This is the first run for my revised projection machine, which now predicts match scores based directly on the teams’ scores in the Rankings. What exactly this new machine is and why it exists is explained here.
Jasmine Tea vs. Dog the Boys
Due to take place today, this is the first match of the new season, opening a week that should see eight official matches in Australia and Europe.
I’ve given the projection machine the anticipated rosters of these two teams and it doesn’t expect this season opener to be remotely close. It knows very little about Dog the Boys and gives them basically no chance of winning a round. If they can avoid being completely rolled by Jasmine Tea, that might qualify as a significant success.
Projection: Jasmine Tea 5.0 – 0.0 Dog the Boys
No Safeword vs. Jamane
This one’s currently scheduled for Tuesday. The new iteration of No Safeword, which features a mix of players that last season were spread among this team and Mad Men, is well appreciated by this Ranking system. Until Jasmine Tea can prove their potency, it is No Safeword that it sees as the best team in Australia.
Jamane, meanwhile, features some unknown quanitities. The players here that are known to the Rankings, meanwhile, aren’t as highly-rated as those on No Safeword by this system. This is why a dominant No Safeword victory is expected here.
Projection: No Safeword 4.8 – 0.2 Jamane
Damage Inc. vs. Nature Walk
It looks like neither of these teams have faced a major roster shuffle since last season, so it might be easy to mistake what we’ll see here for a Season 18 match. This apparent stability helps the projection machine to produce a more informed opinion on how this match might go down.
This could be one of the closest matches of the upcoming week, with the machine expecting a narrow Nature Walk victory. It leaves plenty of room for Damage Inc. to win some rounds, but expects them to accumulate fewer in total than their opponents. They could be expected win one of the two maps with odds like this.
Projection: Damage Inc. 2.2 – 2.8 Nature Walk
Xenophobiaphobia vs. Right Wing Death Squad
Xenophobiaphobia is the team that came third in Season 18 of Ozfortress. Back then they had Paulsen on demo, but he’s since moved on to Jasmine Tea. The remnants left behind have formed what looks like a perfectly solid team, but the Rankings aren’t super enthused about any of them besides Mac.
Right Wing Death Squad, meanwhile, features talent from across Ozfortress and AsiaFortress. Four team members made playoffs in their region last season (two in Asia, two in Australia). The other two members of the team are unknown to this Ranking system. The quality of the talent here that the machine does recognise is enough for it to favour them in this engagement.
Projection: Xenophobiaphobia 1.9 – 3.1 Right Wing Death Squad
LEGO vs. Nunya
This system thinks LEGO could be a playoffs-contending team this season. Nunya, meanwhile, are expected to be fighting for scraps at the bottom of the table. Nevertheless, this LEGO roster is still somewhat unproven and may still be feeling quite unsteady, and Nunya may have the strength to knock them off-balance.
Assuming all things are equal, and both teams show their proper potential in this match, the machine thinks LEGO will win it pretty comfortably and shouldn’t have too much trouble securing six points. If Nunya can win a good number of rounds and perhaps force a golden cap, they’ll have done well.
Projection: LEGO 3.7 – 1.3 Nunya
Arctic Foxes vs. SE7EN
When these teams met recently in the Faceit Series, we were shown that SE7EN, the latest iteration in a long line of very strong European rosters, are in fact human and are not unbeatable. They’ve been facing instability since losing Alle and ousting Puoskari.
The Finn has been taken in by Arctic Foxes, and he shone in the Faceit tournament with them. Despite taking on SE7EN with two mercs (albeit very capable ones), they proved that they’re ready to fight for more than second place.
The opening week of ETF2L will see a continuation of this new rivalry that began at the end of last season. Both teams have beaten eachother now – a relationship that a Crowns/SE7EN team hasn’t had since Full Tilt. Until Kaidus gets off the ground properly in this system, Arctic Foxes are slightly favoured.
Projection: Arctic Foxes 2.6 – 2.4 SE7EN
nerdRage vs. BazookaSports
BazookaSports (AMS’s team) will be making their debut in the season against the French nerdRage roster. Although the latter came third last season, their new iteration can only be seen as a step backwards. Blade and, probably more importantly, Medico have gone. This means the expectations of them in this Ranking system have been lowered dramatically, with their new pocket, Glastry, being unknown to this system.
Nevertheless, it still thinks this new nerdRage can give BazookaSports a challenge and take rounds and maybe a map off of them.
Projection: nerdRage 1.9 – 3.1 BazookaSports
Lowpander vs. Unexpected
The machine expects this one to be comparable in closeness to the nerdRage match. Lowpander’s new roster showed strength in the recent Faceit tournament, where they offered Arctic Foxes a solid challenge.
Unexpected, meanwhile, have had some uneasy moments. They beat the Frenchies in their final playoffs match in two maps, but only barely. Lowpander will definitely be a difficult first test for them in Prem, and I personally wouldn’t be surpsised if they have a much harder time than the projection machine expects them to.
Projection: Lowpander 3.2 – 1.8 Unexpected