Final Preds!

Bacillus' Div 1 Final Predictions!

Ok, we have finally got to the final stage of ENSL Season 12. Saunamen and The Internet Superheroes will face each other in the thrilling finals. I think we've got the two best overall teams in the league and there should be some very interesting rounds coming up.

The Sauna - ISh match in regular season was a big upset as ISh pulled off a 3 - 1 and left the reigning champions defeated. I took another look at the match and picked up a few pointers that HLTV crowd might want to keep an eye.

Lerks were absolutely crucial. Both teams were doing fine on their early alien rounds, but lost lerks messed up one round from both teams. Sauna was about to keep all their nodes up on Veil, but a lost lerk turned the 2nd hive into ISh controlled siege zone. ISh on the other hand lost lerk on Metal and never recovered the map control. On the deciding round of Metal Saunamen might have been able to hold their 3rd hive with lerk support, but without any spore harass ISh was able to outlast and siege the 3rd Sauna hive. Seems that both teams really push the advantage once a lerk dies.

The finalists have got very decent lerks. Nade, Enigmatic and Sheep are all capable of carrying the early alien rounds even against top teams. It's all about the shape of the day when it comes to the very best lerk in the finals. ISh added Sheep late on the season and he hasn't been playing on any HLTV games recently. Whether the period of inactivity affects his performance remains to be seen.

Fading is always huge. On the regular season Sauna-ISh match Metal round Sauna lost 2 fades unnecessarily during the siege of 3rd hive and it ended up costing them the round. During the whole season Tane has been a risky pick for the Sauna main fade. He understands the game well and does the necessary damage, but then again he also tends to blink into one SG too many. On a good day he is as good as anyone, but a flash fade against ISh decides the round more often than not. ISh on the other hand has got GibbZ fading. He has been really consistent and effective all season and gets my vote for the top Euro fade right now. On the other hand ISh has been lacking an experienced secondary fade. Enocnad is a good fade, but he is one of the least experienced players in the finals. Whether that plays a role in the Finals is another thing of course. ISh might also use Green as a fade. His status is similar to Sheep's: He has got the experience and skills, but the recent period of inactivity is always a risk.

Both teams had impressive skulkwork on their regular season match. Saunamen managed to hold both of their nodes on Veil and on Metal they stalled marine progress long enough to get quick recap on lost nodes. ISh on the other hand took the upper hand on the Veil round by a nicely timed base rush and later on secured the victory by a nice combination of skulk supported fading. I think Sauna had a little stronger early skulking on that match, but later on ISh seems to even the game up a bit by the synergy with fades.

On marines it depends a lot on how ISh plays. They have had horribly inconsistent marine performances varying from 2-0'ing Sauna's alien to losing both marine rounds to iPwn and slipping a round of standard play to TTS. Saunamen on the other hand have got the most solid marine play of all teams. Peach keeps the play organised and his decisions are the best in the league. Nevertheless, the regular season ISh match proved that even he is still vulnerable to a well timed baserush.

When it comes to individual level both teams have got some excellent marines. ISh's core of Sprogga marines is still devastating. GibbZ has been playing excellent marine rounds all season long and Enigmatic has dominated a few rounds. Sheep and Green have also proven themselves as capable marines, but the period of inactivity is still there. Saunamen are able to even the marine skill with top skilled individuals like Tane, Zharp and Nade. The recent addition of Kuitmo doesn't hurt either. The shotgunners will most likely be Enigmatic/Green for ISh and Zharp/Tane for Sauna.


Taking another look at the HLTV demos left me even more uncertain than before. I felt Saunamen were a little ahead in standard 1-hive play that day, but ISh managed to pull off some crucial lifeform kills and baserushes and did a great job on pushing the gained advantage to the maximium. Now that Sheep, Green and Kuitmo have been added in the mix, it's really difficult to make any serious prediction. I feel that the championship is going to be decided by Sauna's lifeform play and ISh's ability to match the Sauna's alien by doing a few good and stable marine performances. Peach can't afford to give ISh too many points from his comm rounds. Tane and Enigmatic have to get their A-game back on tracks.

My prediction is that ISh can take this 3-1 on the first two maps, but if it goes any longer Sauna takes the win 4-2 with slightly more effective standard play. Depending on today's performance, Sheep and Green might be ISh's biggest advantages or disadvantages.

Bacillus' Div 2 Final Predictions!

Here's a brief writeup on the div 2 Finals too! My knowledge about the div2 is even weaker than it is with div1, so feel free to add some predictions to the comments :).

Kingclub managed to fight their way into the finals against the Baconmen with a convincing 4-0 against the Korean team Demonic Soul. Most of the rounds were quite interesting and the finals should be well worth watching.

Both BM and Kingclub have got a plenty of experience in their lineups. You can clearly see the effect on the macro scale gameplay as the teams spread out and control the res and map very efficently. This means that there will be a plenty of node fights and possibly longer endgame plays involved. All in all every round has some potential to turn out to a thriller.

Although I've seen quite little from the teams this season, I'll try to say a few words from what I've seen them do in the game.

Kingclub is an effective bunch of oldschool players. Their huge roster leaves a lot open, but so far I've seen players like Bl1tz and Sad performing well. The K^ marine rounds involve a lot of early AAs and proto tech. Most of their victories against the higher end div 2 teams have been big economy early proto games where they can keep the pressure with excellent LMG aim while a minimal force caps the map and secures res for jetpacks, ha and/or sieges. On aliens they are heavily struggling with the ping disadvantage and they have been trying stuff like baserushing and DCs against the tougher marine opponents.

BM has got a plenty of capable div 1 level players that allow them to gain advantage especially in the early game. Justme is an excellent comm and his decisions and reactions have been the key to BM's success. Xythe, Micke and Berglund provide excellent support for him with their excellent aim. When it comes to marine strategy, you can expect to see some multiple SG node pushes and well rounded pressure/capper play. On aliens they lack the very top notch carry lifeforms, but Berglund's lerking and Baboon's fading seem to be quite reliable reliable. Especially Berglund seems to be doing quite a bit of damage with lerk whenever the oppositing marine play gets too spread out. S4 has improved a lot during the season and I think he might do surprisingly well in the finals.

Last time we saw these two teams playing it was a marine tie. I felt that K^ was further away from taking alien rounds on the high ping servers, so I think I'll call this 4-2 for BM. On US server the advantage goes to K^, so in case of a server switch you can reverse the score into Kingclub's favour.

Bacillus on 19 April 09 11:32



Blank frG | TROLLS

Nice predictions, although i am not sure if Green is really playing ? Havent seen him play this week.

19 April 2009, 16:59


Blank Bacillus | Quaxy

You're probably right. My information is mostly based on the ENSL site rosters, HLTV demos and some random discussions with CLs, so I'm not always up to date with the actual active players and top lineups.

Any feedback and corrections are appreciated. I go through 12+ HLTV rounds each week and write these in a bit of hurry sometimes, so I definitely miss and forget a lot of stuff that deserves mentioning.

19 April 2009, 17:26


Blank jiriki | old people

Great preds, its nice you looked up the demos to analyze the game. Kudos for that. Truly worthy of your pred icon.

19 April 2009, 17:54


Blank GibbZ | 9L

Yeah GreeNs not playing. He went back to uni.

Sheep should be however!

It's a pity because, although I don't think GreeN got his aim back while he was back he was still a great player to have on marines being able to help with gaylien comms and gamesense where some of our less experienced players are lacking.

19 April 2009, 18:05


Blank GibbZ | 9L

oh yea try and beat me :)

19 April 2009, 20:00


Blank tjo

Actually nice predictions... a lot of thought went into this. I'm happy the mandatory "key players colon" bit is gone!

19 April 2009, 21:12


Blank Danny | Patphat

Good job Bac, enjoyed reading this :)

19 April 2009, 21:58


Blank sublime | Spastic Colon


19 April 2009, 22:08


Blank Peacham | Saunamen

or we just win it 4-0

19 April 2009, 23:51


Blank Arj | Ant

Very good preds thanks

20 April 2009, 17:32


Blank Bacillus | Quaxy

To be honest I felt like I didn't get anything that interesting to these preds. I'd like to analyze the player performances and strategies a bit more, but it is difficult when half of the matches are clear 4-0's or otherwise imbalanced by ping or lineup quality.

I'll try to keep a bit more contact to the CLs in the future so that I know their thoughts of the best performances and game deciding factors.

20 April 2009, 20:52


Blank Arj | Ant

Sounding like a professional reporter Bac :D

21 April 2009, 16:18


Blank sublime | Spastic Colon

Sounding like a massive ballsack Arj :D

21 April 2009, 23:43

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