Badwater week has come and gone and shown some very interesting plays out of each team. Some teams started off their scrims surprisingly weak, but then after a bit of practice mustered up the strength and the strats to compete. Badwater requires teams to be able to change on the fly after getting a feel for their opponents. Some teams reacted quite well, while others did not. Read on to see my thoughts on the strongest teams in platinum this week!
1. Menace to Society
Well the new mTs has once again knocked off a top 4 team, taking a solid 2-1 victory over The Syndicate on Badwater. They’ve had probably the toughest schedule so far playing only other top 4 teams (with 1 forfeit win as well). Menace to Society clearly deserves the top spot this week. What separates this team from any other is their clear ability to make adjustments and change on the fly, lead by the confident calling of Harbleu. Their first scrim of the week was a very disappointing 0-2 to BPM, but they quickly recovered themselves, fixed a couple of issues, and moved on, taking down Ginyu Force pregame, and Syndicate in the match. Fantastic play all around and they really showed why they’re the team to beat right now. Next week mTs continues their run against the final team in the top 4, Ginyu Force. We’ll see if the unusual format of Haunt causes any slip-ups or if mTs can coast on through!
2. Ginyu Force
Ginyu started off this week a bit weaker than usual as well, but also adapted come match time. With even scrims or losses throughout the weekend, it was looking like Ginyu might finally crack on badwater, but the losses proved a learning experience and Ginyu toppled Kimberlite Council in two quick (for badwater) rounds. Payload seems to be Ginyu’s weakest game type so far, but a bit more practice should iron out any difficulties. Duwatna is still showing himself to be one of the most formidable demos in highlander and the picking power of the Skarlett/Max/Frank West trio keeps enemy medics constantly at bay. Foster has thus far been extremely underrated as well. Filling in the scout spot for original starter Lambert, Foster has thus far outplayed almost every scout to a decent degree. He’s definitely a player folks will need to watch for in the coming weeks. Ginyu, though the obvious favorite from scrims, will be the last of the top 4 to play another in a match. This week will be a bit of a proving ground for us as we take on mTs, as for the first time this season Ginyu might be looked at as an underdog.
3. Baby Punching Marathon
BPM had a much stronger showing this week than previous, helped immensely by the return Pulse to the spy slot. What BPM lovingly calls the “Pulse Factor” helped them coast through their games on Badwater. Putting up a solid 1-1 against Ginyu in Saturday scrims and a monstrous stomping of mTs Sunday night. BPM moves up this week and may continue to do so with their roster now set and practicing together. Boink and Bronze still put up crazy numbers, the combo of Sharpshot, Cygnus, and Cozen are hard to crack, and Puff has begun performing more up to his reputation. I’ve said over and over how scary this season’s BPM roster is and now that everyone’s finished with prior commitments, and I think we may be about to see the new BPM reign of terror begin. They get their first test with the finalized roster this week against The Syndicate, but they’ll need the strats and coordination to make it happen on Haunt. I’ve heard a few times though that Vitalism was BPM’s bread and butter when it was played, so I’m expecting very strong play from them come Monday.
4. The Syndicate
The Syndicate started off the week strong, putting up big numbers in early scrims with Ginyu and QC. The problems came a bit later on when they seemed unable to adapt. I’ve already stated previously that TS seems to have issues working together and playing off each other, even with the obvious individual talent of each player. From what I saw, TS played each round very similarly, while other teams adapted more and more throughout the week. In their match they rightfully focused down Xalox in the second round (helped a bit by a server switch which gave Xalox 160 ping) and stunted mTs’ offense. In the third round however they seem to have lost that focus and did not capitalize, leading to an mTs victory despite the massive frag discrepancy in TS’ favor . I still expect big things from TS, but it appears to still be taking them a bit longer than the other teams to figure out a style that works best for their team. Of all the players making impacts on TS I think Fathom is often overlooked. He doesn’t appear to take much focus during pushes, but still does work. Maybe getting him involved a bit more offensively will make a big difference in their play. Syndicate will have to face a stronger-than-ever BPM this week, and with BPM famously favoring Vitalism/Haunt, they’ll have their work cut out for them.
5. Quality Control
QC is moved back down to their original spot this week. While still having an impressive showing against Chain Reaction, they struggled a bit more on payload. Their aggressive, though somewhat sloppy, play on croissant was helped by a very forgiving map structure, which wasn’t really the case on badwater. Payload doesn’t seem to suit QC’s flank heavy playstyle, with TMP generally towards the front of fights and SteveC struggling to find the right place to be. The bright points this week was the combo play of Soap and Pretzel though, both putting up amazing numbers during their match. Quality Control remains the solid 5th spot. They may be able to take down a top 4 team yet, but it appears that feat may be more map dependant than originally thought. QC will be playing KLite this week, so they get a little more time away from the top of platinum. I expect another solid win this week, but the weeks afterward will be QC time to prove themselves.
Number 6 is becoming harder and harder to place with a few solid teams all vying for the spot each week. This week I’m going to take the easy way out and go with the highest ranked in the standings. BFL demolished Playing Naked this week and still puts up great fights against top teams. A little more practice and they could solidify their spot in the top 6, but until then this ranking will likely stay fluid.
Maybe next time: Kimberlite Council Ghetto Afterthought