Raf-led teams have become a common sight in Premiership despite the name changes that they constantly inflict on helpless TFTV writers. They are easily recognizable thanks to their core of French players often swapping classes in between seasons and the other players, (also French) that they routinely pick up, often from lower divisions, to complete their roster. Their constant presence in the top level has seen them improve a great deal, as they moved from bottom feeders to a playoff appearance over the course of 5 seasons. After a two-seasons break, Raf and his rogues will be eager to pick up right where they left off.
Team captain and founding member Raf is of course back for more, but has opted for a departure away from the combo classes that he tends to favor, and instead will be taking the role of the Roaming Soldier, a role that he should have no difficulty filling thanks to his selfless gameplay. AlienSmiley will also be dropping in from orbit on the Pocket Scout role. A versatile player who also played Demoman at the highest level, AlienSmiley was a mainstay on Scout throughout the team’s seasons in Prem, and should slot back in effortlessly.
Fresh off a second place finish in ETF2L's eighth Nations Cup where they both performed well, deli69 and Cuby will be taking on the Demoman and Flank Scout role, respectively. Cuby, the 4th member of this roster to have played Demoman in Prem has had a very successful conversion to Flank Scout, finishing in 3rd during S38 with top5rocket, in what was his first season on the mobile Bostonian. After a number of escapades that saw him reach second place in Division 1 and the first round of the Premiership playoffs, deli69 is returning to the team that gave him his Prem debut and will be enthusiastic to repay the team that handed him his Prem debut.
A notorious name among veteran players after his ban for account-sharing during S24, azn will be making his Prem debut with this squad after impressing during his return to the game, which included a third place finish with Booskamenbert in the most recent Division 1 season. Rounding up the roster is patchouli, who was already a member of the previous iteration of this team, impressing with his reliability despite his newcomer status and who will be looking to confirm on his solid first season.
We reached out to Raf, who was able to explain his thoughts on a wide variety of topics
TEAMFORTRESS.TV : Your team is back after quite a decent hiatus, and with an altered roster to boot, how confident do you feel about continuing on the good momentum you had when you last played ?
After the end of season 36, we took a season break. The plan was to come back for season 38 but we didnt manage to get enough players for the team to be back on track. For this season, we did differently and we chose to get players that were eager to play the season. It resulted in a quite different roster than the previous one with familiar faces and a mix of fresh and old blood.
Patchouli will keep his medic spot from the second half of the season 36 roster. Alien will change class once again from demoman to scout so we can get a long time team member, Deli, back to the team on demoman. The two newcomers in the team will be Cuby on flank scout and azn on pocket soldier. The team is really different from the previous s36 roster and it’s already been a year so i dont think we will have any momentum from that. However, our roster is looking really promising so i’m feeling confident for this season and i think we can get a strong result.
TEAMFORTRESS.TV : You have never been on a team with azn and Cuby in the past, was their selection born out of necessity or did you know them from elsewhere ?
I have known Cuby for a long time now and i played with him in mix/pickup games quite a few times before. He used to main demoman and it was a spot that was always taken by alien or deli in our team. Last season, he played with Top5 as a flank scout for the first time in a team and showed a lot of potential and already great result for his first season on this class. We lack flank scouts at this level in the french community so picking him up for the season was a no-brainer choice for us.
azn is an old school player that recently got back to the game within the french community. I got to play with him a few times last season while subbing for deli’s team in div1 and in multiples pickup games. We were missing a soldier for the season and he was one of our options. After differents players trials, we chose him as he was the one that was fitting the best in our team in term of communication and adding consistent & high damage output as soldier
TEAMFORTRESS.TV : What are your expectations regarding Prem this season ? Are you surprised with the low number of signups ?
This season, our expectation is to reach prem playoff once again as the bare minimum. We’re the only team in prem that didnt play the last season or dreamhack cup together but i still think we have what it takes with this roster to get good results quickly. I’m not too surprised with the low number of signup and the lack of top teams from previous seasons due to multiple reasons : the season is in the middle of the summer, the date is close to the previous one and the dreamhack cup, the lack of LAN at short middle term. With that in mind, this season should be more open than previous ones with a lot of opportunities for every team and will hopefully be a good one to watch and follow.
Hoping enemy teams won't shoot for the stars, ★★★½ is :
- Combo Scout: AlienSmiley
- Flank Scout: Cuby
- Roamer: Raf
- Pocket: azn
- Demoman: deli69
- Medic: patchouli