The Ozfortress Premiership playoffs are scheduled to begin within hours! Aussies are funky folk so they use a subtly different playoff structure to Asiafortress (and others) with their Page system. For people like me who never really noticed before, the two top and two bottom teams from the group stage’s top four will play eachother – the winner of the former goes straight to the final and the loser of the latter will be eliminated. Next, the other two teams play eachother, and the loser is eliminated, and the winner progresses to the final, which comes next. That means we’re in for a total of four matches.
The rosters of these teams are, by and large, stable. Mad Men have been a little changeable of late with their regular demoman, Moop, missing a couple of matches. At least one of these was due to serving a penalty, I believe. V4na has been his replacement. I’ll be assuming that Moop will return for the playoffs. Even if V4na turns out to be the actual sixth member of the team it won’t matter much because he and Moop are ranked quite similarly.
- No Safeword: Geoh ● Elmo ● Yewl ● Laan ● Enrith ● Johno
- Xenophobiaphobia: Mac ● Gramps ● Emgee ● Shifta ● Paulsen ● Muppet
- Mad Men: Ohai ● Ben ● Hertz ● Gnat ● Moop ● Lock
- Damage Inc.: Spj ● Micolash ● Dreams ● Feyn ● Crud ● Halfwrong
Upper Page Round 1
No Safeword vs. Xenophobiaphobia
The first match, scheduled today, is between the two highest-scoring teams from the group stage. According to the automated Rankings, five of Australia’s top six current players are on No Safeword. The only chink in the armour it sees is Laan, the roamer, ranked miles away down in 282nd.
If Xenophobiaphobia have a star player, it has to be Paulsen – a world-class demoman who has gone toe-to-toe with the best in the world multiple times now. He’s spent the last few weeks back on that class after previously playing scout. The team’s demoman from back then, Modus, hasn’t made an appearance since Week 4.
No Safeword’s pedigree hasn’t gone unnoticed by the projection machine, and it significantly favours them in this match-up and expects them to win with a general score across all maps along the lines of 4-1.
Projection: No Safeword 4.0 – 1.0 Xenophobiaphobia
Lower Page Round 1
Mad Men vs. Damage Inc.
The rankings see Mad Men as Australia’s second-best team, and here they’re facing what what it think is the region’s sixth-best. However, this system has great adoration for Damage Inc.’s demoman, Crud, who it ranks more highly than Mad Men’s Moop. Ranked equally with Crud is Ohai, the highest on Mad Men.
Overall, the projection machine expects a closer match than the first Upper Page round, but fancies Mad Men’s chances. This would result in Damage Inc. being eliminated from contention.
Projection: Mad Men 3.0 – 2.0 Damage Inc.
Upper Page Round 2
Xenophobiaphobia vs. Mad Men
If the predicted results above turn out to be true, the third game will feature Xenophobiaphobia and Mad Men. The machine thinks this could be the closest match yet. With the rosters listed above, it believes that Mad Man are more likely to get the better of their opponents (albeit not by an especially big margin), despite generally looking slightly inferior in the regular season.
Projection: Xenophobiaphobia 2.1 – 2.9 Mad Men
Mad Men vs. No Safeword
No Safeword’s presence in the final seems almost unavoidable, and the machine thinks they’ll ultimately be joined by Mad Men. It expects Mad Men to offer a slightly closer contest than Xenophobiaphobia did, but in the end it sees No Safeword taking a relatively easy win, probably winning around three times as many rounds in total as their opponents.
Projection: Mad Men 1.3 – 3.7 No Safeword
In terms of fourth and first place, I expect many would agree that Damage Inc. and No Safeword respectively are pretty safe bets. I think the biggest point of contention here is whether or not Mad Men really are ahead of Xenophobiaphobia. It was the latter who scored more points in the regular season, and when the two teams came to blows in Week 6 it was also they who took a close victory. In that particular match, Mad Men were fielding V4na on demo in Moop’s place. If Mad Men ultimately beat Xenophobiaphobia in the playoffs, it could well be considered an upset.