Welcome all, whether experienced or new to Season 15 of the European Team Fortress 2 League! This season we can look forward to the probably the best quality and also most hotly competed of seasons of recent times, which will hopefully prove to have an equal level quality of coverage to back it up.
What we have here is a look ahead to the first round of matches from both the Premiership and Division 1, as well as talking to a few 'anonymous' gamers from the respective divisions about their predictions for the week's results. For extra information on the team's going into premiership this year check out Hildreth's pre-season article.
Below are the teams currently competing in the Premiership, will some rough seedings made up by me on the spot:
- Epsilon eSports
- Crack Clan
- nerd party
- Revoluzion la metagame
First off, looking at the first round of games in the Premiership, I'll write some my own thoughts backed up by the opinions of 2 current Premiership players (with two Division 1 more giving their thoughts on their division's matches further down the page) who will be anonymous bar their nationality and inevitably biased comments, can you guess who they are? The maps for Week 1 of Seasons 15 will be cpbadlands and cpgullywash.
Sidenote: Mystery Gamer #1 didn't want to give a prediction for his own team's result, so I've cleverly impersonated him so you don't see any difference.
Revoluzion la Metagame vs. Crack Clan
My thoughts: Two random assortments of teamless players seem to have been put together this season, one being Revoluzion la Metagame and the other Astute Gamers in Division1. The Revoluzion roster is filled with players all boasting Premiership experience, and with medic Spin having put together a team of similarly miscellaneous players at the beginning of last season and not done too badly, you can't imagine this group won't quickly adjust to playing together. Let's just hope Exon can keep away from his chatbox on rollout… On the other side of the table are seasoned veterans Crack Clan, this season having picked up a comparably baby-aged 2nuts who has big boots to fill in the wake of the late, great Admirable (poetic license, he's not actually dead). Personally I think Revoluzion are definitely capable of stealing a few rounds and with the wind in their favour could steal a map although they're definitely coming into this as underdogs. If I were a betting man my money would still be on CC, TviQ has the #potential to destroy any team.
Mystery Gamer #1 (Prediction: 6-1 Badlands 6-1 Gullywash):
"I've yet to see this team (Revoluzion) in their full form, but based on my experience their scouts will have to shoulder the burden if they're to stand any chance. Probably going to be a roll, but could throw up a surprise."
Mystery Gamer #2 (Predication: 6-2 Badlands 5-0 Gullywash):
"This might be quite close, RLM have fairly strong dm and if they have a good night they might actually take some points, I'm still expecting cc to win. On balance, I'd say RLM would have a better chance on badlands."
Epsilon eSports vs. Last Man Standing
My thoughts: LMS are a team that's seemingly been languishing around the top of Division 1 besides the odd fold and reform for a good few seasons now, having well earned their spot in Prem in the eyes of many top tier players. They face a trial by fire in the first round of matches though, facing off against arguably the best TF2 team to ever grace Europe (don't mention i46). Compared to last season, Epsilon have swapped out soldier Mitsy for his former spot holder Gear, a move which all of the people I talk to seem to regard as a upgrade. After Epsilon's almost perfect last season (dropping one map - in the grand final no less) it's hard to see this strengthened team do anything less than demolish what I regard as the Premiership's weakest contended.
Mystery Gamer #1 (Prediction 5-0 Badlands 5-0 Gullywash):
"LMS might force some surprise results this season, but with the best team in Europe upgrading their roster this won't be one of them. LMS might sneak a few rounds off the back of a strong mid but that's about it."
Mystery Gamer #2 (Prediction 5-0 Badlands 6-1 Gullywash):
"Do i even need to talk about this? It's probably the weakest team in Prem versus epsilon, I'm expecting bash and stefan to just wreck everyone. I'm expecting LMS get a point with Epsilon slipping up on gully due to the first map being too easy… LMS generally are really dependant on gdk to make the big plays, and their flank is just not up to par compared to almost any other Prem team.Their soldiers seem to be fairly stable performers yet not amazing when you look at who they're up against."
nerd party vs. vinland
nerd party: skeej, kaidus, flisko, Daleth, kiler4funN, unconfirmed
vinland: jose, suqper, Darn, Salmon, Rake, delzic
My thoughts: Based on my like of having teams with a single nationality of player, I'm hoping vinland manage a decent performance this season, and putting up a good fight here would definitely get them started. Of all the top4, I'd say nerd party and the most beatable in the eyes of vinland and Revoluzion, and with nerd party having gone through a few recent changes, now seems the perfect time to steal a map or more!
Mystery Gamer #1 (Prediction 5-0 Badlands 6-0 Gullywash):
"We gon' destroy these nerds."
Mystery Gamer #2 (Prediction 5-2 Badlands 6-3 Gullywash):
"This is probably the closest of the week 1 fixtures, but I still doubt that there'll be any upsets. It depends quite a lot on how well kaidus has gotten is merry men to play together through all the roster changes. They saw a close game against Reverto not long ago and since they might be losing their star scout beavern, they're looking a bit shaky. Still nerd party should take this just due to their experience in prem. nerd party are definitely the bottom of the top 4, and rlm and vinland are probably the top of the bottom 4. nerd party is definitely the team to beat for the bottom 4 if they wish to get any extra points and so most likely all of the bottom 4 are going for nerd party's scalps as well as the full 6 points from each of the rest of their bottom 4 matches. delzic to snipe all of gullywash."
broder vs. SOLAR
broder: Mirelin, ryb, Zeboosai, jukebox, bybben, cookye
SOLAR: vanilla, lalli, qnx, Hycz, maidu, cor
My thoughts: Fresh off the back of their Division 1 win (which I definitely predicted in an article before last season…), SOLAR are now being thrown out of their former limelight and onto the main stage of European TF2. Their opponents are the team that came close to winning the entire season last time round and on that occasion became the first team to take a map off Epsilon in a long, long time. Each of SOLAR's players are making their Prem debut here, and with broder's only change from last season being roamer and ex-backup jukebox coming in for it seems hard to predict anything but a roll!
Mystery Gamer #1 (Prediction 5-0 Badlands 5-0 Gullywash):
"Solar really don't have a chance here."
Mystery Gamer #2 (Prediction 5-0 Badlands 6-2 Gullywash):
"Solar is a really dm heavy team, if they have a bad day they won't get anything done however if their dm is on fire, we might have a game on our hands still expecting nothing less than 2 maps to broder though."
Division 1 Seedings:
- Team Reverto
- Astute Gamers
- Furbo Pandas
- Karnage eSports
- Trick17 Black
- d-d-Did I Stutter?
- Optimum eSports
Team Reverto vs. Furbo Pandas (Prediction 5-1 Badlands 5-2 Gullywash)
Team Reverto: BaR, Maffi, Stark, Rising, Alba, e-thug
Furbo Pandas: shifty/Fallen, Hildreth, zooob, Sideshow, rock, furbo
Current state: looks like this game might be being wildcarded by Furbo Pandas on the basis of their roster issues.
My thoughts: After Ritalin was kicked and sheepy left the team, Furbo Pandas have seemed in a bit of free fall recently, verging on the edge of folding. The roster above is one plucked from their ETF2L player list and from talking to a few people so don't take this for certain! So far, they haven't a stable medic and despite rock being a good scout I wouldn't say he was an equal replacement for sheepy. Either way, this team won't have played together half as much as Reverto, so despite 3 of team having played together for almost two years, by the time this game comes around I don't think the new boys will be entirely broken into the roster, we'll have to wait and see!
Mystery Gamer #3 (Prediction 5-0 Badlands 5-0 Gullywash):
"Reverto are going into this season as the favourites to win, their team is performing really really well at the moment, Furbo Pandas were also second favourites however, they have lost Ritalin and sheepy and taken on Fallen and Rock. sheepy was a staple performer for Furbo Pandas and is a huge loss, the roster changes slightly stifles their chances as they have a lot to get used to. Not only that but previous history shows they struggle to sometimes get all their players online for games, whether or not this has changed I do not know. Badlands will be comfortable for Reverto, their soldier combo is very strong, and E-Thug is an incredibly good scout, they have a few players that are new to div1 and if they do not perform they could cost them 1st place. I expect Gullywash to be a closer game because of this, if Furbo Pandas can go into this match with some good practice behind them before hand I think they could take a map. Player to watch for me is Furbo, if this dude is playing well he will literaly be running around dick slapping everyone on Reverto, if they want to win both maps, he needs to deliver the goods."
Mystery Gamer #4 (Predictions Badlands Gullywash):
"Aside from the game potentially not being played for a while it looks like it'd be close to 5-1 to Reverto. The one point because they'll push out with everyone and leave no one on last. Generally it will be pretty onesided but Reverto are still inexperienced and therefore slip ups will happen."
Optimum eSports vs. Astute Gamers
Optimum eSports: unconfirmed, phy, WOODY, evokje, konr, Rev
Astute Gamers: AnimaL, Spary, Old Grandma, Shrike, msh, Plapla
My thoughts: I don't really have enough experience of these teams to give what that much of accurate guess. As mentioned in my thoughts on Revoluzion vs Crack Clan, AG are a new team and though I've seen them playing quite a bit of late, if there's anything that'll let them down it'll be their teamplay. AG also seem to have a stronger roster, and despite Optimum's advantage in having been together longer, it looks like they have to bring in a new soldier and medic already, so while their flank might be strong, their combo may be getting destroyed. There'll be a lot to be learnt about both teams from this match, I've seeded the two at opposite ends of the scale with team Optimum being the ones to hopefully prove me wrong!
Mystery Gamer #3 (Prediction 0-5 Badlands 0-5 Gullywash):
"This match for me is already decided, Optimum are a new(ish) team and before their first official they have made more roster changes. Quik has been put as inactive and been replaced by Woody, which is a decent trade if I am honest, r0cky has been moved in to the squad, not sure if this is to replace Rev. or not, and by the looks of things they have no medic. In the qualifications for div1 they got out classed by trick17 in a 5-0 5-0 sweep. Astute Gamers have a lot of experience on their side although they are slightly hindered by being a new team as well, Shrike is a master mind of TF2 and will no doubt lead the teams with his smart plays, the only concern from their line up is the scout combo, msh is a rather known all aim no brain player, but has arrived to div1 rather quickly which should be applauded. I wouldn't be surprised if the game ended in 30-40 minutes total. Player to watch for me is Spary, a very highly rated demo in my eyes just because his damage output is absolutely ridiculous. "
Mystery Gamer #4 (Prediction 0-5 Badlands 0-5 Gullywash):
"To quote what the magnificent thread 'LAWL NICE DIVS': "lol konr div 1". The Optimum team is filled with players who have got dm ability but who are really bad at playing together and really bad at figuring out why pushes work. Their players seem to have different ideas all the time and therefore they get ripped apart easily. Astute Gamers are amazing and are definitely a strong team, their flank can be weak but tenfolds the strength of Optimum eSports flank. Animal has such amazing heals that no matter if Optimum eSports managed to put up a fight they still wouldn't be able to pick them off. I predict konr to ragesnipe on gullywash and msh to dance around players picking them off at random places, I think that's about it."
Trick17 Black vs. Karnage eSports (prediction 3-3 Badlands 3-4 Gullywash)
Trick17 Black: Kamari, kr4tos, slate, WalKer, RazorsEdge, WAR
Karnage eSports: Dendocror, kimberly, wpminnows, ghent, r7an, sheepy
My thoughts: As was with the case of the previous match, at this point in the season I really haven't seen enough of either team to make a decisive judgement. Both of these teams played last season in Division 2 with Karnage finishing second to the now folded vier Red and Trick17 ending up somewhere midtable, however having smashed their way through the Division 1 playoff, you wouldn't say they didn't deserve the spot. Both teams have also recently picked up good scouts with the aforementioned sheepy joining Karnage and ex-Prem demoman & ex-Div1 soldier turned scout WAR going to Trick17. sheepy is an absolute monster, and will tear the Trick17 flank apart if they're not on their game, though there'll always be a threat in doing that with WAR ending up ragesniping and taking out every single player on Karnage in 15 seconds, which is especially threatening with gullywash on the cards. I want to see a close game!
Mystery Gamer #3 (Prediction 5-0 Badlands 5-2 Gullywash):
"Trick17 are going into this as a team to prove a point, going for a div2 slot for this season and ending in div1 has created a few expectations, mainly not to get sharted on in the season. However, PCW's are proving a good point and each week is a progress. Karnage have a good DM heavy lineup, they have taken on sheepy as a second scout which further improves their position, however they do have a weak demoman in Kona as he has been out of the loop for quite some time. Ghent is a staple carry player for them, if he isn't on his best form I don't think Karnage can do it. Player to watch is me, I will probably run sniper in a stupid situation, I will then try and switch classes and swap teams instead or accidentally press my suicide button."
Mystery Gamer #4 (Predication 3-3 Badlands 3-5 Gullywash):
"Both teams are of the lower caliber of div 1 but trick 17 have war on scout so they are gonna be appalling and trick17's flank will be absolutely demolished. Especially now that sheepy joined Karnage they will be much stronger in that area. Karnage will have a stronger main group, mainly because they have Dendocror and trick17 will struggle but will be able to defend. Wait, changing my prediction WAR will get destroyed on scout, switch to sniper, and demolish, he will be sniper for longer than scout, calling it now. I still think it will be close, i hate scores though cause it takes one small mistake to get a point and if they keep doing the same mistake, more points will come but I think I'll stick with my initial predictions."
d-d-Did I Stutter (DIS) vs. Decerto. Ozone
d-d-Did I Stutter: Fenrir, Funkadelic, Linus, wolve, Buttnose, Permzilla
Decerto. Ozone: Turbomonkey, huhy, arc, KillAri, Origo, gf18
My thoughts: As with the previous match, both of these teams have worked their way up from Division 2. I've played with each of the DIS roster frequently in doublemixes though never with or against them as a team, and though I know they possess could individual skill, I think their teamplay will play a big role in whether they get destroyed or can give Decerto a good game. Decerto recently picking up Turbomonkey have made them twice the team they once were, and after having watch them stomp an, admittedly unfocused, Reverto in a pcw a few days ago, they're definitely a team in my eyes that could go all the way. DIS shouldn't prove to be too much trouble for me, and though I doubt Decerto will, I think it would be a costly mistake to underestimate their opponents who could potentially surprise them on Badlands.
Mystery Gamer #3 (Prediction 5-0 Badlands 5-0 Gullywash):
"Decerto have the stronger lineup compared to DIS, Decerto have a good scout combo that can carry the game by themselves even if their heavies were afk, not only that, but they have the incredibly talented Turbomonkey on medic who is just 2gud2kil. In all serious though, DIS would need every player to be performing incredibly well in order to win this, I think badlands will be a 5-0 to Decerto on the grounds that it's a slighty better map for their scouts. Gullywash I think would be the only map that could go DIS way, especially as it's a map that can be easily slowed down. Player to watch for me would be Kilari, very dominant in the mid fights with his jumps, the focus of Decerto's play is him creating a distraction and trying to unsettle the enemy team at every given opportunity. Turbomonkey to end the game with 10 frags over 2 maps."
Mystery Gamer #4 (Prediction 0-5 Badlands 0-5 Gullywash):
"Decerto will demolish a team that probably wouldn't have been in Div1 if hadn't it been for the lucky webOne fold in prem. Sadly DIS will lose on all aspects of the game in my opinion. Generally Astute Gamers and Decerto are fucking miles ahead of DIS and Optimum and they'll be such onesided games. Even if DIS do manage to get some points, I really doubt Optimum will manage to. The only interesting match in that week is Team Reverto vs Furbo Pandas because i literally dunno how Furbo Pandas are holding it up (after losing scout sheepy) and also Karnage vs Trick 17 cause i literally don't know how Karnage plays - we still haven't played them. However we've played trick17, and yeah, WAR going to sniper could change things massively. "
Join me next week (provided I don't get cut for not having proofread at all) for a look at the Week 2 fixtures along with 4 different and 100% completely unguessable top EU gamers.