• Caldoran

    http://i.imgur.com/NEecO0u.png" alt="NEecO0u.png">
    Banner by Cell, writeup by vetia, vetted by Caldoran
     
    Mercenaries Cup 7 Grand Finals
    Cute Beast will be facing Club Penguin Crusaders once more, this time fighting for the title of Grand Champions for Mercenaries Cup 7.
     
    The Chinese team suffered defeat in the Upper Bracket Finals, losing 2-4 on Process and 0-5 on Sunshine to Club Penguin Crusaders. They were dropped to the Lower Bracket Finals, where Kusoyotech was waiting for them.
     
    Their performance there was completely overturned. Cute Beast confidently defeated Kusoyotech 5-0 on Badlands and 5-2 on Process, securing their spot in the Grand Finals once again.
     
    It’s a complete replay of the Upper Bracket Semi-Finals, except this time Cute Beast is in full swing. Completely crushing Kusoyotech and eager to retain their title as Grand Champions of Mercenaries Cup from the previous season, the team has been consistently scrimming Club Penguin Crusaders since their loss, though the results have been varying.
     
    Cute Beast
    • http://i.imgur.com/VLEbrY5.png" alt="VLEbrY5.png"> 10
    • http://i.imgur.com/VLEbrY5.png" alt="VLEbrY5.png"> Flower
    • http://i.imgur.com/W5WmBJp.png" alt="W5WmBJp.png"> Shad0w
    • http://i.imgur.com/W5WmBJp.png" alt="W5WmBJp.png"> Fury
    • http://i.imgur.com/j3eMpHs.png" alt="j3eMpHs.png"> Hysteria
    • http://i.imgur.com/hBkNbCx.png" alt="hBkNbCx.png"> RLE
    Cute Beast’s three star players are Flower, 10 and Fury. While Flower has been able to maintain expectations of him, 10 failed to meet the standard where it counted. Though he performed extremely well against teams that were weaker than him, it seems like the Scouts of Club Penguin Crusaders were too much for him in the Upper Bracket Semi-Finals game.
     
    The results of the match might rely heavily on 10 pulling his weight, or simply relinquishing his position as the high-heals Scout to Flower, who proved that he could play without them in the first map of the game against Club Penguin Crusaders.
     
    The rest of Cute Beast’s roster is inconsistent when it comes to performance. A roster switch in the Upper Bracket Final actually led to RLE, normally the Medic, out-damaging his Pocket, while all Shad0w had to do was keep up with the rest of his team and know effectively when to get out.
     
    Hysteria is arguably the weakest link in Cute Beast's lineup; Getting 214 DPM while taking 21% heals is definitely holding back the team. It might be something that has been put upon him considering how aggressive the core of his team is, but if Hysteria were to find a way to complement this playstyle while still fragging and damaging, Cute Beast would likely reach new heights.
     
    Cute Beast are famous for playing an extremely DM-centric style, relying heavily on being able to get away with situations they shouldn’t be able to through pure combat ability. 
     
    Solo Übers on Fury in order to gain advantages and extreme Sniper positioning from Flower are some of the things that normally wouldn’t work, but Cute Beast constantly push to make it happen and it’s always spectacular when it does.
     
    When it doesn’t, however, Cute Beast begins to fall apart, with their players getting picked off one by one as they make desperate plays.
     
    Club Penguin Crusaders
    • http://i.imgur.com/VLEbrY5.png" alt="VLEbrY5.png"> Teejay
    • http://i.imgur.com/VLEbrY5.png" alt="VLEbrY5.png"> Crabby
    • http://i.imgur.com/W5WmBJp.png" alt="W5WmBJp.png"> Shocky
    • http://i.imgur.com/W5WmBJp.png" alt="W5WmBJp.png"> Creep
    • http://i.imgur.com/j3eMpHs.png" alt="j3eMpHs.png"> Moy
    • http://i.imgur.com/hBkNbCx.png" alt="hBkNbCx.png"> And
    It’s easy to say that this team are the favourites for the championship. Club Penguin Crusaders has swatted aside all competition so far, virtually uncontested by even those considered their greatest opponents, not dropping any maps in the season.
     
    It comes back to Teejay, Creep and Shocky forming the core of the team, though that doesn’t discount any of the other players on the team. Roster turbulence has seen at least six different iterations play outside of matches since their formation (with Teejay constantly cycling between Pocket, Roamer and Scout), but they seem to have found something that works. Teejay’s ability as a high-heals Scout is undeniable, and with the experienced and excellent Pocket Creep at his side, the duo looks as if they can do no wrong.
     
    With Moy putting out decent damage to support the combo, it looks as though Shocky and Crabby are simply along for the ride. Though Crabby has yet to prove himself during the season, Shocky has been seen to make the plays when necessary, and if these two can competently watch the flank, Club Penguin Crusaders are on track to another smooth-sailing victory and a straightforward Grand Champions title.
     
    And appears to be the most low-profile member in the team, with some questioning his decisions and plays at times. However, as long as he listens to Teejay main-calling, how many mistakes can one Medic make?
     
    Though praise can be sung for the raw skill of this team’s players, they have also displayed a higher level of cohesion than their combatants. They picked apart Cute Beast and Kusoyotech, capitalizing on mistakes the other teams were making with seeming ease, and with Teejay dropping the occasional 400 DPM while playing out of his mind, there doesn’t seem to be much other teams can do.
     
    Conclusion
    While Club Penguin Crusaders are the favourites, they are by no means unbeatable. Talent, skill and experience on both teams are about even, and solid teams have been shredded to pieces before with formulaic pushes and seemingly unshakeable walls torn to pieces by the piercing bullets of the Sniper - Something that "Teejay teams" have consistently lacked.
     
    Flower has demonstrated consistency in landing headshots. If nothing else, he has wowed viewers by his almost frightening accuracy and was a prime reason Cute Beast picked up any rounds at all on Club Penguin Crusaders in the Upper Bracket Semi-Finals. If Cute Beast plays more cohesively with all their members up to scratch, this match could come down to the wire.
     
    And of course, we all hope the winner wins by the skin of their teeth. Where’s the fun in seeing one team dominate another?
     
    Match will be streamed on Saturday 8th April, 9:30pm GMT +8 on TFLive," rel="external nofollow">http://twitch.tv/tflive'>TFLive, featuring our very own vetia as Guest Caster!
     
    Place your bets on who wins on Saloon.tf," rel="external nofollow">https://saloon.tf/match/265'>Saloon.tf, tune in to catch the action, and discover who gets to officially call themselves Asia’s best team for the next four months or so!

    Caldoran
    NEecO0u.png

    Banner by Cell, writeup by vetia, vetted by Caldoran

     

    Mercenaries Cup 7 Lower Bracket Semi-Finals

    After the exciting (yet slightly disappointing) battle between Club Penguin Crusaders and Cute Beast, the latter has been knocked down to the Lower Bracket Finals where they will face off against the Korean team, Kusoyotech.

     

    It really seems like a replay of Mercenaries Cup 6, except that instead of fighting for the Championship, the Koreans and Chinese are fighting for another shot at taking down the dominant Club Penguin Crusaders…

     

    Let’s dive right into the teams!

     

    Cute Beast

    • VLEbrY5.png 10

    • VLEbrY5.png Flower

    • W5WmBJp.png Shad0w

    • W5WmBJp.png Fury

    • j3eMpHs.png Hysteria

    • hBkNbCx.png RLE

     

    We’ve really said all that needed to be said about Cute Beast in the Semi-Final write up. Cute Beast has three star players, Fury, 10 and Flower, who are renowned for their DM ability, and the team relies on these three to be performing in order to win matches against their opponents.

     

    However, the previous match revealed that the team was less stellar than predicted. While Flower was able to keep (and maybe promote further) his reputation for being one of Asia’s best Snipers, 10 was somewhat unable to live up to his reputation in the two maps, never hitting above 250 dpm, something that he needs to be doing at the least to continue as the core of Cute Beast.

     

    With such heavy reliance on a DM-centric playstyle and its players, it’s inevitable that when Cute Beast fall apart, they do it almost completely, dropping players left and right and becoming wholly uncoordinated. Thrown up against the solid machine of Club Penguin Crusaders, it appeared that the team couldn’t cope.

     

    But they shouldn’t be underestimated because of one match. They were the most dominant team in the previous season, and the lack of scrims to help keep teamwork in sync may have been the factor that led to their poor team play and eventual downfall. With such a roster full of talent, they definitely stand a chance, and a Cute Beast on both feet could be more than a match for Kusoyotech and Club Penguin Crusaders.

     

    Kusoyotech

    • VLEbrY5.png Larkyy

    • VLEbrY5.png Pine

    • W5WmBJp.png Daylight

    • W5WmBJp.png Babel

    • j3eMpHs.png Friez

    • hBkNbCx.png Janus

     

    This team’s roster is strong, but the real question is, is it strong enough?

     

    Kusoyotech's players are all big names within the Korean community: Friez, the flashy Demoman who has more experience than other Demos in the league; Janus, whose surfs and style of Medic brought Mihaly’s Flow to victory in AFC 9; Larkyy, a well-known Scout with excellent DM; Babel, a legendary Pocket within AsiaFortress who has multiple championships under his belt. Finally, you have Daylight, who has proven himself in the given time that he can play with the best Korea has to offer.

     

    But I saved the most newsworthy piece for last: Pine. Pine and Flower form the Ying and Yang of the godly Snipers in Korea, and it seems that they’re poised to clash in this match (at least, we hope considering the turbulence of rosters in Asia).

     

    Despite all this, Kusoyotech haven’t been as dominant as predicted. Perhaps it’s the turbulent roster, but even with strong players and the lack of a language barrier, the team lost to a significantly different (and arguably weaker) Club Penguin Crusaders, and even dropped a map to upstarts Team Intermediate.

     

    This team definitely has the potential to be a solid and consistent super team, but it appears that their performance is temperamental and unstable. With such a strong roster, there’s no question about who will win this one if both teams are in their prime. 

     

    Conclusion

    It’s a faceoff of runner-ups, and if I had to give anyone the edge here, I’d give it to Cute Beast simply because they’ve performed better during the season as compared to their opponents. But it’s completely unfair to count Kusoyotech out of the running simply because of that. The same thing was said about Cute Beast VS Emi Dizziness in AFC 9, but those two put on the greatest show AsiaFortress had ever seen, which ended with Emi coming out on top by the slightest margin.

     

    Something the audience definitely needs to watch for however, is the intense rivalry between Flower and Pine, who will undoubtedly be off-classing at the same time sometime during the match. It’s going to be fun to watch!

     

    Tune in to TFLive at 9:00 PM GMT+8 on Sunday, April 3rd 2016 to catch the action!
    Caldoran
    NEecO0u.png

    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!