I'd like to apologize to Sparkle Bunnies for the tone of last week's article in respects to their decision about their roster. While it was something to talk about, I should have had a bit more tact when describing how it all went down. With that said, with all the changes that have been going on last week, I'll try not to paint a picture of villainy and pettiness if that is not the case. Speaking of which, we bid farewell to the efforts of Boys Anus Smell Bottle with their sudden death last week, with Clorg, Monkey Suit, and BroKing all leaving the roster for greener (?) pastures.
With the last couple weeks staring us in the face, its time to do math. Math in the form of who is going to make it into the top 16 and who is going to have to play another season of Open again. Pretty much all of the teams in the top 10 have very little to worry about, most of them with enough wins and rounds racked up that all they need to worry about is their final seeding. For our teams just outside the rankings and teams with 4-4 records, its going to come down to rounds for and against come snakewater week. Traditionally a record of 10-6 is almost guaranteed to put you in the top 16, with maybe a few 9-7 teams sliding in to the last few spots to round out the top 16. While I could spend hours with a calculator trying to determine the likelihood of success for one team or another, I know Radium will be keen on all that stuff for me, especially because his team is right smack dab in the middle of the bubble.
1. Sparkle Bunnies (8-0)
Sparkle Bunnies only had a small hiccup last week, dropping two rounds to American Jerks mostly in part to several players in the server having some crazy latency issues. If any of you tried to get a match moved to a different server last Thursday, you should have been found it pretty hard with almost 22 matches across the league going on in the time span of about two hours. ESEA Texas servers have been notorious for having random and horrible ping (everyone knows to schedule a match on TX 161 is a risky decision at best) and this again was the case for Sparkle Bunnies. However, they were still able to overcome their 200+ ms and come out on top with the win, with hero switching off of soldier to scout when it was clear his connection was not going to improve. Time and again the community has asked for some of the hardly used New York and Virginia servers to be relocated to Dallas or Chicago, but ESEA has refused to budge on the issue. Metalworks week will be a fun one for Sparkle Bunnies, with matches against Cake Dough Cheddar and Hotel Moskau. Hotel Moskau has had it a bit rough for their virgin season of ESEA, but fortunately for them Sparkle Bunnies will be the only match they play that is a guaranteed loss, with the rest of their matches looking more favorable. Cake Dough Cheddar has been shaping up through the last couple weeks, Hellbent changing the team element ever since joining the team. This match will be closer than expected initially, but I don't see Sparkle Bunnies losing here unless something crazy goes down. The next few weeks will be challenge after challenge for Sparkle Bunnies, giving us all a good preview of what we will see in the post season.
2. Airheads (8-0)
Airheads have had a great season so far, with the least number of rounds given up to any team besides Sparkle Bunnies, rolling their way through the first half of their season. Metalworks will be the start of the rollercoaster for Scrimshaw and the boys, where they will play just about every other team in the top 10, including all of the teams currently undefeated. Their match against Kawaii 5-o will be the match of the week, which I will talk about later. Their second match against Surfers is going to be a pretty easy win for Airheads, sorry to say for Surfers. Looking ahead, I think it would be fair enough to say that Airheads will probably forgo their perfect record and finish either 15-1 or 14-2, although who they will eventually give up the ghost to is anybody's guess. If they do manage to come out on top of the rest of their matches, they deserve to win Open.
3. Graveguns Aneurysm (8-0)
Hippo and friends get a free FFW from the dead roster of maus trap, and a 5-2 victory over Hungry Hungry Ogres, thus diminishing playoff hopes for another bubble team. Like a lot of the other teams in the top ten, metalworks week begins their first of many challenges that will determine the final seeding for the post season. They'll have one last chance to relax with their match against cat and the grooves, and then it will be time to go toe to toe with Pinoy Boys. Pinoy Boys have just suffered their first loss of the season last week, but by no means are out of the game quite yet. Whether or not this will be Graveguns Aneurysm's first loss of the season will be entirely up to how much Nate and Power Mangoes do during the mids especially, but also during transition fights which is where the real round deciding fights happen on this particular map.
4. Off Top (7-1)
Off Top's only loss of the season comes as a blessing in disguise, as they get somewhat of an extension for the next couple weeks, where they will be wreaking havoc on the bubble teams they have been scheduled against. This means they will already have clinched their playoff spot when snakewater week arrives, where they will play Kawaii 5-o and Sparkle Bunnies, their hardest week of the season by far. Even if they lose 2 or 3 games somehow, it won't matter. Off Top will make it to playoffs no matter what at this point, although their seed will most likely be around fourth or fifth place. It should be noted that while it still is not clear if caboose is out for the rest of the season, Lambert has been picked up to play roamer while Anthony switches to medic. Lambert has insane DM on soldier and scout, and I expect this pick up to go really well for them.
5. Kawaii 5-O (8-0)
Off Top are not the only ones to make some significant pickups, where the team formerly known as 5 Queers and Topshot have changed up their scouts to both miwo and seymour. Seymour left bsc's team last week and promptly joined remedy and his gaggle of xers, while miwo has been waiting in the shadows like some creep for his chance at Open glory. Most people only know miwo for his medic play, but his scout could be almost described as his second main. The rest of the season will be sufficient challenge for Remedy to prove that they are truly sandbagging Open instead of just occupying space, starting with a match against Thigh High Socks. Thigh High has dipped a bit out of the spotlight from the beginning of the season with some unfortunate losses, but has been on the upswing the last couple weeks. Their win streak may come to a grinding halt however, as it appears that Kawaii 5-o is a stronger team than they were projected to be a couple weeks ago. Their second match we'll talk about later in the match of the week.
6. Cake Dough Cheddar (7-1)
Cake Dough Cheddar is another team that has all but clinched their playoff spot after a quick glance at their schedule for the next coming weeks, but it isn't without some challenges for lucrative and friends. Dance and Fox really killed it on badlands last week, being a driving force for their team. Both Hellbent and Jaybenaduchi also bring a lot to the team dynamic, with Jay impressing me the most during their recent win over Pinoy Boys on badlands. Fox had a shining moment on sniper, which just reminds me this wily little Hawaiian can turn a round over pretty much by himself when he starts hitting crazy shots. Metalworks will not be as kind to them this week, with a match against Sparkle Bunnies and what could be a decent match against No Johns, but after this week CDC should have a smooth ride into the post season, where they can hope for a seed in the top five as long as they don't drop too many rounds to the bubble teams. Also, have you guys seen this bird? Look at this bird.
7. Pinoy Boys (7-1)
Pinoy Boys have had a busy week last week, with their first loss of the season going to Cake Dough Cheddar and then turning around to slap Nursey and friends in the face with a 5-2 win. After their exciting badlands matches, Chunkey had to leave the team due to some real life stuff, and BroKing has been brought onto the roster since. Nick will be moving to roamer, with BroKing stepping out of the soldier boots and into some scout shoes. They will be looking for an upset win over Graveguns Aneurysm this week, and with this new change to their line up it will become clear just from this match if it will work out for them or not. This is just one of the many close matches going on this week, but I have a feeling this one will go in favor of Pinoy Boys. If it doesn't, the team will have a hard time the rest of the season making up rounds to keep them floating in the top 16, with the danger of getting a less than favorable seed when it comes time for playoffs.
8. Luca Goers (6-2)
Do It For Bill has changed their name to Luca Goers, a reference to a blitzball team from FFX. We'll see if they are as tough of a team as their namesakes, as they have their work cut out for them for the rest of their schedule. Fortunately, they should have enough wins to clinch their playoff spot, although I fully expect them to finish 10-6 or 11-5 when its all said and done. This week shouldn't be that huge of an ordeal for Nursey and the boys, with a FFW from Snarky Teamname and what should be a solid win over Cloud 9, which is also how their viaduct week should go. After that, they'll have to play some hardhitters and hope for an upset win, but by this time the team will have made it into the post season for their first season of open. Good luck, boys!
9. I Paid for the Wrong Wowzers (5-3)
Bsc is doing his best to kill the team, benching just about his entire roster with the absence of seymour this week and bringing elements of his Main team out of retirement in a clumsy attempt to sandbag in Open. Last week, bsc paid for a player in ESEA that hasn't signed on since January of 1970, a feat of time travel to be sure, instead of his wonderkid Wowzers. After discovering that he had run out of money on his paypal wowzer'ss brother had bought Lucky Charms marshmallows from Amazon with it, Wowzers had to sit the match out. The result was the team playing 5v6 for most of the match against Off Top, with defiance coming in at the very end of the match for the last round only to lose 5-0. Not the greatest start with this new roster, but the hilarity of the situation more than makes up for the loss. The rest of the season will see only a few losses, but I expect this team to shine come post season with Joe playing his main and some solid leadership from bsc and marxist.
10. dddddddddddddddddddddddd (7-1)
dddddddddddddddddddddddd has the most annoying teamname in the entire history of Open, and for this reason I almost didn't put them in the power rankings. But a team that has made it through half of the season with only one loss deserves to be up here, given that they will be playing the rest of the top 10 in the weeks to come. Unfortunately, the telling loss to Hotel Moskau leads me to believe that this team will have a hard time maintaining their record, but surely come viaduct we'll be entertained by the antics of Matt Gibson and the rest of his team to see how they can stack up to the rest of top of Open. With their current record, the Ds will most likely not have to worry too much about staying in for playoffs, but too many losses in their second half of the season could make things difficult when the time finally comes. Their matches until they play Sparkle Bunnies won't be much to comment on, but when that time comes I hope they'll be ready.
Teams to watch:
- I Tried Mom
- Hotel Moskau
- Thigh High Socks
- 1 Thousand MPH Ass
- American Jerks
Match of the Week: Airheads vs Kawaii 5-O
This match will be a hard one to predict, mostly because its hard to gauge the strength of Kawaii 5-o with their new players. Seymour is pretty much a god in Open, and while I don't usually take scrim results into account very heavily, its hard to ignore how well this team has done in scrims the past few weeks. Kawaii 5-o is poised to do a lot of work in the second half of the season and prove that they are the most top heavy sandbaggers in the division that everyone slept on, but at the same time Airheads have proven to be as solid as any of these other teams with former Invite players on them. Honestly, I think this match will come down to how Air performs versus how much Seymour can carry, but my gut feeling will be that Kawaii 5-o takes the upset here 5-3.
Players to Watch: Seymour, Topshot, Air, Geknaiir