surely this week its the time to shine for Airs team without rainy, who might want to think about a new team. And maybe a profile picture? Airs team needs a new namey. Either way, I will be talking more about their week 2 match against Maus Trap in the MOTW, but as for now the stand out players on this team to me are Air himself and Geknaiir. Skyrolla on demo is a little underwhelming at times, but seems to be in the right place at the right times more often than not. I'll have to see more of this team play, especially with Geknaiir on soldier (I only really saw him play scout last season) and up and coming scout talent Aiirrr before I have a well rounded opinion of them.
10. Pinoy Boys (2-0)
Right now this team is sitting on top of the bubble as what I consider to be one of the better teams in Open that have yet been given a chance to prove themselves. Zambler is a great demo, but other than that I don't really know much about the rest of the players on the team. Most of them only have a few matches here and there among the last couple of seasons, but just looking at how well they do in scrims I think this team will do well against other teams in Open. This week they get their first chance to prove just how competitive they are with a match against Hans Fan Club. An upset win here could well be a preview of what we can expect for the rest of the season. Like Airs team, this is another team that I think may be better than the ranking may indicate, but we'll just have to wait and see how they do for the rest of the season.
Teams to watch:
- do it for bill
- 1 Thousand MPH Ass
- 5 Queers and Topshot
- Cake Dough Cheddar
- Donkey Kong
Match of the Week: Maus Trap vs Airs Team Without Rainy
The Match of the Week is going to be a lot closer than what most people think. With Maus Trap coming away from a rough match during week 1, they will need to play this carefully to avoid another loss. As long as they make sure their players are all playing at decent latency, they won't have an excuse to fall back on if they lose this one. Airs team may surprise a lot of people this season, and this is their first opportunity to make some waves. On such a soldier friendly map, I will think that Thr4sher and Hellbent will be a deciding factor on mids, but I won't count out Geknaiir making some big bombs to make these fights closer than normal. The match will be a close one, but I'll go with the conservative prediction of 5-3 in favor of Maus Trap.
Players to Watch: Mausy, Hellbent, Aiirrr, Geknaiir