Zalon  /  22 Nov 2010, 17:23
Playoff time in the EQL
It's playoff time yet again in the European Quake League, it has taken 8 weeks of group games to find the best teams from each division. The top 8 teams will go into playoffs starting today, with 1 week to play the quarterfinal round.

The group stage have shown a great deal of activity in all divisions, and division 1 with a lot of new teams joining the top ranks, have been more exciting than it's been for quite some seasons.

Yesterday the final standings and the playoff fixtures was posted on the EQL website, ofcourse with the mandatory decision of some controversial last minute changes to the standings. I'm guessing it wouldn't quite feel like EQL without it.

Today bring you a full report on the upcoming games, together with expected lineups and predictions for the outcome.

Please share your own predictions in the comments!
- Like gaz did in his blog.

Division 1 got a few new friends this season, which ofcourse resulted in a lot of preseason whine, but now when the season is over, it seems that most teams have been quite happy about being in division 1. The activity have been sky-high, and I can't remember the last time division 1 was this exciting. With Slackers, the Viper Squad, Fusion and Suddendeath playing at a much closer level than we are used to, it's looking hot for the division 1 playoffs. However since it's div1, it's hard to expect many surprises.

Thanks to rkd for helping me with the division 1 predictions.

Slackers vs CCCP

Slackers is on a run at the moment, beating the Viper Squad twice within the past 2 weeks, first at QHLAN 14 and then back online in their EQL group game! With their solid 3 of Murdoc, ParadokS and zero finally finding a permanent 4th player in en_karl, they no longer have to rely on inactive oldschool members.

CCCP started to play late in the season so they aren't in their best shape and a barely active gor doesn't help in making them the strong Russian team we are used to seeing. They have however shined in certain games, beating Sauna 2-1 for one and with the addition of moltas this is a team of very skilled, experienced players.

The late start and lack of activity will make CCCP an easy target for probably the most active clan this season and preseason, not to mention currently the best clan in EQL thus far. I expect Slackers to take this home with relative ease.

Expected lineups
Slackers: Murdoc, ParadokS, StrikeR, zero
CCCP: meshuggah, moltas, XN, xpr

Previous encounter
2-0 (cmt1b: 395-52, dm3: 230-150)

Expected outcome
Slackers, 3-0

Suddendeath vs Sauna

Suddendeath have been playing very good lately, goblin has come back as the goblin of old after the praise from milton after he beat him on dm6 at qhlan. With mawe, razor and bps in the lineup aswell they got a very solid team

The key to victory for Sauna is hlt bringing his a-game and performing like his usual self, but most importantly darkki taking of the glasses and putting on the cape and playing like superman, like we've seen him do from time to time. (When he's playing like this, I bet even milton is hiding in his closet holding cryptonite in his hands hoping darkki won't find him).

Definitely the most interesting matchup in the first round of the playoffs this season. Two very good teams that have shown some good performances this season, and both played mostly close games vs the top3. Suddendeath needs to play their best games yet this season if they want to beat Sauna, and they _need_ to do it on all tb3 maps I suspect, because they are alot weaker on the kenyas compared to Sauna. Which is also why I give the edge to sauna in this game.

Expected lineups
Suddendeath: bps, goblin, mawe, razor (We might see a cameo by the legendary flying dutchman reppie)
Sauna: darkki, dmt, hlt, bandit/ creature

Previous encounter
0-2 (dm3: 159-212, e1m2: 205-248)

Expected outcome
Sauna, 3-2

Fusion vs Teamkillers

Fusion has played some very up and down games this season, alot of the "down" games seem to come when Valla is not playing .

Teamkillers have stepped up their game this season with their very well-oiled teamplay and the addition of soma, they have become a real threat to any div1 team especially on the kenyas. However their main threat this season, cmt1b was won by fusion in the groupstage (without Valla).

With fusions best lineup I don't see Teamkillers having much of a chance, but that doesn't mean that Fusion can afford to slack off in this match.

Expected lineups
Fusion: Rikoll, Serox, Valla, Xterm, Kingpin/ Skillah
Teamkillers: ddk, HangTime, Medar, Soma

Previous encounter
2-0 (dm3: 276-100, cmt1b: 180-112)

Expected outcome
Fusion, 3-0

the Viper Squad vs Quakeklan

the Viper Squad
the Viper Squad havn't had their best season, perhaps they've had it too easy the past 2-3 years and been slacking off a bit thinking they would take home this EQL season with relative ease yet again. Not only have they lost maps this regular season (3) they have also lost a game vs Slackers, and nearly got beat 2-0 vs fusion which they managed to turn around for a 2-1 win.

Quakeklan yet another clan that started off late, with the disbandment of Oblivion they got together with fog to resurrect quakeklan. A team that would've had a higher position in the groupstage if they had started playing sooner.

Quakeklan have shown some very solid games and managed a 30 frag e1m2 loss vs the Viper Squad in the groupstages and I think they have a chance to win on this "kenya" map like the finns like to call it. Watch out for fog fragging it up now that he's back on proper gaming gear.

Expected lineups
the Viper Squad: Diki, blAze, Ihminen, Milton
Quakeklan: fog, ok98, TheEvilDog, Lethalwiz/ Votary/ overdoze

Previous encounter
2-0 (e1m2: 236-203, dm2: 352-141)

Expected outcome
the Viper Squad, 3-1

Division 2 have been very close and very active this season, apart from Demolition Crew 2 not playing as many matches as they could have, almost all other teams have played their matches. This also makes for some interesting quarterfinals, since the current standing doesn't really indicate the skill of the bottom teams. I expect some very interesting playoff matches coming up in div2!

Bad Luck Troopers vs Demolition Crew 2

Bad Luck Troopers
Bad Luck Troopers had some activity problems in the beginning of the season, but the addition of Hafog and Kapo sorted this out, as both players have participated in all of the team's groupgames. Getting 1st place in the group stage shows that their new lineup works, and if they can be keep up their good form, they are indeed a contender for the Division 2 title.

Demolition Crew 2
Demolition Crew 2 also had some activity problems at season start, and since they didn't get a game played until week 4, they weren't able to finish all of their games. This explains their low placement as 8th in the groupstage, which doesn't really reflect their chances in this match.

My guess is that this will be decided by the kenya's, if Demolition Crew 2 bring their A-game they should be able to win 1 or 2 of the ID maps, but I have little faith in their kenya skills.

Expected lineups
Bad Luck Troopers: hafog, kapo, knave, torch
Demolition Crew 2: fluartity, kat, matek, predator

Previous encounter
2-0 (cmt4: 258-84, dm2: 194-163)

Expected outcome
Bad Luck Troopers, 3-1

In a Blaze vs Cross Defenders

In a Blaze
In a Blaze with div0 veteran fix might be the strongest team on paper for this matchup. I don't see them having problems with the kenya maps, but their lack of prac and their dependency on their starplayer might be this teams achilles heel.

Cross Defenders
Cross Defenders have probably been the most active team in div2, playing a lot of pracs against any available opponent, they have however slowed down a bit the past week. If they step up and practice some kenya, I believe they stand a good chance of taking this one home.

Even tho I think that Cross Defenders should be able to win this with some more kenya practice, I'm still going to pick In a Blaze for this. They seem to have a good teamplay and if fix is on fire, the ID maps should be theirs.

Expected lineups
In a Blaze: fix, henri, melody, nancy/ rage
Cross Defenders: Goqsane, kopytk0, MajQ, Maks

Previous encounter
2-1 (dm3: 147-119, cmt4: 164-178, dm2: 172-137)

Expected outcome
In a Blaze, 3-2

Satanic Slaughter Clan vs Magnum 44

Satanic Slaughter Clan
The oldschool finnish Satanic Slaughter Clan, former home of div0 superstar Milton. They've played at nearly every level, this season however, they are back in division 2 with a solid and active lineup. Throughout the season they've shown a series of steady performances, only losing to groupstage winner Bad Luck Troopers and surprisingly their quarterfinal matchup, Magnum 44.

Magnum 44
Magnum 44 have lost quite many games during the season, a lot of which I think they should have won. They've beaten Satanic Slaughter Clan and took a map against Bad Luck Troopers, but then they've lost to every other team that finished above them in the group stage, many of which they have beaten in the past. I would blame their inconsistent lineup for their unstable form.

This will probably be one of the more interesting matchups in the division 2 quaterfinals, as Magnum 44 can do a lot better than what they've shown in most of their group games. They'll need Blasphemer and Chmielu to play their best to win this. I do however think Satanic Slaughter Clan got the upper hand, I expect them taking both CMT4 and DM3 while we get to see E1M2 as the decider.

Expected lineups
Satanic Slaughter Clan: Mingle, omny, rekk, Slaughter
Magnum 44: Chmielu, Blasphemer, Samon, Bravo

Previous encounter
2-0 (cmt4: 170-163, dm2: 202-140)

Expected outcome
Satanic Slaughter Clan, 3-2

Chosen vs O Clan

Chosen had a good run during the group stages, losing only to the group winner by 1 map and giving away a win to team fix on their home map dm2!? Their lineup is made up of 5-6 active players all of who we will probably see in action during the quarterfinal game.

O Clan
O Clan, one of the two active american teams playing in the EQL, their biggest issue is for sure their ping, even now with antilag on near but all servers, it still makes quite the difference. However most of their players have played many seasons in europe and are used to the high ping. Also they do have marvel, who if active can be a great asset to any team.

I can't see how Chosen could lose this, I don't expect O Clan to do well on the kenya maps and with Chosen's good form, it looks like near impossible for O Clan to take this. I could see them taking E1M2, while the "not-so-ping-dependant" DM2 is by far Chosen's best, so I don't expect them giving Chosen much trouble.

Expected lineups
Chosen: Fl4m3r, Hooraytio, Pyta, Rkd, Kalma/ junkass
O Clan: doum, karnage, marvel, vegeta

Previous encounter
2-0 (cmt4: 274-45, dm3: 243-88)

Expected outcome
Chosen, 3-1

It's been a very active and very exciting season in Division 3, a lot of internal prac games have been going on as well, maybe at times a bit too much prac. However, apart from Southern Smoke, all other top8 teams got to play all of their matches! I can't predict who will be the winner of this division as all teams seem very close, and unlike previous seasons in Division 3, there have been no single team dominating. I expect too see some upsets even in the quarterfinals.

Psy vs Southern Smoke

The hungarian members of the former Comfortably Numb team joined together as Psy for this season, and like in EQL10 they finished first in the division without much trouble. Now with their starplayer Smoke, they are are strong contender for the Division 3 title.

Southern Smoke
American Southern Smoke is probably the weakest team in Division 3, mainly build up of NetQuake players. Their lack of QW TDM knowledge and their high ping doesn't leave them with much of a chance in this matchup.

I see no chances for Southern Smoke, and honestly I doubt we will even see this game getting played. I think Southern Smoke lost interest in QW, due to their early beatings in the group stage. If we do get to see a match, it will be an easy victory for Psy.

Expected lineups
Psy: akken, maniac, Smoke, void
Southern Smoke: Abdiel, Foxhead, J0ker, Splinter

Previous encounter
2-0 (dm3: 275-4, dm2: 438-(-)8)

Expected outcome
Psy, 3-0

Paras vs Fallen Angels

The all finnish side, Paras have taken in some big wins during the season, their starplayers are Domin and feari, the latter havn't been as active, but I'm sure we get to see him in action during the playoffs. Paras stand good chances, they usually prac a lot and have a solid teamplay.

Fallen Angels
Fallen Angels had quite an unstable lineup last season, that's been sorted out by taking in the russian anupko and the swedish feffe, both players have shown to be a great addition to the team. However problems getting games scheduled during the start of the season, forced the team to take in former member Whimp to get their games played in time for the playoffs.

I'll pick Paras as the favorites for this matchup, if they manage to field both Domin and feari they should be able to do quite some damage on both DM2 and CMT4. Fallen Angels however is dependant on the form of Anupko and especially their starplayer Peppe who's had connection problems the past few weeks. I expect Fallen Angels to take home E1M2 as this is currently their best map. If they manage not to choke under pressure, they might be able to take home DM2 as well. While I see Paras taking DM3 and CMT4 ending with yet another kenya decider on CMT1B.

Expected lineups
Paras: Domin, feari, Panjabi, Heag/ netspider
Fallen Angels: anupko, Peppe, ncp, feffe/ Whimp/ Zalon

Previous encounter
2-0 (e1m2: 226-181, dm2: 188-115)

Expected outcome
Paras, 3-2

Rusty vs CPM.qw

As their clan name indicate this is a team of rusty old players, some would be considered division 2 players, but as the EQL admins discovered, they were a bit more rusty than expected and was moved to division 3 just before the season really kicked off. Now the rust has begun to to come off, and they've have gotten some great results in their recent group matches.

The CPM players have really stepped up this season, beating both machinery and Mob Of Oddballs. Their recent results shows that they have improved quite a bit, and with a bit more practice they should be able to do quite good in future seasons.

Even with the CPM players improving recently, I still can't see them taking the now not so Rusty team of swedes. Rusty's experience on the id maps gives them quite the upperhand here, while CPM's chances are on CMT1B and CMT4 if they are to take a map.

Expected lineups
Rusty: Eggarf, Rille, saint, bagheera/ Heddan
CPM.qw: eThaD, hana, mads, Razor[X], EKSelenc/ Fatola

Previous encounter
2-0 (e1m2: 232-150, cmt4: 172-156)

Expected outcome
Rusty, 3-0

machinery vs Mob Of Oddballs

Except for their upsetting loss to CPM during their group game, machinery have been putting in some solid performances beating all but the season winner. They have quite many active players and tend to prac often, they are however not much for the kenyas.

Mob Of Oddballs
Still without a single map win this season, the Mob Of Oddballs is underperforming a great deal compared to previous seasons. The playoffs is their chance to step up, I doubt it will happen tho, with their inconsistent lineup and their lack of prac it will be hard for them to do much against machinery.

With the current form of Mob Of Oddballs, it's hard to see them putting up much of a resistance against machinery, who have been performing very well this season. Unless the Mob Of Oddballs got something hidden up their sleeves I predict an easy victory for machinery.

Expected lineups
machinery: er, fx, Sniegowy, biborodek/ Bolec/ Chironex
Mob Of Oddballs: Darff, dib, nolik, andro/ buff0x/ burps/ pleurax

Previous encounter
2-0 (dm2: 311-66, e1m2: 250-122)

Expected outcome
machinery, 3-0
2010-11-22, 17:24
Sorry for the wall of text

But good luck to all participating teams!
2010-11-22, 18:04
wow what an update, excellent job zalon
2010-11-22, 18:13
nicely done Zalon! You somehow managed to make my weak preview of div1 look pretty good .
2010-11-22, 20:10
nicely done!
2010-11-22, 20:42
You should get paid for all this job you put into it! And interesting playoffs.
2010-11-22, 21:48
Nice read, GG GL HF to all clans!
2010-11-23, 07:57
Nice read. My predictions for div1 would be exactly the same as rkd's, apart from 3-2 to SD over Sauna. That one is tough to predict, though.
2010-11-23, 09:44
gg zalon!
2010-11-23, 11:23
Slackers-CCCP 3-0
SD-Sauna 3-2
TVS-QK 3-0
Fusion-TKS 3-0

You know where you heard it first!
2010-11-23, 11:28
S-SD 3-2
TVS-QK 3-1
F-TKS 3-1

Just because i wanna see more maps played
2010-11-23, 12:05
Who doesn't?
But that's not what it was about Hooraytio? It was about getting the right results, and clearly you have failed!
2010-11-23, 13:15
Boring if everyone bet on the same result!
2010-11-23, 13:27
SR - CCCP 3-0
S-SD - 2-3
TVS-QK 3-0
F-TKS 3-0
FA - PARAS: 3 - 1
2010-11-23, 13:29
Peppe will bring his A-game in that one Whimp!
2010-11-24, 12:17
I hope so!!!
2010-11-25, 16:56
I'd disagree that Slackers are "probably the most active clan this season and preseason".
If you look over at that stats site, as a rough guide, Paradoks' most recent 250 4on4 games for team "]sr[" date as back to the middle of July (preseason). Whereas by comparison, Medar's has played around 360 4on4 games for team "tks" over the same time period.

Obviously this stat is only looking at specific players from the two clans (I can't find a good way of seeing how many 4on4 games each clan has played without filtering it by player) but it gives a bit of a guideline.
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