Playoff Predictions: ESEA

The top four teams from the regular season of ESEA-I are due to begin the playoffs soon. The reigning world champions Froyotech have to be the favourites after they continued their long reign of terror in their region this season. After ESA Rewind, this ranking system saw Froyotech as the best team in the world by a margin of about 30 points over SE7EN. Since then, they’ve lost Paddie, moved B4nny back onto pocket to replace him, opening up a scout slot for Arekk. At around the same time, crucially, the great Kaptain returned as SE7EN’s pocket soldier. Since those events, the automated rankings have been reluctant to place Froyotech in front of SE7EN again.

While their ESEA-I season has been as clean as a whistle, Froyotech’s ventures outside ESEA’s borders resulted in one team proving that Froyo are not in fact bullet proof – EVL Gaming. It was them, not Froyotech, who won TeamFortressTV’s New Maps Cup. Granted, Froyotech were running Shamoo instead of Freestate in that tournament, and the unfamiliar battlefields may also have had an effect. Nevertheless, EVL have proved that they still wield enough spirit and Ascent DNA to challenge the world champions, and these rankings believe that they have the most capable scout combo and demoman in the world. Despite this, none of their three efforts against Froyotech in ESEA’s regular season led to victory.

Jamal E-Sports, spiritual successor to the Bird Noises of the past, have looked rock solid in their third-place status. They’ve not beaten EVL Gaming all season, and neither have they been beaten by fourth-place Six Apes (who themselves were never beaten by fifth-place Mario Party 4, who paradoxically were able to beat Jamal E-Sports once).

  • Froyotech: Arekk ● Freestate ● B4nny ● Blaze ● Habib ● Nursey
  • EVL Gaming: Corsa ● Yomps ● Rando ● Garbuglio ● Bdonski ● Cookiejake
  • Jamal E-Sports: Slemnish ● Highfive ● Showstopper ● Botmode ● Sighguy ● Phorofor
  • Six ApesShamoo ● Saam ● Marmaduke ● Marmaloo ● Jarrett ● Bear

Round 1

Froyotech vs. Six Apes

When these teams first met in Week 1 of the regular season, it was in fact Six Apes who drew first blood, winning the first round in their match against Froyotech on Metalworks. The system used by TF2Metrics has often failed to do Six Apes justice, mostly because Jarrett and Bear have somehow managed to go the whole season with just a single gilding received between them (it went to Bear in a match against Fishy Fishes). Many factors will have influenced this, including bad luck, Freestate syndrome, and the fact that the three lower-level teams folded before many gildings could be harvested from them.

Because of this, the machine is probably overly pessimistic regarding Six Apes’ chances against Froyotech. It believes Froyotech ought to be able to win ten rounds for every one that Six Apes wins. Considering this is a best of three with a five-round score limit, that means it expects Six Apes to win one round at most in a two-map-long match.

Projection: Froyotech 4.5 – 0.5 Six Apes

EVL Gaming vs. Jamal E-Sports

Every time these teams met in the regular season it was EVL who came out on top, and the machine doesn’t expect to see that trend end come playoffs. It expects EVL to take a convincing victory, but believes Jamal E-Sports should be able to take a few rounds off of their opponents in the process.

If this prediction comes true, Jamal E-Sports would be sent to the Lower Bracket and EVL Gaming would head to the Upper Bracket to face their arch nemeses.

Projection: EVL Gaming 3.5 – 1.5 Jamal E-Sports

Upper Bracket Final

EVL Gaming vs. Froyotech

If the above predictions bear fruit, we’d next see the two titans clash. When these teams first locked horns this season on Viaduct, Froyotech won a close victory with four rounds to EVL’s three. A couple of weeks later, Froyotech reaffirmed their superiority with a 5-1 victory on Granary. In their third and most recent engagement, the score gap grew even further to 5-0 on Sunshine.

The rankings have faith in EVL yet, though. It believes they under-performed in the latter two meetings and that the Viaduct match gave a better representation of what ought to happen should both teams compete at their best. Whether it’s feasible or not, it expects to see EVL offer a tougher fight this time around. It still believes Froyo should beat them, but EVL could stand a chance.

Projection: EVL Gaming 2.2 – 2.8 Froyotech

Lower Bracket Round 1

Six Apes vs. Jamal E-Sports

In the Lower Bracket, Six Apes are expected to face Jamal E-Sports. This is another situation where the recent records point to a likely victor, as Six Apes haven’t yet been able to best Jamal E-Sports. The machine expects a continuation of that trend and, if the predictions so far come true, this match would mark the end of Six Apes’ campaign. Based on the numbers below, a scoreline of something like 5-3 is expected on average across all maps.

Projection: Six Apes 1.8 – 3.2 Jamal E-Sports

Lower Bracket Final

Jamal E-Sports vs. EVL Gaming

Having lost to Froyotech, this version of events sees EVL facing down Jamal E-Sports for a second time in the Lower Bracket Final. Since the automated predictions here are all based on the same data pool, the only conclusion the machine can offer is the same it gave for these teams’ opening match – a solid EVL victory, knocking Jamal E-Sports out of the tournament.

Projection: Jamal E-Sports 1.5 – 3.5 EVL Gaming

Grand Final

EVL Gaming vs. Froyotech

And this is another repeat, with the same expected outcome. In truth, all the matches to have occurred in the playoffs before this point will inevitably have led to some deviation in the stats that would affect these results forecasts. Based on the data available now, though, Froyotech are favoured. Even though the machine has faith in EVL (perhaps too much), it expects Froyotech to ultimately take yet another ESEA-I victory. It could be a closely-fought one, though.

Projection: EVL Gaming 2.2 – 2.8 Froyotech

I don’t think these predictions offer anything revolutionary. Going by recent results, it might be sensible to assume that Froyotech will beat EVL to a greater degree than the machine expects. In terms of deviation from the predicted series of events above, a Six Apes victory over Jamal E-Sports might not be out of the question, but it would be brave to bet against a Grand Final that features both EVL and Froyo.


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