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About this blog

Sometimes, after a particularly good AsiaFortress match, I feel inspired enough to smash out a nerd essay that I know no one will read. Well, perhaps these articles could have a place here, where the rest of the community can view them at their own pleasure.

Note that I'm no genius and definitely not some Team Fortress 2 godlike know-it-all; that's why its freestyle analysis on a blog, not some super scientific methodical laboratory for higher minds and brainy players.

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vetia

Today we're back looking at some of the 2 expected lower teams in Division 2, Dark Wolves E-Sports and Kachow Fan Club.

Maps played were cp_gullywash and cp_process, both in AFL SG servers. It would be fair to note that there was a significant ping disadvantage to the side of Dark Wolves, given that none of them had below 90 ping.

Rosters

Dark Wolves E-Sports

Scout: Peekaf
Scout: Kebee
Soldier: Fury
Soldier: Soap
Demo: Sakuya.
Medic: Kr4tus (1st map) Haze (2nd Map)

Kachow Fan Club

Scout: himari (merc)
Scout: sir9
Soldier: LED
Soldier: Dmnator
Demo: Poey
Medic: Alyssum

Before we go into what I can vaguely remember about both maps, this was honestly a pretty back and forth game purely off the back of both teams making TONS of mistakes. One of the funniest things I saw during the game was Fury's refusal to jump and Soap's controller-like aim. Uber trades always seemed to end in 1v1 fights distributed at different parts of the map, and holds were usually broken by players feeding accidentally.

Gullywash

The map started out with a pretty swift victory to Dark Wolves, taking mid and rolling it to last; a trend I'm seeing among Gullywash games actually. Interesting to note was that Peekaf ran sniper to mid the first round, though he didn't actually win that specific game for them. The next three rounds went to KFC in the span of 11 minutes, showing off fairly convincing aggression that worked off the amount of mistakes Dark Wolves was making.

During this part of the game, it was interesting to see the survivability of both medics was close to nil. Dmnator and LED put up a fairly good show in jumping Kr4tus and killing him post uber fights, but it was always after Aly had already died to Fury's 'waddle pocket' strategies. A lot of the ubers were centered around Fury just walking forward and ploughing out damage - customary to his old Cute Beast playstyle. However, I think having a lack of STRONG scout support did factor in a lot post pushes.

Not to diss Peekaf, of course. The man pulled a great show after they were knocked down 4 - 2 at the 16 minute mark. I'd go as far to say that the only reason that the Kr4tus team won was because Peekaf was able to break stalemates and get picks fairly effectively as sniper. He was making up for the damage the rest of his team wasn't doing, especially Soap who was 9/25 with 157 dpm - not great stats from a once celebrated pocket turned roamer.

It came down to the wire for Dark Wolves to tie the game, the last round going 12 minutes and only being capped with 18 seconds left. The intensity of the aggression and an upswing of mistakes from KFC (considering that several of their members love to feed or were always poorly positioned) led to a great momentum push in the last few minutes.

Process

After the fairly close game of Gullywash, Kr4tus was replaced by Haze for whatever reason. The first round was probably the closest of the entire game, lasting about 10 minutes and constantly going back and forth between mid. Although, it wasn't really a controlled back and forth so to speak; most of the time it was because someone or other had died taking a dumb fight somewhere, and that ended up triggering a push from someone else, who either THEN died in a dumb fight or managed to successfully pull something off.

Props to himari during this game though; he was absolutely on fire with 7 medic picks, quite a few of them when Haze was surrounded by his teammates. In fact, in this first round alone himari killed Haze four times, allowing for largely more successful pushes out of KFC to eventually win a hard fought round at last.

Not much to say beyond that; honestly the game was really messy. The only point KFC got was off a dominating display by Fury and Soap, who were key in killing the enemy medic in critical points throughout the game; mostly off the fact that KFC kept whiffing pushes and getting caught in Dark Wolves' momentum.

Critically, Haze had 200 less heals per minute than his opponent, and Peekaf wasn't showing up to make the difference for his team, who SERIOUSLY lack in the damage department.

Conclusion

If you ask me, both teams are honestly pretty lacking, its just that DM wise KFC was a lot more consistent this game (except for a breakup in Gullywash that led to Dark Wolves tying up). Coordination is a BIG factor in why these two are so messy. Watching the game, I never even had an inkling of what the teams were trying to do; it was as though they were both PUG teams. There's little to no cohesion at mids, and holds always end up with random 1v1s breaking out. It's not even good 1v1s either; there's no logic to when they fight, they would just fight because they felt like it or something.

Based off the Gullywash game (which I consider a better example of the faceoff between these two teams), Dmnator and LED have some potential as soldiers, since they did match up against the experience of Fury fairly well. Both medics could stand to gain a pair of surfing shoes, as their survivabilty post fight and even when they see the roamer coming is pretty bad... One-third of each of the medics deaths were within 20s after Uber, if you look at the logs.

There's definitely room for improvement on either side. There's no fixing the problems that either team has except to scrim more and discuss the issues with each other, because as far as I can see both teams have 0 chemistry.

GULLYWASH
PROCESS

vetia

Hi.

Unfortunately, I didn't get to watch both games, jumping into the server only when the 2nd map of Gullywash had just started. Most unfortunately, the game was played on an AsiaFortress HK server, so there aren't any logs available. Sad! Admins should fix that shit.

Rosters

This Team (It's AMC)

Scout: Oro
Scout: Aloy
Soldier: RY4N
Soldier: Killer
Demo: Cynic
Medic: Jopper

Muscle Revolution (REBORN)

Scout: ozr
Scout: natto
Soldier: bongera
Soldier: Tusic76
Demo: okome
Medic: hikoku

Gullywash

The game started out fairly even, with the Japanese picking up a fairly quick round (off stream). In the beginning at any rate, it was fairly even between the two teams, going back and forth to each other's last several times. The first two rounds that were picked up were entirely attributed to natto and ozr, who dominated the first half of the game with insane 3Ks. For a while, it seemed as though they could do no wrong.

I'm usually of the opinion that a team with a stronger scout combo is usually the victorious team, and natto and ozr supported my theory for about 15 minutes or so. They made great flanks to force and even drop the medic once or twice, and kept up constant pressure by running all over AMCs combo.

However, this obviously didn't last, because scouts usually require their soldiers to open things up for them, or support them in their flanking endeavours, and Tusic and bongera stopped showing up after a while. More than that though, Oro, one of Asia's more well-known DM scouts, started to shut them out by carefully watching the flanks and simply NOT LOSING 1v1s in dumb situations. Without the ability to flank and outmaneuver the enemy, the Japanese scouts lost their power and consequentially, the entire fragging power of their team.

Now, with scouts shut out of the fights, RY4N and Killer could really go to town with the bombs. Every fight was a repetition of Tusic or bongera dying early, natto and ozr attempting to turn things around but getting shut out, and RY4N and/or Killer jumping in to clean everyone else up.

The scoreline went from 1 - 2 to 7 - 2 in AMCs favour within the last 15 minutes, putting AMC confidently ahead of their Japanese competition, proving that you need more than two capable scouts to win a game. While old-timers natto and ozr did prove themselves as highly capable scouts (especially since they somehow just kept getting behind), they just couldn't do anything once they started getting shut out, and clearly RY4N and Killer were outclassing bongera and Tusic in the soldier department.

vetia

Ahh, HBZB and p00t1s; two evenly matched teams from different continents struggling not to be knocked out. It was an intensive match between the perceived underdogs of the playoff season, and lead to two of the closest maps in the season, though both were on completely different ends of the spectrum when it came to pure action.

Maps played were cp_sunshine (in Hatena, Japan) and cp_snakewater (in AFL, Singapore), now classics in the TF2 map pool. 

Pregame

I only have insight to pregame for p00t1s because most of them are on my friendslist. Scrambling for players at the last second before having the main turn up anyway, not having scrimmed since after getting knocked into the lower brackets, an overall aura of defeatism and unconfidence; not exactly the most victory-inspiring aura going into the match. 

HBZB were into the server long before p00t1s, but they (probably) were far from confident, having lost close matches to p00t1s previously. In addition, they'd been rolled by the revitalized Xiao roster (shoutout to teejay), and most of their stakes were on this match to not get slammed from the competition entirely. 

Rosters

HBZB

Scout: ozr
Scout: LK
Soldier: Hwain
Soldier: daylight
Demo: starky
Medic: kalpushy14

P00t1s

Scout: fwishy
Scout: oro
Soldier: hirasagi
Soldier: chongy
Demo: shinka
Medic: iMauriceiNoob

Sunshine

One of the most fast paced games I'd ever had the opportunity to watch; it was just each team picking up rounds after their opponents had come out strong. HBZB and p00t1s basically traded round after round before P00t1s managed to clinch the final point in the last 40 seconds, pulling a good mid out of their hat.

HBZB and p00t1s shared this in common; they apparently hated offclassing; the only offclasses we saw all map were at last, with HBZB running engineer or fwishy running heavy.

The core of the game was: P00t1s' mids were complete shit, but all of HBZB's ubers were pretty much the same thing. On middles, shinka kept taking massive damage before the fights even started fullswing, and starky just seemed to be getting the better of him all the time. Without that demo presence to control scouts, Hwain and daylight's coordinated soldier bombs are just that much more effective. However, HBZB's ubers are just cringey; if they don't force out an uber from the enemy first, they're basically always pushing poor positions with a singular soldier. I don't know what it is, but HBZB seems to have a lot of faith in the Hwain bomb, sending him in with uber first to open things up. It always ended up poorly though; there were hardly any uber trades that ended in HBZB's favour.

Then you have fwishy and oro, who seemed to be outclassing ozr in the DM fights. While hira and chongy play more controlled and 'slow' styles, fwishy and oro are roaming scouts at heart, and their push-pull mechanic was beautifully in-sync at critical moments in the game, clinching out rounds for their team and securing points with supreme prejudice. 

Both teams seemed to collapse when it came to post fights though, perhaps lacking decisive maincallers to pull teams out of bad situations. The reason the game was so fast paced on this map was because players kept taking risks and getting caught out, initiating a domino effect where because someone was caught out, another person gets trapped trying to save him and dies, forcing the rest of their team backwards before someone else screws up again - so on and so forth. Furthermore, neither wanted to play more reservedly once the ball was rolling, and HBZB started taking fights and trades they really shouldn't have; like, neither team wanted to grind out an uber ad at all.

I still don't think p00t1s really deserved to win sunshine, but shinka landed some MASSIVE damage at that final mid and fwishy just ran in and cleaned up. HBZB, caught off guard, couldn't get out fast enough and were just rolled all the way to last.

Snakewater

Seriously, screw this map. If boring had a name, it would be HBZB vs p00t1s on snakebloodywater. Both teams played the most passive games of their lives, and I ended up having to cast this shit. 

This is an example of tiebreaker tension taken to the extreme, where both teams settled in comfortable positions and started jerking off because neither wanted to make the first move, for fear of making the first mistake. Seven minutes of nothing before a singular uber trade that ends up putting both teams in the same position anyway, and then three minutes of CCTV footage as fwishy tries to find someone to backstab from the HBZB players, who are all playing atop the shack.

Seriously though, why would you not push when you have mid and you lost the previous map? What I learned was that HBZB either play too passively or too aggressively, and can't seem to find the inbetween. Every time they picked out small advantages to push they didn't, and whenever it was a critical moment where the fight could turn against them, it did. I don't know if it's the DM of their players or poor coordination, but HBZB were just terrible at teamfights in general, and p00t1s had hira who could play the uber game much better than the HBZB. 

Honestly, p00t1s should have won Snakewater so much more convincingly; HBZB had bad ubers, bad pushes and bad teamfights, but apparently their opponents couldn't seem to make the better of those situations. I would argue that HBZB started playing more passively to make up for those mistakes, identifying that the less opportunity they had to do something dumb, the less it would happen. In turn, p00t1s did the same.

And that's how the map ended up being forty minutes long (with the golden cap included), with the first round being picked up at 8 minutes left. [ResidentSleeper]

In the end, I'll just pin p00t1s' victory to fwishy and hira. Fwishy made all the plays necessary to break stalemates for his team, and hira won almost every single uber trade he took, plying out bad positions and flashing from kalpushy14. Mad props to Chongy for some direct hit streaks though.

Conclusion

Nothing much to say except: how does a game go from being so back & forth, brimming with action and packed with excitement, to one of the best sleep-inducing matches I've ever watched? Well, take two teams who are extremely momentum based - one that is unconfident in itself and the other with full confidence in its defensive playstyle; have the latter one lose by a hair, and apparently, you'll make vetia want to die watching a spy creep around for three bloody minutes.

 

vetia
This is some old crap I put up somewhere else that I didn't know where to put. It's no longer relevant, but it does belong here. What a conundrum, eh?
 
Predicted to be one of the best matches of the season, the rankings on Saloon were heavily favouring Cute Beast, but the call was that both teams were equally experienced and evenly matched.
 
The write-up for the match can be viewed here.
 
It is important note however, that both teams had not scrimmed for more than a week due to real life commitments on either side. Thus, the epic standoff between the two teams devolved somewhat.
 
Play By Play
 
The first round was hard fought, repeatedly bouncing from last to last, going for a good 12 minutes before Cute Beast finally managed to take the first point. However, Pingu found a sudden burst of momentum and immediately took the next two rounds in 3 minutes, rolling Cute Beast from middle to last twice in a row.
 
While the next two rounds were more hard fought, it appeared to be futile. The coordination demonstrated by Pingu was almost mechanical, disassembling any attempts by Cute Beast to push out and ruthlessly seizing the slightest openings to make progress. The only thing keeping Cute Beast in the game at that point was Flower, whose sniping halted Pingu in their tracks multiple times (Flower hitting the most ridiculous headshot on And between Shocky’s legs was the highlight of the match).
 
Pingu picked up the next two rounds, making the score 4 – 1. The clock was winding down for Cute Beast, and in a last ditch effort, the Chinese played a super aggressive mid, jumping both soldiers in deep. It worked, wiping Pingu and capping last in a good 1 minute 30 seconds.
 
The score was 4 – 2 and Cute Beast had only 5 minutes left.
 
Cute Beast won the next mid and took second almost instantaneously, having full knowledge that every second was exponentially increasing in importance. They readied their last push, and ubered in through shutter. However, a single moment of disorganisation meant that not everyone was in at last, and Pingu had kited the uber too well. The post-uber fight decimated any hope that Cute Beast had of tying up the game,  and the map declined into stats padding, the score remaining 4 – 2 to Pingu.
 
The second map was Sunshine, rarely seen in Asian pugs and scrims. Cute Beast had to win in order to push for a third tie breaker map.
 
But Pingu’s momentum had carried over from Process. They beat Cute Beast at the first mid, a scene that would become extremely familiar in the following 16 minutes. In fact, from start to finish it seemed as though there was little to no hope for Cute Beast. The first round was the longest, lasting a good 6 minutes before Pingu were able to pick an overextending player and complete the last push.
 
The remaining time was just a sad mess. Cute Beast were unable to win a single mid and their players were constantly caught out of position. One moment would stand out to many, whereby Hysteria and Shad0w were the only ones alive after Cute Beast had successfully completed a four man sacrifice for And. Shortly after, Hysteria jumped in afterward for seemingly no reason, leaving his medic to fend for himself (Shad0w eventually dying in the following chase), denoting a probable lack in communication and overall collapse in cohesion.
 
It was an excruciating 16 minutes for the 73% that had bet on MC7’s favourites. Pingu emerged victorious, taking the map 5 – 0 and moving on to the Grand Finals. Now, Cute Beast has to defeat Kusoyotech in order to obtain another shot at taking down their greatest rivals…
 
Log Reviews
 
The logs for the matches can be viewed below.
 
 
Process was dominantly a scout’s game, with the highest DPM coming out from both Flower and Teejay: only 9 damage apart from each other.
 
What’s significant here is how little 10 did for Cute Beast. Arguably, he did more damage than tommy, but when you have a reputation to keep and teammates to carry (i.e. Hysteria), the damage numbers weigh more. What’s more, tommy had a KA/D of 3.3, the highest in the server. While he wasn’t outputting damage per se, he was doing fantastic in the role assigned him.
 
In addition to this, Fury was unable to put out the damage that he normally could. A floundering 229 DPM compares poorly to his usual performance, especially considering that he took 26% of the heals from his medic.
 
With Flower top damaging and top fragging on the server whilst sitting with the least healing on his team, could he have potentially done more?
 
All in all, the conclusion is that because two of Cute Beast’s star players were not performing to standard, the entire team collapsed around them. While Flower and RLE (who was switched to roamer from medic before the match started) were able to pull their weight impressively, it wasn’t enough to make up for the fact that the remaining fragging classes scored under 250DPM.
 
As opposed to this, Pingu had an almost textbook game with better slightly better and spread out damage, and with 22% healing across each of the three core classes.
 
All in all though, the logs don’t really demonstrate how well Pingu was playing together. Much of their victory on process should be attributed to both their teamwork and the fact that many of Cute Beast’s players kept getting caught making plays for the medic.
 
There isn’t much to be said about Sunshine, considering it was a 5 – 0 victory for Pingu. Three things of note were: Fury did considerably better, getting 315 DPM; Flower spent more time as sniper than as scout; Teejay was out-damaged by Tommy even though tommy got less healing, which is not something just anyone can say.
 
All in all, Cute Beast was shredded on Sunshine, a defeat that they’ll have to keep in mind while facing off against Kusoyotech.
 
Conclusion
 
Cute Beast play a DM-centric style, and it collapsed mainly because Pingu played the team game much better- and that a DM-centric playstyles only function when each player is in shape and performing as expected on the day itself. Ultimately, with rusty rockets and dusty scatterguns, Cute Beast were unable to beat their more cohesive opponents.
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