Hey guys! I’m gonna try to take over doing some Platinum Power Rankings this season with some help from Overseer here and there. This season is gonna be really tough to call each week, as we have a bunch of really good teams all seemingly able to trade wins with each other. I’m going to try to limit my rankings to the top 5 or 6 as well, with a few “maybe next time” teams listed at the bottom. Also keep in mind that these will be based on logs, scrims, matches, as well as my own personal observations of each team. So without further ado, lets start off with numero uno!
1. Menace to Society Starting off with the #2 team from Season 8, mTs has lost a few high-invite players, but picked up a few more steady veterans with more availability. The big changes are Enigma, Platinum, and Oplaid left Scout/Soldier/Heavy respectively, making room for ukm, Atomsk, and Flamingo (Panic) to step in. I was honestly a little wary about this new roster being able to shape up, but having seen them in action now, I’m much more comfortable putting them at the top. Harbleu had a pretty incredible game against BPM on lakeside, which one would expect to continue. He survived attacks that most medics wouldn’t, showing off his invite talent and knowledge of the game. Xalox continues to be one of the best demos currently playing and had excellent damage output, especially in comparison to the nearly always kritz-running BPM’s Puff. Ukm proved himself by top-fragging in his first highlander match, and the rest of the team played very solidly as well. It’s worth noting that neither mTs or BPM fielded their starting spy, and mTs definitely had the better backup in place for their match. The starters would likely have each performed better than their backups, but who knows if it would have been enough to swing the game a different direction. Still, I can’t ignore a match win against another top 4 team, especially when BPM has proven to be so strong on lakeside (generally edging out the other top teams). Menace to Society have played two of the other 3 top teams this season, having yet to scrim against Ginyu Force, but I’m still giving them an edge based on their performance against others and previous record.
2. Ginyu Force Ginyu Force did not have a particularly taxing preseason match, but has started off as the strongest in preseason scrims. From the ashes of three top Season 8 teams (Tangerine, Bonus, and IFA) Ginyu Force has kept arguably the strongest players from each team, along with picking up Runaway 5’s (currently ranked #3 in ESEA IM) Duwatna on demo, and Chill to Good Ratio’s (#2 in IM) Lambert on scout (though he now backs up for Chill). These two, along with the aggressive heavy play from Dill, go a long way toward fixing issues previously seen on each of the teams that died to pave the way for Ginyu’s formation. Our early scrims have generally shown us on top by a good degree, with a couple very narrow losses to BPM on lakeside. Though getting the full roster together for scrims sometimes appears problematic, Ginyu has also scrimmed more than perhaps any other top team, so a little bit of a head start has helped us stay ahead. As mentioned before Ginyu and mTs have yet to meet, but regular wins against TS and BPM put us in the 2nd place position for now. mTs gets the boost to #1 for a regular season victory against a top team. Expect Ginyu to stay strong and continue to challenge the best of S8 in the weeks to come though!
3. Baby Punching Marathon Despite their initial loss to mTs on Lakeside, I still feel like BPM may end up the team to beat this season. Lacking their starting spy, Pulse, BPM was forced into the tough spot of using non-spy main HomTanks in the role in their first big match. I’ve seen first hand the difference having Pulse makes on Lakeside, so its unfortunate they were lacking him against mTs. As mentioned before, mTs was lacking their starting spy, Jerro, as well, but had a much better backup in Phlux, so the match could definitely have ended differently. BPM is the only team to put more than one win on Ginyu Force so far though, so I have to give them a high position this week. New pickups Puff and Boink, join Pulse in adding some massive upgrades in DM to the BPM roster. Cozen steps in for Dana Scully on medic and has already shown himself to be an excellent fit with the established BPM combo of Sharpshot and Cygnus. He had some very nice plays in the lakeside match, including an amazing juke and surf to dodge Atomsk’s rockets, but still has the most to prove of the new pickups. The already strong roster with Bronze, Quartz, and Mouse will continue to have one of the best flanks in the league and will overrun their opponents with extremely well-timed aggression. In the next few weeks, expect BPM to form up into perhaps the strongest team in Platinum this season, despite their rough start.
4. The Syndicate The Syndicate this season was honestly tough to place. I’m putting them at #4 mostly because they seem to be the last of the top 4 to get a solid roster in place. Each scrim brings a new invite player or two into the fold and until they get themselves a set crew, they may still end up falling short. This is not the Syndicate of Season 8, trading all but two or three players for some still strong talent. The new crew, with Hero on scout, Snake Kryptonite on Soldier, Fathom on pyro, Arthur on Heavy, Mangachu on engy (not officially rostered), and Hildreth on medic, has some work to do before they’ll be the cohesive whole that was the Champion -ts- team of S8. The problem so far seems to be that Hero hasn’t always been available and neither has Soup. We’ve seen rotating invite scouts and invite demos, with Vhalin filling in for the prior and both Sweater and b4nny stepping in for the latter. Sweater appears to have jumped ship to Ghetto Afterthought though, and it remains to be seen whether Soup or b4nny is the starting demo. B4nny is currently the most recently used demoman, seen doing work in a prematch scrim against BPM, so it appears likely that he may continue as starter for now. Even so, an early Croissant scrim featuring B4nny against Ginyu Force ended only 1-0 in Syndicate’s favor after a 30 minute half, though each team were using minor backups. Minus b4nny, -ts- has regularly fallen to Ginyu, and had only narrow wins against others so far, with a startling 2-2 scrim vs Quality Control last week on Lakeside. B4nny may be what they need to compete this early in the season, but until they lock down a true starting roster to scrim consistently, they may find themselves falling behind. Expect Syndicate to lock things down soon though, and, regardless of the caliber of demoman they use, grow into a true contender to be rightfully feared.
5. Quality Control Quality Control is the team currently taking Platinum by surprise, with strong showings against teams that were expected to win handily over them. With the aforementioned strong Lakeside scrim over Syndicate last week, and then the handily won match over Gangsta Gang, QC is putting a little fear into the top teams who expected this silver moveup to be easily defeated. Adding to an established team and leading the charge are TMP on pyro and SteveC (twitch.tv/stevecgames!) on scout. I know the least about this team than any other in the top half of Platinum, but what I’ve seen is pretty impressive. DifferentColors on demo outdamaged Unff in their match, and Pretzel on heavy put former UGC Allstar Ma3la to shame. Mang on soldier is a nightmare to the pug.nahl community and continues to impress against top teams. Soap brings solid comms and medic play worthy of high platinum in as well. This team reminds me a lot of Season 8’s IFA Reborn. These players all play A LOT. They’re scrimming a ton, and when they aren’t doing that most of these names can be regularly found pugging it up at any given hour. It will take continued hard practice for this team to compete with the very top, but they’ve already proven themselves against a very strong team early on.
6. Blunderful The number six spot was actually really hard to decide, but I’m going to give it to BFL, one of the longest running teams in platinum. Early signs were bleak, with BFL losing in scrims to KLite, and struggling against other new-to-platinum teams. It appears they’ve turned their slump around though, putting up more wins and better performances all around. BFL has some of the most talented players in the league and I expect them to get back in their groove and have a strong season this go around. You can’t say enough about Toaster and Satan on the flank, and Penguin and Squid make up a very strong medic/heavy combo. The roster in its entirety appears unchanged from last season, and though they had their struggles in S8, I expect this consistency to help them power through with a strong showing in S9.
Maybe next time With a hard to pick #6, any of these teams could slide in at any time, but I feel like I need to see more from them before putting them in with the top!
Furniture (Ikea) Kimberlite Council Ghetto Afterthought Gangsta Gang