• Caldoran
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    Banner by Cell, writeup by vetia, vetted by Caldoran

     

    Mercenaries Cup 7 Upper Bracket Semi-Finals

    Asian TF2 is once again hitting its peak, with two titans of the scene getting ready to pound it out in the semi-finals of Mercenaries Cup 7. This match will dictate who will move on to the Grand Finals to fight for the glory of Championship, and who will be knocked down to the lower brackets and face the task of climbing back up to the Grand Finals.

     

    Just going over the lineups of the two teams, we can already predict that it’s going to be one hell of a match.

     

    Cute Beast

    Over in one corner are the Chinese champions, Cute Beast, who so far, have been the most dominant team in the entire competition. As winners of the previous Mercenaries Cup, they definitely have a reputation to uphold, and so far they’ve been doing just that. Seeded first and given the bye week, Cute Beast were able to skip the opening stages and wait for contestants in the 1st round of the Upper Bracket, more than a month ago.

     

    But this is the greatest proving of their strength: In the two matches they’ve played, Cute Beast have yet to drop a single round to their opponents. Not even Fireless, the team of old Japanese beasts, could find a chink in the armour of the Chinese machine.

    • VLEbrY5.png Flower
    • VLEbrY5.png 10

    • W5WmBJp.png Gordan_Fury

    • W5WmBJp.png Shadow

    • j3eMpHs.png Hysteria

    • hBkNbCx.png RLE

    Cute Beast’s secret combination to victory is Fury on Pocket and 10 on Scout. Fury soaks up heals and takes solo Ubers to dole out the damage against enemies, letting their Scout, 10 clean up with his superb DM ability. This tactic had led to their victory in the previous series of MC.

     

    However, spectators of the last AsiaFortress Cup will know that Cute Beast lost to Emi Dizziness because of one player shredding their combo to pieces: Korean star Flower, acclaimed for his godly Sniper aim.

     

    Flower now plays on Cute Beast, and it appears that with his addition, the last weakness of Cute Beast has turned into an asset. In the recent matches, Flower has proven himself to be one of the best players on the team, consistently putting out damage and supporting his teammates in more ways than one. Although his Sniper plays have not seen daylight yet, he has shown that his Scouting ability is more than a match for 10.

     

    However, with three star players, it seems inevitable that others will fall under their shadow. While it is absolutely necessary for the Medic RLE to slot into Cute Beast’s style of play (which means trusting Fury with the Ubers), Hysteria and Shadow are forced to take a backseat. In fact, Cute Beast’s weakness might be that when their three star players are underperforming, their other three members will be unable to back them up properly, and falter under the pressure to fill the carrying role.

     

    Another fault to this team would be their lack of scrims. Because of real life commitments and other issues, Cute Beast has not been regularly scrimming any other top level teams for two weeks. Perhaps it will not affect how well the players themselves play, but it will definitely hurt how the team works together and performs overall. We can only see if this will affect them when they come against high level opponents truly of their calibre.

     

    Club Penguin Crusaders

    The other corner holds a mishmash of players from different regions of Asia. Club Penguin Crusaders, also known as Pingu, have proven their mettle in the competition over the course of three matches. Pingu rolled Shuffled.tf in Week 1 and won Week 2 when PSYCHOS forfeited against them. They then managed to fight off their closest contender and greatest rival, Kusoyotech, clinching their spot in the semi-finals.

     

    There is no doubt that Pingu deserves their slot, and their roster holds names that are lauded throughout Asia.

    • VLEbrY5.png Shocky
    • VLEbrY5.png Crabby

    • W5WmBJp.png Teejay

    • W5WmBJp.png Creep

    • j3eMpHs.png Moy

    • hBkNbCx.png And

    In all honesty, Pingu looks like a reiteration of AFC9’s champions, Mihaly’s Flow. The team started out with a much different roster in its first formation, but has ended up with four players that played together during that season, albeit with players on different classes.

     

    Teejay and Creep definitely form the core of the team at this point; Creep has been playing the game since Summer 2008 and been playing in top Korean teams since AFC6, while Teejay has consistently made playoffs in competitions since 2013. Teejay, so far acknowledged as one of the best players in Asia, possess the confidence, DM, and gamesense to lead his team to victory, especially now that he is playing pocket. This is supported by the solidity and experience of Creep, further helped with the firm understanding of Creep and Shocky about how the former two work.

     

    Yes, Teejay’s leadership could lead this team to victory. However, two things stand in the way of Pingu becoming champions of MC7. First off, communication. It seems that this team is slamming the brick wall of the language barrier much more often than before, with coordination in scrims becoming much more difficult, and silences becoming much more frequent in mumble, affecting how the team plays and whether the team works together at all.

     

    The last problem could be Teejay himself, whose fiery temper in games is a well known fact. While Teejay is capable of controlling this rage, if an event within his team causes these barriers to burst, he could potentially tilt at his own members. At that point, it will be up to them to handle the pressure of performing up to standard while being shouted at.

     

    Conclusion

    After reviewing the lineups, the conclusion is that both teams have their powerful strengths and potential weaknesses and both have star players with league histories that have at least one championship in them. It seems pretty much even, and spectators can probably look forward to an exciting and even match.

     

    At this highest level of play, it comes down to which team is performing better on that day. Will Cute Beast be able to polish off the rust in time for the match and carry themselves through, or will Club Penguin Crusaders be able to smash through the language barrier and work together under fire from their opponents?

     

    Tune in to the match on Saturday 26th March 2016 at 9:30 PM GMT+8 to find out! Stream to be announced, watch this spot!
    Caldoran
     

     

    Mercenaries Cup 7 Week 3

    The CNY Break Week is finally over, the match threads for Week 3 are now open and teams can begin scheduling their matches!

     

    The intensity heats up as Cute Beast, Fireless, Club Penguin Crusaders and Kusoyotech will clash to maintain their dominance in the Upper Bracket, while Team Intermediate, Beyond Velocity, PSYCHOS, Cozy Home, A Motley Crew, Edelweiss, Steal Your Job and Connection Drops In The Rice Fields will be fighting for their final chance to stay in the tournament.

     

    Disqualification Announcement

    For repeated breaking of the rules regarding un-rostered players despite multiple reminders, Mak Kau Terbang had their match results overturned and have been officially disqualified from the tournament.

     

    In accordance with AsiaFortress competition rules, Mak Kau Terbang's leader Ashley (Sack) has been debarred from leading any more teams for official AsiaFortress major tournaments until further notice.

     

    Once again, teams are reminded to be aware of the rules to avoid unnecessary disputes and breaches.

     

    Best of luck to all teams for Week 3!

    Caldoran
     

     

    Mercenaries Cup 7 Week 2

    The Match Threads for the Upper Bracket and Lower Bracket matches are officially open, and teams can begin scheduling their matches! Click here for the Match Threads.

     

    Congratulations to the teams Steal Your Job, Fireless, A Motley Crew, Club Penguin Crusaders, PSYCHOS, Kusoyotech and Team Intermediate for winning their first matches to claim their place in the Upper Bracket!

     

    Meanwhile, the teams Trake's Bae, Cozy HomeConnection Drops In The Rice Fields and Mak Kau Terbang will fight against the threat of elimination in the Lower Bracket.

     

    The tournament is far from over yet however, and all participants still have a chance to prove themselves as the Grand Champions of Mercenaries Cup 7!

     

    Best of luck to all participants!

     

    Dropout Announcement

    The team Shuffled.tf Inc. has announced their decision to drop out of the tournament to AsiaFortress Administrators, and has been removed from play. As a result, Edelweiss gets a walkover win for this week's matches and has automatically been advanced to Lower Bracket Round 2.

     

    In accordance with the Mercenaries Cup 7 rules, Shuffled.tf Inc.'s leaders Novaroid and Insanity will be barred from leading any more teams in major AsiaFortress competitions until further notice.

     

    A Reminder of the Rules

    Following a breach in last week's matches which was met with a stern warning, the AsiaFortress administrators would like to remind all participating teams that mercenaries are allowed under the following conditions:

    • It is clearly and honestly communicated to the other team who the mercenary is and why they are being used
    • A mercenary cannot be used in place of an available rostered player
    • Teams can only use up to 2 mercenaries in total during a regular season match
    • No mercenaries are allowed during a playoff match (Semifinals, Lower Bracket Semifinals, Finals)
    • The mercenary must be named together with his or her Steam ID when reporting or confirming results in the match thread
    • "Alts", "smurfs" and other ways of concealing identity are prohibited and will be dealt with harshly.

    The Rules can be found here, and all teams are reminded once again that ignorance of the rules will not be taken as an excuse for a breach.

     

    Scheduling Matches

    Teams are also reminded to post in the Match Threads the date, time and server used for the match upon scheduling with the opposing team's leader. Booking a server is recommended to avoid a situation where servers could not be found to play on.

     

    After playing a match, teams are to post the final scores along with screenshots of the final scoreboard or links to the match logs on logs.tf.

     

    Best of luck to all teams!

    Caldoran

     


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    Banner by Cell, writeup by vetia and moosepi, edited by Caldoran


    [Rules] [Unlocks] [Registration] [Brackets, Key Dates and Map Pool] [Discussion] [Team Directory] [Demo Uploads] [Server Bookings] [Match Threads]



     

    Mercenaries Cup 7 has Officially Begun!

    15 teams and 149 players have registered, fees have been paid, and the 7th season of the AsiaFortress Mercenaries Cup has officially begun!

     

    All the teams have been seeded and the matchups have been arranged. The Challonge brackets can be viewed here.

     

    The first week's matches must be played between 19th to 24th January. Teams must determine the match dates with each other within this time frame, advisably before 22nd January. We request that all team leaders get in touch with the opposing team's leaders through the Match Threads or Steam at the earliest opportunity to avoid delays.

     

    Leaders may use the Team Directory to look for and contact the leaders of other teams to schedule matches and scrims.

     

    A reminder that each team is allowed one postpone without penalty for any regular match before the semi-finals, after which they will have to forfeit further missed matches. Teams which postpone a match must play two matches the following week to avoid delaying the tournament.

     

    Teams are advised to be fully familiar with the Rules to avoid any infractions or offences.

     

    Best of luck to all teams participating, and may the best team win!

     

    Top Contenders for the Throne

    With the tournament officially kicked off, let's have a look at four of the teams who are crowd favourites for the title of Grand Champions, each hailing from a different nation!

     

    Cute Beast (China VItuL7F.png / Korea LeuEbWb.png)

    • hBkNbCx.png Medic: RLE
    • j3eMpHs.png Demoman: Hysteria

    • W5WmBJp.png Pocket: Fury

    • W5WmBJp.png Roamer: Shad0w

    • VLEbrY5.png Scouts:10 / Flower

    This legendary Chinese team first made its appearance in the previous iteration of the Mercenaries Cup and subsequently stunned the competition by taking first place, dropping only a single map along the way. They're best known for the incredible DM of Fury and 10, along with the latter's strong maincalls, which have kept them at the top of the region since their formation.

     

    And with the advent of Mercenaries Cup 7, it seems like the Chinese team is poised to continue their streak of dominance, especially with the pickup of Flower, a Korean Scout whose sniping skills have led him to stardom in the scene. The addition of a great offclasser means they're looking stronger than ever, and while it remains to be seen if they can replicate last year's result, Cute Beast definitely looks like the favourite team to win.

     

    Kusoyotech (Korea LeuEbWb.png)


    • hBkNbCx.png Medic: janus
    • j3eMpHs.png Demoman: Friez3

    • W5WmBJp.png Pocket: babel

    • W5WmBJp.png Roamer: daylight

    • VLEbrY5.png Scouts: LK / starky


    From the depths of the seasonal Korean shuffle rises yet another all-Korean superteam. Korea's been a powerhouse in Asian TF2 since the beginning, with nearly every Grand Final in major Asian competitions featuring at least one Korean team, and MC7 looks to be no exception to this rule. Kusoyotech's roster is made up entirely of players who have proven they can stand at the top of the Asian scene, with some of the standouts being janus, babel and LK; janus' skilful Medic play was an integral part of his team's victory in the ninth AsiaFortress Cup, while babel and LK have been a constant presence in Korean superteams through the ages thanks to their incredible DM and gamesense.

     

    Of course, while they can undoubtedly put up a good fight, Kusoyotech hasn't been together nearly as long as Cute Beast. While many of their players have experience playing together (babel, LK and Friez3 were all in the AsiaFortress Cup 9 runner-up team Emi Dizziness), it remains to be seen if this is enough to overcome the other powerhouses in the tournament. If they can, though, Kusoyotech is well on their way to securing a spot in the Grand Finals, if not on the winner's podium.

     

    Club Penguin Crusaders (Singapore 3ibRu62.png / Hong Kong 4atFrDQ.png / Malaysia BNOrjZL.png / Taiwan z0coSDS.png / Korea LeuEbWb.png)


    • hBkNbCx.png Medic: And
    • j3eMpHs.png Demoman: Moy

    • W5WmBJp.png Pocket: teejay

    • W5WmBJp.png Roamer: creep

    • VLEbrY5.png Scouts: fwishy / marcato


    Club Penguin Crusaders isn't nearly as homogeneous as the rest of the teams here; The only players who hail from the same country are creep and marcato, both Korean. Nonetheless, their lineup's just as strong, with players like teejay, arguably the best (and saltiest) player in Asia, creep, an old-time Soldier player whose skill and decision-making has led many a team to victory, including his AsiaFortress Cup 9 team Mihaly's Flow, and marcato, an up-and-coming Korean Scout whose overwhelming DM brought his Division 2 team to an uncontested victory in AFC 9.

     

    Unfortunately, synergy could be a huge problem for the team. The different nationalities of the players could definitely lead to communication difficulties; And even assuming they overcome this, the only two players on the team who have played together before are teejay and creep. They've been practising a lot, however, and if the results of this show, it's very possible that Club Penguin Crusaders could claim the title of the best team in Asia.

     

    Fireless (Japan MOWM5RH.png)


    • hBkNbCx.png Medic: pnt
    • j3eMpHs.png Demoman: matsukaze

    • W5WmBJp.png Pocket: bk

    • W5WmBJp.png Roamer: hirapa23

    • VLEbrY5.png Scouts: timo / ozr


    For the longest time, Japan vs. Korea was a staple of the Grand Finals in AsiaFortress tournaments, and it looks like Fireless is trying to bring that back for Mercenaries Cup 7. With players like pnt, ozr and hirapa23, all of whom have played on AsiaFortress Cup 8 runner-up team deadly momentum, this team looks set to come out in full force and put up a fierce fight against the other powerhouse teams.

     

    Rust is undoubtedly a factor, though. Many of these players haven't participated in tournaments for a long time, and it's up for debate whether they can compete with some of the newer players, especially given the inevitable rise in DM skill over the past year. That said, though, it'd only be a small surprise to see this team in the Grand Finals, especially given their dominance in past seasons.

     

    Stay Tuned!

    Which team will come out on top? Will one of the 11 other teams also hungry for the title pull an upset and surprise us all by emerging victorious?

     

    Only one way to find out, and that's by tuning into our coverage of the Mercenaries Cup! More information about the tournament, including the brackets, schedule and full rosters of every team can be found on the AsiaFortress website, and we'll be casting some of the more exciting matches, so keep your eyes peeled!
    Caldoran

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    Banner by Cell, writeup by vetia

    [Rules] [Unlocks] [Registration] [Brackets and Key Dates] [Discussion]

     
    Attention all frag-hungry competitors! 
     
    Registrations for the annual AsiaFortress Mercenaries Cup 7 tournament are now open!
     
    For those of you that are unaware, the Mercenaries Cup is one of two major tournaments AsiaFortress hosts each year, played in a Double Elimination format. Teams which sign up will be seeded against each other, and will be eliminated from the tournament after losing two matches until only four teams remain for the Semi-Finals.
     
    Mercenaries Cup is a tournament with no divisions, as opposed to the AsiaFortress Cup. This means that you could encounter teams from any end of the skill spectrum; A worthy chance to test your team's mettle in the Asian competitive TF2 scene!
     
    What are you waiting for? Sign your team up here and prove your dominance!