With the end of the first week came the solidification of the teams playing in Invite, Challenger and Advanced. Congratulations are in order for Division Dysphoria and somebody help for their success in qualifying for Invite. Best of luck, and congratulations for surviving the loss to Impostors and My RGL Profits Have Declined. Salutations are also in order for team @yo_grrt for winning Challenger qualifiers. Best of luck to the other Challenger contenders of Gorilla Warfare, Need Tips, and can i get $20 on pump uhh in Advanced this season.
While I do not feel it hyper-prudent to do an in-depth Power Rankings given my efforts last week, I will offer my ranking below and a quick explanation of the placements.
- Desperado Crash Mambo Combo (+1)
- My RGL Profits Have Declined (+3)
- Break the Meta (+3)
- Gang Unit Tactics Formerly: Impostors (=)
- Seductive Nine (+2)
- Yeye (+2)
- Tuatards Formerly: twitch.tv/podgy713 (+2)
- @yo_grrt (+2)
No longer ranked: somebody help, Division Dysphoria
The positive upward movement of so many teams on this list is mostly due to the exit of the two Invite qualifying teams. Given that these were two of the strongest teams in the division, it is obvious that their exit will boost most teams at least +2. It is interesting to look at the teams who moved either less than or more than +2, however. DCMC maintains its high rank, with their only real rival somebody help qualifying out of the division. Both My RGL Profits Have Declined and Break the Meta have advanced beyond +2 owing to strong performances in their Week 1 matches and the roster instability (and apparent weakness) of fourth-seed Gang Unit Tactics. There's been no real movement among the bottom-four teams although I expect that to change as these teams get the chance to play each other.
Week One Post-Mortem
DCMC vs @yo_grrt__ (2-0) - Logs
If you go by my power rankings, this was probably the most predictable result of last week, with the strongest team in Challenger, barring one which qualified into Invite, going against the team I predict, and still feel to be, the weakest in Challenger. This was more or less a roll, although I hope that @yo_grrt will be able to rest easy knowing the rest of their matches this season should be easier than this one, at least on paper.
DCMC: cinder, dzcreeper, Bliztank
My RGL Profits v. Seductive 9 (2-0) - Logs
While this may have been closer on paper, Profits secured a very solid victory against S9, rolling the second round after a relatively narrow victory in the first. Led by a solid performance from almost everyone on the team, Profits seemingly just outplayed S9.
The difference was especially big in the Combo of both teams, where Medic Jerrr for S9 had 10 fewer Ubers and 1 more drop, than reigh. These heals made a clear difference, with the rest of the combo members of Profits (Demoman TeatsMcGee, Heavy Moist Master, and Pyro TK) securing 89 kills to the 53 kills of S9’s combo (Demoman MiG-21, Heavy civ, and Pyro Tom Servo). S9 will have to step up their ability to protect their Medic, who died to the opposing Pyro TK 4 times, if they want to be able to win this in the future. This match showed the ability of S9, at least in the first round, to possibly contest the top of Challenger. However, serious improvements will have to happen before that becomes a reality.
Profits: TheS4rr<3, TeatsMcGee, TK
S9: WiLLmaTiC and voosh
Break the Meta v. Gang Unit Tactics (2-1) - Logs
The only match that wasn’t a 2-0 this week, this match demonstrated the weakness of GUT’s new roster, but also that it is not to the point of putting them even lower down the rungs of Challenger.
The most notable variable was the Sniper matchup, with Markers for BTM top-fragging every single round, killing XBS ten more times across the match. This left Markers with a scoreline of 69-23 compared to XBS’ 31-29. Asides from the Snipers, the scorelines for the rest of the teams show how close this match was, with no other players performing miles better than their respective class on the other team. The exception to this is the relatively unimportant Scout class, where Scout MichaelPC1 for GUT performed substantially better than valikyr for BTM.
Both teams also had obvious issues with coordination, leading to relative inability to capitalize on advantages. With a Sniper securing such a frag advantage on a Sniper-dominated map, it should have been a 2-0 for BTM. However, the the first and second round both show evidence of their inability to effectively work their combo and their flank in together; leading to some players doing well while most of their team did mediocre. If either BTM or GUT wish to secure 1st or 2nd, then they must both improve on the cohesion of their play, not their reliance on individual plays.
GUT: kung fu kenny
Yeye v. tuatards (2-0) - Logs
The most surprising result of the first week of matches, at least for me, was how one-sided this match was. Neither of the teams played especially amazing, with the fastest cap of the map being a relatively slow 8:49. Furthermore, in 3 out of 4 of the rounds, it took one or both teams over 10 minutes to cap. This may be because of how close the teams were in skill, but it seems more likely due to a lack of a good game plan.
In the first round, yeye seemed to simply perform better as an aggregate, taking up 6 of the top 10 fraggers, and 3 of the top 5. Despite relatively solid performances from Demoman dt and Spy Zokie0, the rest of tuatards seemed to be deactivated in this round, although they did manage to hold yeye for 10 minutes, somehow. In the second round, Heavy yeye and Sniper hmls for yeye did a massive amount of work, with their namesake Heavy in particular almost getting the same DPM as Demoman chase. While these players seemed to drag their team over the finish line, the best way to describe this match is “sloppy.” Both of these teams have a substantial amount of work to do in refining their play in order to climb up the ranks of Challenger.
Match Predictions for Week 2
With Week 1 now solidly behind us, it is time to look at Week 2 to see who may win and who may lose. This week contains some matches which should be a little closer, giving us a better idea of how standings may shift in the coming weeks.
DCMC vs Break The Meta - (4-0)
Coming off of a strong Week 1, I am sure BTM will be feeling themselves in this match. However, I do not think that any amount of momentum will allow them to break through the DCMC wall quite yet. On Ashville, where Soldier and Scout can dominate, DCMC simply has the best flank remaining in the division. Scout RPC_33 and Soldier Bliztank lack any real contest, and will likely be able to do an obscene amount of work against Valikyr and Aad for BTM. Furthermore, Markers is up against a Sniper with a much more realistic chance of contesting him in fellow former-Invite/Platinum player cinder.
Without Markers being as able to swing the game himself, it seems dubious that BTM will be able to overcome their disadvantage on this map. While I give the combo of DCMC the slight edge here, the game will likely have been decided far before that slight difference makes a huge impact. That being said, if BTM wants to take any rounds it will likely come off the back of big plays by their pick classes, who are both more than competent enough to make a splash.
Players to watch: RPC_33, Bliztank, Markers, DoofedUpWeiner.
My RGL Profits Have Declined v. Yeye - (4-1)
I would be careful about counting Yeye out too early despite them being rather outmatched here. With a change to Demoman jetz, Yeye has acquired potentially the best Demoman in the division, and certainly one who can contest DZCreeper for DCMC. On a map where a good Demoman can do an absurd amount of work, this is a massive pickup.
While the Sniper matchup here is relatively even, the big pick class difference is between Spies Shido and jayeezy. While jayeezy for Yeye is a very solid player, Shido has the experience and flexibility to do a lot of work; but whether or not he achieves that potential will be up to the combo of Yeye. This match could be very close, or a roll, I doubt that there will be any in-between with both teams being fairly momentum-dependent for their success. Especially given that Profits have all the pieces to start the game off on the right foot.
Players to watch: Shido, Moist Master, sobigallmytoesarebigtoes, hmls, jetz.
Gang Unit Tactics v. Seductive 9 - (4-3)
A match I think will be the closest this week, and one that will test the roster changes for both teams. For GUT, they will be playing with Demoman Witness, and an unknown Medic & Spy. With the departure of most of their best players, and the offclassing of the other two, GUT does not look like a powerhouse roster. Success for them will be dependent almost entirely upon the ability of Witness to direct his team to victory.
However, S9 has also shifted players, with Scout Bonesaw and Heavy civ swapping classes. While now-Scout civ is not a downgrade, it remains to be seen whether Bonesaw will be able to help his team’s odds of winning. Soldier voosh for S9 will also not be playing this week owing to life obligations, being replaced by Kami. I do not think that there is a clear edge to either team in terms of classes (depending on who is playing for Impostors) leaving this match highly unclear. While I think it should be close it could also be the stage for either’s collapse. This will also be the test of two teams least capable of adequately defending their medic in the division, with the match likely coming down to which dies more.
Players to watch: XBS, Wintess, WiLLMaTic, sinister, Jerr.
tuatards v. @yo_grrt - (4-2)
Another close match, and one that I think could honestly swing either way. @yo_grrt is still, in a lot of ways, unproven. They had an unfortunate Week 1 matchup against the best team in the division, so it is yet to be seen how they will fare against worse teams. While Heavy Mikhail, Spy birbee, Scout fishee, and Soldier humphrey for @yo_grrt seem solid enough for the division, the rest of the roster has seemed rather underwhelming.
It is almost certain that Sniper eagle will de-rust as the season goes on, but in his current state I would give the edge to Sniper tua for his namesake roster. Additionally, the solid flank of @yo_grrt is matched by Scout patches, Soldier Wubs, and a best-in-the-division Heavy in Chocc for tuatards. While it may not be the difference decider, Demo soap for @yo_grrt especially has to step up to the plate to handle the very solid spamming ability of Demoman dt for tuatards, which is more than capable of killing any push before it begins. Having more solid players across the rest of their roster gives the winning edge to tuatards but expect @yo_grrt to make them work for it.
Players to watch: tua, Wubs, birbee, eagle, Soap.
Theoretical Best and Second-Best Rosters
Maintaining the ego-driven clicks of these articles, I must now bruise and soothe egos of players so that they continue to care. To do so, I will say who is goated and who is second-goated on their class. Anyone not on the list could be third, perhaps even woated; the world may never know. The author claims no responsibility for any imagined placement outside of the top two.
- Scout: RPC_33 - Desperado Crash Mambo Combo [New, formerly XBS]
- Soldier: Bliztank - Desperado Crash Mambo Combo [New, formerly bffl]
- Pyro: TK - My RGL Profits Have Declined [New, formerly american]
- Demoman: DZCreeper - Desperado Crash Mambo Combo [2x]
- Heavy: Chocc - tuatards [New, formerly caboose]
- Engineer: Micahlele - Desperado Crash Mambo Combo [2x]
- Medic: reigh - My RGL Profits Have Declined [2x]
- Sniper: Markers - Break The Meta [New, formerly Timeless]
- Spy: Shido - My RGL Profits Have Declined [New, formerly Dave]
- Scout: sobigallmytoesarebigtoes [New, formerly RPC_33]
- Soldier: wise [New, formerly Daffodil]
- Pyro: Pyrrhus - Desperado Crash Mambo Combo [New, formerly TK]
- Demoman: jetz - Yeye [New, formerly Robin]
- Heavy: Moist Master - My RGL Profits Have Declined [2x]
- Engineer: Starfruit66 - Gang Unit Tactics [2x]
- Medic: sakura - Yeye [2x]
- Sniper: cinder - Desperado Crash Mambo Combo [2x]
- Spy: Jak [New, formerly emibug]
Come on back next week for the new quality takes on Challenger!