With ETF2L Season 38 looming closer and closer, the admin team has announced they received no less than fourteen applications from teams desiring to compete in Premiership. Of these fourteen teams, five got admitted into Prem straight away, three got turned down and the remaining six will fight for the three Prem slots that are left in an interesting new qualifier format. The wannabe-Prem teams have been divided into two groups of three, with the winner of each group moving up to the top division and both second-place teams squaring up in a last chance match to obtain the ultimate slot. All of this is supposed to happen this week, so get ready for seven days of non-stop action, with big explosion noises and coast-to-coast games aplenty.
Unsure of who is playing on what team or just looking to throw your support behind a newer, less known team in order to become a TF2 hipster ? teamfortress.tv has compiled previews for each team in each group, with words from the leaders and roster breakdowns to help an informed viewing experience. Group A has players ranging from complete newcomers to the top flight to tried-and-true veterans and everything in between.
KRITZBERG FOR DEFENCE
Last season saw an influx of teams formed of players relatively less known compared to the usual, as sign-ups were scarce. Of the three teams that rose up to the challenge and moved up, KRITZBERG FOR DEFENCE was definitively the one that impressed the most. Making good use of their previous experience in Premiership around 15 seasons ago, the 5 Poles and their Swedish pal managed to get 11 points, an honorable amount for anyone’s first season in Prem and gave some of the top 4 teams a run for their money. They look like strong candidates in those qualifiers, but recent roster changes will have their opponents on the prowl.
KRITZBERG has indeed been playing with a altered roster recently, with the experienced czczz (who won Division 2 with Wonszu during Season 29) on Demoman and Smoothie on Scout. czczz is less of an unknown quantity, as he has a vast amount of experience, even reaching Division 1 playoffs once, but has been less active in recent seasons, wherehas Smoothie only has a single season of Division 2 to his name but didn't start playing in a time where Turbine was in the mappool, unlike some of his teammates. The remainder of the roster is still made of last season’s squad. paparazi was lacking in Prem experience but managed to show off his focus fire and grit throughout the season. Bonkers, a returning veteran from coolclan, demonstrated that he did not need any of those “market gardeners” or “500 Pugchamp games” to still hang in there. The combo is formed by Wonszu and Graba. The two had played together back in Season 21 with Wonderland, and that surely helped them in being one of the most dynamic combos around last season.
Team leader Wonszu was able to reflect on this season's qualifiers, as well as explaining last season's run for us:
TEAMFORTRESS.TV: What do you think of the other teams that signed up for the qualifiers ?
Wonszu: I love to see so many teams applying for Premiership for once! This season should be way more fun and interesting to watch. As for a teams, I’m really happy to see few players coming back to playing Prem again, and some fresh faces trying to reach it. Groups are looking balanced and every match should be really close.
TEAMFORTRESS.TV: How do you feel about having to play qualifiers despite your team finishing above relegation spots last season ?
Wonszu: To be fair, we understand admins decision regarding those 4 teams – they are no doubt solid Premiership teams. We didn’t manage to keep a safe spot mostly because of lack of time between seasons – few of us were really busy and we just didn’t play enough scrims to show we can put up some competition. We just wish we will do our best in qualifiers and manage to play on top level again.
TEAMFORTRESS.TV: Last season, your team's performance was a bit of a surprise, we had a prediction spreadsheet that around 8 people filled, and 7 of them put your team lower than their actual finish. How do you explain your success back then ?
Wonszu: I’m going to be really honest on this one – we didn’t do good in last season. Without a doubt, Season 37 was the weakest one in a long time. On the beginning of it, we were mostly losing with every team that was playing this tier. But we’ve decided to try our best, did a lot of maptalks etc. and we did manage to put up a fight with even the top teams. We were super keen on learning and adapting. While me and Graba had some previous experience on this level, rest of us didn’t, but I’m not surprised that players like Paparazzi and stan shined the brightest here. Unfortunately, stan has exams very soon and can’t play with us, so we are getting our old friend, czczz whom you might now from some Div1 seasons. We love you stan and make us proud!!!
Looking to repeat their good showing from last season, KRITZBERG FOR DEFENCE is:
- Scout: paparazi
- Scout: Smoothie
- Roamer: Bonkers
- Pocket: Wonszu
- Demoman: czczz
- Medic: Graba
The Bus Crew
Another team that played in Premiership last season, The Bus Crew’s presence in those qualifiers is less of a surprise, as only two of their players from Season 37 have opted to stay on the Bus. Returning veterans and fresh faces have been brought in to fill the holes in the roster and if they can combine in an efficient manner, who knows how fast this bus could go, especially after their 4th place finish last season left them hungry for more playoff appearances.
The two surviving members of last season’s drivers are marten and Warped, playing Medic and Pocket respectively. marten’s mechanical mastery has been proven time and time again, with escapes almost as daring as his fashion sense. Avid demo reviewer, completer of jump maps and always at the right place at the right time, Warped will be eager to reunite with his beam provider once more. Poison and Yohn, two founding members of The Bus Crew make their grand return, having been unseen boarding the large yellow vehicle since Season 29 and i65 respectively. Poison has had other forays in the top level, notably with Ora Elektro in Season 33, but this will be his first attempt on Roamer. While Yohn is still on Demoman, he has not been in a team in a long time now and how fast can he and Poison reach their old level remains to be seen. On the other hand, the two scouts of the Crew will be both be making their Prem debut should they make it through. slash is the more green of the two, climbing swiftly through the ranks of ETF2L in the last couple of years and recently achieving a respectable 4th place finish in D1 last season with Gremlins. A veteran of High, of which he made the playoffs multiple times, hemp has been hovering around the door to Prem now, with this being his 4th attempt at going through Preseason Qualifiers.
We've reached out and asked Bus Crew founder Yohn about his return, the new additions to the Bus and other things :
TEAMFORTRESS.TV : How do you feel about the qualifiers ? Especially as someone who had to go through them before ?
Yohn : There's a lot of good competition in the groups and we're looking forward to having some good battles against them.
TEAMFORTRESS.TV : The Bus Crew this season is a mesh of returning veterans (you and Poison) and players who'll be making their debut (like your scouts). How did this roster came to life ?
Yohn : We've had a variety of scout trials and we liked a lot of them. The final decision is one we are all very satisfied with. Myself and Poison are very excited and happy to be back in action. I'm really pumped for this roster and the new scouts. We've been playing confidently together with this roster :D
TEAMFORTRESS.TV : How does it feel to be back on the Bus after all this time ?
Yohn : It feels like home :]
Here to grab a one-way ticket to Prem, The Bus Crew is :
- Scout: slash
- Scout: hemp
- Roamer: Poison
- Pocket: Warped
- Demoman: Yohn
- Medic: Marten
Garda Panteri have decided to try and reach new heights, continuing with their momentum of the last couple of seasons after winning Division 2 in Season 36 and getting second place in Division 1 last season. A 3rd place finish in Premiership seems like the logical conclusion for this well-established team, who has played in every season since Season 31. While their roster has relatively less top level experience than others in the group, the return of long-standing members of the team as well as their overall keenness means that their coordination could surprise other squads who are less used to playing together.
The soldier duo of buud and Manky are the only returning members from last season’s team, their ability to play off each other as well as their strong DM skill was one of Garda Panteri’s main asset last season and could still cause a lot of damage today. trum will be picking up the medigun. One of the less-experienced members of the team, he does have strong Highlander experience as well as a Division 2 silver medal to show for himself. A frequent sight in Garda Panteri squads over the years, milkyeu is back once more on the Demoman, and will surely put his vast experience to good use. Both of the scouts are new acquisitions, and with both of them having some Prem experience, they can be expected to bring their expertise to the table. earl’s was one of the first players on nunya, subbed for them during their debut season in Premiership and he possesses a vast amount of Division 1 experience to boot. ever_x is well known for being the Pocket Soldier on a variety of top teams, most recently reaching the Grand Finals with 6ix in S35 as well as playing the first four weeks for SVIFT last season. It will be his scout debut, but his knowledge of the beam should help him adapt smoothly.
buud broke down the roster changes and detailed the players in the team for us :
TEAMFORTRESS;TV : Last season was overall a pretty decent result for Garda Panteri. Could you explain the reasoning behind some of the changes that happened in the off-season ?
buud : When it came to our roster it was always fluid and everchanging. You can see change after and during every season we played. When it comes to our changes from div1 -> "prem" the reasons were much more shallow than in other seasons. KJKUOD wanted to get a job and since the timezones would be overlapping he decided not to play, klsz got overwhelmed with life in Turkey so he left aswell. milky returned to the game after a season break and we just had to get him back in because he will make a good fragvideo. Condog is too good for us so we got a middie (trum)
TEAMFORTRESS.TV : What about the roster you have now ? What’s your take on them ?
buud : milky was the first person we picked up on our new and improved (I think) roster. We picked him up because he hits airshots.
Next came trum. I played 1 pug with him and he seemed decent so we got him in after a trial where he dropped like 5 times.
But we needed a beam scout... earlie had a recpost and he was good and vocal and stoned so he was perfect.
When klsz got overwhelmed with the Turkish totalist regime we got ever_x because he was a very very common merc and player with brain, this change allowed us to bring some (just a little) order to our gameplay because of his maincalling.
What might seem weird and quirky and different from other teams is that we only have 1 player with prem experience, while 2 of our players never even touched div 1. This is because most well established players already have teams or if they are a very old player they wouldn't wanna commit and be keen on such a "zoomer" team filled with new players. But I think all of our players (except manky) are absolute tank beast goat candidates.
TEAMFORTRESS.TV : Any closing words ?
buud : We hope to have a good season and win some games and have fun and crush our opposition.
"Professionals have standards" – Sniper
"I love my balls" – Scout
Shout-outs to klsz, zoom, KJKUOD, fontar from serbia mge legend, soap meister and amp-t
Here to make a name for themselves, Garda Panteri is :
- Scout: earl
- Scout: ever_x
- Roamer: Manky
- Pocket: buud
- Demoman: milkyeu
- Medic: trum