The regular season has now ended and it's time for some playoffs action. Here comes a review of the group stage of div1 and included is also some !H!O!T! predictions for the quarterfinals! Parts of this text was written as a comment to Slabis text at the EQL page a few weeks ago. It has now been rewritten into something that hopefully makes a bit more sense. Willgurht suggested I should post it as a blog here on quakeworld.nu and since I got granted permission by the almighty dane Zalon, here we go! I have focused mainly on the top teams, but have tried to give everybody a good picture about what has been going on for the rest of the teams as well. Happy reading
I'm not gonna go too much into details about tVS since this is a clan that most people are very familiar with. The biggest thing about them this season is the absence of Xantom in most of the games. I'm not sure why he hasn't been playing more EQLs since he has been seen praccing quite a few games with tVS, and played as a standin for quite a few other clans. Diki has done a great job in EQL though, and we also got to see a short 4on4 comeback by the almighty Maga. With an impressive 21-0 in maps in the group stages there is no need to give a comment about who will be the favourite in playoffs. The absence of Milton in the semifinal might be tough for TVS though, but I still think they should be able to make it the whole way!
Slackers seems to have been one of the most active team lately with almost daily pracs. A large squad makes them being able to do this and we have seen some great improvements during the season. Javve made a short comeback, but seems to have gone into idle mode again, and it seems like Krab has had some activity problems as well. However, we have seen a lot of improvements from players like TheEvilDog and dimman throughout the season. Dimman known for a fearsome performance on dm3 has now also started to master both dm2 and e1m2. Rumours spread by the man himself states that he has enough of qw, but shouldn't some hot playoff games make him at least reconsider this decision for now?
Old SRs like Paradoks and Murdoc sure have been shaping up lately and by only losing to tVS in the group stage they seem like a strong contender for the title. In the group games we also saw some close battles against Fusion, SD and CCCP.
Fusion keeps on showing great activity and they seem to still be improving quite a lot. From the beginning I was a bit unsure how the whole Moltas/Nitram teamwork would work out. Seemed like it took quite a while for Moltas to change his way of playing to fit with Nitram. Nowaday they are a fearsome duo who could make any other clan pee their pants. Together with the two swedes we have a bunch of great players. It's nice to finally see Serox playing at his full potential in a div1 team. Skillah did some great improvements, but it seems difficult for him to take it to the next level :E Rikoll is one of the most talented players out there and if he can keep on improving Fusion will be deadly in playoffs. About Squeeze one could only ponder about what he would be able to do as a lpb. I have big hopes for Fusion in playoffs and I think they might be the only team able to shake things up for tVS. In the group stage they won all games 2-0, except the close losses against SR and SD, and they also almost managed to beat tVS on dm3. That game has to be one of the best so far in this season!
Enigma started the season with quite a few players, but lately we have seen them mostly play with a lineup consisting of Razor, Ganon and the twin brothers OD and Votary. A very solid lineup indeed and it seems that they get better for every game they play! The other two players in the clan Kingpin and Goblin are excellent players to throw in whenever needed, but both of them hasn't showed a lot of activity lately (except kp playing mix). Looking at their group games they took an impressive victory against SD in a very close game. Against the top clans they didn't manage to steal any maps away, but they sure played a tight game against Fusion. The loss against CCCP felt a bit suprising to me, and they also lost dm2 to Revolution at an early stage. Big suprise warning for Enigma in playoffs!
CCCP is not at hos as the other russian projects we have seen lately. This season they haven't even managed to steal any maps away from tVS! It's really nice to see the top duellers xpr and Zepp getting active in 4on4, but the lack of prac seems to have affected the clan. Only player this season that has been playing at a solid level seems to be gor, who is still going strong! B1aze and XN both have been big disappointments this season and they sure can do a lot better. Hopefully they will shape up for the playoffs and give Enigma a run for the money!
Suddendeath has played a few impressive games, and a few less impressive ones. They have played quite a few pracs, sometimes under the tag "fest" and mostly with players from oblivion and enigma. Unfortunately a lot of activity hasn't been seen in EQL until the end of the season and they ended up having two games unplayed. They will still be a big threat to the top clans in playoffs which they showed in their games against Fusion (2-1 victory) and SR (1-2 loss). Suprisingly (or not?) they lost to Enigma in a close game that ended 1-2 and they also managed to drop a map against 3tk. In the lineup we have five really good players all controlled strictly by the almighty clanleader Bps. Looking at the lineup throughout the season Bps, Arne, Molle and Mawe have played the most games, and then they have Grisling as a fearsome 5th player. Arne, mostly being a dueller lately seems to finally have gotten the grip of 4on4 and have done some amazing games this season! The big question when it comes to SD will be the activity. The potential is definately there!
Sauna is a really interesting project. First I thought the clan would only play a few games and then give up. 4 members often makes it tough with activity, but luckily this has not been the case with Sauna! They have pracced quite a lot throughout the season and the two more unknown players Dmt and Bandit have done some great improvements. Same goes for Darkki,a well known mixer who finally has taken the step into a clan, and then we also have the always solid hlt. If they keep on improving Sauna can definately start threatening the top clans in the near future!
3tk has a really nice team with slabi, tom and the newcomer to the team, desmo. Unfortunately a last active guy has been needed throughout the season since Cpe has been away a lot. In the beginning of the season they used the rather unknown player Derek as a 4th, and despite his high ping he did a decent performance. Kat played a lot of games and has been a talented player since his years in HGC where master Insane taught him all the tricks. We saw him for example do a good performance on dm3 vs TKS, but unfortunately he hasn't been active enough. 3tk will also have a bright future ahead of them if they keep on playing!
About my own clan Oblivion I think we have done an OK season. We played close maps against slackers, sauna, fusion and enigma, but in these games we unfortunately only managed to steal one map away from sauna. Activity has been good for parts of the season, but some weeks we haven't even managed to play one single prac. As for my own performance I think this has been my worst season in years. Don't know if it's the lack of motivation or something, but I'm definately not playing the way I would like to. By buying a Razer Salmosa and a new cloth pad last week at least made me a bit more motivated in the end of the season
I think we have a great team and it would be interesting to see what we could've done if we only had been a bit more active.
TKS is a really fantastic project! A set of unexperienced tdmers (except HT) have done a great job in this eql! Especially when you think about the fact that they came from div3 last season. The team has changed a bit with the additions of HT and Medar, and together with DDK and en_karl they have had a really solid lineup. Hope they will keep the activity going and improve even more. Will be interesting to see what they can do next season. Unfortunately they seem to have some internal issues about what time to play
As expressed by en_karl it can be a bit tough to play with british ppl when they can only play at 23CET, but only if there is a full moon!
In the beginning I definately thought DA would die when persuader decided to leave for FU in div2. Not a lot of games was played and the team spirit seemed to be as low as possible. After adding Hedfuk and Blixem to the lineup things changed. Blixem didn't play much more than a few pracs, but Hedfuk showed some great activity (and skills!). After a strong last week they managed to play all games but the two against Fusion and SD and they finished off the season with three games in the last day. Great work boys and hope you can keep up the activity with your new lineup. Watch out for DA in next eql!
Revolution went into activity and more or less didn't even play any pracs in the last 5 weeks. I really hope they haven't disbanded for good since they had a nice thing going. Maks has made great improvements during the season, and with avenger, runningwild and a vega with a better connection I'm sure they could do a lot of damage to the other clans.
tVS - 3tk
I don't think anybody expects anything else than a 3-0 victory for tVS. 3tk is very good on their homemap dm2, which they proved after beating SD there. The group game was more or less a rape with the scores 326-88 on dm3 and 372-65 on dm2. However, with the addition of Desmo 3tk has a far better lineup than in the group game and I hope we can look forward to a bit closer games this time. Prediction: 3-0
]SR[ - Sauna
The group game between the two clans was played about two weeks ago and looking at the results this should be a walk in the park for Slackers. Dm3 was won by 240-92 and dm2 with 356-67. Somehow I feel like this wasn't a very good game from Sauna, and I'm sure they can do a lot better. The victory against tVS on dm2 in a prac game is impressive, but in the end I feel quite confident about Slackers taking this game home to the slacker nest. Let's just hope for a close one! Prediction: 3-0
Fusion - SD
OMG! Definately the hottest quarterfinal. Unfortunately Fusion has to play such a strong team already in the quarterfinal and this despite finishing as nr.3 in the group. One could ponder about how fair that is, but that's a discussion to leave elsewhere. The group game ended 2-1 in favour for SD with the scores 153-325 on dm3, 264-234 on e1m2 and 217-171 on dm2. Squeeze played e1m2 and dm2 and did a great job, but unfortunately I think his hpw powers are not enough to beat SD. I think we will see some changes in Fusions lineup for the quarterfinal and I do think they look like the stronger team. Dm3 shouldn't be any problem, so it's all up to the other maps. Prepare for a quake fest! Prediction: 3-2
Enigma - CCCP
The group game was played about three weeks ago and it ended with a victory for CCCP with 2-1, with the scores: 171-181 on dm3, 234-219 e1m2 and 238-190 on dm2. 3 amazingly close games and you can count on a really close quarterfinal as well. I have the feeling that Enigma will be the stronger team, and that they will bring the victory home. The loss in e1m2 in the group stage was very suprising to me and I'm sure they want revenge there. You never really know where you have the russians though, and I sure do expect them to put up the best fight possible. Prediction: 3-1
Good luck to all the clans and big thanks to the EQL admins for a great season so far! Stay tuned until next time