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Location: United Kingdom
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EQL  /  22 Nov 2010, 18:29
EQL12 playoffs preview
It's time for the playoffs in EQL12 and I've written a short preview of what's going to go down in divisions 1 & 2, as well as some predictions for the individual games in each competition.
Division 1

This promises to be the most exciting and evenly contested Division 1 playoff for a few years. The Viper Squad (tVS) have lost their aura of invincibility, having lost to Slackers (SR) 3-2 in the QHLAN14 final and 2-1 in the regular season game. As a result, this competition is really there for the taking, and any one of four teams has a genuine chance to win it. When was the last time you could honestly say that about a top level Quakeworld 4on4 competition?

SR's recent wins over tVS make them marginal favourites for the title. They cruised to #1 spot in the division, losing only 2 maps along the way. In recent years they have had some instability in their lineup, but this season they have a stable four of En_Karl, ParadokS, Murdoc and Zero. These four give a great balance of shrewd strategical gameplay and frag-racking brilliance, and their strengths mean that they are not weak on any map. Murdoc has become one of the best DM3 players around, while Zero has really impressed me in recent seasons as he has made himself into one of the best players on E1M2 and DM2 (side question: if you were making a team of the best non-Scandinavian European 4on4 players, who would be in it?). Oh, and then they have Juan "Striker" Aranda on the bench, a player with a great history in big games, nerves of steel and buckets of skill as well.

tVS are very close to SR, and only a fool would rule them out of things at this point. I don't know what the situation is with Xantom, but it is pretty clear that he is an important cog in their teamplay machinery. With him back in the line-up, their chances of holding on to their EQL crown increase significantly. Diki is also a fantastic 4on4 player, but Xantom seems to bring extra balance to the play, and acts as an excellent counter-foil to Milton. Not much can be said about Milton that hasn't been said before, but I'm starting to believe now that he is the best of all time. I have watched a lot of big games and have at some point seen all of the greats playing 4on4, and I don't think I have ever seen anyone who combines brilliant, accurate movement (example: how easily he executes the rocket-jump to high on DM2) with clinical aiming and robotic item timing. Watching him play QW is like reading William Blake or listening to Rachmaninoff.

The final will almost certainly be an SR-tVS match-up. SR seem to have the beating of tVS on DM3, but DM2 and E1M2 have gone either way in the recent matches. The final will be best of 5, and assuming neither team wins 3-0, we will almost certainly see CMT1b and CMT4 in action. I don't know enough about either team's proficiency on those maps to comment...

Fusion (F) and Suddendeath (SD) also have a good chance of winning the title, if things go their way. Fusion are certainly weaker for the loss of Moltas, but the addition of Xterm (lacsap) is a good one. If they can field their best line-up in the finals (i.e. if Xterm and Nitram both play!), then they are capable of winning maps against any team, as they showed by taking a map from tVS in the group matches. They appear to have a weakness on CMT4 however, and this is something that tVS or SR would exploit in a final game, in my opinion. Suddendeath have really impressed me during the regular season. I remember watching them rise up from the lower divisions a few years ago, and it is great to see them playing at this level now. In the regular season, they took a map from SR and F and ran tVS very close over two maps. Once again I fear their downfall could be the so-called "Kenya" maps - they lost their only play of CMT1b and recorded just 1 win from 3 on CMT4.

Slackers vs CCCP
CCCP have boosted their roster with the addition of Moltas, and will certainly be no pushover for the QHLAN champs. However, SR are very active at the moment and are practicing hard. In their current shape, it would be a surprise to see them even drop a map to the Russians.
Prediction: 3-0 to SR

The Viper Squad vs QuakeKlan
QK ran tVS close on E1M2 during the regular season, albeit with tVS fielding an unusual line-up which included Diki and Maga. With a more normal line-up, tVS should have no problems taking this one home without conceding a map.
Prediction: 3-0 to tVS

Fusion vs TeamKillers
I have watched with interest the rise of TKs through the divisions over the last couple of years, partly because they have a couple of Brits, but also because they have a great attitude and a real willingness to practice against good teams, even if it means taking the odd reaming. They have no real superstars, but are a good demonstration of what you can achieve if you work hard and develop a solid team ethic and good tactics. I've been really impressed with the improvement in DDK, and think he could be the first top-level UK player in QW we've seen for a few years before too long...
TKs have been practicing hard of late, and although the regular season match ended 2-0 to Fusion, I fancy them to sneak a map on either CMT1b or CMT4. Fusion should be too strong for them on the TB3 maps, though.
Prediction: 3-1 to Nitram & co

Suddendeath vs Sauna
This is the hardest match to predict, as you would expect given that it is 4th vs 5th. SD finished higher in the table, but Sauna actually won this match in the regular season, 2-0. Darkki and HLT are really solid players on TB3, and SD will have to be at their very best to win this. As mentioned above, SD are not too hot on the CMT maps, so there may be an opportunity for Sauna here. I don't know too much about them on these maps, as they only played CMT1b once during the season, where they beat TKs.
Prediction: 3-2 to Sauna in a tight, exciting encounter!

Division 2
My own clan, Osams, found ourselves in Division 2 after placing 2nd in Division 3 last season. We knew it would be tough going and it proved to be the case, as we only managed to win 1 map out of 15. Our most winnable match was the one vs Demolition Clan 2, but we were forced to play that game without our star player Steppa because DC2 only became active late in the league, and the night we happened to arrange for, Steppa was ill. As it was, we had 2 close maps and lost 2-0. Elsewhere, I felt we could have won DM2 vs Chosen, E1M2 vs Cross Defenders and DM3 vs O Clan. We need to step back and work on our strategy on a broader level, and also on a smaller scale as well, if we are to avoid another embarassing season in EQL13.

As for the playoffs? It's a very tough call. Bad Luck Troopers deservedly finished top of the pile in the regular season, beating 3rd placed SSC but losing to 2nd-placed CSN. BLT's solid teamplay on all 5 maps will make them tough to beat in the playoffs. SSC will also be there or thereabouts, and with a good knowledge of the CMT maps they will also be very tough opponents. CSN should join these two in the semis. If they field their best line-up, which is probably Flamer, Pyta, Hooraytio and Rkd (who is this Rkd guy by the way, and where has he come from?), then they are my favourites for the tournament - they just don't have a weak map and they have a solid all-round teamplay game. I expect to see Fix's Merry men, aka In A Blaze in the semi-finals as well.

BLT vs DC2
No question here, BLT will be too strong for the Poles and unless DC2 can sneak a DM2 win, they will be going home empty-handed.
Prediction: A comfortable 3-0 for Knave & co

CSN vs O Clan
The transfer of Marvel has no doubt strengthened this team of Americas-based high pingers, but CSN's routine and class should be too much. Marvel will help his boys on the UK favourite CMT4, but it won't be enough.
Prediction: 3-0 to CSN

SSC vs Magnum 44
M44 are a hard team to predict, as every now and then they do something that surprises everyone and beat a team they should have no right to beat. But SSC's experience and knowledge of the CMT maps should see them home here, albeit for the loss of the M44 stronghold, DM2.
Prediction: 3-1 to SSC

In A Blaze vs Cross Defenders
As with division 1, 4th vs 5th is the toughest to predict. CD are actually quite useful on CMT4, but then again so are In A Blaze. The Finns won a tight group encounter 2-1, taking home DM3 and DM2 to CD's CMT4, and on that basis I would back In A Blaze to take this one, on the basis that they should also win E1M2, a map where CD struggle (as I witnessed first-hand when I was top-fragger vs them in the groups!).
Prediction: 3-1 or 3-2 to In A Blaze, depending on how CMT1b goes
2010-11-22, 18:32
Side question:
Reppie, Murdoc, Zero, Insane
2010-11-22, 18:45
Exellent read Gaz ! Looking forward to reading another ones! I hope you will be productive and join EQL writing crew for good
2010-11-22, 18:46
Murdoc, zero, reppie, xn
2010-11-22, 18:47

SQ: Zero, Murdock, Reppie. Hmmmmmm....
2010-11-22, 20:29
nicely written gaz!

SQ: i would go for reppie murdoc zero serox
2010-11-22, 20:46
And who am I?
That's a secret I'll never tell.
You know you love me.
xoxo rkd

On a serious note tho I might offer an exclusive interview to the highest bidder (I do take foodstamps).

SQ: xn, xn, xn, xn.
2010-11-22, 20:50
Zero, Murdoc, Reppie...
...wait for it...
2010-11-22, 21:41
#6 <3
2010-11-22, 23:45
Pericles, Buurvrouw, Smurf and Adrenalin.
2010-11-23, 00:03
<3 u gazzie
2010-11-23, 08:29
Nice Gaz, now someone should write one for Div 3 and no it aint gonna be me
2010-11-23, 10:05
whimp, there are div3 predictions included in the one on the frontpage

Btw gaz, how did Osams ever get a danish flag?
2010-11-23, 10:29
Back before admins would spoil it and change us to European, we would usually enter leagues with a Danish flag, a) because lunna is from Malmo and we'd say he was Danish and b) because we played all games on Danish servers. Occasionally we'd have a Greek flag in recognition of Thomas being a "gay noob from Greece" (c) Kryddturken.
2010-11-23, 10:29
P.S. Sakniz lunna
2010-11-23, 10:43
So much history in that clan!
2010-11-23, 10:45
Hehe gaz, well I remember seeing both the danish and the greece flag.... However the wiki says it's swedish
2010-11-23, 11:01
It had 100% swedish members in the beginning
2010-11-23, 11:21
After gaz joined they clearly became British!
2010-11-23, 11:27
Lucky Hagge never joined or they would have become Noobish!
2010-11-23, 13:05
I didn't do div 3 as I don't know enough about the teams. FA sure seem to be in good shape though, and will be tough opponents for anyone on DM3/E1M2 from what I've seen over the last week or so.
2010-11-23, 16:52
sq: zero, murdoc, xn, squeeze
2010-11-23, 19:50
"I remember watching them rise up from the lower divisions a few years ago"
I did the hard work in SD. Now i let the others win this shit! Hehe
2010-11-23, 20:01
Nice write-up!

sq: have to go with ddk's lineup, cos I'm only counting active players and tb3 .
2010-11-23, 22:18
sq: fern, fern, fern, fern
2010-11-23, 22:45
en_karl: gaz asked for the best players, not the worst :E
2010-11-24, 03:41
fern is the best
2010-11-24, 09:14
he is good at arguing ill give him that
2010-11-24, 09:32
Side question was the best non-Scandinavian EUROPEAN 4on4 players. So GTFO with your Squeeze & Reload.
2010-11-24, 09:32
P.S. Anyone who can leave Reppie out of that lineup is mental
2010-11-24, 09:38
Good at arguing? He argues like a retard

Ok, I try to answer the side question in a more serious manner.
Reppie, Murdoc and Zero without a doubt, but with the 4th it's much more tricky. I think I have to go with Insane just like you did gaz. He definately was a really solid player, but didn't quite meet the standard of the other three imo. Anyway he can be removed from the lineup soon, because ddk will replace him :E
2010-11-24, 09:47
Im also tempted to go for: gaz, manny, pattah & tyrone!
2010-11-24, 10:35
I thought we were going for the more serious manner, but as usual Hooraytio takes us a step back
2010-11-24, 10:35
Why so serious?
2010-11-24, 11:16
Because it's almost christmas!
2010-11-24, 11:29
Hagge logic!
2010-11-24, 11:33
ok ok..hmmm..

murdoc zero xn gor

I guess that would be best then! :E Although gor doesn't seem the most active lately.
2010-11-24, 11:35
sq: zero, murdoc, serox, xn
2010-11-24, 11:35
reppie isn't active enough to qualify imo :S
2010-11-24, 12:55
I didn't specify I suppose, but I did mean "of all time" rather than "currently active".
2010-11-24, 14:19
Gaz when are you going to return to do some legendary broadcasting of 4on4?
2010-11-24, 14:21
Hopefully in div1 semis+final from what ive heard
2010-11-24, 14:34
Or the EQL admins will ban you from next season
2010-11-24, 14:41
I can do 1/4 finals as well if they are played at a convenient time. As long as I have some notice (and they are not played on Tuesday or Thursday) then it's all np
2010-11-24, 14:42
Hopefully HT will do some too, but he may be in the playoffs all the way until the end!
I'm also trying to get hold of Xerial... he may be interested. Although he lives in Turkey.
2010-11-24, 14:51
fusion vs tks tonight @ 22:30 cet btw.
2010-11-24, 15:40
I'll see what I can do... have to eat, prac, see my wife etc tonight
2010-11-24, 16:22
Wife can wait, she will understand that qw comes first Be
2010-11-24, 16:32
I used to talk like that before I was married
2010-11-24, 18:37
So things actually do change after you get married? 8)
2010-11-24, 22:52
little gazzie got a wife?
Damn, thought xbox/ps3/wii took you away from qw and not a wife congratz
2010-11-25, 07:40
Well he actually started playing again. I thought it was mainly rugby and weightlifting that took him away, getting a wife was just a side effect from being such a hunk!
2010-11-25, 10:15
I quit in mid-2006 when I first lost weight. All the time in the gym, playing football etc meant that the last thing I wanted to do was sit at the computer. I met my wife in late-2007, then we visited Stockholm in August 2009, and while we were there we hung out with Steppa, Thompen & Whyz from Osams. We discussed how much we missed 4on4 and agreed to get "the band" back together for EQL10. And it's gone from there...
2010-11-25, 11:50
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