Today, we have our first featured piece of content from our partners overseas. Chaplain brings us a preview of the match taking place on 2/21 between two ETF2L Premiership teams; Epsilon eSports and Crack Clan.
Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end.
Without a doubt every beginning that we can ever hope to apprehend is built upon the shoulders of many more starts before it. We've seen Epsilon eSports fight a combination that they have never even experienced before in a way that they could have never expected, yet the result was something that was bone-aching similar to every single one of their outings in the ETF2L for the last 3 seasons. broder were a team that so many pundits thought could shake the foundations of the Premiership paradigm in such a way that European TF2 would somehow earn itself a validity that it never asked for; the perception of the one horse race. The Skill Gulf. The Unbeaten champions.
How fitting it is that the only hope of liberation falls down to a team that has tried to beat the system so many times before, a team who were in this position twice barely 3 months ago and met the expectations of the community every time. They have no pundits backing them to win, no positive articles with painted smiles and no stimulation from the rose tinted brains of the European gaggle. Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you our community of the season, our underdog finalists and our last chance at a truly breathtaking season. Our Crack Clan.
Now what kind of perspective would this be without a retrospective? The beginning of this match has been preceded by a host of other beginnings, the most significant of which was the ETF2L Grand Final and the CC vs Epsilon clash earlier in the season; here's a breakdown:
ETF2L Season 13: Epsilon eSports VS Crack Clan
Medic — KnOxXx VS Admirable
Demoman — numlocked VS Retsh0ck
Roaming Soldier — GeaR VS ipz-
Pocket Soldier — Mike VS minimoose
Scouts — schocky, wltrs VS TviQ, smzi
Map Score: [5:2], [6:1], [5:0], [5:1]
Total Season Points: 36 - 20
Placement before playoffs: 1st - 4th
Final Placement: 1st - 2nd
Maps Lost: 0 - 4
As you can see Epsilon certainly demonstrated their dominance in every aspect, securing a flawless victory for themselves and leaving Crack Clan content with 2nd place. However, nothing stays the same for long and there has been a substantial amount of roster shuffling. The lineups for this season's clash are as follows:
ETF2L Season 14: Epsilon eSports VS Crack Clan
Demoman — numlocked VS Brego
This is the first of the key differences between Crack Clan's season 13 and 14 performances. Retshock was CC's previous damage hub, favoring an incredibly aggressive playstyle and often prone to overextensions that would either pull his defensive pocket into an uncomfortable position or create an exploitable no-man's land between him and the bulk of the team. I honestly believe Brego is an improvement on the Israeli Avenger due to his malleability and the way he compliments the rest of the squad.
Roaming Soldier — Mike VS ipz-
This change is huge for Epsilon; Mike has always been Europe's golden boy as far as roaming soldiers are concerned and it's fantastic to see him venturing back to his roots. GeaR certainly didn't let the side down, but he can't compare to the Welsh warrior by a long shot.
Pocket Soldier — Mitsy VS minimoose
Now here's something interesting. Mitsy is a definite downgrade from what we saw from Mike last season, however the pressure on the Frenchman is minimal due to the fact that any poor soul brave enough to take down KnoxXx will have to do so through the collective dead bodies of three of the best players ever to grace the game.
Scouts — schocky, wltrs VS TviQ, smzi
The final switchup for Epsilon comes in the form of long term ringer BasH subbing in for temperamental Swede Wltrs, dusting off an all German scout partnership. BasH isn't currently playing up to his full potential yet, but I have a feeling he'll do something special in time for the grudge match versus his former team.
Another thing that has changed significantly in transition from Season 13 to 14 is the unlocks allowed and map pool (* denotes a new addition):
- * cp_process_rc2
- The Kritzkrieg
- The Übersaw
- Crusader’s Crossbow
- The Blutsauger
- * The Overdose
- * Gunboats
- * Boston Basher
- * The Pain Train
- * The Escape Plan
Epsilon eSports have been a defining force in ETF2L's premiership division since its inception in season 8, emerging as a real powerhouse in Season 11 and winning every single (online) competition they entered thereafter as the most powerful team in Europe. The current iteration of Epsilon is arguably the strongest, boasting some of the very best players in the Premiership and some of the most experienced individuals in TF2. Their manager, Slick, constantly has his ear to the ground, scouting out exciting talent and taking risks to make sure every iteration of his team is as strong as possible and is worthy of the Epsilon mantle. Epsilon as an organisation are fairly widespread within the competitive community, encompassing a great deal of games with six elite squads and a range of big-name sponsors such as Nike and Razer.
Accolades — Season 13 Medic of the Season
Previous Teams — idk?
KnoxXx was originally a soldier in an earlier iteration of Epsilon and has recently switched over to medic. His class switch was so smooth that he was also voted medic of the season in barely any time at all and led his team to a flawless victory during season 13, exhibiting his intimate knowledge of the game.
Accolades — 2x ETF2L Demoman of the Season
Previous Teams — Infused
Numlocked was always considered one of the very best demomen in the game due to consistently solid performances and and success with Infused. Infused went their separate ways in the aftermath of i46 and Numlocked's potential was realised by Epsilon manager Slick, who wasted no time in signing him and enlisting him into the next generation of Epsilon.
Accolades — 1x Most Overrated Player of the Season, 3x Soldier of the Season
Previous Teams — Infused, K1CK, Qn.
Mike is famous for being one of the only players to establish himself purely on the strength of his DM ability, strongarming his way into a position of power in the premiership division with the help of more than a few MGE sessions. Aware that he had holes in his game, he established a strict training regime for himself, quickly adapting to the new pace of game and improving hugely as a player.
Accolades — 3rd Place Gamers Assembly Shootmania
Mitsy has been loyal to the Epsilon organisation for a great deal of time, playing as a ringer for the Epsilon Shootmania team and a phantom backup for the TF2 team. After Mike made it clear that he intended to transition back to roamer, Mitsy was the best possible choice Epsilon could have made and they did it with aplomb.
Accolades — 8 Personal ETF2L awards, 4x Reigning ETF2L Scout of the Season
Previous Teams — n2o
Schocky has been the most critically acclaimed scout in European TF2 for as long as anyone can remember, rising from the humble ranks of German community clan n20 and claiming a spot in Epsilon for himself. He has been part or several LAN efforts for Epsilon and hordes of online encounters, showing off his trademark movement and unbelievable aim he is without a doubt someone to keep any eye out for.
Accolades — 49.43% DOTA winrate
Previous Teams — Fakkelbrigade, ButtonBashers
Bash has flitted between a whole host of games recently, despite having a TF2 genealogy that a lot of people would die for. BasH has shown us again and again that he is an excellent player and is more than a match for any other scout he may find himself coming up against.
Crack Clan are without a doubt the team of the people, laying down foundations for excellent resources (CC TF2 Hub and a Battle Report system) and scoring themselves the all important Season 13 Community Award. They have become somewhat infamous for their ability to slide into the role of the underdog, often getting off to a shaky start just to triumph and exceed expectations through pure effort. Crack Clan have utilised a wide range of different tactics and strategies in the past, ranging from the use of a dedicated pocket scout in order to free up their soldiers and allow TviQ to do the hero plays he's known best for to more conventional 2 scout pushes and rushes.
Accolades — ETF2L Caster of the Season, self-titled King of TF2
Previous Teams — Coolclan, Yoyotech, WemadeFux
Anyone who has tuned into a major TF2 event in the last 5 years has probably experienced the dulcet tones of Irish wordsmith Admirable, exercising his considerable knowledge of the game in a way the youth of today can understand. Although he is a valued pundit and mercurial caster, he still prefers to get his hands dirty and play at the very highest level, manning the healbeams and ubercharges for the Crack Clan side.
Accolades — Bremen Tent Race Champion
Previous Teams — Trick17, 6IU, Avenue
Brego's transfer to CC seemed all too logical; he was the perfect nationality with the perfect mindset at the perfect skill level. Brego's future with CC is bright and he has an unlimited amount of potential.
Accolades — Iron Chef contestant
Previous Teams — Qn, 6IU, Decerto
Ipz is equal parts calculating and keen, a soldier that was not born into greatness but instead bought his elevated position with blood and sweat. The definition of tryhard.
Accolades — Debut of the Season, Crufts 2009 best in show
Previous Teams — idk?, Karnage
Despite having a hard time differentiating between Dance Dance Revolution and building uber, Minimoose is a top flight pocket with a very specialised playstyle. There aren't a lot of traditional pockets like him around anymore, so he's always worth a watch.
Accolades — Debut of the Season, 2x Sniper of the season
Previous Teams — Yoyotech
CC's media diva TviQ is one of the best snipers Europe has to offer and he's been famous for a considerable amount of time due to hacking allegations from even the most pure-hearted of Anti-Cheat admins. I think it's fairly safe to say he's clean, but you never know when he might start.
Accolades — 15m swimming badge
Previous Teams — Decerto, 6IU
Smzi has been through a meteoric rise to fame recently, having being jolted through a white knuckle ride of consistently excellent performances against players with several times more experience than him, often besting them at a game they claim to have perfected. He was a vital catalyst in accelerating his team into the ETF2L Season 13 final, establishing himself as one of the most prem-eminent up-and-coming scouts in Europe.
Now for some predictions:
Lynchpin - Numlocked
Numlocked usually plays to an excellent standard, but we have seen some variance in the past and if he excels then CC won't stand a chance.
Man to Watch - Mike
Mike is always an interesting player to watch, pulling off ridiculous barrages of rockets with point precision and perfect positioning. Definitely keep an eye out for him
Clash to Catch - TviQ vs schocky
Arguably the two most overhyped camera-hogging individuals in TF2 against each other is always a fight worth watching. If one of them doesn't end up in Hello magazine after the game I'll be surprised.
Most likely to Choke – Admirable
He sleeps on his back with his mouth open.
If this game is good, then I will try and write an analysis article similar to the ones I have produced in the past.
TeamFortress.TV will be casting this game on Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 15:15 EST (21:15 CET)
with an exclusive cast from djc
. Tune in to see the first step to a new beginning for TF2 ... or maybe just the end of an old one.