Playoffs Week 1 brought two matches that were not especially close, with the top two seeds of My RGL Profits Have Declined and Desperado Crash Mambo Combo frankly destroying the 3rd and 4th seed Yeye and Break the Meta in their matches. I will, as always, review the two matches, but whether or not they really deserve it is sorta up for debate. First things first, I will go through the ”ABBREVIATED POWER RANKINGS” an exciting feature where I can avoid 3 lines of text by not ranking teams which are not in playoffs.
ABBREVIATED POWER RANKINGS
- My RGL Profits Have Declined
- Desperado Crash Mambo Combo
- Break the Meta
There is literally no change. I think that DCMC and Profits will almost-surely secure 1st and 2nd and that Yeye will get a comfortable 3rd against a BTM that looked weaker than ever in their stomp of a match last week.
Playoffs Week 1 Match Analysis and Write-Up
Profits v. BTM (2-0) - Logs
A 3-0 on any map is usually a pretty convincing win for a team, and Profits managed to do it twice against BTM. While it is not as if BTM managed to get no time on the clock during their rounds, these rounds were also not particularly close. It’s notable that Markers and kjr for BTM managed to do a lot of work despite their team getting rolled, but it was obviously not enough here to salvage their team by and large doing substantially worse on virtually all other classes when compared to Profits.
Standout players: reigh and sobigallmytoesarebigtoes for Profits_. __Markers and kjr for BTM.
DCMC v. Yeye (2-0) - Logs
The other first round playoffs match, this one was just as much of a roll as that of Profits v. BTM with Yeye failing to win a single round across three rounds of Ashville and two rounds of Upward. All the usual suspects to see pop off on a flank-dominated map like Ashville did with Bliztank and RPC_33 dominating the flank of Yeye (although the combo of DCMC also dominated on the map). On Upward, cinder for DCMC demonstrated why they are a top 2 sniper in the division, while hmls for Yeye was unable to get the space he needed to try and put a halt on cinder.
Standout players: yeye for Yeye. Bliztank & cinder for DCMC.
Week 8 Match Predictions
With the polarizing opinions presented last week I got actual DMs contesting the validity of my assessments. I will take these to mean that clicks were appropriately driven by the Class v. Class matchup. In the endless pursuit of capital, therefore, I will once again do a class-by-class comparison for the teams. I will also note that I was not aware that KOTH maps were only played to 3 rather than 4. While this means that I am dumb, it also means that I must predict matches to go to three rather than 4.
My RGL Profits Have Declined v. DCMC (2-1)
Map 1: Product (3-1)
During the normal season, Profits and DCMC played each other on this map and DCMC was frankly rolled on this map by Profits. While I think it is likely that DCMC has improved somewhat on this map in the time since, I doubt it is enough to tilt the scales far enough in their favor to be able to win here. It’s relatively easy to shut down both Scout and Soldier on this map, so do not expect RPC_33 or Bliztank to be able to drag their team over the finish line here and expect the combo of DZCreeper, Luigi, and Q to really struggle with the consistent pressure Profits likes to exert on them on this map, especially if DZCreeper goes his patented Shield strategy. Expect big things from the pick classes of Profits in TheS4rr<3 and Shido on this map, both of whom played a big roll in sweeping DCMC the last time.
Map 2: Swiftwater (1-2)
This is DCMC’s pick, and I am sure that that means they feel comfortable on this map, and confident that they can win here. This is probably the swingiest map that was picked (other than Steel) and I think that DCMC more than has the ability to win here if they play well, but the over extension of the combo of DCMC is very punishable on this map, especially when paired against the strong pick classes of Profits. Furthermore, a big driver of success of DCMC on Swiftwater has been the ability of their flank to pound the other flank. Do not expect the flank of Profits, the second-strongest in the division, to keel over as easily as other flanks, however. Ultimately, I think that DCMC has the edge in coordination which is ultimately what determines who wins this map and has good enough players across the board for this coordination advantage to be outweighed by a player skill disadvantage.
Map 3: Steel (2-1)
Profits picked very well this match, and the picks of Steel and Product both demonstrate that. On both of these maps, DCMC has really struggled during the normal season and suffered some pretty convincing losses. On Steel, DCMC lost to tuatards, a team that is, on paper, substantially below the skill tier of DCMC. Clearly this does not mean that they will for-sure lose, but it does indicate that DCMC has very exploitable weaknesses on theis maps. This is not helped by the fact that DCMC has apparently not scrimmed Steel this weekend (or since Steel week). Expect for the combo of DCMC to do well, as they usually do, but expect for their flank to struggle to get space without support from their combo. cinder for DCMC more than has the ability to pop off and carry his team, and DZCreeper can do a ton of work (both in-game and in-comms) for his squad, it all just depends if the pieces come together during their match. With the funny playstyle of Profits, losing any space means you can lose it all, and it will depend on DCMC having clean, effective rotations for them to have a chance of closing out this match with a win. Steel is known as a map where upsets can and do happen (the regular season demonstrated that), so expect some whacky gameplay and a potentially whackier upset by these two top Challenger teams.
Player v. Player Class Comparison
sobigallmytoesarebigtoes < RPC_33 (Small Advantage)
sobigallmytoesarebigtoes is a very solid Scout, but he is coming up against the only other Scout in the division who is better than him. RPC_33 has had a solid performance in both Highlander and 6s this season, and his ability to farm has lead his team to a win on many occasions. The most unfortunate part of the maps picked is that none allow RPC_33 to really take full advantage of him getting the better of the Scout v. Scout matchup unless his team is also generally winning. Expect some better statlines from _RPC_33__ but do not expect him to be the difference-maker this match.
rev < Bliztank (Small Advantage)
Bliztank is one of the surprises of the season. In his first season of Soldier, he has demonstrated his ability to play very well off of his team and to perform above and beyond what I personally expected. While I am sure a lot of that comes from the particular team he is playing on, his personal ability cannot be underestimated. Bliztank can do an absurd amount of work if Profits lets him and rev is just not that explosive of a player. Consistently good performances are rev’s trademark, and this match will likely be more of the same, so do not be surprised to see him put up an impressive statline of his own. In terms of their ability to be game-winning, however, I give the edge to Bliztank.
T.K. > Pyrrhus (Small Advantage)
T.K. is a game-winning player. With incredibly good DM and very good mechanics, he has consistently been the best Pyro in the division. However, his playstyle also means that he relies on his combo being good to compensate for his relatively aggressive playstyle, leading to less protection from Spies and spam. That being said, DCMC is a team where T.K. just holding down W can be game-winning. Pyrrhus is the polar opposite, a player who is the best in the division at playing a more passive, supportive Pyro. This is not due to a lack of skill, Pyrrhus has mechanics which are at worst only slightly worse than those of T.K.. I give the edge to T.K. here off the back of the inability of DCMC to respond adequately to hyper-aggressive gameplay and T.K.’s high-impact 1v1s rather than a skill-deficit on the part of Pyrrhus.
TeatsMcGee < DZCreeper (Small Advantage)
TeatsMcGee is a very good player, and more than has the ability to out-perform DZCreeper if he is playing well in the match. I do think, however, that DZCreeper is both a bigger-impact player (in-game and in-comms) and a better Demo than TeatsMcGee. That being said, the advantage is small enough that if DZCreeper’s Shield theory stops working following an adjustment by Profits, expect for TeatsMcGee to convincingly win the matchup.
Moist Master > Luigi (Small Advantage)
I do not know if it is because Luigi is much better than I think he is, or if the other Heavies are not as good as I think they are, but he has consistently out-performed my expectations for weeks at this point and proven that he deserves his spot on the second-best team in the division. That being said, I think Moist Master’s invite experience (and multiple placements across multiple divisions) speak for themselves. Moist Master’s playstyle might have its issues, but none of those issues are a mechanical deficit. With a Heavy as good at a baseline as Moist Master, expect for him to get the upper hand in this matchup, especially on maps where Heavy can have a big impact like Steel and Swiftwater.
reigh > Q (Medium Advantage)
reigh is over-qualified for this division, and shows it in almost every match and scrim. Her consistently good performances have been a driving force of her team winning as much (and as convincingly) as they have. As not-bad as Q is, he is not as good as reigh.
NicKk > Micahlele (Small Advantage)
I was wrong last week when I said that NicKk did not have a lot of experience on Engineer, I had forgotten that he was an Engineer main before he decided to stop consistently playing the class for years. The maps chosen give an advantage to experience and knowledge of the class over raw ability, meaning that I have to give the edge to NicKk here for overall impact, do not take that to mean that Micahlele will do poorly in this match, however (he won’t).
TheS4rr<3__ > __cinder (Small Advantage)
blah blah TheS4rr<3 is nuts at the game and extra nuts in matches blah bah. I expect for tTheS4rr<3 to dominate on Product and to put up the biggest obstacle to DCMC winning Swiftwater. If they do not deal with him, they will lose. The same is also true in reverse, however. cinder is a very solid player who does not pop off quite as much in matches but rarely performs badly. If Profits relies too much on the ability of TheS4rr<3 to win SvS this match, and he ends up losing it (which I think is unlikely), expect cinder to go off (again) and make the lives of Profits miserable. Generally though, I expect TheS4rr<3 to win the SvS and to make a big impact for his team while cinder will still do things, just not to the same degree.
Shido > jak (Medium Advantage)
Shido is still the best Spy in the division while jak is the second-best Spy. The nearness in their rankings does not do justice to the superiority of Shido however, who exceeds jak in both mechanics and gameplay. Expect big plays out of both of these competent players, but expect the failure of DCMC to adequately control Shido to be a primary factor of whether they win or lose many of the rounds in this match.
Overall Prediction: 2-1 for Profits Product: 3-0 for Profits Swiftwater: 1-2 for DCMC Steel: 2-1 for Profits
Yeye v. Break the Meta (2-1)
Map 1: Swiftwater (1-2)
If Markers performs on this match like he did for his match last week, expect for Yeye to have a very hard time winning here. During the normal season Yeye played BTM on this map, but they were carried just as much by their own team as they were by the fact that BTM was playing more or less without a Heavy on one of the best Heavy maps in rotation. This match should be closer but I want to give the edge here to BTM though because of the prospect of a Markers popoff as well as a Demo advantage in kjr.
Map 2: Upward (2-0)
It may seem strange predicting the team who picked the map to lose that map for the first two maps, but it’s how I think it will go. On Upward, the poor ability of BTM to coordinate can be incredibly punishing, and I just do not think that Markers will be able to drag his team over the finish line here without some outstanding performances across his combo. This map will also be challenging for BTM to win as their flank will likely struggle to contest dotwet and Toss unless valikyr and Teli play better than they have been in recent weeks.
Map 3: Vigil (2-0)
The fastest payload map in rotation brings with it an outsized impact on the ability of a team to push fast and together. On this front, Yeye has the advantage. I do not think that it will be an easy win, but a win it should be. With the likelihood of solid performances from dotwet, yeye, hmls, and jayeezy, it is up to the combo of BTM to play above themselves to take the win here. Doubting that this will happen, I think that BTM will put up a noble fight but ultimately come up short here, giving the match to Yeye.
Player v. Player Class Comparison
dotwet > valikyr (Medium Advantage)
dotwet has performed well against some of the best Scouts in the division, and will likely continue that streak against valikyr. While valikyr is solid, he lacks the DM and the positioning to contest the better Scouts in the division, and will struggle unless they are having a very good day. While not game-losing in and of itself, the struggle to control Flank will make a big difference in the ability of BTM to beat the odds and secure placement.
Toss > Teli (Small Advantage)
Toss is still one of the most variable players in the division. Able to be shut down, but also able to pop off, it’s not clear how well he will do. He makes up for his okay DM with very solid bombs, but his team has not chosen the best maps for him to take advantage of this advantage he holds over Teli. However, the maps chosen also demand the least from Toss having to win 1v1s. In this situation, I think that Toss has the greater chance of having an impact and therefore I will give him a slight advantage in the class matchup.
gobitoe < Joey (Medium Advantage)
With the unfortunate departure of moxie from the remainder of playoffs, it is now up to gobitoe to fill his shoes. While gobitoe is a solid player, they are not really that close to moxie in terms of skill and moxie was already a player who would have struggled in this matchup. The maps chosen demand relatively little of Pyro other than spychecking, but expect Joey to have an advantage in denying the ubers of Yeye and in making life generally harder than it otherwise might be for Yeye, especially when the defense of Yeye will likely be weaker than usual.
chase < kjr (Medium Advantage)
kjr is a Invite-level Demo and a very good player. He has consistently put up very good damage numbers despite his team seeming to fail to play around him well enough for his individual performances to translate into a win. chase is also good, but he is just not quite at the same level as kjr. While it would be surprising if chase was to perform that poorly during the match, it is almost certain that he will be out-performed by kjr, who will be one of the driving forced behind a BTM win, if they are to win here.
yeye = Jinzo (No Advantage)
Two of the best non-top-two Heavies, these players are very evenly matched up. On an average day, I would expect yeye to out-perform Jinzo, but most of that comes from the superiority of his team relative to that of Jinzo. If Jinzo plays as he always does, he will not be a liability to his team, but he lacks the ability to decide a game by himself if his team collapses as they are wont to do. In this situation, expect the capable yeye to take advantage and punish the players of BTM quite hard.
sakura > AC130 (Small Advantage)
I still hold that sakura is the second-best Medic in the division, with the majority of her plusses compared to other Medics coming from her impact on her teams comms. While I think that AC130 is the superior Medic mechanically, I think that sakura will play a larger role in her team winning, if they do. That being said, the mechanical deficit of sakura can also bite her in the butt, as it did in her match last week, where she died substantially more than the other Medic. Assuming that she is able to keep her statline relatively similar to that of the other Medic, I think that her overall impact will be greater than that of AC130 and therefore I give her the edge in this matchup.
Constantly > Buttface (Small Advantage)
Constantly has the fortune this week of only playing matches where his edge over Buttface, in knowledge and Payload-mechanics, can shine. While it is ultimately Engineer, and the class is not particularly game-changing, expect for Constantly’s solid gameplay to be a big part of the reason that BTM will have trouble pushing and ultimately, according to my predictions, lose. That being said, if Yeye has sloppy pushes then Buttface is equally capable of making their lives miserable on possibly bleeding just enough time for his team to secure some surprising round wins.
homeless < Markers (Small Advantage)
Markers is a confusing player. I am sure he is one of (if not the) best Snipers in the divisions but he will usually perform worse than other top Snipers. My thought process for giving the Advantage to Markers here is twofold. The first is that I think that Markers has the mixed blessing of being able to play his class at the top of the division while on the worst team at the top of the division. This means that his team is good enough to protect him sometimes, but not good enough to let him do work against his stiffest competition. However, sometimes Markers is able to rise above this and perform anyway, as we saw in his match last week. While it is probable that the very capable hmls in combination with jayeezy and Toss will be able to shut him down, if they do not then Markers might just make up the difference needed for his team to win this match. I will give Markers the edge her for his ability to swing the game if his team does what they need to do for him, even if I doubt that they will.
jayeezy > DoofedUpWeiner (Medium Advantage)
jayeezy is very competitive with jak for the title of second-best Spy in the division. While I think that jak is ultimately better, jayeezy is still quite good. The quality of the Spy for Yeye has allowed them to perform relatively well throughout the season, although as people have gotten more used to it, jayeezy has had a tendency to do worse as he was more actively countered by other top Combo players. He has the fortune of not playing against the exceptional Pyros of the top two teams this week, and therefore he will likely have the space he needs to do work. Not to count out DoofedUpWeiner, however, who also has the ability to pop off if he is not controlled. At a baseline, however, DoofedUpWeiner is the less capable Spy in this matchup, and the stronger Combo of Yeye will likely be able to control him unless either sakura or gobitoe fail to do the bare minimum on Stopwatch defense.
Overall Prediction: 2-1 for Yeye Swiftwater: 1-2 for BTM Upward: 2-0 for Yeye Vigil: 2-0 for Yeye
Theoretical Best and Second-Best Roster
The only spot really in contest is Sniper where hmls, Markers, cinder, and TheS4rr<3 are all relatively close in skill level. While I have to put one or the other in the Best and Second-best roster slots, all four of these players on a good day could realistically be in one of these slots. However, after a discussion I had last week I will be making change to his slot in recognition of a player who deserves the spot despite his team, MicahelPC1. MichaelPC1 has stood up to top Invite snipers and done well despite his team for seasons, and while I hesitate to put a player on the top slot when they will almost never outperform the other top Snipers in logs, that is almost purely because of how bad his team was rather than any flaw with MicahelPC1 in particular. I will also be changing the second-best Sniper in recognition of how hard they have been dominating and will be moving TheS4rr<3 to the second-best slot. While this means that Markers and cinder are no longer on the list, it would be valid to treat the second-best slot as which of the top 4 snipers listed above I think would do best in a match of their team versus any other top Challenger team. Other than the Sniper slot, all other slots are the same as last week.
- MichaelPC1 [NEW]
- Moist Master