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  • erio
    MynckQg.png
    Announcing AsiaFortress Academy: Classes 101!
     
    Are you new to competitive TF2? Interested in joining the ranks of battle-hardened veterans you've seen in online casts, frag-movies and even local pickup games? Well, then we've got the perfect event for you!
     
    We've gathered together a bunch of mentors to guide you in various aspects of competitive play, such as class roles, inter-player co-ordination, and positioning. Our mentors will also provide answers to more technical questions, such as sensitivity, graphics and connection settings. There will be one mentor per session focusing on one class per week and the session will start off with the mentors explaining the basics followed by a short Q&A session. 
     
    After going through various topics, there will be a mix scrim (organized match) at the end of every session. These scrims will feature evenly balanced teams, and will be well suited to your skill level.
     
    These sessions are also well-suited for players who have formed new teams and are in need of help for their roles and how to communicate or work well with teammates.
     
    You are encouraged to keep in touch with your mentor after sessions if you need more help in getting to know your class. You can, by all means, join a pick-up game (PUG) if you are comfortable. You are also welcome to sign up the other class sessions as well.
     
    Mentors are as follows:
     
    Demoman - iridescentFUZZ
    Medic - Sad Katz

    Scout - Starvox

    Soldier - R dot
     
    You will be invited to join a Steam group after signing up. There, you are welcome to share/post demos of your gameplay as any class and ask for help to review them. You are welcome to also organize newbie mixes during your own time, but we do encourage you to play normal PUGs (pickup games) instead!
     
    You can sign up for the first session here, which will focus on the Demoman class!
    Caldoran
    NEecO0u.png

    Banner by Cell, writeup by vetia, vetted by Caldoran

     

    It's been awhile, but Mercenaries Cup 7 is over, and the winner is the esteemed team Club Penguin Crusaders! Referred to as Pingu, it has trumped the competition after nearly four months of fighting, coming out as undefeated Champions.

     

    A run down of the Cup follows here:

     

    Opening Rounds to Week Two

     

    At the beginning of the season, it was predicted that Pingu, Cute Beast, Kusoyotech and Fireless would be the top contenders. The first two asserted their dominance by going nigh uncontested in the beginning: Cute Beast were given the BYE week and rolled team Steal Your Job in the second upper bracket rounds, while Pingu slammed Shuffled.tf out of the competition and was given a forfeit win against PSYCHOS.

     

    Meanwhile, Kusoyotech and Fireless were encountering heavier resistance. While both teams had easy wins in the opening rounds, Kusoyotech found some difficulty in upstarts Team Intermediate, who managed to take Granary off of them with a score of 4 - 2. However, Kusoyotech pulled together and proved themselves as worthy playoff teams, strongly defeating their opponents with scores of 6-1 on Sunshine and 4-0 on Product.

     

    Fireless’ competition came in the form of long-standing A Motley Crew (AMC) during Week 2, who put up a tough fight on both maps. Ultimately however, they were unable to trump the pure DM ability of Fireless’ Scouts, and the latter team won with 3-1 on  and 5-4 on Granary..

     

    Week Three to Upper and Lower Bracket Finals

     

    With the rest of the teams thrown to the lower brackets, the top four contenders finally met in Week 3. Cute Beast faced off against Fireless, and Fireless quailed under the pressure. The pure DM ability of Cute Beast’s members was too strong and they knocked out Fireless with 5–0s on both Process and Badlands, sending them down to the Lower Brackets.

     

    At the same time, Pingu and Kusoyotech, intense rivals and scrim buddies, duked it out, with a much closer game than most of the top seeded teams had seen so far. However, it was still clearly Pingu’s game, with team leader Teejay pulling a monumental 400 DPM on both maps. In the end, the score was 6-2 on Process and 4-2 on Badlands, advancing Pingu into the Upper Bracket Finals.

     

    While the two most successful teams waited for their match week, Kusoyotech and Fireless fought in 5th round of the lower bracket finals. The gap between the top 3 teams and the fourth seed was too strong however; Fireless fought hard but were unable to gain more than a point over Kusoyotech on Process, losing 5-1. Kusoyotech carried over this momentum and rolled Fireless 5-0, knocking the team out of the tournament, relegating Fireless to fourth place.

     

    Upper Bracket Finals, Lower Bracket Finals

     

    The time had come for the two strongest teams to face off against each other in the semi-finals. Maps picked were the popular Process and left-field Sunshine, with Snakewater as the tie breaker. It was predicted to be one of the most even matches of the season, with Cute Beast having never lost a round and Pingu never losing a map.

     

    The game started off fairly even, going back and forth over 12 minutes before Cute Beast finally secured a point. However, Pingu responded by picking up four rounds in quick succession, two of them being taken in less than four minutes. Cute Beast managed to bounce back, winning the sixth mid and rolling their opponents all the way to last, picking up another point. With only 4 minutes left, Cute Beast played extremely aggressively, taking the next mid as well. However, they were unable to carry on, and the coordination game of Pingu was too strong. Cute Beast failed the push into last and the game ended 4-2.

     

    The next map was a crushing defeat for Cute Beast. With traditionally less time put into scrimming Sunshine in Asia, the teamwork of Pingu triumphed, ending the game 5-0 in 16 minutes, Cute Beast unable to win a single midfight. Pingu were guaranteed a spot in the Grand Finals.

     

    Cute Beast would thus face off against Kusoyotech, both battling for another chance to take down the still undefeated Pingu. The first map was the classic Badlands, a map well practiced by all Asian teams. But it appeared that Cute Beast completely outclassed their Korean opponents. Kusoyotech lost 5-0 in 22 minutes, putting up somewhat of a fight. The second map of Gullywash was slightly closer, ending in a 5-2, but overall proving that the top two teams were a class above the rest. The pure Korean team Kusoyotech ended its run in MC7 with 3rd place.

     

    Grand Finals

     

    Cute Beast had earned its chance to take on Pingu once more, this time battling for the title of Mercenaries Cup 7 Champions. Prematch map pickings saw Cute Beast banning Sunshine, having suffered greatly on this map previously, and Pingu decided to ban Badlands, the map they felt the least confident on. The pool was thus Gullywash, Process and Snakewater as the tie-breaker.

     

    Gullywash was the most intense game of the season. Both Pingu and Cute Beast played extremely well, with teams going from last to last multiple times in single rounds. Pingu’s rebound Ubers and leapfrogs were significantly better, but the fragging ability of Flower on Sniper and Fury on Pocket pulled the game into an even match. As the clock ticked down to 1 minute left, both teams were tied 2 rounds each, holding Ubercharges while Cute Beast defended last. They needed to hold the point to push the game into a golden cap. But the misplay came when Flower was caught in river, dying whilst trying to get out under. This prompted an aggressive push by Pingu, managing to get two picks before the Medic of Cute Beast popped his Über. With 6 vs 3, Cute Beast were unable to hold the point, and Pingu picked up the map 3-2 with only 20 seconds remaining. 

     

    With that, things came full circle to Process. The game started of fairly evenly. However it soon became apparent that Pingu was in control of the game. Their teamwork, combined with Flower unable to pull the clutches and put out the damage he normally could, resulted in Cute Beast losing the first two points. Though they managed to pick up two more rounds, they were ultimately unable to overcome the solid wall of Pingu squad, who took the last point before the map ended 3-2 once more; a close game, but not close enough to let Cute Beast play a tiebreaker map. Significantly, Cute Beast were unable to win a single mid against Pingu the entire Grand Final, a testament to the latter’s strength as a team.

     

    With that, Club Penguin Crusaders were declared undefeated Champions of Mercenaries Cup 7.

     

    The Future

     

    And with that we've drawn the curtain on the 16th major AsiaFortress tournament!

     

    A sincere thanks to all participants for Mercenaries Cup 7 for helping us make such an intense and exciting tournament once again!

     

    Now anyone familiar with AsiaFortress will know what's coming up next...AsiaFortress Cup 10. And this time, we have something up our sleeves we think our talented participants will be quite pleased with...

     

    Keep your eyes peeled for details, because we'll be posting all the glorious details very soon!

     
    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!

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