Migration 04/14/17We have migrated the site to a new host Some stuff may not be working as expected If you do encounter any issues, let us know!
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.
Entries in this blog
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.
Dark Wolves E-Sports
Medic: Kr4tus (1st map) Haze (2nd Map)
Kachow Fan Club
Scout: himari (merc)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This Team (It's AMC)
Muscle Revolution (REBORN)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.