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Invite Quarterfinals Match Preview

RGL-Invite

   Alto   - 11/19/2018

Week 11 Match Preview - Fast Forward vs. Apolodosh


Not gonna bother doing a review of the 2 2-0s last week so we can spend more time with what should be a fantastic match. Going into the season I would’ve predicted this match to be Faction vs. >>, but given f’s underperformance, eventual death and AD’s early season overperformance this matchup is more than deserved for them. I’ll be looking at the maps, the players, and then an overall section detailing my thoughts and prediction on the match.

Maps


Given the teams’ regular season matches, the map pool consisted of Product, Upward, Steel, Ashville, and Swiftwater. AD bans, >> picks, AD picks, >> picks.

1. AD bans Steel.
A good choice out of AD, having been 2-0’d by >> on it just last week. Given AD’s tendencies towards snowballing and aggressive plays I would’ve thought going into week 10 that it might be one of their better maps but with that not being the case, it’s the best ban they could’ve had.

2. >> picks Product.
Not exactly the first choice I would’ve had in mind, but with >> not having played Cascade or Vigil this season they automatically eliminate a lot of AD’s power picks. Given the convincing win >> pulled out over AD on Ashville in W5 I would’ve thought that to be the best option to take a quick first map, or Swiftwater given their victory against KND and their near-half against IRENE. I get that >> has since replaced wish with Dongus so maybe they aren’t sure about their flank’s strength and want to stick with a classic in Product, but after >>’s own failure to show up against an admittedly strong KND on the map it seems a little off to me. Ultimately, though, given Fallen’s MVP worthy performance this season it’s hard to say its a bad idea.

3. AD picks Upward.
Again, with Vigil and Cascade not being in the rotation for this BO3 it really limits AD’s options, as they directly lost to >> on Steel and Ashville so two maps are pretty much immediately out of rotation for them. Between Upward and Swiftwater, the former is definitely AD’s better option with their 1-2 loss to KND on it in week 4 coming by mere seconds, whereas their Swiftwater “match” was a FFW against Faction that didn’t see them playing. Similar to Product, though, Fallen’s going to be monstrous on this map and with shaayy cooling off from his very hot start, AD’s going to need to hope >>’s flank isn’t in perfect sync and let pablo and dev create openings for them.

4. >> picks Swiftwater.
As mentioned in the Product section, >>’s got a good track record on Swiftwater with their win over KND and loss to IRENE that easily could’ve gone 1-1. I would’ve picked it third as well, but that’s with an Ashville first pick. It nags at me a bit that >> left up a map that they 4-1’d AD on in the regular season, choosing to go with an unknown in Product, as if >> lose this map there’d be a very obvious “shoulda coulda woulda” with picking Ash. I think AD is a better PL team than a KoTH as well, so it’s playing into enemy hands a bit.


Players



Scout: rain vs. pablo
Rain comes into this match having only played scout for one week before after wish’s departure in W9, against a pablo who’s had the entire season to work out synergy with dev. While both have a ton of experience on scout, neither really jumps out as a hard-carry type player on either, sticking more to flank and controlling that than playing hard combo and top fragging with 20% heals. Without much real justification (other than how many shots it takes them to kill me when I’m playing med) I’d say their DMs are close enough to be negligible, neither having an advantage big enough over the other that I’d think one would consistently take and win 1v1s. With that in mind, I’m going to lean towards familiarity with the class as the decider here. I’ve slept on >>’s flank before and they proved me wrong, but I’m going to go with Verdict: slight advantage pablo.

Soldier: Dongus vs. dev
Going into this season, I would’ve put Dongus as the odds-on favorite to take this. However, given the crucifixion enacted on Dongus by dev earlier in the season, it’s a little more complicated. While Faction had its own issues and it’s on a map we won’t see in this match, the potential for dev and pablo to exploit Dongus is clearly there. He had his revenge on Steel last week, but it’s difficult for me to get that walloping out of my head. Additionally, he’s only had one week of working with rain whereas pablo and dev, again, have had all season. It’s very possible I’ll look like a fool saying this after the match, but Verdict: advantage dev.

Pyro: Satan vs. River
This matchup’s a little harder to call, especially due to the disproportionate amount I’ve seen >> play in casts compared to AD. What I can say with certainty though is that while he may have been the best at one point, Satan is certainly not at the top right now, and I’ve seen numerous instances where he’s failed to be positioned properly in order to do his job against the higher ranked teams. Compare that to River, who I’ve barely seen all season except in the AD/>> match on Ashville, where Satan certainly got the better of River but neither explicitly stood out. Not having seen AD’s matches against KND and IRENE mean that River could either be markedly better at protecting his med against those teams or noticeably worse, but I wouldn’t know. I’m going to give the up and comer the benefit of the doubt here and say Verdict: slight advantage River, but that’s admittedly just a crapshoot.

Demo: Exile vs. Arzt
While I didn’t expect to be giving the first three advantages to AD when I started writing, that train ends here. I’m going to be honest: I think exile’s terribly underperformed this season compared to my expectations, dying too frequently and leaning on his team to make him openings moreso than the other way around. With that said, my expectation was for him to be one of the top demos this season, and I still think he’s a decent step on Arzt. While Johhny’s has his moments this season, they seem few and far between, and while his performance is acceptable it’s far from a reliable carry. If they were stocks I’d say both of them were at low values right now, but in that situation it’s generally better to go with the more established track record. Verdict: advantage exile.

Heavy: triiiple vs. RonnieJ
I think this is arguably the closest matchup these teams have on paper. Ronnie’s a player who’s not afraid to play aggressively and go for glory plays, but given the map pool I think he unfortunately doesn't have many maps he can have an impact on, especially starting with Product. Triiiple plays more passively but has had moments of glory in some of >>’s matches, on Product and Swiftwater no less, making him stand out as a bigger threat in my eyes. Again, there’s probably some bias here due to how much more exposure I’ve had to >>, but I’m going to lean Verdict: slight advantage triiiple for the proven consistency he’s had this season.

Engineer: Spamfest vs. nip nop
We follow the closest matchup with arguably the most lopsided one. Nip nop’s had a good showing this season given the relatively small amount of experience he has, but against Spamfest no one in the league (maybe sans Ender) can come close to challenging her for the title. Excellent DM combined with incredible engineer sense brought Spamfest to #1 and I don’t know if there’s anything nip nop brings that gives him a leg up. Verdict: large advantage Spamfest.

Medic: figsy vs. Wall
Very hard for me to call this one, as I don’t have much experience with either player on their mains due to us all playing the same class. It may be similar to the rain vs. pablo matchup, where figsy’s had multiple season playing with >> whereas Wall joined AD partway through the season after f died, so the familiarity factor goes figsy. Medic’s one of the hardest classes to judge skill based off of numbers alone, so I’m going to lean into the familiarity and say Verdict: slight advantage figsy but like pyro, this could go either way.

Sniper: Fallen Lord vs. shaayy
I mentioned it before, but all factors taken into account I think Fallen’s worthy of MVP talk this season due to his consistently dominating performances in matches this season (especially through the second half of the season) while his team’s been anything but. Shaayy came into the season on fire, putting up strong performances against bo4r, andrew, and SGC, but after a dismal game against >> on Ashville in week 5 seems to have lost some of the mojo he had earlier in the season. He can rest assured knowing that Ashville somehow made it through the pick/ban, but I don’t think there’s anyone in the league right now able to truly shut down Fallen. That’s not to say Shaayy couldn’t show up and make it close, but I think it’s unlikely that he’ll be able to negate the Gourd. Verdict: advantage Fallen.

Spy: Mr. Deldongo vs. Madringme
Dongo was part of >>’s trifecta earlier in the season that led them to having such competitive games with KND and IRENE, but after their dominant first-half showing he seems to have been one of the player to fall off the hardest, with his play in >>’s week 8 match against KND being especially poor in regards to coordination and timing. Mad, on the other hand, has been quietly been having himself a fairly decent season, never pulling out the ridiculous numbers we’ve seen from Joes or feints but never really shitting the bed either. It’s a consistency that I’ve seen Dongo lacking, meaning that I’m going to say Verdict: tie for the spies as Dongo’s got the potential to put on a stellar performance but could just as easily leave >> to play 8v9.

Overall


I think >> got the better of the maps with no maps they’re favored against winning (Upward being fairly even) and they have the stronger roster to boot. Fallen’s been a monster the past few weeks, and AD coming off a loss to >> just a week ago isn’t helping anything. AD’s the one team this season, though, that doesn’t ever collapse on the mental front so the opportunity for them to upset >> is 100% present. If shaayy channels his week 1-2 performances and Fallen isn’t allowed to create openings, we’ve seen >> collapse after that if their flank isn’t on par, and we’ve seen dev control Dongus in the past. That being said, the odds are still firmly in >>’s favor but I don’t think AD’s going to be going down without a fight. With the winner securing at least the 3rd place prize, no one’s going to be halfassing it and it should be a great match to watch at twitch.tv/extvesports.
Product: 4-2 >>
Upward: 2-1 >>
Swiftwater: 2-0 >>
(if necessary)