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EQL  /  25 Nov 2010, 12:39
Hot Fusion
Just when I'd thought up a cool headline, I ran up against the maximum character limit of 33 - damn! Presumably I coded this 3-4 years ago so I only have myself to blame...

For the record, that headline was:
Hot Fusion blast TeamKillers with unfriendly fire

Last night's quarter-final between Fusion and TeamKillers failed to live up to the expectation that division 1 rookies TKs might be able to give Valla & co a real fight.

Read on for my review of the game and a look ahead to Fusion's semi-final clash with The Viper Squad.
Most pundits predicted a comfortable victory here for Fusion, but I don't think anyone foresaw the ruthless efficiency with which they wiped their opponents from the map. For TKs to gain even a respectable defeat, they needed a good start and then a solid performance free of mistakes, but those hopes vanished when Fusion's start spawns saw them collect the pent, rocket launcher and lightning gun. Valla (aka Nitram) then put on a masterclass of DM3 fragging, not dying until he went for the 3rd pent, and in the meantime he did a superb job of racking up spawnfrags around RA and ring, while his teammates did a good job in strangling TKs' efforts around water and YA.
Whenever TKs did manage to get guys with RL or LG away from the aqua, Fusion's iron grip on the armours and clinical sweeping of SNG meant that there was nowhere for them to go. TKs did manage to take a few quads in the last six minutes, and it was clear that (presumably due to their relative lack of experience) nerves prevented them from playing as well as they can.
Fusion 324-75 TeamKillers

The second map was TKs home map, "Silverdome", aka CMT1b, and Fusion duly swapped out Serox (Chris) for the Norwegian Rikoll. TKs got a great start, taking pent, RL, LG and quad, but couldn't make it count, and before the first minute had ticked by, one of their RLs had given a pack to Kingpin and the other had died. The next 19 minutes saw control of quad see-saw back and forth, while Fusion largely had good control of the important RA area. Nitram once again put in a good performance and his sharp aim and quick reactions saw him pick up plenty of frags to increase the lead.
As with DM3, it was clear that TKs were nervous and couldn't make it count when they did have opportunities.
I haven't commentated on CMT1b before (at least that I can remember), but it is clear to me from watching top clans play the map that there is potential for genuinely exciting 4on4 matches on this. I don't think the same can be said for CMT4, however...
Fusion 255-101 TeamKillers

After a short discussion on the method for selecting the third map (aside: hasn't it always been the case that in best of five, if it is 2-0 after two maps, the team losing 2-0 picks the third map?), TKs elected to go for another safari and plumped for CMT4. Fusion benched their star man Nitram and brought back British player Serox for what was traditionally a favoured map in the UK leagues of the late 1990s. Incidentally, as I mentioned during my commentary last night, the original version of this map (Androm9) had an RA where the YA is now, and a second LG in place of the SSG in the YA room. There was also a lot more ammo. To win the map, you just had to control the YA (RA) ledge, because it gave access to an RA, RL, LG, mega, pent and one of the quad teles. It seems like a joke now, but I suppose in those days of bad connections, no anti-lag and no voice messaging, the gameplay dynamic was rather different!
Anyway, I don't recall too much about this round except that Fusion had the best start and raced into a big lead of something like 40-3 after only a few minutes. TKs fought valiantly to get back in, but the impression I had was that the key difference here was not timing, teamplay or strategy, but simply the superior aim of the Fusion fighters.
The layout and item stack of CMT4 does not make for exciting 4on4 in my opinion, with many games devolving into a game of rush-and-retreat, with most of the action happening around the quad room and not a lot happening between quads. With very high levels of LG skill in division 1, a difficult to control RA and a lot of cells, the map becomes too much about individual aim and not enough about teamplay, in my opinion. Assuming that EQL continue their pattern of TB3/TB3+2 in alternating seasons, I sincerely hope that when the custom maps return for EQL14 this time next year, CMT4's place is taken by the infinitely more interesting (albeit still flawed) CMT3.
Fusion 287-89

TeamKillers will be disappointed that they could not put up more resistance in this match, but the match will prove to be valuable experience for them in seasons to come. As mentioned above, nerves appeared to be a big problem for them on all maps, and this will only improve for them as they play more matches like this one. I hope they stick around and continue to improve, because I have been very impressed by their performances this season. Perhaps they will be asking Santa for a "div 0" quad-runner to take point and lead their charge into the next season? Either way, they will find their challenge increased next season when EQL will presumably revert back to TB3-only.

Meanwhile, Fusion will move on to the semi-finals where they will face the reigning champions The Viper Squad. This match should prove to be very exciting to watch, with the two teams fairly evenly matched on DM2, DM3 and E1M2. Based on previous performances (such as when TVS beat Fusion in the regular season), I would expect TVS to come out on top on the custom maps, so Fusion will probably have to win all three of the ID maps to reach the final. They are certainly capable of doing so, but with TVS expecting to welcome back Xantom to their line-up for the semis, I think the task will prove just a little too much for them this time. I predict a 3-1 victory for TVS.

Finally, it was good fun to be back on the microphone last night. I enjoyed commentating and while the action itself did not need a lot of describing due to the one-sided encounter, I was fascinated by a lot of ParadokS' insights into 4on4 at the very highest level. I hope we can join forces again this Sunday, when I will be covering Suddendeath against Sauna, in what will almost certainly be the tighest of the four quarter-final games.
2010-11-25, 15:13
Interesting read as always.
I must say I enjoy cmt4 much more than cmt1b still. Cmt1b doesnt feel like qw at all while cmt4 at least comes close. Compared to TB3 all the cmt maps are kinda sad though.
2010-11-25, 15:30
cmt3 is the worst ffa map of them all, it has no teamplay element whatsoever. I think cmt4 and cmt1 are ok maps, people are just too bad at them to offer a spectacle like in tb3.
2010-11-25, 16:02
cmt3 is the best qw map of all those cmt maps. No doubt.
2010-11-25, 16:43
To be honest I had high hopes for TKS but the pressure seemed to get most of them. Ddk and Medar did some impressive counter-attacks in dm3 but both seemed really shaky. Especially compared to Nitrams 1h escapes, as someone said "only div0 would survive like that". I suppose TKs just need more experience of semis to avoid adrenalin rushes after they've managed to kill enemy RL. It's much easier to do quad runs in praccs that really turn the tide, ie. you need balls to decide that it's more important to just secure ring/ra and not to do the quad of the century ( basicly bore on the first enemy and leave your rl-pack with 99 cells).

Diki said somewhere "4on4 is not aim competition", but to be honest - you need to be able to win rl vs rl situations if you're going to win.
2010-11-25, 18:04
You go gaz! great coverage, LOVE IT
2010-11-25, 18:05
oh and, the commentary was great! I can't wait till sunday
2010-11-26, 19:05
do you have the commentary pack available?
2010-11-26, 19:20
Yeah please upload the commentary/demo pack.

Nice article gaz, gonna be some hot upcoming games as well!
2010-11-27, 13:37
Zalon took care of that I think.
BTW, when I used to spec by Qizmo, my autorecord took care of the demos. Now, via QTV, it doesn't happen. Is there any way to autorecord what you see on QTV?
2010-11-28, 14:52
wheres the fkn commentary already...

gaz: dunno about autorecord but just do record demoname ? :E
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