Skipping a week of the power rankings feels like a giant page out of a book is missing, as the landscape of Open has changed quite a bit from metalworks and viaduct week. To start it off, Sparkle Bunnies is no longer undefeated after falling to Cake Dough Cheddar. The bubble matches are already raging, with a ton of incredibly close matches on viaduct. With metalworks week delayed, many teams did not get a lot of chances to play viaduct which led to more than one upset last week. The bubble is shrinking to only about 8 teams that still have a chance at making the bottom spots in the top 16, with some teams coming close to clinching the amount of wins already. I feel less and less confident about these rankings, as I think a few of the teams could beat teams above them on a good day, but for now Airheads are the only undefeated team after running the metalworks/viaduct gauntlet which puts them at first.
1. Airheads (12-0)
Airheads walked through some of their most challenging matches they've had all season relatively unscathed. The shining star of the team, Air, put up some ridiculous numbers in just about every match from the last two weeks, most often top fragging above and beyond his teammates. Not to throw his other teammates under the bus, but this scout has proven to be the main threat from this team. Skyrolla also had some great viaduct games, naturally demomen are in a good place when they do over 500 DPM on viaduct. As the only undefeated team in Open at the moment, they go up against possibly their biggest rivals for the Open Championship this week in Sparkle Bunnies. If they manage to come out on top on sunshine, the rest of their matches should be easily winnable to give them the coveted 16-0 record and the top seed come post season. The MOTW is the one I've been waiting for all season, so lets hope its a good one.
2. Sparkle Bunnies (11-1)
Sparkle Bunnies have been toppled from their throne in an unexpected loss to Cake Dough Cheddar in one of the biggest upsets during the last few weeks. The match was incredibly long and full of grind, with Hero spending less and less time on soldier and more on pyro. His pyro play was very effective for the first half of the match, with Cake Dough Cheddar not equipped to counter this surprise tactic. The match was made slow by a lot of unfortunate deaths and misplays by bunny, who in my opinion was a big part of the reason why the team lost. 23 deaths to cMw's 14 kind of already tells the tale, but watching the match you can see some pretty gross errors made in positioning and decision making on his part. Regardless, the Bunnies shook off the loss and dominated during viaduct week, showing this to be one of their strongest maps. This week they'll get a chance at redemption and maybe to even take back their number one spot from Airheads and to play a disorganized Pinoy Boys on sunshine. Part of me wonders how hero will attempt to change the meta on this map, and a part of me actually thinks he might play soldier for more than a round or two. I guess we'll have to wait and see.
3. Cake Dough Cheddar (10-2)
Cake Dough Cheddar felt like they were on top of the world after grinding out a 5-2 victory over Sparkle Bunnies. Most impressive was Fox and Dance, with Hellbent top damaging in the match telling a story of a lot of work being done on the flank. The match itself is almost comical during the 1-0 half, with Hero completely destroying them playing pocket pyro. The second half was a different story, as Hellbent stopped shooting rockets at the pyro (duh) and started killing everything else. Fox and Dance repeatedly were the sole reason some of these fights were won, and were only eclipsed by Jaybenaduchi. More and more I'm starting to think that his pocket play is the biggest threat on the team, or people are just feeding him like crazy. After this very solid win, they turned around a fell into a pile of beef. Their match against Hungry Hungry Ogres should have been an easy win, justifying skipping viaduct scrims in order to prepare for their match against Sparkle Bunnies until the day of their viaduct match. Despite a valiant effort, the team couldn't quite get the edge over the Ogres and ended the match after losing 2 close rounds in a row. Viaduct seems to be the map for fluke wins, where a team can out DM another that might have outplayed them on a different map. Regardless, the 4-3 loss won't really have too much of an impact on their final seeding for playoffs, but after dethroning Sparkle Bunnies, Cake Dough Cheddar have a lot to prove in the last two weeks of the season.
4. Off Top (11-1)
Last weekend I grilled a bunch of hot dogs and ate them with like half of Off Top, and we had a very spirited discussion of where this season of Open and IM were headed. Theory crafting is all Off Top has been doing lately, as they haven't had to play a match in awhile, and with another forfeit win on the horizon it looks like they won't really see a whole lot of action until the last week of the season on snakewater. Hopefully they haven't all become fat and lazy with all this downtime, but with 12 guaranteed wins (with a FFW from boys anus smell bottle) they could throw their snakewater matches and still be in a decent spot for playoffs. Even though they haven't had a whole lot of time to play in official matches, I would hope the team is still scrimming and keeping up the edge, as anyone in the top 5 right now could find themselves in the Grand Final before they know it. This week will be against 1 Thousand MPH Ass, and while that team has made a valiant effort this season, I don't see them able to out DM or out play Off Top at this point and time.
5. Graveguns Aneurysm (11-1)
Graveguns Aneurysm weren't the only ones to lose their perfect record this season, but a 4-2 loss to Airheads on viaduct was very telling. Fortunately, this team hasn't had a whole lot of forfeit wins to dumb down the amount of rounds won, which should actually give them a top 5 seed by the end of the season. Their sunshine matches will both be wins, as I think the map can favor sneaky scouts that hit all their shots, which will provide Nate and Ringo ample opportunity to dump on their opponents. Rolling with Rolling and dddddddddddddd will put up a good fight, but I don't see more than a couple rounds being dropped between the two matches. Next week, Hippo and the boys will be up against Sparkle Bunnies and Kawaii 5-o on snakewater and some big wins here would be a great way to end the season.
6. Pinoy Boys (9-3)
Pinoy Boys have had a myriad of roster changes the last couple weeks, with BroKing doing his ronin thing and playing for one match and then peaced out to play for God Complex for a hot second. Now, Mr Owl has stepped in to medic while Cloudmaker steps into the role of roamer, and to be honest I have no idea what to expect from this team at all. The last two matches they've actually played have been pretty horrible losses, and at this point more losses could see them pushed out of the race completely if they aren't careful. However, as my biggest fan and former top informant of the Open Intelligence Agency, I will have faith in Mr Owl to guide his team to victory with the lessons that Slin has taught him. Or maybe Zambler will stop being a fat baby and do some real work once in awhile. This week is going to be pretty rough on the Pinoy Boys, but with some solid time with their new line up they should be able to finish strong and make it to playoffs.
7. Kawaii 5-o (10-2)
Every time I think this team will come around and be the gods they all have the potential to be, they up and beef it super hard. After beating Sparkle Bunnies in a few scrims, Kawaii 5-o was feeling pretty confident taking on the number one and two spots in the previous weeks, and unfortunately things just did not go well for them. Metalworks against Airheads was a match almost completely dictated by mid fights, with a few rounds turned over to Kawaii 5-o during transitions. On viaduct against Sparkle Bunnies, it seemed like Kawaii 5-o could just not catch a break after they flubbed a bunch of opportunities. Despite all this, Seymour went pretty huge during both matches, proving that he is the driving force of this team. Their last four matches of the season will be a bit more forgiving but they'll still need a few more wins to feel safe in the top 16.
8. Luca Goers (10-2)
Luca Goers have been another team plagued with forfeits the last couple weeks, and have been denied playing one of the most stale matches in the rotation this season. Their viaduct match wasn't much to speak of, although I think that Bill might need to approach this map a bit differently if they want to be more effective. The next two weeks will be intense as hell on the Luca Goers, although even with a worst case scenario of losing all four of their matches (not likely) they'll still end the season at 10-6. My conservative prediction for this team is to end 11-5, just to seal the deal for playoffs. I wish I could talk about this team more, but until next week and playoffs I won't have much to say until they actually play some matches. Sorry, guys.
9. dddddddddddddddddddddddd (10-2)
After waiting a week and a half to play a match, the d's take a 4-1 loss from Sparkle Bunnies, and I can only imagine that this is the beginning of a downward spiral for the team who has enjoyed a relatively easy schedule this season. Their next week on sunshine will be against Luca Goers and Graveguns Aneurysm. The match against Luca Goers is pretty winnable for both teams, as well as the match next week against Pinoy Boys. I would venture to guess that their other two matches their opponents will simply out DM them in most cases. But even 4 losses here won't be the end of the world for the d's, as they should have enough rounds won to make playoffs regardless. Where they end up in the grand scheme of things is entirely up to them and if they can grab some upset wins here.
10. I paid for wrong Wowzers (8-4)
The first question I asked myself about keeping this team in the rankings was “Are there other teams that should be here instead?” The answer of course, is yes. Obviously there are a few teams out there that should be here, No Johns or Hungry Hungry Ogres maybe. But that would defeat the purpose of keeping this team in the spotlight before bsc causes the team to implode right before playoffs. They forfeited a game last week against Kawaii 5-o which robbed us of a good match, and it is unclear if the team wants to continue to forfeit the rest of the season. Even though their record isnt the best right now, the chance to stay in it for four more matches and start playing in a higher division would be worth it, if I was on the team anyway. JOE has been listening to a lot of Selena Gomez recently, so maybe they can come up with some fucked up team building exercise to stay in the game. Regardless, the team stays here at tenth until they're dead.
Teams to watch:
- Champange and Cocaine
- Hotel Moskau
- No Johns
- Hungry Hungry Ogres
- American Jerks
Match of the Week: Sparkle Bunnies vs Airheads
It's weird to think this match is so late in the season, and on sunshine of all maps. This match is more for pride than anything else, as both teams don't really have to worry about having a good seed for playoffs. Air is pretty great, and as we have seen throughout the season he's only gotten better. The rest of his team plays well enough in most situations, and as they have all shown thus far, I have been forced to eat my words in the earlier criticism of them this season. On the flip side, Sparkle Bunnies haven't felt a whole lot of pressure from other teams this season until very recently, and if nothing else ruining someone else's chance at a perfect season is reason enough to want to take back the throne. Gls and oobii are great scouts, and when they play together they can make big things happen. Hero is the main playmaker for this team, but sometimes I feel like his offclassing antics somewhat hinder his team rather than really securing the win. This match should be one everyone is watching this week, as they are the epitome of teams to beat in the post season. I predict a win for Sparkle Bunnies 5-4.
Players to Watch:airrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, geknaiir, hero1, gloobii