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Week 3 Predictions!
Hi there! The usual predictions are here, despite being a little late this week.
This week we've got both TrC and me writing about all the three remaining matches, so you'll get some alternative viewpoints for each thriller.
2Balls - Rambos
2Balls have been a weird one so far. They're at 7-1 in rounds right now, but they haven't faced any top contenders so far. The 8 rounds have included some excellent individual performances (Sublime pulling off a 2skulk-lerk combo on Ecl marines against 2Ram to name one), but also a lot of surprisingly weak plays by a team consisting mostly of seasoned top tier players. Especially their marine rounds have had a lot of situations where they've been in a bad shape after early game, only to shift gears to midgame and come back in a devastating manner.
Rambos have been convincing so far. Just as the 2Ballers, they haven't been properly tested yet in the league matches, but the Rambos made their 2Ram match look easy as it gets. Sonder was all over the place with his meds as long as the enemy left nodes alone for a while and the rest of the squad made great use of such extended health pool. On aliens they were just solid, simply overcoming the opposition by a safe margin through standard play.
Based only on ENSL matches, I'll have to give Rambos the advantage. They seem to be the better organised team right now, both on marines and aliens. 2Balls need to pick up their marine game, the early season comeback routine just won't work against a team of Rambo calibre.
My pred is 3 - 1 for the Rambos. Based on early season, 2Balls might have hard time taking marines. That leaves Rambos with a 2-0 opportunity on Veil.
Stray Dogs - 2Ram
Stray Dogs are looking stronger than you might think from the mediocore 3-5 round difference. Their alien game is looking good and the marines should get a lot better as soon as Syntax of Limbo gets a few more games trapped in the CC. Against 2Balls SD took the origin aliens, but they also had an excellent early game on veil aliens, keeping both nodes up all the way to the 3 minute mark, being 8-8 in frags after the first few clashes.
2Ram is another team that could have taken some extra rounds if they managed to carry their alien momentum past the early game. So far they've lacked the last bit of scouting and decisionmaking on aliens. On marines they aren't looking as sharp. Despite some decent aiming, they seem to have trouble responding into game events here and there (For example going no shotguns at all against 2 lerk strat) and the rounds end up falling apart more often than not. I still believe they've got the potential it takes to win those touhger games, but they really need to start working on the gameplay issues they've got.
Once again, based on early season games only, I'll give SD the advantage. They seem to have the even ground on individual skills and upper hand on strategy and teamwork. The biggest question is whether SD can take those marine rounds. This week Veil might be a good place to look for that win. You still can't count 2Ram out in any way. They've got the skill to take any round as long as they nail the strategy and teamwork this time.
My pred is 3-1 for SD, taking both rounds on Veil. Still, I wouldn't be surprised at all if it turned out to be a 2-2 alien tie as both teams have been looking better on aliens so far.
Take Over - Newstyled
Take Over is still the season favourite in my books. Their teamwork is in great shape and individual skills more than enough to match their rivals. On marines s4, Franky and Fana provide more than enough aiming magic and aliens Franky's fading has been consistent and s4's skulking and movement are totally off the charts. All in all, it's difficult to point out anything where Take Over might crumble in their gameplay right now.
Newstyled's present shape is unknown to me. They did a decent job against the rather disorganised PNH a few weeks ago, but the rest of the division isn't going to be such easy bites and even PNH is capable of much tougher opposition. As for the individuals, Multivac is the obvious carrymode player, but also Nerdish has shown some decent marinework. Headjunkie's commanding didn't look all that bad either, although he got away with some slight gambles against PNH. Sanchezz' lerking also did some damage, but the real results will be seen once he gets opposition from tougher teams.
Take Over still being in decent shape, it's difficult to give Newstyled any rounds from this one. Still, it's Orbital this week, so the upsets are more than possible. Without any of them happening, it's a comfortable 4-0 for tO.
2BALLS vs RAMBOS
RAMBOS a small team with a nice invidual activity, very solid lineup, sonder as a comm and so far no major problems. They will be facing hardest opponent in their group this week and we should keep really good eye on Almaty and wltrs as their game will play an important role.
2BALLS too opened season well winning both of their matches but losing one round to the SD's showed that their play wasnt that perfected. Still despite the issues they are eager to improve and adding Tane rage to doogie verbal spam I bet gaming will be very intense to allow such mistakes happening again.
This match is most likely going to decide whos going against "overpowered" take over so both teams are more than willing to win this. This weeks map orbital gives chance at that as it aint played that much and is very versatile. 3-1 for either side is possible but I believe in boring tie.
A 2-2 tie.
Stray Dogs vs 2RAM
Stray Dogs did not get their activity going this week but thanks to "new" member Doctor they just might get enough players for the ensl. More importantly Doctor is capable of comming the very thing that SD lacked in previous matches however without any activity problems bound to occur. SD play wasnt that bad compared to that they had barely played pcws together and one of the reasons for this was Dogo's leadership (without mic!!) quelling any urge to rage.
2RAM activity is mystery to me once again, their first week opponent 2BALLS was just too strong for them but this week is different as their chances to get rounds are much higher. DC tactics wouldnt be surprising as they have proofed to be extremely effective in lower tier games.
Both teams wants this game bad as it could very well define who drops from the tier2 semifinals. I will have to give Stray dogs the advance here but 2-2 wouldnt surprise. Lets ignore the odds again and go for 4-0 Stray dogs
4-0 for Stray Dogs.
Take Over vs NewStyleD Return
Take over is most likely the number one team in this season as they have dominated the second and third best teams more than they really should have to. Take over has had few changes since the last season most notable are the additions enigmatic and Fana both of them will surely bring some insight how to actually play this game. If I had to pick one flaw in this team it would be the commanders unless enigmatic jumps into the chair.
Lovely drama engulfed around this team last season despite that they managed to pull the act to together and are here fighting for the second spot for semi-finals. Their season started well although they have yet to face the real enemys I must say they cannot be underestimated. Few quite well known names in the team but I have no idea about their currect level of activity. Still team synergy is one thing that might make the difference in the upcoming challenges.
Take Over has the higher skill here and I find it hard for them to lose any round unless major commander mistakes or lifeform flashes are made. Newstyled wants these points more but it wont be enough this time.
4-0 to Take Over.