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A Tale of Two Teams
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01-22-2015, 10:34 AM #1
Riptide n00b
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Status: Offline Posts:39 Threads:3 Joined:Apr 2014
As a forewarning, don't expect too much new content for the finals portion of these predictions because Fordus honestly covered a lot of what I was already thinking.

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A foreordained, yet amusingly whimsical, finals...

CaDF and V in the finals -- again. Most would have predicted this from the beginning of the league, after the teams were announced (disregarding any major roster changes or if either of these top two clans dropped out of the league). The only chance that this may have been different were if Fordus literally brought TBWA back from the dead, and they all unrusted soundly. Unfortunately neither was the case, thus leaving us with a startling and unforeseen close to the regular season and quarter-finals in the playoffs. I initially thought this would be a boring finals matchup but two huge "upsets" and one lesser one piqued my interest and have sparked new-found enthusiasm in the league for me. I wasn't even planning on being active for the playoffs as I'd honestly lost interest in the league post-regular season.

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Why did I think it would be boring? Because, like SPL 2011, I assumed it would've been another finals played solely in GO. But three major points changed my viewpoint completely:

1. At the end of the regular season, CaDF and V were tied for first seed -- therefore, a tiebreaker match (in a map of the ref's choosing) was to be played. First off I have no idea why GO was picked for a 3vs3 game. I personally think 3vs3 in GO is horrible, and that map should only be played 4vs4. My personal opinion on that aside, V soundly beat CaDF 2-0 -- they looked like they had control of the map for the majority of the game. The point I find more interesting, however, is that V didn't even use Fighter. I'm not sure if he was unavailable at the time or if he chose to sit out due to connection issues, but that makes me ponder how the finals will go if / when Fighter does play because I believe he should start over Genocide. But I'll get into individual player ratings later. I heard that Astrok had a bad game (from a first-hand source), and by the looks of the stats he clearly underperformed. Even if he was performing how he normally should have been, would the outcome have been different? Perhaps slightly, but in my opinion all of V's players have better technical skills than Astrok currently. I believe it would've been the same outcome (or maybe 1-0 instead of 2-0) had Astrok played like he should have. Additionally, tobiashi has not been playing as well as he was earlier in the league due to a lack of interest in the league. Regardless, this "upset", as CaDF had been touted as the clear champions since the inception of the league, was merely the beginning of what I would consider the turning point for my playoffs excitement.

Tie-breaker (GO): http://gladiators.critical-hq.net/match.php?matchID=111

2. In the quarter-finals, V soundly defeated DC 4-0 in GO after Stank and Joy were banned by DC. In the second match, V bans the same two maps and DC picks Challenge. V goes up 2-0 in the first half, and then DC decides to sub out Korrupt (Orlandu) for Dream. Half-way, or three-quarters of the way through the second half, DC caps once to bring it to 2-1. They look like they have a decent chance at tying it late in the second half but get stopped by V and, inevitably, the harsh mistress that is time. Some would argue that DHT had a large role to play in this, but in order to take advantage of DHT you have to be able to out-frag your opponents and I think switching Dream in for Korrupt was the right choice. Unfortunately Korrupt, in this current state of play, just can't keep up with V in terms of technical skills and that was a large reason they lost the first half as badly as they did. But I digress -- despite this V routed DC quite soundly in two games, unlike CaDF...

G1 (GO): http://gladiators.critical-hq.net/match.php?matchID=117

G2 (Challenge): http://gladiators.critical-hq.net/match.php?matchID=118

3. On the other side of the bracket, CaDF faces off against LN. In G1, LN bans GO and Challenge. CaDF, unpredictably (or at least to me), picks Stank of all maps. The one which I believe plays to LN's strengths the most. LN proceeds to beat them 3-2, going up 1-0 in the series. LN was out-fragged and out-damaged slightly, but their heart and tenacity pulled them through to a possibly forfuitous lead against the previously lauded goliaths that are (or were?) CaDF. G2, CaDF makes no bans and LN picks Stank. CaDF narrowly wins 4-3 (the final cap could have gone either) but it seemed like CaDF had begun to snowball throughout this game. They put up superior stats as compared to G1, now appreciably out-fragging and out-damaging LN. G3, LN bans GO and Challenge. Defiantly, almost as if to prove a point, CaDF picks Stank once again and routs LN with relative ease, winning the game 3-1 and coming back from behind to win the series 2-1. Why did CaDF pick Stank time and time again? Why did they not ban Stank and Joy when they had the chance? And I believe those two maps to be their two weakest maps due to the increased dependency on luck and spawns rather than skill. I'm probably completely wrong here, but it's much more fun to envision CaDF doing this in order to flaunt their superiority to LN and prove that they can beat them even on LN's "home turf". A show of force, if you will. Even if they took a loss early on in the series, it just showed that once they get rolling they're hard to stop. For any basketball fans, they kind of remind me of the San Antonio Spurs of the 1999 - 2007 era. They don't put up the fanciest record, or do the flashiest moves, but when it comes to the playoffs they perform admirably and are difficult force to reckon with. But it's most likely that they wanted a good series against LN. I don't really know the reasoning behind it, but anyways.

G1: http://gladiators.critical-hq.net/match.php?matchID=119

G2: http://gladiators.critical-hq.net/match.php?matchID=120

G3: http://gladiators.critical-hq.net/match.php?matchID=121

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So who are favoured? Looking at their head-to-head record, CaDF is 1-2 against V.

1. Week 2 -- 4vs4 GO, 1-0 for CaDF: http://gladiators.critical-hq.net/match.php?matchID=40

Their first encounter. CaDF beat them 1-0 in a classic 4vs4 match in GO, many of which assumed to be a precursor for the finals of the league. But I believe differently. CaDF even had the gall to use Turbo in this match, who is notorious for choking in the close-range despite proclaiming himself to be a CQC / missile expert (see: loss versus RS -- http://gladiators.critical-hq.net/match.php?matchID=32 )!

2. Week 5 -- 3vs3 Challenge, 2-0 for V: http://gladiators.critical-hq.net/match.php?matchID=78

CaDF was forced to field Remag, who is clearly out of his realm in this match. Had they fielded Parrotman, or Astrok (assuming that he was able to play as he should have been, unlike in the tie-breaker match), the outcome would have been vastly different. But alas, the outcome rests and history is written by the victors. V claims this one.

3. Playoff Tie-Breaker -- 3vs3 GO, 2-0 for V: http://gladiators.critical-hq.net/match.php?matchID=111

Already spoke about this one...Astrok didn't play up to par, and tobiashi is a mere husk of his former self earlier in the season.


To be quite honest, I'm torn. In all three games CaDF didn't show their top lineup (who I believe is Sebek, Puffball, Parrotman, and then Astrok for 4vs4) but that isn't an excuse and I don't want to take anything away from V who also didn't use their top lineup, in my earnest opinion, in the latter two games (who I believe is Faur, Terror, Fighter, and then Genocide for 4vs4).

Next, we have to look at each team's performance in the semi-finals. I believe LN and DC to be relatively close in terms of skill, though I'm not sure which team would have the overall edge.

CaDF flaunted their dominance by playing all three games on their, in my opinion, weakest map against LN and won the series 2-1 after having a slow start.

V and DC mutually banned and picked the maps which suited them best, and V swept DC judiciously.

Which is more impressive?

The slow snowball by CaDF on LN's "home turf", which eventually trampled LN's faint and precipitous hopes of a finals appearance? Or V's explosive dynamic on their usual stomping grounds, which slowed down slightly in G2 against DC when they came up against Dream and DHT?

If I may be allowed another basketball analogy: to me, V is similar to the Phoenix Suns of the same era -- extremely quick, explosive, damaging, and fun to watch, but they burn out in endurance matches (as was the case in actual Spurs vs Suns games during those years, for the most part). The Suns usually fell short in the playoffs during that era, and I can foresee this happening to V after witnessing them in G2 against DC (as well as their track record in recent leagues). But perhaps I'm wrong and they'll shock me with a new-found mental fortitude, steadfast tenacity, and a sheer will to win which will end up toppling the behemoths that we call CaDF.

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I'm not going to bother covering the players individually as Fordus did a really good job on that (though I disagree slightly with some rankings), but I will add that I believe Parrot and Astrok are lacking in terms of consistency with their technical skills when compared to V's players. Sure, they can both shoot spreads and split just as well as the top players, but they're more inconsistent about it. I've always found this about them ever since I started to pay attention to the game and got decent on Spark. Like Fordus so eloquently mentioned, CaDF occupies the top and bottom tiers of the rankings while V claims the middle tier with their overall equal skill.

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And all of this brings me to my conclusion: who is favoured? Initially, before I began writing this and after reading Fordus' prediction, my predilection was in agreement with Fordus. But now, after having analyzed this myself quite heavily, I believe that CaDF will end up winning it. It will be a struggle, no doubt. V has matured and honed their skills since the preceding predestined clash between these two great teams (SPL 2011), and have proven that they are not to be taken lightly by anybody. Meanwhile, the famed Deadeye Fighters have consequently grown old and moved on after having lost the taste for accolades due to the bittersweet taste of defeat at the hands of TM and TBWA in SPL 2009 and 2010, respectively. Why bittersweet, you ask? Because, soon after each respective victory, both triumphant teams left the game completely -- thus crowning CaDF by default as the last remaining colossus from an era long past. To be crowned as the best merely because the true champions departed isn't necessarily something to be proud of...no, it is quite the opposite in fact. Without the likes of Dzaaneez, Techman, and Phusi0n, how will they fare against the up-and-coming V?

I believe in CaDF.

Hope springs eternal.

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On a less melodramatic note, LET THE HYPE BEGIN! The point of this post was to build up a bit of hype and get some content on the forums since it's been lacking once the league took a break for Christmas and Bone stopped rolling out his amazing content. I'm actually kind of excited for this series due to the recent upsets and performances of both teams. Also the map choices. I'm wondering whether CaDF will pick seriously or if they will pick and ban maps haphazardly. I'm also interested to see if V will follow suit and play into CaDF's game, or if they will steel their resolve and go in for the jugular kill (i.e. pick their "home turf" maps and ignore CaDF's mind games with LN).

We will have to see.

65:55:30 until the series begins.

01-23-2015, 05:01 PM #2
Faur Still n00b
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Status: Offline Posts:180 Threads:17 Joined:Apr 2014
Good read thx radar.






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