I wrote this while bored of actually playing video games. If you don't follow competitive Team Fortress 2, I recommend you skip this one. It gets very technical and has absurd amounts of TF2 jargon.
Predicted to be one of the best matches of the season, the rankings on Saloon were heavily favouring Cute Beast, but the call was that both teams were equally experienced and evenly matched.
The write-up for the match can be viewed here.
It is important note however, that both teams had not scrimmed for more than a week due to real life commitments on either side. Thus, the epic standoff between the two teams devolved somewhat.
Play By Play
The first round was hard fought, repeatedly bouncing from last to last, going for a good 12 minutes before Cute Beast finally managed to take the first point. However, Pingu found a sudden burst of momentum and immediately took the next two rounds in 3 minutes, rolling Cute Beast from middle to last twice in a row.
While the next two rounds were more hard fought, it appeared to be futile. The coordination demonstrated by Pingu was almost mechanical, disassembling any attempts by Cute Beast to push out and ruthlessly seizing the slightest openings to make progress. The only thing keeping Cute Beast in the game at that point was Flower, whose sniping halted Pingu in their tracks multiple times (Flower hitting the most ridiculous headshot on And between Shocky’s legs was the highlight of the match).
Pingu picked up the next two rounds, making the score 4 – 1. The clock was winding down for Cute Beast, and in a last ditch effort, the Chinese played a super aggressive mid, jumping both soldiers in deep. It worked, wiping Pingu and capping last in a good 1 minute 30 seconds.
The score was 4 – 2 and Cute Beast had only 5 minutes left.
Cute Beast won the next mid and took second almost instantaneously, having full knowledge that every second was exponentially increasing in importance. They readied their last push, and ubered in through shutter. However, a single moment of disorganisation meant that not everyone was in at last, and Pingu had kited the uber too well. The post-uber fight decimated any hope that Cute Beast had of tying up the game, and the map declined into stats padding, the score remaining 4 – 2 to Pingu.
The second map was Sunshine, rarely seen in Asian pugs and scrims. Cute Beast had to win in order to push for a third tie breaker map.
But Pingu’s momentum had carried over from Process. They beat Cute Beast at the first mid, a scene that would become extremely familiar in the following 16 minutes. In fact, from start to finish it seemed as though there was little to no hope for Cute Beast. The first round was the longest, lasting a good 6 minutes before Pingu were able to pick an overextending player and complete the last push.
The remaining time was just a sad mess. Cute Beast were unable to win a single mid and their players were constantly caught out of position. One moment would stand out to many, whereby Hysteria and Shad0w were the only ones alive after Cute Beast had successfully completed a four man sacrifice for And. Shortly after, Hysteria jumped in afterward for seemingly no reason, leaving his medic to fend for himself (Shad0w eventually dying in the following chase), denoting a probable lack in communication and overall collapse in cohesion.
It was an excruciating 16 minutes for the 73% that had bet on MC7’s favourites. Pingu emerged victorious, taking the map 5 – 0 and moving on to the Grand Finals. Now, Cute Beast has to defeat Kusoyotech in order to obtain another shot at taking down their greatest rivals…
The logs for the matches can be viewed below.
Process was dominantly a scout’s game, with the highest DPM coming out from both Flower and Teejay: only 9 damage apart from each other.
What’s significant here is how little 10 did for Cute Beast. Arguably, he did more damage than tommy, but when you have a reputation to keep and teammates to carry (i.e. Hysteria), the damage numbers weigh more. What’s more, tommy had a KA/D of 3.3, the highest in the server. While he wasn’t outputting damage per se, he was doing fantastic in the role assigned him.
In addition to this, Fury was unable to put out the damage that he normally could. A floundering 229 DPM compares poorly to his usual performance, especially considering that he took 26% of the heals from his medic.
With Flower top damaging and top fragging on the server whilst sitting with the least healing on his team, could he have potentially done more?
All in all, the conclusion is that because two of Cute Beast’s star players were not performing to standard, the entire team collapsed around them. While Flower and RLE (who was switched to roamer from medic before the match started) were able to pull their weight impressively, it wasn’t enough to make up for the fact that the remaining fragging classes scored under 250DPM.
As opposed to this, Pingu had an almost textbook game with better slightly better and spread out damage, and with 22% healing across each of the three core classes.
All in all though, the logs don’t really demonstrate how well Pingu was playing together. Much of their victory on process should be attributed to both their teamwork and the fact that many of Cute Beast’s players kept getting caught making plays for the medic.
There isn’t much to be said about Sunshine, considering it was a 5 – 0 victory for Pingu. Three things of note were: Fury did considerably better, getting 315 DPM; Flower spent more time as sniper than as scout; Teejay was out-damaged by Tommy even though tommy got less healing, which is not something just anyone can say.
All in all, Cute Beast was shredded on Sunshine, a defeat that they’ll have to keep in mind while facing off against Kusoyotech.
Cute Beast play a DM-centric style, and it collapsed mainly because Pingu played the team game much better- and that a DM-centric playstyles only function when each player is in shape and performing as expected on the day itself. Ultimately, with rusty rockets and dusty scatterguns, Cute Beast were unable to beat their more cohesive opponents.