ESEA

Froyotech vs. Fable eSports

Froyotech have joined an elite club of brilliant North American teams who have been shaken by the meteoric rise of Faint Gaming. Unlike EVL, though, Froyotech were just barely able to find their footing again and win their match. Their bout with Faint Gaming was probably unexpectedly difficult, but even coming off the back of that, I think they’ll be feeling pretty secure going into this week’s match against Fable eSports.

Sitting pretty at the bottom of the points table, Fable eSports are still waiting to get their first win of the season. It’s a fair assumption to say their maiden win won’t come at the expense of the great Froyotech. The projection machine doesn’t see anything other than an explosive return to form from Froyotech.

Projection: Froyotech 5.0 – 0.0 Fable eSports

EVL Gaming vs. Lunatik eSports

It’s a very similar story with this match to the Froyotech one. It’s another case of a great world-class team going up against one of the minnows of Invite. Unlike Fable, Sighguy’s team does have one win on record, however it came as a forfeit. They’ve yet to win a match in anger. One has to imagine EVL are simply too good for that to change soon.

Projection: EVL Gaming 5.0 – 0.0 Lunatik eSports

Gnomercy vs. Lunatik eSports

Lunatik’s chances don’t look much better against Gnomercy – a team that’s yet to be beaten by anyone other than the big two. Gnomercy looked like an obvious third-place pick in the pre-season, but it’s really starting to look like they’re going to have a fight on their hands if they’re to stay on the podium. However, that challenge comes from Faint Gaming rather than Lunatik eSports.

The projection machine does concede something here that it didn’t in the EVL match. It’s adamant there’s no chance at all for Lunatik in the EVL match-up, whereas here it does make a tiny bit of allowance for a possible round win. They’re still hardly the favourites, though.

Projection: Gnomercy 5.0 – 0.1 Lunatik eSports

EVL Gaming vs. Velocity eSports

Velocity eSports haven’t had much luck with the big teams so far this season. They’ve already lost to three of the big four (those being Froyo, Gnomercy, and Faint Gaming). If they now lose to EVL, it won’t be a good sign for their chances of making playoffs.

EVL might well be their toughest customer yet, but that doesn’t mean Velocity are expected to simply roll over. They took two rounds off of Gnomercy when they played earlier in the season, and the projection machine thinks they might just be able to take one off of EVL in this fixture.

Projection: EVL Gaming 5.0 – 0.8 Velocity eSports

Meat Market vs. Faint Gaming

Meat Market versus Velocity eSports was one of the more interesting match-ups last week, as a Meat Market victory could have laid the groundwork for something of a shake-up in the established order of things. As it happened, Velocity took the win with relative ease, ending (for the time being) any giant-killing aspirations Meat Market may harbour.

Faint Gaming have truly become giants among men in their short history. This is a team that didn’t drop a round to Velocity when they played recently, so logic suggests that they shouldn’t have much trouble against Meat Market – a team that Velocity beat.

The machine’s assessment is that Meat Market could well take a round away from Faint Gaming, but the match should ultimately go to the latter quite comfortably.

Projection: Meat Market 1.0 – 5.0 Faint Gaming

Meat Market vs. Fable eSports

Meat Market’s chances against Fable eSports look a lot more rosy. It’s true that Fable haven’t won a match yet, but that doesn’t mean Meat Market are definitely out of reach. Meat Market dwell deep in the lower half of the Invite order, and if Fable are going to take a match win this season, it certainly seems most likely to come at the expense of either BroKing’s team or Lunatik eSports.

The machine has barely any faith at all in Fable, simply because the matches they’ve taken part in so far have been so difficult for them that they’ve barely even smelt a gilding yet. That’s not the case for Meat Market, and so it favours the latter very significantly. Realistically, Fable probably stand a much better chance than this.

Projection: Meat Market 5.0 – 0.1 Fable eSports


Ozfortress

Jasmine Tea vs. No Safeword

This is the one we’ve all been waiting for. These rankings have slightly favoured No Safeword all season, but these two have never been closer in score than they are now.

Jasmine Tea seem to have picked up Johno as their regular medic – a role that used to be filled by Buddah. Johno has a unique reputation in this ranking system in that he has what is certainly the longest-lasting 100% gilding hit-rate I’ve seen since I started the rankings over a year ago. He has 13 match entries on record, and he was gilded in each and every one of them. This is why he’s seen as the third-best medic in the world at the moment.

His presence on the team has helped to boost Jasmine Tea up to No Safeword’s level in the rankings, and what this means is that the projection machine has virtually nothing insightful to say about this match. All it can do is shrug, really. It’s only prepared to give a very, very slight edge to No Safeword. It thinks this could be incredibly close.

Projection: Jasmine Tea 2.4 – 2.6 No Safeword

Damage Inc. vs. Dog the Boys

Damage Inc. are one of the teams in playoffs contention. As long as they can make light work of Dog the Boys, they should be safely in. The machine thinks they stand a good chance of doing what they need to do, and expects to see Damage Inc. win maybe five times as many rounds as their opponents. Dog the Boys are certainly garnering more respect than they did at the start of the season, but they aren’t expected to cause an upset here.

Projection: Damage Inc. 4.2 – 0.8 Dog the Boys

Xenophobiaphobia vs. Jamane

Xenophobiaphobia should be able to end their season on a high note with their final match. Jamane haven’t won a whole lot this season, and it looks like that won’t change in light of their defeat at the hands of Dog the Boys. Xenophobiaphobia, while not strong enough to contest playoffs, ought be capable of repeating Dog the Boys’ feat by taking victory here.

Nevertheless, the machine is staying quite tentative. The balance of power it perceives leaves plenty of allowance for several Jamane round wins, and maybe even a map.

Projection: Xenophobiaphobia 3.2 – 1.8 Jamane

Right Wing Death Squad vs. Nature Walk

Aside from the clash of the titans, this is probably the match with the most resting on it. Both of these teams are in contention to progress to the playoffs. If we assume Damage Inc. win their fixture easily, the loser of this match will miss out on competing in the playoffs.

The rankings highlight a clear favourite in Nature Walk, but RWDS have pulled off a number of excellent performances since the beginning of the season. Nature Walk are certainly a strong team, though, and the machine doesn’t believe that RWDS pack enough punch to knock them out of the way. Nevertheless, round wins are on the cards for RWDS, at least.

Projection: Right Wing Death Squad 1.3 – 3.7 Nature Walk


ETF2L

Lowpander vs. SE7EN

Unexpected surprised everyone when they became the only team to take a map off of SE7EN this season. It’s not over yet, though, and those honours could yet be shared.

Lowpander have proven themselves, week after week, to be a real powerhouse in European TF2. Their strong victory over LEGO last week only served to underline this. Unexpected have shown that SE7EN aren’t bullet-proof, and they might have left some cracks in their armour. Maybe Lowpander have the strength required to shatter what remains.

Ultimately, the Unexpected match was just one shaky outing in a long history of victories, and SE7EN are still highly rated in the rankings. Their advantage over Lowpander remains significant, and the projection machine is far from prepared to back Lowpander at this point. It’s not specifically expecting dominance, though, and it thinks Lowpander could secure one round for every three that SE7EN take.

Projection: Lowpander 1.3 – 3.7 SE7EN

Arctic Foxes vs. LEGO

This is another pair of highly capable teams. Recent history certainly points towards one over the other, though. Arctic Foxes have looked excellent in recent weeks, destroying teams like nerdRage with ease. By all accounts, LEGO shouldn’t crumble as easily as nR did, but the machine still feels this match is only likely to go Arctic Foxes’ way.

If this comes true, there could be dire consequences for LEGO’s place in the playoffs, because if Unexpected can score a couple more points this week than LEGO can, then they’ll supplant Dr. Phil’s team in the top four.

Projection: Arctic Foxes 4.1 – 0.9 LEGO

Unexpected vs. Antic

The projection machine is expecting this match to be less close than I think the rest of us are. It simply doesn’t understand how a team with such excellent players as Scrab, Puoskari, AMS, T0m, Smirre, and Serotone could possibly lose to a team with a bunch of guys from High.

That said, every missed gilding opportunity for the Antic players hurts them in the rankings, and every time one of the fresh faces from Unexpected gets gilded it boosts them up significantly. Unexpected are now ranked above nerdRage for the first time (despite losing to them when they actually played eachother), but the machine thinks the sheer calibre of players on Antic means they should win. But Antic should have won a lot of matches this season.

Projection: Unexpected 1.2 – 3.8 Antic

nerdRage vs. Nunya

The playoffs aren’t a factor for either of these teams, so this match is pretty much just for honour. Nunya’s score tally of zero points probably doesn’t do justice to the team’s efforts this season. This season’s spike in standards has probably played a big role in their struggles.

nerdRage, meanwhile, seem to have suffered immensely since they lost Blade and Medico. This is the team that most of us expected to come second last season – and to take on SE7EN in the grand final. This time around, their season comes to an end in a bout against none other than Nunya…

After what Unexpected achieved against SE7EN, nerdRage have become the second-lowest ranked team in Prem by these metrics, and they’ve therefore become Nunya’s closest company in the order. The score gap isn’t especially big, either.

We could have a genuine match on our hands here. The machine thinks Nunya have what it takes to win at least half as many rounds as the Frenchies. That could easily translate into Nunya’s first and only points of the season. It’s their last chance, and it could also be their best chance.

Projection: nerdRage 3.2 – 1.8 Nunya

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